I did a rare thing today. Without the aid of alarms and ably assisted by one very persistent and surprisingly loud pair of swallows, I managed to catch the sunrise from darkness to blazing light. I got up, rugged up and trundled outside to photograph that magical sky and then back into bed to watch this courting pair swoop and weave and fly straight at my window for an hour afterwards. Twas impressive. Who knew swallows had quite the stamina they do? This pair has been nesting in the eave above my room for years now but this morning was the first time they seemed to have something specific to say to me. Enough to wake me up on a cold Winter Sunday.
This eve I watched the moonrise back to darkness. Always prepared for her arrival and utterly transfixed by her luminosity, that full moon never ceases to thrill me, inspire me, calm me. And so, in between reading tarot all day at the local markets and cooking a rather spectacular Sunday roast, I managed to keep myself up until all hours in pursuit of ritual.
Blessed ritual. It gives such shape and meaning to my life.
The last reading I did today at the markets was for a gorgeous raven haired young Scorpio who sold plants at the other end of the stalls. When I took a wander mid way through my day, I was enchanted by the mulberry tree she had for sale. The only one of many other trees, my mulberry was just beginning to bear fruit when I came upon her today and is as tall as me, if a little more slender. I had a beautiful mulberry tree out the back of my most favourite house by the beach once upon a time. I could sit on my back steps between the lavender and rosemary and gaze at her for hours. I even painted her, granting her a forever place on my wall and in my heart. My son and my kitty familiar both climbed her as little ones and we ate handfuls of fruit and stained our fingers with the blood of those sweet berries day after day through the late Summers we spent there.
At the end of the markets, after everyone had packed up and was clearing out this black haired beauty and I sat in the shade of a huge palm tree and I did a reading for her on the grass. A reading for a mulberry tree.
Tonight as the moon peaks to fullness in Aquarius, I plan to plant my mulberry as part of my full moon ritual. The hole was dug in daylight and watered well. Outside under the bright moonlight all is in readiness for her addition to the garden and for the ritual that will accompany her planting.
This full moon in Aquarius and the energy that it exudes is sacred and special to me because it is eerily close to my natal chart. The notion of adopting Aquarian qualities and imbuing my ritual with them is second nature to me because I am one. An Aquarian with a Leo moon. One who is choosing to focus my ritual this full moon on my authentic truth: the expansion of my writing, my voice and this very blog, for starters.
This is Milton’s mulberry tree at Cambridge University. When I got home this afternoon, I looked up the sacred significance of the mulberry tree and was beyond delighted with what I discovered, by how perfectly this little tree and me go together. When looking at the symbolic meaning of anything, you need to examine the characteristics exhibited because therein lies the clues to the deeper layers of meaning.
As it turns out, mulberries do not bud until all danger of frost is past. They know precisely when and they wait patiently until that day. They don’t go early, they bide their time knowing that Spring will come. Their patience is calculated and well thought out. Once that day dawns and the weather warms and their buds sprout in safety, it happens so quickly that you could easily think it may have just happened overnight. It was for this display of both expediency and wisdom that the ancient Greeks dedicated the plant to the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Yes that Athena. The Greek goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature.
This cracker of a mulberry tree pictured above was planted in the year of John Milton’s birth in 1608 (possibly not under an Aquarian full moon because who plants a baby tree in late Summer) and is where he sat and wrote Lycidas. Shakespeare planted a mulberry tree at Stratford-on-Avon, which supposedly came from a cutting from the mulberry garden of James I. Though this tree was inexplicably felled, some bright spark had the foresight to take cuttings and these were transplanted around England. Shakespeare imbued the plant with its long held association with star crossed lovers when he featured it in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
All these mulberry trees are now symbolic of those famous British authors & poets both, which I think bodes well for tonight’s ritual dedicated as it is to the pursuit of great writing. Beyond that, the astrology is right. The planets are lined up. The moon is full and shining a light on this night, this eve, this spell.
And that’s the mysterious alchemy that pulls a ritual together in my book.
I have just returned from my beautiful, simple, highly personalised mulberry moon ritual. You could be fooled into thinking that I am not built for the beautiful madness of beyond midnight tree planting endeavours, but it would appear that in fact I am overqualified.
Such a beautiful moonlit night.
So mote it be.