The Witch’s Quickening

the house of twigs THOT danielle dulsky witch quickening

My poorly painted eyes snapped open, breaking the crusty seal of tears and mascara, and I held my breath until my ribs ached. Yes, this was it. The flutter in my belly told me it was time. The darkest moons of the year had finally run their course, leaving me with sunken cheeks and cracked lips, but now there could be no more hiding under warm blankets and beside maternal hearths. The Quickening had come, not just for me but for us all, and I stripped myself bare in the name of all-things-holy.

The night was damp, starless, and smelled of rot, but I left my wild home just the same. I left, naked and sure-footed, because what I was about to birth could never be contained within four stone walls. My bare feet pounded the frozen mud until they bled, and I bid the Creatrix gift me with a sign.

“Show me where!” I begged. “I am deep in the devil’s woods, and I no longer know my way!”

My bones were ice, but my skin was covered in fever-sweat, heart-drum sounding an uneven warning in my ears.the house of twigs THOT danielle dulsky witch quickening

“Dark Mother of death and birth! Show me my birthing bed this minute lest I will build my own nest in the mud. Show me where to unleash my womb water, for the river-flow will surely consume all that is dry and dead on this haunted land. If there is anything about my old life that needs saving, shield it this minute!”

I clutched by bony belly, digging hard nails through the skin, and listened with my whole body. I heard night-birds in mourning and a wolf howling, but there was no disembodied voice showing me direction. I was my own midwife in that moment, and, so too, I was the death doula of all things untrue.

I fell hard on all fours and moaned with such a primal feminine force the forest went quiet. I curled my toes and fingers into the dirt and rolled my spine. I let the ancient serpentine moon-milk course through my Witch’s veins, and I body-prayed to the holy huntress for protection. This skin of mine was stretching so thin. My aching bones were breaking under the pressure, and I could no longer hold myself upright. I heard tissue tearing and joints being ripped apart from the inside, and I lay helpless and wailing in the late Winter dirt while the iron scent of my blood pervaded the air.

I do not know how long I labored, or how many agonizing contractions rolled through me. I remember praying for death, and I remember when my prayer was answered. Just as the sky glowed a soft orange like the last embers of a funeral pyre, I crawled from the warm pile of guts and stood. I was naked as a newborn and covered in afterbirth, looking down at the gnarled corpse of my past.

the house of twigs THOT danielle dulsky witch quickening

I smoothed her hair and closed her eyes. May she rest in the deepest peace there is. She had been a temptress, and a wild child, a Witch of the word, a hooded Priestess of the Holy Feminine, but, still, she had been too small to house the enormity of my newly awakened soul. I, this untamed and feral child she had birthed, would have to prove worthy of the mother that bore me.

 

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Danielle is a heathen visionary, Aquarian mischief-maker, and word-witch. The author of Woman Most Wild and The Holy Wild., she teaches internationally and has facilitated circles, embodiment trainings, communal spell-work, and seasonal rituals since 2007. She is the founder of The Hag School, the lead teacher for the Flame-Tender Teacher Training, and believes in the emerging power of wild collectives and sudden circles of curious dreamers, cunning witches, and rebellious artists in healing our ailing world. As an Irish-American, Danielle’s witchcraft is deeply rooted in Celtic philosophy and Irish mythology. She believes fervently in the role of ancestral healing, embodiment, and animism in fracturing the longstanding systems supporting white-body supremacy and environmental unconsciousness, is committed to centering the voices and teachings of POC and LGBTQIA+ folks in her work as founder of Living Mandala, LLC and The Hag School and supports organizations and initiatives that do the same. Parent to two beloved wildlings and partner to a potter, Danielle fills her world with nature, family, and intentional awe. Find her praying under pine trees, wandering through the haunted places, and whispering to her grandmothers’ ghosts.
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Danielle is a heathen visionary, Aquarian mischief-maker, and word-witch. The author of Woman Most Wild and The Holy Wild., she teaches internationally and has facilitated circles, embodiment trainings, communal spell-work, and seasonal rituals since 2007. She is the founder of The Hag School, the lead teacher for the Flame-Tender Teacher Training, and believes in the emerging power of wild collectives and sudden circles of curious dreamers, cunning witches, and rebellious artists in healing our ailing world. As an Irish-American, Danielle’s witchcraft is deeply rooted in Celtic philosophy and Irish mythology. She believes fervently in the role of ancestral healing, embodiment, and animism in fracturing the longstanding systems supporting white-body supremacy and environmental unconsciousness, is committed to centering the voices and teachings of POC and LGBTQIA+ folks in her work as founder of Living Mandala, LLC and The Hag School and supports organizations and initiatives that do the same. Parent to two beloved wildlings and partner to a potter, Danielle fills her world with nature, family, and intentional awe. Find her praying under pine trees, wandering through the haunted places, and whispering to her grandmothers’ ghosts.

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