Mother Earth and Sister Moon: A Beltaine Story of Creation

Mother Earth and Sister Moon: A Beltaine Story of Creation

Author: Lady Abigail 

I have always been drawn to the powers of the Earth. We call her Mother Earth, Earth Goddess, Life Giver and the Great Goddess. We have so many names for her and so many ways to see her.

My Great Grandmother would give me roots, seeds and plants to grow in my own garden each spring. She wanted to teach me to understand and respect the Earth. I loved, even as a child, digging in the dirt and seeing the worms turning in the ground letting me know winter was truly ending.

Each spring, we make a special altar outside as we cleaned the yard from winters disarray. This altar was for the Mother Goddess and to the Great Grandmother of all life. We would build a fire from the branches that had fallen and carefully pick an area that would later be made into a garden.

Once the altar was made, we placed a silver dish filled with water on it. In a wood bowl, we put bird food and corn with some of the fruit left from cellar not used during the winter. At sunset, we would set a light a candle, and give thanks to Grandfather Day and Grandmother Night for bringing life unto the Mother Earth once again.

Today we hear the term Mother Earth used for stressing the need for saving our planet. It is more than our planet; she is also our heartbeat and our survival.

My Great Grandmother was a beautiful, Native American woman. She was only a child when she would marry her husband. He was of French heritage and a Woodsman of the World. In her early years, she would live in the Deep South and later the Ozarks. She would be widowed early in life and left to raise her three children alone. She did so, with pride, honor and with no help from anyone.

Then at an age where many were deciding that they were too old and should just set in a rocking chair and wait for time to pass, she took in a 3-month-old baby. Raising that child with more love than many people ever know in a lifetime, sharing her wisdom and her traditions in ways that allowed dreams and understanding, never speaking that one might be better than the other. This was my Great Grandmother and I was that child.

I never felt I really belonged to any one people or one place. My Great Grandmother had dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin; I was a fair skinned, blond headed and green-eyed pixie child. She spoke three languages, as I worked with one and stumbled to learn another. My Great Grandmother would tell stories of her life as a child, the toils that her family struggled with to escape from captivity and start new lives. I wanted to be a part of that life, I wanted to be like her and look just like she did; but I didn’t.

It was from my Great Grandmother that I would learn that being Native American was not about how you looked, or even the blood that was in your body, it was understanding that the Earth is alive and a part of your heart and a part of who you are. Yes, the Earth is alive and so are the trees, the rocks and even the air we breathe.

As a child, my Great Grandmother would tell me wonderful stories of life, family, nature and magick. Some, like this one, were a mix of her traditions and her life. She would blend her family stories with her personal understanding of life so that I could see beyond what was put before me. The spirit within her stories would help me grow in my understanding of the magick and mysteries all around us.

This is a story of creation. A spring story that would become my Beltaine story of creation … though the time is not found within any moment of time.

In the beginning, there was no land and no water, no stars and no sky. Only a great void filled with all that could be. Living within the void was creation, not yet by name for no words had yet been spoken. Silence was the void.

Then like a whispering wind gentle on a summer night, a sound crossed the great void. Our Grandmother of the Night called to the Grandfather of the Day. “Grandfather, do you see we are alone and have no children our sky is empty and our hearts alone.”

Suddenly, Grandfather Day spoke in a deep thundering voice. “Then we shall have Children, daughters, two daughters.”

Joyfully Grandfather Day and Grandmother Night begin to dance across the great void. As they danced, the void of nothingness began to divide and become sky. Both of day and of night, separate of each other but together as one. Soon their dance of joy called to the stars and planets who also begin to spin in their dance.

As they danced Grandfather Day reached within the planets and picked what he saw as the most beautiful of planet of all. This would be his child of peace and rebirth. She was cool and green as if covered with life ready to be born.

Then, Grandmother Night reached into the stars and pulled from within the most silvery calming of light. But as she watched it she saw it was moving, she saw it was ever changing.

But there was not life, Grandmother Night called to Grandfather Day, “Where is their life, their illumination, their energy.”

Grandfather Day held out his hand with the cool and green planet within it and touched it to the small silvery planet within Grandmothers Nights hand.

With a cracking of sound and bolt of light, the small cool green planet took breath. Upon her was air to breath, water to drink, land to plant and life full of all creatures and form.

