As we approach Midwinter and the Wild Hunt (which I keep going to call the Great Hunt) I have this overwhelming feeling of protection. I feel loved, I feel at peace, I feel protected from what life may throw at me.
I believe part of this is having the opportunity to work with some amazing women, as it’s creating a connection to something greater, something deeper, and something I never would have experienced without them.
This feeling of protection stems as we continue our journey into the darkest half of the year, as the nights grow longer and my urge to be in bed by 8.30 strengthens. That no matter how dark the nights get, no matter where my moods take me, I get to walk side by side with an amazing man who greeted me on the other side of the door at the cross roads and give me a torch.
As part of my Shadow Work I’ve been hunting for a new magickal name so I can well and truly leave my old one behind. I was given a name that is like a clear blue sky on a winters day, with the cold chill in the air and the warm sun on skin all at once. A name that honours who I once was, and who I am yet to be.
This feeling of protection also comes as the Wild Hunt approaches. This week for The Pagan Experience it’s Deity and Divine week once more, and as I have entire pages and sections dedicated to Herne, I want to re-post something I originally posted in January.
A young girl no more than twelve stood in the doorway with a lit candle in her hands, watching the shadows in the darkness. Why does he have to go tonight? She wondered as scuffles, mutters and exasperation replied to her thoughts.
“Do you have to go tonight, father?”
The shadow she speaks to stops. A snort comes from the darkness followed by a shake of a mane. “Easy, Jet*,” a deep voice commands.
“Child, you know I do.” He calms Jet and moves around to his daughter, shamelessly sulking hoping it would keep him home. Bending down, he adjusts the woolen shawl over her shoulders. “Do you know what you can do for your father?” She looks up with sad eyes and shakes her head.
“Keep that flame burning in the window, and I will always know which direction you are in. I’ll see it wherever I ride. Okay?” She nods trying to hide the longing of wanting to keep him home, the worry she feels with each Hunt, the nights spent without him home.
Checking his saddle once more, he mounts.
“Ready?” Jet snorts as the man tries reigning in the steed’s restless legs so he can have one more glance at his daughter, still standing in the doorway with her candle burning brightly before her.
“Good. Tonight we ride!”
*Named in honour of a lifelong friend’s familiar, partner and best friend who rode into the Summerlands.