In the hushed silence of the room, with only enough light to see my hands, I dance. The candle light is glinting off of my arms and touching the tips of the feathers in my fingers. The warmth in the circle is comforting; the night is ice and frost, but in this circle I am blanketed with the softness and warmth of the spirits.
The avian spirits perch just out of my eyesight’s reach. The hint of winged forms is outlined in the curve of my cornea. The shadowy presence buzzes with energy as old as the stars. It is tonight I make my wish…
I bind spells and charms into the barbs and rachis. I kiss the soft arc of the vane with whispers and I tie the ribbon to seal my spell. At Deipnon they will be released, along with the small box of damaged feathers that want to be set free.
At Deipnon I weave the feathers into bouquets and hold them in bunches as I walk the graveyard. I find a spot that is humming like the soft energy of the chrysanthemums in my hands and I lay them on the Grave.
This time, as I leave the cemetery, I am not gripped by the sadness that envelopes every tree, my body can soak up the energy of sadness, sorrow and rest for hours walking along the path but today all I feel is calm, and the soft beating of my heart, the song at the edge of my lips as I walk toward the gate.
Each Deipnon is different. Each action and gesture must have meaning, be filled with my devotion and love. Witches are Willow, bending like the soft drooping branches that are woven into dream catchers and baskets. My soul quivers and lifts in the smoke of the imphepho, vibrating a song of sweet sadness.
The Leo Deipnon and Imphepho work their way into my dreams… cats and dogs but mostly cats; cats as small as my fingers, cats that were once my mortal companions, a cat with a glowing red eye, half a face and long blood-dipped teeth. In the depths of the night a neighbours cat scampers on the roof, but I am only awake for a moment as the glowing red eye with half a face looks at me with a grin like the Devil.
The next day, when I speak to Earthdragon, I am told that a cat in the vicinity of where she lives was kicked to death. The pain in my heart shoots through my soul like a poisoned arrow. I have never understood the human capacity for cruelty, never understood how much people could hate, and destroy. But the culprit is unaware that they have angered and upset a Devotee of Bastet.
I send a silent prayer to that beautiful feline soul, and the sorrow begins to engulf me again like it once did at the cemetery when the butterflies were flitting and dancing around the geranium on a baby girl’s grave.
Sorrow leaks from my pores so that I can do nothing but read, and be caught up in stories of witches and wonder, of love and madness, of loneliness and emptiness that aches within my soul as I finish the last words on the last page.
Witches are Willow, like the soft, grieving branches that touch earth and kiss the sorrow on the faces of lovers and spirits. Sorrow sings through my bones as much as love and devotion. It pushes me to touch and to love and to care with the power and rawness of my being, my witch blood, my witch flesh, my witch bones.
Copyright 2014 of Nightshade author of The Purple Broom