Faoileach

Faoileach

Greetings all as we enter a new secular year, one that the waxing light of the solar rays always inspires hope and better tidings. Traditionally, many of us relate to January through the ‘Janus’ perspective – fore and aft. We embrace whatever Fate has in store for us ‘braced’ with the gifts we have acquired along the many turnings endured in our lives up to this point of change and opportunity.

Beyond the immediate needs and subjective aspirations of the individual self, the objective world reflects the changing tides in subtle yet interconnected ways that perhaps reveal and preserve a primality of survival, of deep-seated instincts that modern social conventions have buried or eroded into irrelevance.

As the first real month of winter, January perfectly embodies the drive for survival and for reproduction, though these are more typically associated with Spring, being the season of actual birth, the natural product of those instinctive drives.  This view reveals how removed many of us are from nature, or how fiercely we have suppressed those instincts.  

Known to the Gaelic Scots as Faoileach, the concept of this winter-tide eventually became condensed into the month of January.  Deriving originally from faol-chu, meaning ‘wolf,’ Faoileach was to our ancestors, a wilder, bleaker period that brought death and the promise of life to come. Although there have been no (natural) wolves in Scotland for over two hundred and fifty years, this was the month their mating calls reached their peak. That eerie cacophony heralded perfectly the deep-rooted mood as Nature’s gift – to gather, to mate, to hunt and seek the companie of others to ‘dig-in.’

Outwardly, and above, the skies are abundant with meteor showers – bright shards of light, bursting against the inky black winter skies. Peering upwards as they appeared in the north eastern quadrant of the skies falling just before the rising dawn engulfed them, the wonder and promise of new life was surety against the chaotic gloom and uncertainty of winter.  That hope literally kept the wolves from the door….the threshold of all things sacred and mundane, and the boundary of all things pertaining to life and death.

At this time, we too can re-connect with the thousands before us who have gazed in wonder at the phenomenal, celestial displays above and around us.  January the 3rd-4th are the peak dates for the Quadrantids meteor shower as up to 50 meteors radiate out from Boötes in the hour before dawn. This year, the dark moon offers full visibility, so take a step outwards into the real world and embrace the true sensory gifts that Faoileach offers us.

All images are from Wiki Commons, various artists.

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~ by meanderingsofthemuse on January 2, 2019.

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