November falls and like deep magick, it smells of cold amber. Cold enough to hold us to absolute honesty. The secret melody of the Piper seduces us towards the tender edges. To follow red hawk and wolf for half a moon – sometimes trees grow too wide and hide us from our eyes – but when love comes, it comes rushing in like endless ocean, wrapping our world in weightless blue – hunter and hunted marry barefoot in the deep wet black soil. Cold and bony are the trees, and land remembers the feet of those who fed it and the animals speak of the selfless kindness given to them when no one was watching.

The tiny quiet still voice within of primordial wisdom. Shhh, shhh – it’s the uncompromising drumming of the human heart, beginning our bodies of intentional dialogue. Of how we always choose love. Of how some stories are only fully dreamt and told when flames rise high inside the hearthstones – into trust and safety we settle – soft as rock against the trains of river streams. Smells of oak burning. And cold amber. What’s left of this loosens and water takes it away. No less purposeful. No less needed. No less loved.

Pinot Noir unfolds a tale on my lips; a tale of how long and hard it was to finally be tasted. It’s the most challenging grape to grow and as such it is often called “The Heartbreak Grape”. Its thin skin makes it susceptible to pests and rot. And like any other relationship, it requires attention, care and nurturing. If only to one day wake up and see that the harvest has been ruined. So why would so many continue to grow it? Why do we invest so much time and energy if only for something to disappoint us or hurt us? Because it’s worth it. It’s love. Love is always worthy. And love is life. And the world kneels to love’s power.

The aroma is subtle, yet complex demanding contemplation. It’s a moment of a life to be savoured and treasured. Gallant. When did that word become extinct? It’s a knight’s quality – when they are attentive to women and court them. Chivalry knows gentle power. There is loyalty, integrity, valor, bravery and a knight’s truest quest is overcoming his fears and insecurities – to humbly open his heart to love.

Trust. If we truly trusted ourselves, we wouldn’t feel the need to control, dominate, forcefully assert, possess and manipulate. Love requires trust. No. Love demands Trust. It cannot exist without it. It demands us to be humble – to open our bank accounts, clothes and hearts – with the full awareness that things may not work out. But is it truly trust and humility if we knew the outcome? Is it truly surrendering if we had a guarantee? I discuss trust and truth in detail here. 

I’ve had a difficult year, for many reasons. But in those moments I had to learn (yet again) to just remain with myself, to stay with myself in the difficulties that I felt. Because maybe it is precisely in those moments, the hard ones, when we bond deeper to ourselves and to others.

Whatever it is that we feel with ourselves or with our partner – remain with it – get through the sticky points – because it is precisely through these various uncomfortable moods that we are connecting and gaining insight. This is how we build a relationship.

Our modern world has misused and abused power because of rooted fears, doubts and insecurities. This has manifested into war, conflict, forcefulness, lashing out/screaming, abuse, arrogance, greed, materialism, harrassment, jealousy, control and dominance, obsession and manipulation. Because of such misuse and abuse, I think many of us have a complicated relationship to the word “power”. So when Himself shows up, the Male Lord Sidhe from Fae, the Guardian and Protector of life and nature, I am grateful to Him because he reminds me what a true man in his balanced masculine power looks and acts like. He reminds me that a man’s true power is expressed through support, love and trust.

He knows the right use of power. He is strong but gentle. He guides and leads without needing his ego stroked. He remains in a space of honor, loyalty and honesty because it’s the right thing to do. He is confident but not arrogant. He says he loves you not because of what you’ll say but because that’s how he honestly feels. He is responsible when he carries someone’s heart – because he knows hearts are fragile. He makes you feel safe. He supports you and protects you – not control you or dominate you.

He reminds me that no matter how trusting, trustworthy and open I am, not everyone deserves my trust and vulnerability. He reminds me what the strong safe arms of a man must feel like; and that feeling safe and stable is what is funadamentally important to me. He also asks me to reflect upon my own life and where I need to loosen up the reins; where I’ve taken on too much responsibility and heaviness just because I am afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. He reminds me of the kind of man I always desired – before I even knew that that’s what I desired, because I never had a good example of what that would feel like. And it feels so good to be in real man’s arms.

There is a gentle exhale in releasing these heavy responsibilities that are not ours to hold. And it’s become peaceful to see the bared branches of the tree. 

Like the sweetest scent, Himself brings magick and life into the shaped world. Shamans draw upon his masculine energy. He is life force, potent sexual energy and creativity – as he expresses his power through healing, love and trust.

Relationships are not just passions and emotions – and of course, we should never sacrifice on that emotionally deep connection – but we also need something stable, physical so that we can sustain a future together, expand and grow; so that we build our vineyard. We need to anchor on something real. We need to build something real. When problems and hardships arise – and they will because that’s just life – both partners need to be willing to deal with it together – no denying, no avoiding – we need to face uncomfortable truths and shadows. Long-lasting relationships require emotional maturity and are built on intimacy. Intimacy requires vulnerability, which requires self-honesty. Read my article about Exploring The Intimate Relationship.  

Trust yourself. And be only with someone worthy of your trust; worthy of your humility and surrender. So that you’re both willing to fall deeply, yet not letting go of each other in the black light of weightlessness. There is no greater gift. Very few will ever understand the depth of true love because it carries uncertainty and hurts. Yet blessed are those willing to offer themselves to the process of loving. 

The season of the Crone is here, of dark winter. And the trees that once hid us are now stripped bare. In the poor and cold, is when we truly see; is when we are held to absolute honesty. In this seemingly empty land is a promise of new birth; nothing is ever barren as there is always fertility beneath, in its own unique way. There is a kind of treasure available to us in such lands or life’s phases – and we can find it whenever we need it, whenever we are done with our resting period because bodies and minds need time to rest sometimes and that’s okay.

When snakes shed their skins they become temporarily blind. As them, in our times of change and renewing – there is uncertainty, confusion, stress – we feel blind. And in such vulnerable moments – skinless – we need protection and we need rest – and that’s okay. If we peel the skin of a snake that is not ready to shed yet – she’ll die. So learn to listen to your body and allow yourself patience. It’s a process, it’s a season, that is unique to you and only you.

Be open to the great unknown and the mystical experiences that teach you how to relate more deeply to life around you. To intuit fire, become moon water. Immerse yourself deeper and deeper into yourself as you flow unresistingly into parts unseen before – as you begin to experience yourself in a new way – as you narrow the previously perceived distances within yourself. This is what mysticism is – wordless ability to experience yourself beyond the usual boundaries of humanity. Mysticism, like love, negates the rational as it explores what’s beyond the veil of the known – an expression of a state of being that can only be felt, never told.

There is no need to know where this is leading you, just continue to notice the whisper in the leaves and the animal speaks. Know the cycles of the land and trust in the timing of the unfolding of your life. And let it find you.

‘The Night Journey’ by Terri Windling

By candle flame
by spirit name
to guide the way
to lead you here, to lead you
to the one who waits
he waits by dawn, by dusk, by dark
by sun, by rain, by day, by night
his hair as black as raven’s wings
his eyes of amber, skin white milk
his skin tattooed with spiral lines
his wrists are weighted with silver bands
he waits for you, unknown and yet
familiar from forgotten dreams;
and tells you: go, by candle light
and go tonight, and go alone;
he’s sent you dreams
he’s left you signs
he’s left you feathers, beads and runes
so go tonight by candle light
by ash and oak, by wood, by coombe.

Much love & peace

Cover art by Maxime Simoncelli
In-text art “The Faeries Oracle” by Brian Froud