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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dreaming of Ravens

 I know I don't often write about my own personal experiences with deities and spirits. There's a couple reasons for that, including that it's often hard to put such experiences into words. I also find that discussing such experiences is a very soul baring, exposing kind of thing and I'm not a big one for offering up that part of myself to public scrutiny. The biggest reason though is probably the simplest: it is nearly impossible to put a numinous experience into words without losing the very quality in it that made it numinous. Trying to describe it loses its feeling of mystery. You just can't really convey in words what it was to experience the thing you are trying to share. Nonetheless I am going to try here, but I'll take a page from the old Fili and Druids' books (pun intended) and attempt to do it in poetry.
 I dreamed last night -
 dream or vision or something more -
 of ravens and bloody rivers,
 hounds and horses coursing,
 pounding hooves and howling voices,
 Herself* crying "Woe to those who flee!
 Blood and battle is upon them!
The fight is upon you! 
Stand your ground! Stand and fight! 
Hard slaughter and a great victory!"
Her voice and the roaring of a river, 
water and blood mixing,
and hounds and horses, 
and riders armed and armored,
A feeling of panic and joy
of despair and ecstasy joined
twisting together in my gut
until I wanted to rush forward
into any danger, throw myself,
heedless, into madness and battle,
blades clashing, water rushing,
screams of war and death together,
ravens' wings tearing the air
My breath coming in gasps and gulps,
too winded to add my voice to the din,
but pushing forward, forward, further,
each step a success as earth 
become mud as it mixed with blood.
And then, abruptly, the dream was gone
in a baby's cry, in my son's need for me,
I woke to stillness. 
No blood. No battle. 
No death. No river.
But a yard full of black birds
their voices strident and discordant
singing to me of dreams and shadows
I moved through the day 
expecting wings and warriors
the vision like a memory of feathers
which irritates and soothes simultaneously
and, again and again, ceaseless as the tide,
Or a fast flowing stream,
Her voice calling "Awake! Arise!"....




* The Morrigan, possibly Badb

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