Another year and another opportunity for clearing out the drawers and cupboards of our inner and outer selves. This spurt of energy has crept up on me dear readers; need a strong cuppa to calm me down. As I write this post sitting at the kitchen table today, the scene outside is bright, sunny and fresh. The garden is coming back to life after its hibernation. The Green Man has seen fit to offer his blessings for this season and Nature has responded with love. It also seems that my inner life has responded in kind. Parts of this post were originally written in January of this year, celebrating the safe passage through another doorway and state of consciousness. It has now decided to guide me through another threshold and I am a little hesitant. It may sound strange making that comment in relation to a piece of writing. Words have power and once uttered take on a life of their own. So we must be mindful of our thoughts and words! They have the capacity to move us emotionally, mentally and spiritually as our inner essence is joined with each and every letter. Alphabets were and are still considered sacred symbols, yet, literacy has also been withheld from the masses as a form of control. Double-edged sword…
Thresholds and transformations. The start of a year always brings with it a multitude of emotions and energies into our lives. Like the Roman god Janus we face both the past and what is yet to come. Not an easy place to be. January is named for Janus, the 9th is his festival day. This year it fell on Saturday (under the planetary influence of Saturn,). He is considered the Guardian of Exits and Entrances, regarded by some as the god of all beginnings and was invoked on the first day of every month.
It seems I invoked his energies unconsciously, which can only be a positive thing. Where to start first? Spring clean my Social media sites, physical and mental environments. The axe of doom-ish falls and then there is only silence. This act makes way for new growth to push its way through the soil and reach for the light. A necessary act you must understand, enabling the flow of energy to revitalise all concerned.
Thresholds and transformations. Doorways and thresholds have always interested me, as has their symbolism. They are symbolic of transition and transcendence, considered feminine and emphasised architecturally with appropriate decoration to make clear the space between the mundane and sacred. We pass through them to enter another place and state of consciousness. Certain doorways allow us passage into spaces that are set apart for purposes of worship and contemplation. We enter into them in the right frame of mind and attitude, prepared for the insights and revelations to come. That is the hope. This relates to the physical as well as the psychological. At this point in the proceedings you may wonder where this is going. To a burial mound in North Wales to be precise. In a moment of nostalgia (and something more) I was looking through photos taken on Anglesey, North Wales last year. The pictures in question relate to a lovely Neolithic chambered tomb, Bryn Celli Ddu (The Mound in a Dark Grove). It was built on the site of an earlier henge (ritual enclosure); with excavations revealing remains of burnt and unburnt human bones, flint arrowheads, quartz, a stone bead and shellfish. Interestingly enough the only tomb on Anglesey which is accurately aligned with the rising sun on mid-Summer. It’s a particular favourite of mine, showing the entrance, interior and exit from the mound. I thought there was something significant about the different components of the images, unsure what it was but would check later.
The fern growing next to the doorway drew my attention strongly. Culpeper stated that both female and male ferns fell under the influence of Mercury. Ah, dear Mercury. Divine psychopomp. Interesting correspondences associated with this plant, starting with the ancient deities of Hades, Pluto and the Sidhe. When you look at the folklore, this plant was linked to sky gods of thunder, lightning, the Midsummer, Midwinter and the Underworld. The fern was considered a threshold plant, achieving its full power at the turning of seasons, from one state of being to another, from one day to another. At such turning points the plant allows humankind access to the Otherworld and its denizens, the Sidhe and wildfolk.
All the pieces fall into place. To pass through the threshold of such a place is to enter into the realm of the ancestors, passing symbolically from life into death. It can also be a place of initiation, death of the former self and emerging reborn into a new life – the initiate becomes “twice-born”. I am wondering whether this was the intention of interring the dead in such places. Returning them back to the womb to be reborn with the rising Sun. Especially in view of the alignment of the tomb with the rising sun. The landscape is a great repository of knowledge, highly illuminating if you are able to read and interpret its symbols.