Travelling today, she goes in search of signs of spring, to seek the tremors of life that may be felt long before the visible signs of new growth dare to emerge from the hard ground. The hallway is still, no birdsong pierces the long silence, and the chill, frigid air seeps into her bones, clawing at her joints, persuading them to harden and solidify. She resists, though; she wishes to move, to break the continuum that has pervaded for too long, and painfully she pushes herself out of the chair to begin another journey, to visit the place beyond, to discover a time of remembrance and of resurrection also. So she steps today into the still cold silence that befalls us at the darkest time of year, into a world where hope has all but left, abandoned us to what remains when the sun’s heat is at its weakest.
Finding herself concealed within a dense birch thicket, she peers out of the gaps between the trees to see the bowed figure of a woman, shuffling her feet in the dead leaves on the floor of a small forest clearing, whilst some way off, a man stands watching her. She looks at the couple with interest as their story unfolds. The cloaked woman stands in the darkness, silent among the stark trees; there is no sign yet of the rising sap, the grove is embalmed, and not even a murmur of birdsong ripples the air. The winter has been long, her dark hair lies matted and silvered, and her once fine cloak is torn and muddied with the journey; her wisdom is given, and her duties are over, leaving her spent, exhausted and cold. She has listened to the stars speak their holy song and striven to hear the word of god beneath them; she has searched in their sparkling faces for the hidden signs and the portents secreted within their orbits. The final map, though, has cleverly evaded her, for she has not found the treasure she sought. She has dug deep till her hands have bled, and the wriggling worms are sick of her scrapings, but although she has found much, these things have left her now, and she is empty, lost and uncertain. Crystals and round charms adorn her hearth but black iron tools she lacks, and what is beauty without strength? She longs to burn in the fire of the darkness and have the pain assuaged from her soul, to turn to face the west wind, with the breath of God behind her and draw the very stars down upon her head like a wedding veil, and pledge her life once again.
The man standing on the other side of the grove watches the cloaked woman, his beloved, his Brid. She looks tired to him this year, perhaps more so than is usual, her dark hair glinting silver in the darkness and her shoulders stooping. She always looks so at Imbolc, but his heart still skips when he sees her; his yearning for her never leaves him; it always returns in this eternal dance of love they play. He yearns to walk with her where the sun can measure the depth of their unity as they discover the sweet rhythm of their life together once again. The peace of the garden awaits them, where none will heed their steps as they tarry in the shade of oak trees bare of leaves in the dusk of winter’s discontent. They will clothe the trees again with green, the sap will rise, and the earth will welcome them home with open arms. He stands waiting for the woman to turn, and a twig snaps under his foot, breaking the silence of the grove; she finally turns, catching sight of him at last, and it seems to him that it has taken forever to find her once again, his woman, his goddess, his Brid.
A silent witness to this holy act, she watches them from the thicket on the edge of the grove in the pale early light as they slowly walk towards each other. Brid steps carefully through the trees, with the cares and worries of her winter past falling away from her, scattering like dead leaves on the forest floor. Her hair begins to gleam with the lustrous glow of youth, and her silver strands fade away to raven as her steps quicken. She moves faster, growing taller and stronger, slimmer and suppler, until, in the end, she runs with the fleetness of a fawn into her lover’s arms. They stand for a moment, …foreheads touching…the silent communion of two who have been long parted…and then they turn and walk quickly away, disappearing into the dawn, as the sap in the black trees begins to rise, and the snowdrops push their heads out of the dark earth to welcome the virgin queen. Turning away from the forest, her cheeks are wet with tears. The golden portal waits to bring her back, but she loathes to go; instead, she would follow Brid and her lover into the dawn of a new year of togetherness, but that is not possible. With a painful wistfulness, she steps through the fur lined doorway, and feeling a little like a character from a childhood story, she heads home again, back into The Hallway of Beginnings.
The Earth Princess brings a message of hope, and that new beginnings are on the way. Sometimes it is difficult to recognise the rise of energy before the spring comes, but this card is one of those indications. New practical beginnings come from the combination of tapping into your intuition and taking methodical steps. Keep your faith, pay attention to the subtle movements around you and wait for signs of spring.
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.
2 thoughts on “The Story of The Earth Princess”
I Lov your work. My husband of 38 years passed last March, and deep into the night when I feel so alone, I hear your thoughts frm far away, and I feel peace. Thanx for what you do.
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Terry…your words do me great honour. I am so sorry for your loss…my blessings to you…xxx