SO, here I am, in my usual situation this time of year, being cooked by the Dark Goddess, the Winter Hag, the Baba Yaga, the Cailleach, in her Cauldron of Wisdom and Healing. This time of year, i start to long for the Ancestors and Old Ways the most. This time of year, I pine for the ones gone before and the traditions of healing they took with them when they died. I find myself swirling in the whirlpool waters of the cauldron, being softened, marinated, digested for the Holy in the Wild, so that new dreams can come percolating into my awareness in the winter’s sleepy dark. I love the autumn, am seduced by the colors and the bittersweetness of the leaves falling. The autumn sun is especially beautiful with the cool breeze and the last rays of summer. I love the cranes flying south and the changes of the time. And then there comes a point when I am sucked down and in. Into the dark. Often, Dark has  negative connotation. For me, the Dark is, on the Medicine Wheel of the 4 Directions, in the West. The Sunset, Autumn, the Earth, the Shadows, magic, Mystery, the Psychopomp/Guide to Soul, the place where the darkness deepens and the Twilight gathers and it is difficult to see and our sense of receiving Information in the body, our Imagination, grows so intense. Sure, we project lots of dangers and horror pictures, but actually the dark is the fertile ground for seeds, waters, babies in the womb. Dark is the time of Night and sleep and healing and rest and the time when I am finally alone. If I am alone. The Dark is  beautiful time of Intimacy and power. It is a seductive time, a time when shapeshifter are about and things are not what they appear to be. And the unknown is Cailleach’s favorite ingredient in the Autumnal Brew. Like breadcrumbs, I am led from one step to the next, not getting the whole picture, not being guided with ease and flow. Oh no, it is about close up and personal, making tender, slowly, in order for the wisdom to seep in. And what is it that is being cooked into my flesh this year? What sort of a soup for the Holy will I be so that Life can feast on me and I can offer my beautiful good tasting gifs to the world in form of song, writing, storytelling, bodywork and wilderness guiding… What kind of  being does the Cailleach need me to be in order to receive the creative dream of the earth at this time? Only she knows and time will tell.