Saturday 29 September 2012

Michaelmas: Time of Binding

Today, we stand at Michaelmas (though the original sate wasn't until October 11).  This is the day the Western Church traditionally honours all the Angels, but more specifically the Archangels, and most specifically the Archangel Michael.  It is traditionally the day Michael kicked Satan (or Lucifer) from Heaven.

This is a time of year for binding, for reducing, for constricting.  The days shrink, just as the moon shrinks following the full moon.  The spring, heading toward the Summer Solstice, as the days increase, is a time for loosing, for increasing, for expanding.  But now we bind, not loose.

Michaelmas (under the current Western calendar), falls one week after the Equinox.  It's significant that it falls at this point in the year, after harvest, heading toward Samhain.  At this point when the days are shortening, when winter is coming.

This year, the full moon lands on Michaelmas this moon.  Tonight is the height of the Tide of the current moon.  The energy flows strong, from that white mirror, that whole in the black sky.  A dark night full of light.

Half a moon has passed since the Sage Brush Moon ended.  Half way to the next Dark Moon.  This is a moon of changing, of turning.  The Moon of the Equinox, half way to darkness.  The Moon of Michaelmas, of Lucifer's fall from heaven, the Bright and Morning Star.  The leaves changing, the season changing.    This is truly the Changing Moon, a moon for bringing change into the world.

The main story of Michaelmas, of the Archangel Michael overcoming Lucifer and casting him from Heaven, is of course paralleled many places.  One such is Hera kicking Hephaestus, the smith of the gods, from Olympus, the fall giving him a limp the rest of his life.  Looking at that, we see Bran, wounded in the foot in the battle with Ireland, and eventually dying, but his head living on, speaking for a year.  We see the Fisher King in Arthurian Legend, wounded through the thighs, unable to walk, so spending his time fishing in a boat.  We find Odin, pierced through the side with his out spear, hanging upside on the Tree, then falling to the depths of the roots.  Jesus stabbed in the side, then descending to Sheol.  The Fall of the Watchers is also the Descent of the Watchers, also, the Descent of Inanna, of Ishtar.

We find this motif also in our myth cycle of the year.  At the equinox, the power was in the balance, but now it's tipped.  The Horned Child has grown in power, and he confronts the Winged Serpent, challenges him.  The Serpent has never know how to back down from a challenge.  He rises to that challenge, the two fight.

But the Serpent is weakening and the Horned Child is stronger.  The Serpent is God of the Vegetation, and with the harvest, his power waned.  The Horned Child is God of the Beast, and with the Hunt, he grows strong.  As the cold Northern Wind, he howls, the howls of wolves.  His is the call of ravens, gathering around the dead and dying.  He is strong and only getting stronger, heading toward his height at the time of the Wild Hunt.  He wounds the Serpent, but does not kill yet.  He casts him down, and this time of the year, he does not heal.

He who was once a vibrant young man, happy in love, without a care in the world, is now old, now weak, now wounded.  He walks with a limp, in old rags that were once royal robes.  He walks hunched over, a lantern in his hand, staring into the growing darkness with eyes that are failing him, unsure what the future holds where once he could see the path laid out before him.

And so Michaelmas passes and we rush towards Samhain.

~Muninn's Kiss

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