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[Fiction] Samhra - The turning of seasons, the changing of self


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The witch in Winter is a seeker, looking to the secrets of night and starlight. There is time and quiet for long trancejourneying, as we seek to understand the ultimate mystery of death and rebirth. Long winter evenings lend themselves to the making of charms and the writing of memoirs, lore and stories to share with students, children or fellow-seekers on the Path. As we look to the rebirth of Light, candles are made and blessed for use in ritual throughout the year. Brews are concocted for colds and flu, for sound sleep and peaceful dreaming. Dreampillows are sewn from herbs gathered in summer and fall. And in a spirit of gathering together to face the darkness, many covens and groves do deep workings on the full and dark moons surrounding the Yule festival, as well as great gatherings of feasting and dancing and giftgiving at the Solstice.
Codex read the words off the Opnet page, enjoying the change from the dry logs and mission reports that she read through constantly. Surfing the Opnet, seemingly at random, had become a habit. This page seemed to be devoted to the old Celtic seasons, with ancient wisdom mixed liberally with turn of the century wicca. Reading through the rest of the pages, Codex filed the information away in the library of her mind and thought nothing of it for a very long time.

The witch in Spring finds Spring Cleaning an inner urge, as well as the need to plant a windowbox or two and perhaps acquire a new pet, a kitten or bird. Magickally we are "planting" as well, perhaps beginning a new course of study, actually sowing herb seeds for later harvest, or refreshing the contents of the magickal cabinet. East is the predominant direction, so air and the sense of smell take center stage here...it is a good time to blend oils and incenses, craft wands and talking sticks, and make scented bath salts for ritual use. If you have a sacred space, it is time to renew this, by cleaning and dressing altar and Temple and repairing or replacing outworn tools. As new leafy greens emerge from the earth, it is a time for making strewing herbs and potpourri, to cleanse away the musty smells of closed winter rooms.
The quotation is called to Codex's mind as she paces around her too-small quarters in Utopia, feeling cramped and claustrophobic. A blaze of anger wells up and she slashes rents in the sheetrock walls with her newly acquired claws. The anger fades, and it's replaced with guilt and unease. Her wing move to encircle her and hug her, but the space is too cramped and full of books, the ceiling too low, to allow that kind of movement. She can sense Franklin's concern coming through their link, but he's far away and needed elsewhere, so she consciously tries to keep herself under control.

They're talking about drugging her to keep these mood swings in check. She wills herself to suppress the surge of anger that thought brings. They just don't understand, she thinks. I just need some freedom, room to move and grow and become something other than just the quiet librarian. She's changed, fundamentally, and they're having a hard time accepting those changes.

She feels a sudden pang of pain and anger come accross the link from Franklin, and her wings spread out instinctively, as if they want her to take to the air. But they bump into walls and books and shelves, knocking things over, making small holes in the walls and stinging where they've been cut slightly. The rage wells within her and she once again claws the wall and bellows, making a fair sized hole into the hallway. A passing Pax peers through the hole and says, "Codex, come down to my office later. We need to talk about these mood swings." The dread that follows is enough to force all other thoughts from her mind.

The Summer witch shares in the summer revelry begun so many centuries ago, when vacations are planned and family reunions are held. Tending the garden becomes a pleasure as things are growing lustily, needing little care but weed and bug control. Camping and hiking are popular pastimes, affording oppportunities to gather herbs, stones, sacred woods and other natural objects for the year's magical workings. This is the season of Fire, and workings aligned to the South are likely to be successful at this time. Seek a relationship, embark on creative activities such as sculpture, writing, music making, leatherworking. Do spellwork requiring strength of Will and courage.This is the season to seek out a magical knife (athame) and bless it under the Full Moon of Oak or the Midsummer Sun. It is a good time to settle tasks and situations left undone, where the application of the Will can bring a successful outcome.
It is but a fleeting thought, as the wind rushes through Saimhe's wings. The quotation comes to mind whole and unasked for. It is dismissed as easily as it comes and other thoughts, such as how she's going to stop falling, come to her mind.

As usual, she hits the ground heavily, and her wings only managed to deflect her away from the course Franklin was expecting. He's at her side instantly, and she smile up and drags him down into a kiss to let him know she's alright. "Toss me again, I'm not giving up yet." With a look of concern, but knowing she's not going to give up, Franklin gently picks her up and winds up for another pitch.

In Fall, the witch's life begins to turn inward, as we see our bodies and minds imitate the slowing and gathering process which the Earth is performing. It is a time for divination, dreamwork, preserving and gathering herbs, blessing sacred waters (make moonwater on the full moon closest to Samhain to use in scrying throughout the year) gathering and creating medicines for winter, making wine for ritual, and sorting and assembling the contents of one's Book of Lights and Shadows. It is an intimate, silent, personal time for communion with spirit guides and totems, as well as personal deities.
As Samhra reads some of the new books on modern wicca she found on the Opnet, this quotation floats up from her subconscious. The passage was read long ago, but the perfect clarity of her mind summons it back perfectly. She ponders it, savoring the mixture of old wisdom and new belief. She recalls the full text, all of the seasons in turn, and reflects on how they fit against her own life.

Samhra is sitting cross legged in her Sanctuary, which Franklin had built for her as an engagement present. It was a single room, enormous, with a domed ceiling, and shelving lining the entire thing. Books covered most of those shelves, books taken from her personal library and placed here with care and attention. More interesting artifacts were in cases on the floor, or suspended from the ceiling, spread far enough apart to let her stretch her wings freely. It was a place she had little use for until recently, but now she was feeling more and more inclined to this place, so nearly an extension of her inner self.

Franklin himself never bothered her here, for which she was grateful. Wonderful though he was, some things were not meant to be shared, and other times she needed the quiet of her own thoughts, uninterrupted by the link they shared. Those times were coming far more frequently of late, and now she was beginning to understand why.

It was silly of her to think she would become constant after all the change in her life, her self. To try to represent a single season, while she had lived and breathed every season. Change was in her nature, and she embraced that change. She was a harbinger of the changing seasons, a creature of the moment, a goddess of the Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. She was aspected, and to try to cling to a single element of that aspect would lead her to worse imbalances than she had felt under Utopia's less than tender mercies.

She could feel it, in her thoughts and actions. It was time for a change.
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