The Splendor and Travail

Autumn had come, and the Giant stood again at the horizon of day and the ebbing year, his belt still hidden in the bank of cloud, his feet in the deeps of space and the far surges of the sea.



In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.




The world today is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.




Our civilization has fallen out of touch with night. With lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?






And you? How are you embracing this life in all its terrible, visceral, astoundingly beautiful glory? All set with your Halloween/Samhain plans? Have you put up your own Day of the Dead altar? What do you offer to the ancestors, to the changing seasons, to your own darkenss?

All quotes by one of my heros, Henry Beston.

Images on my candles from the Dead Relatives collection by Ernesto Yerena. I printed the images on vellum and then attached them to the votives with an extra strength glue stick.

New Dia de los Muertos banner also made with images printed on vellum. No more giant hallway ofrenda for us…gotta get crafty when you’re livin large in a small house.

P.S. Lots of magic going on over at the new Terrallectualism. The url for this blog will be changing to on November 1st.


4 thoughts on “The Splendor and Travail

  1. You succeeded in finding a beautiful new spot for your display.! The colors are so soothing and the vellum pictures so intriguing. You are so creative and Fern learns so much from you every day. Love to everyone there.

  2. What’s the RSS link for your squarespace site? I can’t find it and I would like to subscribe!

    I like your little bird stone — last week I saw a rock on the foreshore of the Thames which resembled a dove that might have been drawn by Picasso. I left it there but I kind of wish I’d taken it now…

  3. I love the word ‘elemental’ here, the basic, the building blocks. I’ve been having a hard time, finding my way back to those things myself lately.But there’s a gathering coming up for Samhain that I think will do the trick for me and I am very excited for it. Hope we get to chat before then and hope you and yours are well ❤

  4. Your bones remind me of Oscar and his bones, he has a gritty little collection going, to turn over and examine as he pleases. What a beautiful altar you’ve created, I imagine the thoughts to be like prayers, you had, as you used your ‘extra strength’ glue stick to stick on those vellum prints. (I never knew such a thing as ‘extra strength’. When I have a peaceful moment of being with my own thoughts, I like to go stand outside at night and be quiet with the world, see the truly unending trails of stars and inky blackness of the sky or smell the leaves and soil on the wind; remembering what it is like to be elemental.

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