The Trickster’s Bone Broth
Every morning is a heathen morning. Upon waking, just before time’s crust thickens around our vision, we are all ageless wanderers haunting those wild brambles that border the dreamlands. Here, we wear a cloak hand-stitched from crow feathers and snakeskin, swaying to the sound of wolf song and listening deeply to otherworldly voices. Here, on this untamed ground, we are a nameless ancestor dancing at the overgrown crossroads between the dreaming self and the doing self, and just here, we are offered our daily libation by the trickster’s hand.
If we choose, we might all wake sipping a strange elixir these days, an apocalyptic bone broth of wonder, anticipation, and generative befuddlement, spiced with a peppery dash of righteous rage and sweetened with a honeyed spoonful of innocence. If we drink with care, if we savor the splendid brew offered us by the edge dweller, we find ourselves at home in a shape-shifting world where, suddenly and against all odds, nothing is impossible. To be heathen, after all, is to live on uncultivated ground, and to be alive today is to be an apprentice midwife in the birthing room for a wilder world.
Many who chose to be born here and now, during this volatile chapter in the world story, harbor the wily soul of the trickster; they prefer to live on the fringes, where that timely medicine called awe is at its most potent, where truth is better felt in the body than seen on a screen, and where prayers are sung by those poet-tongued heathens who remember why they came to visit this time and place. The trickster knows that the best plans are seeded in dreams and measured in generations, and if we let our inner edge dweller speak, their words just might sting us into an aliveness more exquisite than we have ever known.
Prayers of the Seer-Innocents
Uncertainty has the power to invite innocence or arrogance, and these are shadow-filled times indeed. If we choose innocence — if we allow the rough, frozen edges around what we believe to be true to thaw and soften just a bit — we might dare to name ourselves a seer. A seer walks with one foot in the Otherworld. A seer is half child and half hag, a soothsayer who holds the long-vision, who will not be stunned by crisis, who embodies both the splendid wisdom of elderhood and the tender curiosity of a babe.
The old seers’ prayers match the prayers of the innocents, intricately woven songs for all beings to be free, midnight petitions to unnamed gods for every earthly creature to sense they belong to something far greater than any one, individual story. These prayers are hummed and howled in moments of solitude, whispered into the bathroom mirror, sung at the threshold of a mausoleum, danced on a holy hilltop, and wept over the kitchen sink. These prayers of the seer-innocents are spontaneous verses of gratitude and grief, echoes of an older-than-ancient knowing that, below the concrete, something wild stirs awake.
Danielle Dulsky is the author of The Holy Wild, Seasons of Moon and Flame, Woman Most Wild, The Holy Wild Grimoire, and most recently Bones and Honey. A heathen visionary, painter, poet, storyteller, and word-witch, she teaches internationally and has facilitated circles, embodiment trainings, communal spell work, and seasonal rituals since 2007. She is the founder of The Hag School and believes in the emerging power of wild collectives and sudden circles of curious dreamers, cunning witches, and rebellious artists in healing our ailing world. Visit her online at http://www.danielledulsky.com.
Excerpted from the book Bones and Honey: A Heathen Prayer Book ©2023 by Danielle Dulsky. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com
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