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The Devouring Times

While watching the tornadoes in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa, I could feel the vortex at the center of these storms connected to a swirling vortex at the center of myself.

A churning, purging, destructive portal that seeks to devour huge swaths of land and level edifices that we have worshipped. Bringing us all back to Earth. Forcing us to seek shelter in Her womb. In Her belly. To remember that everything we build on this planet is at Her mercy. It is temporary, fragile, contingent, borrowed. When the devouring comes, we go to Her and take shelter in Her steady embrace.

And the devouring is coming.

Storms will strengthen and increase in frequency. The seas will rise and devour the land. The plates are shifting and magma will be realeased to create new landforms. New diseases will claim more lives and the fires will scorch the Earth.

And we will devour each other with bombs and murderous legislation and ignorance.

Where do we find the burrow within that will hold us while the world around us swirls in chaotic destruction? Where is the Earthen embrace that will shield us through all of the suffering and loss and change?

I see it in the blooming columbine, in the wren nest on the front door wreath, in the shimmering moonlight on the underside of the mugwort leaf. I feel it in a sweet easy breath. In a hug from our children. Simple, day to day, sensory experiences become our refuge when answers aren't apparent or actions aren't available.

How can I be a womb shelter for others? Who is a womb shelter for me? Whose arms, linked together with mine, create a force that can shelter more kinds of life? Trees, foxes, rivers, mountains?

These connections, born of the Earthen shelter of this body and this moment, are how we survive the devouring. And how we grieve what doesn't survive.

As a witch and a druid, I know that the energy I put into the world matters. I have spun these words around in my hands for hours. Deleting. Rewriting. Softening. Reimagining. And all the while, the hollow ache in my center, the eye of the vortex, groans and thunders its warning. Find the deep Earth embrace. Find shelter. Create stability in something tangible. Hold on to something real. It is past time to imagine that my naming it can call this devouring into being, or my avoidance of the devouring might somehow grant us safety. It is here. It has begun. And now our hope lies in the arms of the Mother, who has been here all along. If we had come to Her embrace sooner, perhaps things could be different, but we can still come to Her now.

“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love." Gandalf in The Hobbit

These small, simple acts of love create a refuge. Even if we can't hold the devouring in check, we can endure it together. And together, we can find reasons to hope, to dream, to innovate, to find resilience and new strength. I don't believe that we can stop what has begun, but we can still love, create, find beauty and shelter one another from the worst impacts.

Thank you for reading along my friend. I will see you in the storm cellar.


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