Bats, Imbolc, and Woo.

morning light
Not a bat. Just the Moon-girl’s guitar. The photo of the bat was a bit fuzzy to show here.

We awoke this New Moon morning to a confused bat flying in mad circles around our living room. At first I thought it was a bird, but then I noticed that the flight path was decidedly…gothic. It’s a forest bat, (I think). Fortunately only a little ‘un, (because some of ’em have an awe-inspiring wingspan).

We’ve let the bat be, (hanging on a basket, on top of a shelf), and decamped for the day to The Library *snort* downstairs, whilst we await the Bat Rescue Lady.* And the rain is pelting down, and I’m gazing at clouds drifting by my window, so close I could lean out over the sill and touch their damp, wraith forms. But I remain warm inside, listening to the sublime Bat for Lashes.** There’s possibly a theme, here. Think I’ve conjured enough bats for now.

An enormous female magpie just landed on my hanging basket of lobelia, right outside my window. She’s gathering coconut fibre from the basket – clearly she’s in nest-building mode. She looks at me, and cocks her head as if to say, “an’ wot you gonna do ’bout it?”. Nothing at all Mistress Magpie. Nothing at all. Be my guest.

I wandered about in the garden earlier with my cuppa, trying to stay relatively dry in the freezing rain. I managed to check on my tiny elderflower tree – thriving; and my bergamot seedlings raised from seeds – they’ve been demolished by a slug! Deep dismay. But…oh well. Roses are gathering leaf buds along their thorny stems, and the garden feels as though it’s about to burst into some kind of Spring-like show tune.

I climbed down into a precarious patch of my steep garden, in order to pick a bunch of violets for my desk. Then I promptly scurried inside out of the relentless downpour. The scent of violets now fills the room, so it was absolutely worth the risk of plummeting into mud and blackberries in order to obtain them. The lengths a sensualist will go to, hey?

Before sitting down to work, I tossed a batch of henna in a bowl, mixed with strongly brewed coffee (instead of water), to deepen the auburn tones in my hair. Putting henna in my hair these days has become a nourishing ritual, rather than merely a messy inconvenience. And I personally love the earthy, spicy aroma. Using strictly cruelty-free, preferably vegan cosmetics is one of the few non-negotiable Big Rules that I have for myself. So using henna is kind of me doing my bit for the war effort. Um, so to speak.

Tomorrow is Imbolc. And although I’m not in the least bit religious, (and therefore not Wiccan), I do often mark these seasonal festivals in my own quiet way. So tomorrow I shall plant a flowering dogwood in the forest-y part of my garden, and then I’ll have a long bath with candles and jasmine oil. Followed by lashings of lilac perfume and some time with my tarot. There’s always work to be done, but the rhythms here at Rapunzel’s are kind, and creative.

Frankenstein’s Potting Shed is slowly being transformed into a Rainbow Unicorn.

In fact, I’ve experienced an odd dream-like quality of life this past year or so. I could speak of Saturn transiting my 12th house, (random woo alert), and feeling as though I am in a strange and slumbering fairytale. Weeks, months become minutes. Saturn through the 12th is not an easy transit. At all. For many it can be hellish. It’s a letting go of everything you thought was important. And these past 4 years have already been about letting go –  people, places, and things that were either malignant, or just no longer served me.

Some of them were deeply personal, some of them quite a lot less so. But of everything I have shed, and what remains, (so far), are the essentials for what I feel are a good, true life. Some things have returned to me – people, ideas, previously sunken treasure. And for this I’m grateful. Those who have gone forever – well, this has been liberating beyond words. For I feel seen for who I am now. I no longer serve others as an ego prop, or as a projection for what they can’t see in themselves. And crucially, I also take responsibility for what is mine. This comes naturally to many, but for me they proved to be Big Lessons.

In comparison to recent, more hellish years, and even though there are challenges still, (when are there not, in life, hey?), I feel there is a gentleness around me. I feel held by my environment. My family are held by it too. As a Protector type, this is immensely important to me.

In fact, for want of a better way of describing it, I feel surrounded by spirits. Or something. There’s a beautiful opacity in my life that’s neither cruel nor harsh. I’ve never been one for believing in angels. I don’t not believe, either. I just don’t know what I think of all that, to be honest. The idea of angels has never resonated with me on any level. But if there are angels, perhaps some of them reside on this mountainside. I think if they do, they’d have muddy wings, twigs in their hair, and dirt beneath their fingernails. Or perhaps those are fairies?

My natural mystical tendencies are heightened now. As a child, I used to dream, quite often, that I was in a monastery. I would see myself walking, be-robed through long stone corridors. I would wake with chants echoing through my heart, and a feeling of both peace, as well as a disappointment at not being able to remain there, in that rarefied haven. But my other name is Dances with Chaos, and I’m too libidinous for such an existence. I’d probably drink all the communion wine, and do naughty things just because; so I don’t think the monastery would work out.

I do feel a deep contentment in silence, and contemplation. And turning inward has made the challenges I face not only less jarring, but there is less fogginess, (there is often a fair bit of fog with this air-and-water creature).

In fact, silence and retreat are so necessary to me right now that I’ve been side-stepping a lot of social occasions. I’ve not enjoyed being in the city at all, lately. Going there has become a chore. I try to enjoy what I can, but often find I’m gritting my teeth. My eyes glaze over, and I look forward to the moment I can leave. I find it too congested, absurd, and even vaguely repulsive now. Especially the levels of consumption. I’m always immensely relieved to return to fern, and mist, and mountain. I will never cease to be amazed by, and am frequently overcome by the beauty of where I live.

