This morning, I was looking out the window at my garden and particularly at the six-pointed star that I made some years ago. It was built of the pliable new growth of mock-orange and lilac, tender plant whips and twine. Now, it hangs from the weeping juniper, suspended by a beaded ribbon that was also a spell, one that I wove at Diana’s Grove when I was pregnant with my son. On that night, in the bitter February cold of southern Missouri, I wandered among the bare trees and under the bright stars, gathering blessings at the altars of the elements, singing and tying beads to the ribbon and asking the ancestors’ protection for me and my son.
Then one day, some years later, I made that star. And I hung it with the ribbon of protection by the path to my door, where it has swayed through many seasons, a perch for chickadees, a spinning wind toy.
A six-pointed star. Not five, not a pentacle, which is the star within the circle of unity. Not the pentacle, which is the very map of the human body, standing with arms out-stretched, as if waiting to be drawn by da Vinci.
Nor is this magical, "Welcome to my house!" symbol a seven-pointed star, a septacle or faery star, which is the human body with wings.
No. I made a hexagram. Six points: A head, two wings, two arms, and one leg.
It has been hanging in my front yard since before I hurt my left hip, since before the long journey to reconnect my creative left side to my body. That is literally what I’ve been doing. And yes, I know the meaning of the word "literally," whatever the now corrupted OED says. This word means actually, physically, observably even. Not extremely. Don't get me started.
As I was saying… Over the past year I have been literally reconnect the left side of my body, pulling the head of my left femur more firmly into the hip joint and reawakening and strengthening and tightening the core muscular screws that hold my left hip securely in place...which has been a pretty amazing physical practice, actually.
And all this time, I've had the magical symbol for a human in flight while missing one leg as the guardian to my home.
I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this before. That shit is coming down today.
I'm not saying it's causal, of course… though I'm not saying it's not, either. I'm saying symbols matter, that there are more connections between the garden and the soul or the eye and the mind or the spirit and the body than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
(Not you you, of course. I'm sure your philosophy is both expansive and profound. But that Horatio…)
Anyway that shit is coming down. Today! A new one with seven points shall be built. This will be my Imbolc ritual! (Imbolc is coming up on February 2nd, which marks the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. This is when, mythologically, Persephone lights her candle and begins her ascent from the underworld. Somewhat demoted in these modern times to Groundhog Day…)
Today, I will untie that ribbon. I will take down that hexagram. Tomorrow I will write about what a hex is, which turns out to be connected to hags, which is the theme of this year's Winter Witch Camp. In two days, I will burn the hexagram in ritual fire, which simply means that I will have intention and abide in magic as I kneel before my hearth. I am happier than I have been in so long, and healthier and stronger and more filled with blessings and protection than I ever dared to expect. And as the candle of spring lightens the world, as the mock orange or the oceanspray or the lilacs or the fill-in-surprise-plant-here (my garden is always surprising me) as they reach and grow, then will I gather the new growth and create the circle and the points and tie them in a clockwise manner, and fashion a new ward of balance and purpose and flight and connection that never ends.
Blessed be! (Blessed bees!)