A New Totem Animal

Samain and the 5% waning crescent of the Holiseason Moon


Friday gratefuls: Blue Skies. Black Mountain. Green Lodgepoles. Naked Aspen. Oceans. The World Ocean. Lakes. Ponds. Puddles. Creeks. Streams. Rivers. Mighty Rivers. Volcanoes. Steam Vents. The Earth’s Core. Riding on the Mantle. Crusty.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Brother Mark

Tarot: The Great Bear, #20 of the major arcana


As they often say in fantasy movies, it has begun. I’m deconstructing the kitchen. Drawers with thermometers, hot pads, skewers, kitchen towels. Cabinets with bouillon, cream of mushroom soup, ladles, and wooden spoons. Into the boxes I’ve been saving. I’m doing a little pruning right now, but the priority is to unload all the cabinets before Monday. I’ll prune more as I replace things in the new cabinets or, better perhaps, after I’ve gotten everything in boxes.

I’m excited to have this project moving forward. It’s completion will be the trigger for moving furniture, rearranging the house. One thing I look forward to upstairs is a conversation area focused on the fireplace. Since I don’t have COPD, I can have fires, but a lot of them? No.

The first fire after the furniture and new lamps and table are in place will be Irish peat logs. I mentioned them a while back as reminiscent of the nights W.Y. Evans-Wentz spent in Celtic homes listening to stories around the fire, often peat logs burning. I want to experience the smell and the fire.

Fits in with the Hermitage notion. I’ll welcome you here if you want to come. Oh, and I’m working on that host thing, too.


I may have a new, or additional, totem animal. Can you have more than one? Love the card I drew this morning, the Great Bear. Here it is again.

The Great Bear guards a passage tomb, a sort of pre-Celtic columbarium that could contain multiple tombs on either side of a long passage. In the tomb souls await rebirth and the Great Bear protects the souls as they wait to renew themselves.

The Great Bear, in the Wildwood Deck, corresponds to the Winter Solstice, that longest night when we sink into the darkness. Happens to be my favorite holiday. Matching it with Ursa Major and the Aurora Borealis makes the Winter Solstice take on an even deeper meaning for me.

As it goes, so it comes. When darkness reaches us, it invites into the passage tomb. We have no need to worry because the Great Bear will protect us through the vulnerable process of our soul’s metamorphosis. While we’re in the tomb the night sky shines above us in all its starry, auroral glory.

The Great Wheel teaches us that rebirth is not a singular event. As the dark Night goes, it will come again, offering another chance for renewal, for rebirth. This is a comfort for those who mourn, who feel a new life awaits. For me.


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