I do sometimes look at what I’m doing and get frustrated that I might be doing things too slowly. Well, more slowly than I used to. Because I’ve never been the slow and steady, gets things done type. I do have to calm that little blue-arsed fly voice in me that says, “hurry up woman, get it done! Do more”. But I think I’m doing things in a more thoughtful way, now. What I do, hopefully, has more substance and fullness of being than before. A more embodied way of moving through the world.

Looking around me, I truly have everything I need. Enough really is, enough. It’s that simple. Today I’ve read a few people who are all saying pretty much the same thing, which is immensely heartening to me. Perhaps I’m on the right track, after all. We are none of us alone in this. However we may feel that way, at times.

Many Imbolc/Lammas blessings to you, friends. xx






*We’re not supposed to handle the bat ourselves because of potential lyssavirus, (we’re not vaccinated). But my main concern is that I don’t want to accidentally hurt the fragile wee thing. Best left to someone who knows what they’re doing. I can handle rats, marsupials, spiders, and scorpions, but bats are a bit beyond my ken.

**Two Suns is my favourite album by Bat for Lashes.


10 thoughts on “Bats, Imbolc, and Woo.

  1. You just described the inside of my heart. Thank you for sharing your vision of life, it feels so good to know you’re there. X


  2. no matter how many times it happens, i still marvel when it does. 🙂

    as girl-child would say – “same”.

    the way you write it, it becomes even more clear to me. the slowness…the quizzical eye at my slowness, having always been Highly Efficient and Capable of Multi-Tasking..but the quiet insistence that the slowness is an integral part of the whole thing.

    yeah, the monastery wouldn’t work for me either….but i like the *idea* of it. 😉

    so much love to you. xoxo


    1. Imagine the mischief we could get into in a monastery, Mel : ) Actually, I did stay in a monastery once. I went on a short retreat, years ago now, to clear my head, and get some of my thesis written. Peace and quiet with the bells of vespers, and all that. It wasn’t as peaceful as I imagined – they had a couple of bulls that chased me whenever I tried to go for walks on their farm.

      Lots of love xx


  3. i love that you have a bat lady who will come and help with random bat visitors. i’ve had to wrangle a couple or three bats myself, and since i love bats, i wasn’t scared of them, but i did worry about harming them in the process of returning them to the great outdoors. a bat lady (or gentleman) would have been a great help…

    ahhh, slowness. my natural—indeed, only—speed. and silence, and away-ness. mmmm. i could happily be a hermit, so long as my retreat had plenty of hot/cold running water. and it’s funny that you should mention the nunnery; i’ve thought recently that i could find certain aspects of convent life congenial. the silences, the simplicity, the being away from the world. but really, i’d make a much better temple harlot than nun, so there’s that. not to mention the theology gives me hives.

    i like the idea of forest angels, or fairies, or devas, or whatever. a bit grubby, as you say, with dirt under their nails and stray magpie feathers in their hair. it makes me happy to think of them, maybe around the edges of your violet patch, not quite visible in the mist.

    i’m attempting to stir up some interest in celebrating lammas. never my favorite of the holidays, due to the insufferable weather it comes in…i’ll make a good dinner and perhaps open one of the “better” bottles of wine. and read some tarot, definitely. and being grateful, as you mentioned, for having enough. i’ll be thinking of you!


    1. The Bat Lady was marvellous! There’s a rescue centre just up the road from me, and she popped down and just plucked our little visitor off the basket where she was hanging, and carried her away.

      I’m with you on the temple harlot. Also, I think the more rules and strictures placed on me externally, the more likely I am to be contrary and arc up. Probably goes for most of us, I imagine. I know I’d thoroughly enjoy the singing in a nunnery, but other than that, I think I’d unravel, rather messily.

      You know, I really have to agree with you about Lammas. I don’t really mark it at all, these days. It feels wrong for me. It’s often unbearably hot, and it doesn’t feel harvest-y at all. I think I might just rename it Grumpy Old Lady Sabbat. Because that’s how I feel. Although, think you’re onto something with the gratitude (often a remedy for a case of the grumps). Wine and tarot, however…that sounds like bliss : )

      Hope yours is a good one, lovely xx


    1. Thankyou so much for your lovely words, Sarah. I hope it has been a beautiful day for you. We had sun-showers and dazzling liquid light, followed by stormy skies. Feels like the dawn of Spring, here. xx


  4. I’ve never heard of lyssavirus. That’s interesting. The last bat we caught here was with a small fish net. It did the trick and he fluttered away into the barn light. I know what you mean about getting things done too slowly. I like to see my progress. Sometimes I don’t and it’s frustrating. I had this feeling the other day that it was time to plant some fall garden mums. And then I thought how crazy that was, it’s still so hot here, but I think my body knows before the calendar does. Happy Imbolc/Lammas to you. May your violas and coming spring rains be plenty.


  5. Oh Nicole, the progress thing. I like goals, deadlines, completion. Evidence that I’m getting somewhere. It’s just in my nature. But I think I’m getting a bit better with accepting the cycles of creating and doing. Not just the fallow periods, but the odd dream-like lassitudes where there is less making clear, solid sense of things. The underworld bubbles up, and dreams bleed into days. I’m learning to allow them to work the way they need to…which is a challenge for me at times.

    I do so sense The Turning, now. Here, we’re still in for some very cold Weather. But it will be the viciousness of Spring. The body does know, hey? I’ve been ordering seeds, even though it’s too early for me to plant any of them : ) Happy Lammas to you xx


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