Friday, May 6, 2011
Lunch with the Sidhe: seeking welcome from Po-sun-co-la
I sat looking at the text message. My b'loved wasn't coming home for lunch, but instead was going to go eat with her friend from work. For a moment I felt abandoned and alone, only to have the thought and feeling quickly chased away by the idea that when I am in nature, I am never alone, that when I am in nature, I am surrounded by the land spirits. It then followed that I would have my lunch with them. I made up a roast beef sandwich, threw in an apple, a banana, and grabbed up the acorn pastries and honey a friend made and gave me on Beltaine.
I drove to a county park along Po-sun-co-la, the river that is the life of the land here. In my explorations of Irish myth and legend, one quickly realizes that many of the rivers share names with many of the goddesses. The Danube and the Boine come to mind off the top of my head. Living here in what is a very arid region, I can really understand on a visceral level the connection. The river here really is the source of all life...in this valley. Po-sun-co-la once was mighty. She came roaring out of the cannon and onto the flats helping to create the largest wetlands in the continental U.S. That is until the white man settled the region, massacring the local native Americans in the take over. Soon all the water was siphoned off to support agriculture. It is the same today. The marsh long dried up, and turned to farming, now the areas largest export. Water is so precious here many a man has lost his life in his attempts to get more of it then the next farm down river.
These days, the river is dammed, and it's flow controlled to prevent flooding. The river spirit is angry, and with good reason. Why do I think the river is angry? Because every year she kills several people who swim in her. Some who drown do so in places that seem perfectly safe for swimming. One story I know well involved a man, his wife, and one of his children. The child suddenly began to drown. The wife responded first, perhaps she was closest, and tried to rescue the child, the husband and father close behind her. In a matter of seconds the man found himself in a situation where he had to choose...save his now drowning wife, or his child....
He made his choice. The river took the other. Summer is coming and once again the heat will push people to her shore, and again she will take several of them. She is known as a killer, yet people still come. My wife and I feel she takes these lives out of anger. Po-sun-co-la is angry that she is bleed off and not allowed to flow. She feeds the valley farms and thus the world, but trash is dumped into her daily. I'd be angry too. It is this spirit with which I choose to have lunch with and seek a welcome.
I walked to the bank and found a quiet spot in the shade of a tree that will put me very close to the lapping edge of the water. The snow melt in the hills had the river running high and fast. I sat down and quietly had my lunch observing the sidhe around me. Tree, fox tail, dragonfly, duck, gnat but most of all Po-sun-co-la. I ate a few of the Acorn treats. When there were three left, I dipped them in honey and invoked the ADF druid charm of welcome. I offered the cakes and honey to Po-sun-co-la and the last of my water. I then drew Ogham to determine of my offering was accepted. I pulled the few Saille. The tree associated with this few is the willow, and I took this for a good omen. For willows grow best next to a water source such at Po-sun-co-la. It is a few that is about water and "going with the flow".
I plan to continue such work with Po-sun-co-la. I hope that when I am ready to summon the sidhe to my own fire, and make pacts, that Po-sun-co-la will show herself to me. I hope to help soften her anger so that she won't take so many lives in the years to come. I hope to make a partnership with her as well.