Reblog from DruidHeart: Hello, Jack

Here’s a reblog of my latest post for Druidheart, on the SageWoman channel at Witches and Pagans.

Arthur Rackham, 1920

Arthur Rackham, 1920

At this time of year, I always honour Jack.

 
Who is Jack? Why, Jack In the Green, of course! Although Mr Sparrow does deserve high praise indeed – but I digress. When the greening has taken over the land, when everything suddenly seems to explode in a riotous cacophony of twisting tendrils, blooming buds, leafy mounds and pollen induced insanity – this is when Jack is in His element.

 
Up until now, things have been fairly orderly. The weeds have, for the most part, been kept under control. Everything seems to have taken its turn in coming out – the columbine turning the garden all shades of pink through to purple. A couple of weeks later and BAM! Chaos reigns. Each green and growing thing is no longer playing nice; now it’s a competition for the most light, the best position. We had a lovely calm before the storm in May, now the party well and truly has begun.

 

As we edge ever closer to the summer solstice, so too does Jack creep further into our hearts, into our psyche. Sleep patterns are disturbed by the long evenings and early mornings (here in the UK). We spend every moment we can enjoying this weather, for it can all change tomorrow into a cold, dreary day. We barbeque at every opportunity. We attend festivals and gatherings, meeting new people and seeing old friends. We have come out of our shell, so to speak, to dance in the full light of the sun. We make noise. We laugh. We love out in the open in the lingering twilight.

 
Jack can bring all these wonderful things to the fore. He can also run you ragged. Like tending a garden – we have to keep Him in check or else he will just run you crazy until you’re lying on the floor, wondering how on earth you got there. There’s a rush to do things, to make use of the wonderful light and time of year. We’re overbooked – we’re double and triple-booked in some cases. We’re teetering on the edge of the solstice, and Jack is waiting to push you over the edge.

 

Cont’d

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The White Serpent Rising and the Goddess of Spring

The earth is stirring, can you feel it? Walking out in the sunshine today, I felt that same feeling that I had when I was a child back in Canada, that first day when the roads are clear, though still thick with sand, and you can take your bicycle out after the long winter months.  That smell of warming ground, of sunlight and fresh breezes, that scent of spring lingering, filtering through every fibre of your soul.  The scent of life.

Today has been warm, the sun’s strength heating the shoulders and exposed skin, pale after a long winter.  The birds are singing with renewed vigour – the great tits and blue tits, the pigeons and blackbirds, jackdaws and crows.  The trees, still snoozing lightly, have the first buds appearing, and the daffodils are mingling with the snowdrops and the hellebore that the deer have decided to stop eating.

There is anticipation all around.  What will this year bring? What new growth will there be, both in the physical and in the spiritual realms?  It’s almost like a humming, deep within the earth, that is slowly rising to the surface. Indeed, the white serpent is rising.

At Imbolc, during ritual I had a vision.  Sitting on my picnic blanket in the rural idyll of my backyard, feeling the ground beneath my feet responding to the first warm sunny day; I had a flash of vision tear through my soul – the white serpent.  Deep within the ground of these isles, there lies a white serpent of the land.  The white serpent IS the land.  It connects all of this land, and it is the heart and soul personified.  I was connected to everything and everyone, and it was inspiring.

This land, England, and indeed the whole of the UK and Ireland, has been inhabited by humans for an indeterminably long time.  I can feel it when I place my hands on the soil here – it is different to Canada, where although humans have lived there for just as long, there are vast expanses of land where no human foot has ever trod.  With space limited in these emerald isles, the songs of humanity run deep through it, alongside that of everything else that makes these little islands so wonderful.

With the deeds to my house, I have old, handwritten ones that go back hundreds and hundreds of years, to when the land was first purchased, and became an orchard, and then “hovels” existed upon it in the Victorian era, growing into cottages and finally the houses that are seen today.  There is a lot of human history here, alongside the natural history that is incredibly fascinating.  Sitting outside today, I could feel the old apple trees, long since cut down, stirring in the first soft light of spring.  Voices of those who lived here, mingling on the breeze with the birdsong and the sound of airplanes, high overhead, bound for the west.

And through it all the white serpent was stirring, awakening from the slumber and rising to the surface. Incredibly beautiful, this white dragon-like being enveloped it all, and still does, closer to the surface now – I’m quite certain that at either Beltane or Midsummer it will be revealed in all its glory.

I have done some research on this white serpent – it is not the white wyrm of the Saxon heritage. It is entirely British, entirely native to these isles.  I have come across a few references of a white serpent and the goddess Brigit, whom I’ve always been intrigued by but never had a “calling” to explore.  I’m thinking that is all going to change in the very near future.

Riding the excitement of the rising tides, like riding down the street that first time on my bicycle in the Spring – that is what life is all about.  New discoveries, and every spring we are reminded to look for these things in our lives, and to take inspiration from it all.

Blessed spring, everyone! May the Goddess of Spring bring you joy.