Tag Archive | Imeldra Moonpaw

The Deepening Darkness and the Time of Letting Go

  Greetings, my human friends. It has been a while since I posted a blog but one has been busy and a little frazzled. The old bones are not working as they should and I needed rest after what has been a tumultuous year. But, my dearest friends, the time is coming for us to gather together at Deepening Darkness to feast, to celebrate, and to reflect on all we have done this year. And to reflect on those we have loved and lost.

  Yes, my friends, it has been a year of loss as a dear friend passed peacefully over to the Otherworld in the Summer after a short illness. The Great Mother saw his suffering and took him gently into Her arms and took him home to join the rest of those waiting for us in the Summerlands. I see him in dreams sometimes, healthy and whole, the way he was before old age, sickness and death took him. While I do feel sad he cannot be with us for our Mordrach celebrations, I know he is celebrating with our loved ones beyond the Veil, happy and pain-free. So, Leo, me old friend, we shall raise a tankard or two for you this year. You are dearly missed.

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  And so, as we reflect on all we have done throughout the year, we also look back on the things we could, or maybe should have done. Mordrach is a time of reflection, but also a time of regret; we regret not spending enough time studying, or tending to our everyday tasks, or spending time with friends or family. We may regret harsh words spoken, or words not spoken at all. That ache in the heart not acted upon, or that phrase on the tip of the tongue left unspoken that could have made all the difference in the world to someone without even realising it. The fear of the unknown or how others may react to our declarations of support, love and affection binding us like vines that constrict and then strangle even the strongest of oaks, causing it to whither and die in sorrow and contrition. It is easier to seek forgiveness than permission, but to look back on the things you wish you had done but didn’t can cause one great pain. And it is at the time of Deepening Darkness we have such a long time to reflect on that. A long time indeed.

  The Time of Deepest Darkness is also a time of letting go. As the Black Horse of Winter vanquishes Shamash Sun-Cat, he lets go of his magnificent mane of gold. Light leaves the world and we are left in darkness to contemplate our fate and what is to come. For some, letting go is a much-needed relief – holding on to what does not serve you only causes great harm and suffering to your soul, and to unburden yourself is an act of healing and self-discovery. But for some, letting go is painful. The things we love sometimes need to be let go of if they no longer serve us, or do not wish to stay. It is not for us to hold on to  them for they are not ours to keep; you cannot keep a wild bird in a cage for it is against nature and an act of unkindness. No matter how much you love something, or someone, when they no longer wish to be part of your world, you have to let them go. The seasons turn and life continues, indifferent to the suffering of mortals. We can, but hope, to find a way to regain our strength as Shamash does in spring as his mane of gold grows back to its original magnificence and brings light back to the world.

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As the Old Grimalkin saying goes “it is easier to hold on the the one you hate than to let go of the one you love.”

 

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  But for all we have to let things go, we never stop loving them, be they things or memories or individuals. Sometimes the greatest act of love is to release someone from the binds we may have placed upon them, to free them from the obligation that they need to stay, to be around you out of a sense of guilt or duty. But always try and speak the truth of your heart before doing so because letting someone go before you have spoken your truth can be a burden your soul will have to bear for all your earthly days. Live not with sorrow and regret as I have done. Speak your truth and be not afraid. Follow not the path of one who was too afraid and too proud to do so. Yes, even I can falter and fall by the wayside.

  I hope all who read my blog find peace and happiness at this uncertain time. I am sorry it wasn’t full of Yuletide cheer but, like all things, happiness comes with a measure of sorrow and there are times when we have to experience that sad times to appreciate the good ones.

Healing Blessings to you all,

Your Friend

Imeldra.

The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn: The Great Mother Goddess and the Element of Water (excerpt)

 We Grimalkins are typically monotheistic but also believe in the realms of spirit. The Great Mother Goddess is our deity who can appear in many forms. The Great Mother made the cosmos, our world and the worlds beyond. Despite believing in a deity, we do not have a religion. The reverence of the Great Mother is faith-based, that is to say, each Grimalkin honours Her in their own way. There is no doctrine or dogma, no holy scriptures that tell one how to honour Her or how to live their lives. There is only the Old Grimalkin Book of Thalaig that sets out guidelines as to how a Grimalkin should conduct oneself and one’s spiritual affairs, and offers wisdom and comfort to those who seek it.

