Romping in the Woods

I had the honor this past weekend to be a guest speaker at Gaia Goddess Gathering. I hadn’t been out to the Gaea Retreat Center in a few years so it was fun to see how much had changed or not changed since my last visit. My late friend, Carrie Moonstone Miller, had been instrumental in starting this women’s gathering, and I very much enjoyed feeling that her spirit is alive and well in the people and places there. She had been much on my mind lately–perhaps it’s autumn coming on, and old friends remembered is always a part of that season for me.

I had a good time romping in the woods and enjoyed being far enough away from the city lights to see the milky way and Mars looking seriously red. Except for the odd mosquito, the wildlife wasn’t too unkind, I managed to avoid sunburn, and I got enough exercise that my Fitbit was panting.

The topic of my talk concerned the Greek (probably pre-Greek) Goddess Hecate as a representation of the crone and especially with regard to wisdom, nurturing, and compassion. Of course, I had to reference Kristen Hawkes’ grandmother hypothesis, and Dixon Chibanda’s work using grandmother’s trained in evidence-based talk therapy to address Zimbabwe’s depression and suicide problem, as well as Paul Gilbert’s compassion-focused therapy. The work of these three people was, to me, a good representation of what grandmothers are all about.

Like all my talks, it had some personal anecdotes and odd scraps of this and that. But since I’m a writer these days and no so much a scientist as I once was, I had to end with a short story I had written a few years ago but never published. The story, “The Gibbet Crossroads”, gives a fair representation of my ideas about Hecate and what she does with herself at night. Since my audience liked the story and asked, I agreed to publish it here on the blog. Enjoy.

Image: Bluebell Woods, Hampshire, UK by Marilyn Evans.