The Age of the Hermit

“You shall go with me, newly married bride,  
And gaze upon a merrier multitude;  
White-armed Nuala, Aengus of the birds,  
Feacra of the hurtling foam, and him  
Who is the ruler of the Western Host,  
Finvarra, and their Land of Heart’s Desire,  
Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood,  
But joy is wisdom, Time an endless song.  
I kiss you and the world begins to fade.”

– From The Land of Heart’s Desire by WB Yeats

I had a strange dream last night.

It was bin day, and I was sitting outside with the rubbish bags. (I don’t know why.) The bin men came and picked me up with the rubbish. This led to my sad demise. The thing was, nothing actually changed. Everyone could still see me and talk to me. I ran around trying to persuade everyone that I was, in fact, dead, and could someone please do something about it? A funeral or an investigation, maybe? “That Naomi,” a friend of mine said to another friend, while I was within earshot. “Always the attention-seeker. This time it’s death, is it? Typical.”

It’s been hard to blog, these past couple of months. I have dozens of half-finished posts sitting around. I want to talk about ancestors of the body, and devotion, and Narnia, and the connections between the Ogham and the runes, and community, and the Battlestar Galactica tarot deck I’m making, and the Pagan community’s tendency to anti-intellectualism, but… It’s one of those times of change, and I’m not ready to share all the changes just yet. (Also I’m back to having daily migraines, after a blissful year where the medication was working. That doesn’t encourage engagement with the world. I say, on day five of the latest one. Please cut my head off. I can totally do a PhD without a head.)

There are times in my life where everyone can see and hear me, but I’m not entirely in this world. There’s a reason I love the legends of the people of the sidhe so much. ‘Off with the faeries’ is an extremely accurate metaphor for the mind of a person with Asperger’s. And it also describes a lot of my spiritual life. Because what is the difference between who we are and what our spirits sing to? Somewhere in between…

Meanwhile, let’s see if I can get back to weekly blogging, at least.

“When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin,
My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken
My mother carries me in her golden arms.
I will soon put on my womanhood and marry
The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell
When I was born for the first time? I think
I am much older than the eagle cock
That blinks and blinks on Ballygawley Hill,
And he is the oldest thing under the moon.
I am Brig’s daughter.
I sent my messengers for milk and fire,
And then I heard one call to me and came.”


5 thoughts on “The Age of the Hermit

  1. Perhaps sometimes these are necessary phases- making, not concluding, making art half formed from the debris… sometimes it’s necessary to go away with the fairies and retreat.

    This is difficult both in a materialistic world that demands constant work and completion of work. And within Paganism / Druidry where increasingly the ‘proof’ of one’s path seems to be doing visible services and working change in the physical world rather than sharing spiritual and mystical insights…

    For me both must co-exist and interweave, the latter sometimes demanding retreat… Good to see you back to blogging and writing again anyhow :)

  2. I really appreciate your blogs. It will be well worth waiting for you to get to the point of being able to share what you’re exploring. Your dream puts me in mind of depression experiences, where people can find themselves so detached they feel dead, but to say it sounds attention seeking to some ears. It is a blessing to be taken seriously.

  3. Greetings from this side of the blog, where I am glad to be reading after a long fallow period. I have tens of half-written blog posts lying around, but finally feel ready to write one again (soon.ish.)

    What Lorna said reminded me of wise advice from a friend on a similar path. It was after a particularly bad spell of depression, when I posted (what I thought of as) a cryptic comment about how, next time I visited the underworld, I should try to bring something back. She reminded me that visiting the underworld is hard work, and valid, in its own right. Sometimes the work is internal and invisible – unconscious, even – and has no tangible outward expression, but it is still happening, and it can be the hardest work of all.

    Anyway, it is good to be back in the fine company of your blog, after my long sojourn in the lands beyond the internet 

    Also – ZOMG – Battlestar Galactica tarot deck!

    • When I’m able to share the Battlestar deck here, I will! It’s in a half-finished stage at the moment. And it probably breaks all kinds of copyright laws! But since I won’t be selling it, I should be OK to show some of the cards here :) And thanks for the sage advice. I think I should think about what I’m bringing back from the Otherworld.

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