On The Music Box: Zakir Hussain – Music of the Deserts
Even that old horse
is something to see this
On The Menu:
Holly King and Oak King
Poetry For The Winter Solstice…
Assorted Art & Photographs
This is the time of the year that I find quite to be just so wonderful… Fire time, darkness, family and friends. This has been a great year. The tide has turned in many arenas in the world. From Australia, to recent decisions in the US Supreme Court… All three Left Coast State Govt’s are suing the EPA over the blockage of better standards of fuel consumption proposed by California for Auto emissions etc…. and BALI! Yes, there were changes that move the future…
We have had a good year with our Art and The Invisible College Magazine. I want to thank the editors, artist and contributors and the dear readers especially for making The Invisible College Magazine what it has become over the last year. May it grow in wild and wonderful ways! It has been a year of new projects and wonderful results. More is to come I pray in the coming months…
-John, Mike-(St. Mungo), Gwyllm & Mary this past Spring-
This year we have made some wonderful new friends, and renewed other friendships.. It is nice seeing Ron S., and becoming better acquainted with Tim from Ireland & John Archdeacon, Leana & Richard, Kyle & Trish among so many and to finding Ms. Padrice again. There are so many good people in this world, if wishes were fishes I would have all of you swimming in the same shoal as us! I cannot begin to list everyone, but I think of all of you as often as I can. From the Clans down in Australia, across the US and Canada and Mexico, to family and other friends in Europe. Though we may only talk on email, or the ever so infrequent phone call; you all have moved me in my life. A special big hello to all those friends on Earthrites… where ever you may be!
We have the birth of Eildon to Catherine the partner of my nephew Andrew to celebrate, and the birth of other new bright lights coming into the world, from Australia, down to Santa Cruz and beyond… 80)
We have had our departures as well. Our friend Nestor Perala past away this summer suddenly. Our friend in Canada John Beresford died in September. Our dear Doris Gunn died just before Samhain (Halloween), and our acquaintance and inspiration Laura Huxley died a week or so ago.
These are the days and specifically on the Solstice that we acknowledge and honour those that have joined us, and those that have left us. Life, goes on. The great circle dance continues, and the nodes of individuation rise up into the light and then into the darkness from whence all comes from. We are the multiple faces and thoughts expressing the Goddess/God that we all are a part of. We are individuations of the greater life force. We are consciousness expressing…
At the turning of the year, we drink to our time in the light, to our coming time in the dark, and to the whirl of the year and world around us. Life is so full of beauty, celebrate it!
Okay… so the Solstice is here again. I want you to take time to be with your friends and loved ones, and to just enjoy the season and the time together. Love is the supreme revolutionary act. With it, we can move the universe, and surprise surprise, never in the way we actually intended to….
Bright Blessings On This Solstice!
Holly King and Oak King
The Holly King and the Oak King are part of Celtic mythology, and they represent two sides to the Greenman, or Horned God.
They battle twice a year, once at Yule and once at Midsummer (Litha) to see who would rule over the next half of the year. At Yule, the Oak King wins and at Litha, the Holly King is victorious. In other words, the Oak King rules over the lighter half of the year, and the Holly King over the darker half. The change from one to the other is a common theme for rituals at Yule, and also at Midsummer.
Another version of the Holly King and Oak King symbolism, is that they do not directly switch places twice a year, but rather both live simultaneously. The Oak King is born at Yule, and his strength grows through the spring, peaks at Beltane and then he weakens and dies at Samhain. The Holly King lives a reverse existence, and is born at Midsummer, waxes more powerful through the summer and fall, to his peak at Samhain.
His influence then lessens until Beltane, when it is his turn to pass away. In this perspective, the two Kings enjoy a more intricate interplay of power and is perhaps a better illustration of their duality. At any given time, they both exist but have varying levels of influence throughout the year.
Either way, each King represents different ideas. The time of the Oak King is for growth, development, healing, and new projects. The Holly King’s time is for rest, reflection, and learning.
Poetry For The Winter Solstice…
To Juan at the Winter Solstice
There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling,
Whether are learned bard or gifted child;
To it all lines or lesser gauds belong
That startle with their shining
Such common stories as they stray into.
Is it of trees you tell, their months and virtues,
Or strange beasts that beset you,
Of birds that croak at you the Triple will?
Or of the Zodiac and how slow it turns
Below the Boreal Crown,
Prison of all true kings that ever reigned?
Water to water, ark again to ark,
From woman back to woman:
So each new victim treads unfalteringly
The never altered circuit of his fate,
Bringing twelve peers as witness
Both to his starry rise and starry fall.
Or is it of the Virgin’s silver beauty,
All fish below the thighs?
She in her left hand bears a leafy quince;
When, with her right she crooks a finger smiling,
How may the King hold back?
Royally then he barters life for love.
Or of the undying snake from chaos hatched,
Whose coils contain the ocean,
Into whose chops with naked sword he springs,
Then in black water, tangled by the reeds,
Battles three days and nights,
To be spewed up beside her scalloped shore?
Much snow is falling, winds roar hollowly,
The owl hoots from the elder,
Fear in your heart cries to the loving-cup:
Sorrow to sorrow as the sparks fly upward.
The log groans and confesses
There is one story and one story only.
Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling,
Do not forget what flowers
The great boar trampled down in ivy time.
Her brow was creamy as the crested wave,
Her sea-blue eyes were wild
But nothing promised that is not performed.
The Shortest Day
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
I have news for you:
The stag bells, winter snows, summer has gone
Wind high and cold, the sun low, short its course
The sea running high.
Deep red the bracken; its shape is lost;
The wild goose has raised its accustomed cry,
cold has seized the birds’ wings;
season of ice, this is my news
(9th century Irish)
The Olde Year Now Away is Fled
(sung to Greensleeves) 13th Century English
The olde year now away is fled,
The new year it is entered
Then let us now our sins downtread
And joyfully all appear
Let’s be merry this holiday
And let us run with sport and play
Han sorrow, let’s cast care away –
God send you a happy new year
Come, give us more liquor when I do call
I’ll drink to each one in this hall
I hope that so loud I must not bawl
But unto me lend me an ear
Good fortune to my master send
And to my dame which is our friend
God bless us all, and so I end
And God send us a happy new year
Translation By Lawrence Rosenwald
The Wren Song
The Wren, the Wren the king of all birds,
St. Stephenses day, he was caught in the furze.
Although he is little, his honor is great,
Rise up, kind sir, and give us a trate.
We followed this Wren ten miles or more
Through hedges and ditches and heaps of snow,
We up with our wattles and gave him a fall
And brought him here to show you all.
For we are the boys that came your way
To bury the Wren on Saint Stephenses Day,
So up with the kettle and down with the pan!
Give us some help for to bury the Wren!
A Leaf From The Tree of Songs
When harpers once in wooden hall
A shining chord would strike
Their songs like arrows pierced the soul
Of great and low alike
Aglow by hearth and candleflame
From burning branch ot ember
The mist of all their music sang
As if to ask in wonder
Is there a moment quite as keen
Or memory as bright
As light and fire and music (sweet)
To warm the winter’s night?
Sonnet at the Winter Solstice
This solstice is the return of the light
At which the sun stands still then to decide
That each succeeding day be made more bright
Although it takes until the other one
A moment at a time and day by day
The summer solstice greets winter’s work done
And pauses then to turn the other way
The yin and the yang of the year elide
And I am reminded of you somehow
Written in my heart and the sky above
As both winter and summer solstice now
Become two eyes in the face of my love
Another year the sun has smiled its way
Two eyes in the face of my love dawn day
Steven Curtis Lance