Anima Mundi

“In several systems of thought, the world’s soul, or anima mundi, is the connection between all living things on Earth, just like the soul is connected to the human body.

In Western philosophy, Plato is thought as the originator of the idea. In ‘Timaeus’ he wrote: “Therefore, we may censequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.’

Plato’s myth has inspired the Stoics, neo-Platonist philosophers, alchemists, astrologers, magicians, and occultists in their works. Modern thinkers have also suggested that a vital force – the soul – links and animates the whole material universe.

In the works of Western occultists, The Anima Mundi was imaged as a female. Plutarch associated her with Isis, ‘shown as a naked goddess with a halo of stars, one foot on land and the other in water to show her dominion on land and sea. Her left breast was a moon, which was repeated on her pubis. Her right breast was a star or sun pouring forth blessings on the world.'”

~Stars and Constellations 

I Am

I am the dust in the sunlight, I am the ball of the sun . . . 
I am the mist of morning, the breath of evening . . . . 
I am the spark in the stone, the gleam of gold in the metal . . . . 
The rose and the nightingale drunk with its fragrance. 

I am the chain of being, the circle of the spheres, 
The scale of creation, the rise and the fall. 
I am what is and is not . . . 
I am the soul in all.

~ Rumi

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice officially occurs Saturday night December 21st in North America. But the entire weekend is filled with sacred solstice light.

This is the perfect time to pause for a moment or two. Silently express gratitude for all life on Earth – Life made possible through the magic alchemy of sunlight, soil and water.

Winter Solstice Chant

Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.

~Annie Finch

☀️

Winter Trees

All the complicated details 
of the attiring and 
the disattiring are completed! 
A liquid moon 
moves gently among 
the long branches. 
Thus having prepared their buds 
against a sure winter 
the wise trees 
stand sleeping in the cold.
~William Carlos Williams

Image by Marinus Keyzer.

The Stream of Life

“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.” 

~Rabindranath Tagore

#Life
#Joy

A Wild God

Green Man, Church of Saint Mary & Saint David
Kilpeck, England

“Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways,
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark,
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.

He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers,
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.

You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight,
Because he makes you want to cry.

The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds,
And leads him inside.

The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing,
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.

‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.

When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see,
The strange guest at your table.

The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest,
In your voicebox. You cough.

Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.
Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.

You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old,
And where your passion went.

The wild god reaches into a bag,
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.

The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs,
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.

The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.

In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring,
With laughter and madness and pain.

In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

Listen to them:

The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.”

by Tom Hirons

Into the Dark

The Wheel of the Year

Today marks the cross-quarter day (halfway point) between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. The wheel of the year turns and the entire northern half of the planet enters into the dark part of the year. It is the time of year when the Sun drops lower and lower on the horizon, and the dark of night lasts longer and longer.

Ancient Celtic tribes celebrated Samhain (pronounced sow-in) to mark this auspicious time. According to the Celts and other pagan tribes, the veils between the worlds grow thin at this time of year. That means we can more easily connect with loved ones who have crossed over into the land of the dead. It is the perfect time to honor and celebrate our ancestors.

Celtic Samhain is also about celebrating life. The last of the harvest has been gathered up in our fields and orchards. The natural bounty of Mama Earth will bless and nourish us all winter.

As you enter into the dark half of the year, pause for a moment or two. Offer love and gratitude to Mama Earth for the water, food and shelter she provides. Say a prayer for any loved ones who have moved beyond here and now. Express thanks for everything you have harvested in your life this year.

May the Spirit of peace
bring peace to your house
this Samhain night
and all nights to come.

☾☽

All Will Come Again

All will come again into its strength:
the fields undivided, the waters undammed,
the trees towering and the walls built low.
And in the valleys, people as strong
and varied as the land.
And no churches where God
is imprisoned and lamented
like a trapped and wounded animal.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

🌍

#DreamANewEarth