  There are no ‘holy days’ in the Grimalkin world. The festivals we celebrate are agricultural with an overlying spiritual meaning. There are no abstinences, no shrift and housel, and no indulgences. Each Grimalkin’s relationship with the Great Mother is personal for She can appear to an individual in a form they recognise which will be different to another’s. But the act of honouring the Great Mother communally can be a wonderful event. Many of the festivals are dedicated to Her and the bounty She has provided us with in the form of a secure home, plentiful food and the deep sense of kinship we have with fellow creatures. She is honoured in love and joy. There is no penance or fire-and-brimstone here. If a Grimalkin has wronged another, he or she must make amends, both to the wronged party and the Great Mother. Usually, the wrong-doer comes up with a suitable act of reparation themselves. If they cannot, they will seek the advice of a druid, a priest/priestess, or the Clowder Mother herself, and they will set a task for them. It is not a punitive system and an act of wrongdoing is almost always absolved with an act of positivity. The Great Mother does not punish in the way human deities do. The waters of the world are also reminders of Her presence too. In a tale of Grimalhame, the Fire Cat reaches the eastern coast of Arcadia as he sets out on a quest to save the clowder:

   “The fire cat had only seen the sea once before, a long, long time ago when the world was first formed by the Great Mother Goddess. It was said that the Great Mother shed tears for her creation in the First Days and those tears became the first oceans. She must have loved the world very much to create such a vast expanse of water…”

The seas and oceans, the tears of the Goddess, are also Her waters of life from which Her daughter Ishramah, came. Ishramah became the lesser goddess of the waters while the Great Mother had dominion over the land and the air and all the creatures therein. The seas and oceans are physical manifestations of the Cosmic Soup, the time of Chaos that reigned in the Age of Fire. The Creation was a vast concoction of fundamentals that coalesced to become the stars, the planets, the elements, and the creatures. Order was created from the chaos and the elements were separated into the things of the sea, things of the earth, and the things of the sky. The Cosmic Soup, now known as the Great Divide, is the boundary between the physical world and the cauldron of rebirth, the Great Mother’s womb and the place all things must go to be renewed and given new forms. The cosmic waters of life are eternal, unfathomable and unknowable. While some creatures are interred into the earth at death, some choose the sea as they both represent the same thing. The earth represents the womb itself while the seas and oceans are the waters of life within it. Both represent rebirth and transformation. The water’s ability to give life as well as take it away is representative of the Goddess who has the power of life and death over all things.

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Model: Ysabeau

 

The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn is available now from Lulu.com

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The Waning Year – from the Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn

Greetings and welcome to my blog. I have recently completed the Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn and I am waiting for my proof to come so it can finally go live. In the meantime, here is the Preface and the opening page of the Almanac.

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The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts

Preface

“In a busy, present day clowder or settlement we can often lose sight of the more subtle things in life – the quiet rustling of the leaves on a summer day, the trilling of the nightingale in the bush, or the happy gurgling of a stream as it makes its way down to the sea. Of course, we must always accomplish our daily tasks and chores no matter how mundane or tedious they may be, but one must always find time to take stock of one’s surroundings, especially the natural ones, for the first sign of the turning season may be missed in the hustle and bustle of life – the hint of red on the oak leaf, a small gathering of swallows at the end of summer, and the slight chilly bite on the nose that tells us winter is on the way. Our whiskers must always be atwitch at these delicate signs for, when the season is upon us, our daily tasks will change and so must we. Our very survival depends on it. And so, we refer to our books, our calendars and our almanacs to prepare for the tasks at paw and take heart that, although our existences may change over the course of our lifetimes, the activities and responsibilities of living within a community do not and will forever keep our clowders and settlements going. So it has been for many thousands of years and will continue for many thousands to come.”

Yours by Star and Stone,
Imeldra Moonpaw
Chief Historian and Deputy
Clowder Mother of Grimalhame

 

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Autumn – The Waning Year

  “From the 1st day of Hazel Moon to the last day of Fir Moon, autumn, or sotohru in Old Grimalkin, holds sway. For most Grimalkins, this is a wonderful time of year when all gather together to bring in the last of the harvest and to begin the task of pickling, salting and preserving for the long months of winter. In Arcadia, spring and autumn are relatively short compared to summer and winter, so late summer/early autumn is a very busy time for citizens of all clowders and settlements.
  “Autumn, the waning part of the year, is symbolized by many things. It is associated with the west where the twin suns set, and with the element of water. It is a time of gathering up one’s resources and reflecting upon the year past. As the deciduous trees’ leaves turn from bright green to mellow yellow, russet red and finally to rich, warm brown, it is a signal to all who behold the annual shedding of the leaves that another chapter of life is closing. To some, it is a sombre time when those who have gone before are remembered, and a longing for the hot, fun-filled summer days and the balmy evenings when citizens relax outdoors drinking mead and cordial and catching up with friends and family after much toil in the fields.”

  The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts is a celebration of the seasons that govern all our lives here at Grimalhame. Each of the four Almanacs have a a theme. The first, autumn, is a celebration of the waning year and the coming of the dark half of the year. It’s elemental theme is water, associated with the west and of life returning to the womb in preparation for renewal and rebirth. Inside each Almanac are seasonal plants and herbs, seasonal associations such as animals, the festivals and feast days, information about the Great Mother Goddess, Alfridaria Henderai’s Herbal Compendium, zodiac signs, crystals, the healing power of the elements, strange and fantastical creatures and many other things pertaining to Grimalkin life in the Clowder of Grimalhame.

  I do hope you will join us here at the clowder and celebrate the turning of the seasons.

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