The small silvery planet held no life upon her but she dance within Grandmother Nights hand with joy. Her silvery smile was full of peace and power. Her dark face of held a calming renewal within. For what seemed like stillness was giving life and dance within the circle unto her sister as she pulled and give energy.

“Grandfather Day, ” said Grandmother Night, “I call to you to name your children and set them together within the circle dance.”

Grandfather Day thought for a moment and said, “I shall call our silvery daughter of the luminous glow, Moon, for in her changes life shall be reminded of the dance, all cycles will be renewed and reborn.”

Then Grandmother Day said, “I shall name our cool blue and green daughter, Earth; for she shall be Mother of life and death within her seasons.”

Still within the dance, Grandfather Day and Grandmother Night loving and gently placed their children, Earth and Moon, within the sky, always together, drawing energy one to the other for all time.
It was a joyful time but soon the dance slowed, and across the sky came the thunderous voice of Grandfather Day.

“Grandmother Night, now call your stars and planets to keep watch over our children, for we need rest.” Slowly they drew again into the void of existence but always watching Earth and Moon within the circle dance.

Now, each night we can look into the sky and see the planets and the stars. We can see sister Moon as she calls her sister Earth to the dance. And sometimes we can hear Grandmother Night and Grandfather Day talking to their daughters in the rolling thunder as rain cleans the sky, or in night winds song whispering through the trees, reminding us, to take care as we join in the dance of life. For if we do not take care, we can lose our place in the circle and the dance could end.

Time and the ravages of a careless world, have taken so much from the Earth. Unfortunately, many do not understand that what we are losing, is ourselves. We are here to be the protectors of the Earth, dancers within the dance. Mother Earth is not a resource of what we can take from her. She is life and we must give back to her in guardianship for her life and our future. Mother Earth is our only chance for the blessing of time itself.

My Great Grandmother would teach me to respect the Earth. For the Earth is the life giver and the mother of all things. Now as we approach the time of spring and Beltaine, as we seek the energy of renewal and the assurance of new life, may it also remind us that we must learn to walk with the Earth and not upon her.

Have a magickal Spring…

Lady Abigail
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN

Copyright: Copyright © 04092008
Lady Abigail
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN

The Blending of Magick

The Blending of Magick

Author: Lady Abigail 

Somewhere deep within the Ozark Mountains, on a mid summer night, stood a small gentle woman wearing a long dark skirt covered with a crisp, clean white apron.

Her face, careworn from years of life, could only give a glimpse of the knowledge she held from worlds long since past.

As she walked across the dry grassy meadow her long skirt brushed against the ground as she looked for where she could best see the night sky. In the middle of the clearing she stood beneath an endless blanket of stars. The warm fragrant breeze was softly blowing her long silvering hair across her face. She began to smile with the understanding she received from this moment in time, a foretelling of a life to come.

This is how, I would be told by my Great Grandmother, that she gained the knowledge of my coming. My Great Grandmother was a Witch, one of the wise ones. She never considered herself as being born a Witch, or that she had came from so many generations of Witches that the number was simply unknown; magick was just part of her and it was her life.

My Great Grandmother was a strong and kind soul of many lives. She was of mixed traditions, a blending of half Native American and half French. She was raised in a time when those who could not believe would try to stop the powers they feared. A time when, with heart and love, anything was possible within the forces of the Earth and Nature.

She was born into a world that was beginning to forget the wonders hidden within every element of nature. A world that scoffed and made fun of those who were different and those of the Old World. At times, it could be a very dangerous world for those born of magick, because such things were considered wrong and somehow evil. What some would, in fear and ignorance, call sinful.

Her upbringing was a mixture of her family traditions; French, Native American, Southern and Cajun, as well as those which came from a long and contented life. She knew potions and charms, how to heal the sick with herbs and soothe a broken heart with a cup of tea sweetened with a listening heart. She could see what others could not see, or would not see. And oh, yes…she could cast spells and work glorious magick.

I loved being with my Great Grandmother; she taught me that life and magick just “are,” no matter what others may believe. That people are only a tiny a part of the mysteries found within life and love, energy and light. For there are truly more things between the worlds than those which can be seen.

