Episode 40 – Radio Show – Midwinter Magic – December 22 and 29, 2019

Celebrate the season with Celtic and Celtic-inspired music, folklore, poetry, and a tale in which we help the sun take wing. We’ll enjoy a sparkling landscape of beautiful and lively tunes to honor the illuminated Dark, and to beckon the Sun to return. Pure enchantment!

Harp music  is sprinkled through the show. Enjoy the song and harp of Beth Gadbaw and Margot Krimmel (respectively),  and harp by Debra Knodel,  Órla Fallon in Celtic Woman, Kim Robertson, and a mystery harper or two (if you can identify them, please let me know!).

The second hour of the show is the rebroadcast of Episode 19 – Midwinter Day.

Listen here.

You’ll be able to hear this show on demand for two weeks.  Links to the artists forthcoming!

12:00: Spookytree – Lochaber No More
12:01: Margot Krimmel & Beth Leachman-Gadbaw – Icy December
12:03: Phil Cunningham and Manus Lunny – When the Snow Melts
12:09: Debra Knodel – Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
12:12: The McCallans – Highland Christmas
12:15: Altan – Soillse Na Nollag
12:21: Susan Cooper – Poem
12:22: Eimear Quinn – Winter Apples
12:26: Celtic Woman – Don Oiche Ud I Mbeithil (That Night in Bethlehem)
12:28: Kim Robertson – Gabhaim Molta Bride / Gabriel’s Message
12:36: Johnny Cunningham – King Holly, King Oak
12:40: Jane Valencia – Shell and Govan and the Little Sun
12:48: Scott Cossu – Last Snow
12:53: Alison Kraus and Natalie MacMaster – Get Me Through December

Adventuring with Ki/Kin

Ki/Kin for the living beings of Earth - art by Jane Valencia
Ki/Kin for the Living Beings of Earth – art by Jane Valencia

This post follows my first: Pronouns for the Beings of Nature – I’m using Ki/Kin

I’ve been musing about how to adapt ki and kin to possessive, objective, reflexive. As I use ki/kin and seek to expand the usage, I find myself inspired by the fact that I use a singular “they/theirs” so as to step outside of he/she (an example is “Each child will choose their book.”). I also find myself inspired by Northern Flicker’s call (“keer”), which I frequently hear these days outside my home and around our island.

As a result of both the usage and the sound, I find myself speaking like this:

Deer moved slowly across the yard. Ki turned toward me. Kir ears flicked. There ki is! Those hoofprints are kis.

Yes, I could have easily used gender pronouns for the deer. Let’s try it for Rainbow.

Rainbow spun outward from cloud and sunlight. Ki touched Earth. Kir colors brightened. There ki is! The sparkle on dew drops are kis.

Another example:

Kin dipped and soared over the yard. I called to kin. Kehr wings tipped in the sunlight. There kin are! That is kehrs.

Sometimes I find myself saying (drawing from some resonance from my study of Old English). “That is ki-held,” “that is kin-held” when working with some sense of belonging, intention, stewardship, but wanting to step away from the sense of possession/ownership in my language usage.

As I type all this blog post, my usage feels clumsy, ill-formed. But in my real-life practice with the beings I encounter, my words feel more like play, like kneeding dough, or shaping clay. Expressing through gesture and sound something that I deeply feel connecting us, then smooshing that clay and shaping again. Not having to agree with anyone yet about particulars, I allow the forms to change.

Light is Returning - art
stamp art by Jane Valencia

I love the idea of opening our language, dancing with words, feeling where ki becomes alive and natural and tender – a truer reflection and expression of the magic I experience and hope to share as we renew and deepen our relationships with one another in every ripple of being.

Words are a storytelling. When we shape language together, we enter a story weaving. A renewed tale for our times about who we really are within this vibrance and tapestry that is Life.

I wonder what story I may discover if I request ki/kin usage for myself.

Do you use ki/kin? What language or  respect do you offer to our more-than-human family in your daily life? Do you feel like you’re trying on new shoes that haven’t shaped to you yet, or does your gesture feel natural, or some other feeling? Please share below!

Into the Heart of the Dreaming

For it was said in that timeless moment that still echoes within me there are those among us who remember deep in some part of themselves–a part that will not let them rest–the forest and the living-ness of green things. It was said that it’s time for them to come home. Time for them to journey deep into the forest that birthed them. Time for them to take up their work–the work that resides in the deepest parts of themselves. Time for them to speak for the green things, to teach their children the way of Earth. Time for humans to think in new ways.

–Stephen Harrod Buhner, Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth

Are you one whose Dream takes hold of you? Are you one who time and again has let that Dream go — the one Dream that holds all the smaller dreams. Perhaps it is not so much a letting go, as a turning away: to tend to the literal nature of daily life.

You are not making up your Dream. The Dream is speaking through you. It dwells in the deep and ancient forest within your heart.

Time and again I find reasons to turn away from the Dream and Soul that shines bright with images and feeling and initiative and a wise intelligence. Time and again, I find a deer trail that, when I take the breath to follow it, leads through gleeful and scratchy bramble back to the dragon clearing where the trees welcome me as a very young grandchild and the stones offer me their own sweet music. The plants set about educating me, and the birds remind me that the universe is threaded in song. And the land: the earth supports and voices the Dream.

Sword Ferns in Forest Halls - photo by Jane Valencia
Sword Ferns in Forest Halls – photo by Jane Valencia

I am always finding my way back to Forest Halls, even when I have thought I never left it (until I return: then I know I’ve only been groping through the salal at the very edges, with an occasional jab in the “I” by a twig).

The harp is one gate-opener for me, my foremost musical partner on the journey. The trees are my generous teachers, the plants my inquisitive co-creators, and the medicine ways of all are the ropes into the wise beauty and blessing that surrounds us and lies just below where I perhaps most typically reside.

There is beauty and blessing here indeed — as well as the sometimes terrifying dark that insists we choose, insists we follow the true nature of heart with eyes closed and hands and senses wide open. It insists that we decide to listen to the veriditas and learn its nature and wild poetic tongue … Decide: to listen …. or to turn away to head straight back to what we think is a place of safety. But what was once the cozy hut on the trail is in reality now a diminished and stunted expression of who we are. What suited and sheltered us at one point on the journey is not where we are meant to remain.

The world is alive, and all things within it are speaking. The trail we follow through the thickets and across open meadows, over waters and into the ancient mind of the mountains is speaking to us too. Take a moment and breathe into the pattern, the weave of all that is and the grace that lies beneath nourishing all. Where do you feel the language? Where do feel the song? Where are you in the forest, the deep, mysterious terrain of your soul? Where are you in the salt waters of your Dreaming?

Stories are welcome here. The forest is listening.

Hawthorn in Flower photo
Hawthorn in Flower: Do you see the faces in the leaves? – photo by Jane Valencia