The Rite of Oak and Mistletoe
Cynthia Anne Cashman
Pale is the moonlight
Breaking through the autumn canopy.
Silhouettes of might oaks spread their branches wide.
Those gnarled ancient limbs stir,
Casting living shadows on the sleepy forest floor.
Chilled wind blows in intermittent gusts
Stirring the surround of fallen leaves.
They rustle, take flight, running circles in the night.
We circle round in the breath of this moment.
Embracing rituals of our past, of our people.
Let us have some mutton stew
Under this great sacred oak.
Tip a brew,
While Druids austere don the white coat.
Keep the caldron hot,
As we add to this pot.
The makin’ of a healing potion
Is now in motion.
Under this hailing moon
We come to commune.
Serving the old gods of Celtic core
In fertility rites and antidote lore.
Bring the golden sickle,
Holy mistletoe cut a mickle.
Slaughter the white bulls—two.
Bind the horns through.
Offerings gathered, sacrificed.
The makings of an elixir spiced.
Propitious gifts to hallows bestowed
With hopes of blessin’ from some higher abode.
Days tumble forward until our last sigh.
We look to the sky, those stars, as we tread Mother Earth.
We come now raising our voices
In chants of a prayer—this sacred night.