I can remember my Great Grandmother telling me stories of her family and childhood, teaching me how it was possible to call the wind in a whisper, stop the motion of time and call on the powers that are held within the elements of nature. She also taught me how we are a part of the natural world and that, if we desire, we can communicate with the animals and insects as well as read the messages, sent to us by all the universe, that appear on a starry night.

She would teach me how to draw on that energy, the magick found in the understanding that we are the Air, the Fire, the Water and the Earth surrounded by all Spirits. We are the concept and the deed. We are all things and all things emanate from within us.

Recently in my studies I have learned of others that come from mixed traditions, such as the mixing of the first settlers of the Old World and the American Indians. The blending of magickal beliefs from those who came over from Scotland, Ireland and, for me, France in the seventeenth century. Some call it Appalachian Granny Magick, Ozark Magick or White Witch Magick. I was raised that it is a gift of Mother (or Goddess). Whatever name you call it, the tradition is complete.

Many times I observed my Great Grandmother as she watched the signs and concocted potions and brews for people from all around where she lived. This act of creation was common practice for families of her time; there was little money and doctors were expensive. Normally a person would have to travel a day or more just to reach a doctor. That travel was not generally possible. She was the Wise Woman, or Healer, of the area.

I remember going with my Great Grandmother, my “Mom Ma,” to pick berries and herbs for different workings. We would make the blackberries into wonderful pies that she would take to those who were ill and cobblers that were for other workings. I would sit and listen to her say wonderful incantations and spells while she stirred the beginnings of a blackberry cobbler or pie. Once the pie was done she would proudly announce, “This, my little love, is a Money Pie, and as you eat, money you will meet.” She was always right.

I didn’t understand or appreciate at the time all the wonders my Great Grandmother would place into my life. Even now she influences my life with wonder and Magick. When I am struggling, or can’t quite decide what the right ingredients are that I’m looking for, if I will find a quiet place and allow my mind and heart to open I will hear the answers. Whispers on the wind are my Great Grandmother’s voice.

Mixed Traditions, like many of the older ones, were passed on from parents to their children for many generations and generally not “taught” outside of the individual family structures. Many times within the community old customs, wisdom, and practices were considered unacceptable. With the modernizing of areas and beliefs, one will often find ancient Irish, Scottish, French and Native American songs, rhymes, dances, recipes, crafts, blended within what we know as “The Craft.” This history has been passed down for many years in this way, though sadly with the original meanings sometimes being lost in the winds of time.

In the hills and mountains of the Ozarks this quality of the ancient religion of Witchcraft continued right on through the decades into the early twentieth century. At times when Witchcraft elsewhere was being eliminated by the increasingly modern and Christian world, the people of the Ozarks were still calling upon Mother Nature. The fertility of the crops, the livestock, and of the people themselves was vital. Therefore, fertility, and the worship of Mother Nature, Father Winter, Chloe, Spider Grandmother, Demeter, and such varied deities continued on within this region, staying a current part of the people’s faith rather than becoming a mythic memory as such “nature worship” did elsewhere.

The terms “Witch,” “Witchcraft,” “spells” and “charms” were not seen as evil or bad. Each community had their local Witch or Wise Woman and openly called them such. This reference was considered to be a title of honor, not an insult or a charge of crime as the term later became known.

Witches were called upon to heal the sick, deliver babies or tend to the dying, just as their ancestors had been so charged with doing in Europe so many years ago. Many times a community had no medical doctor to call upon so the local Witches continued to work as the only healers well up until the early twentieth century.

Many will claim that Magick isn’t possible and that such things are not to be believed in. However, is it not strange that children just know Magick is all around them, but as they grow older they are forced to think they must stop believing in that which just…”is?”

Witchcraft is a blending of Traditions and Magick. Whatever practice you believe in, you are most assuredly a mix of many things such as traditions, beliefs, society, ethnicity, family, social experiences, region and time. We are all from a mixed and proud Magickal background. We are also practical and down-to-earth. Witchcraft, no matter what name you call it, is very eclectic naturally.

A Traditional America Indian Earth Blessing:

A da we hi a ne he ne ha
Do hi u a iu ni
O lo hi a li ga lu lo hi u nah ta
Ga li e li ga O sa da du

English translation:

Wise Protectors, they are so giving
Serenity, it resounds
Mother Earth and Father Sky are so giving
I am thankful, it is good

Lady Abigail