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Waking from Rot: A Dream-Vision for Tender Times

Waking from Rot: A Dream-Vision for Tender Times

flesh bone rot the house of twigs thot witchcraft verses of the wild witch danielle dulsky

The moon was swelling with its usual midspring wildness, spitting its silver-light remedy straight into all my aching places, hissing its secret, slippery salve into the driest cracks in my summer-hungry heart. These were tender times, and I left my slow-growing poison garden in search of some long-lost hallowed ground I could not name. I left the sanctuary of certainty in search of mist and mystery. I left the nest of the known in search of shadow, called out into the wilds by those primal ancestors who are dreaming me into being beneath a long-gone moon that looks much the same as this, that low-hanging, somber, celestial beast that lights my most anguished midnight.

Before I knew it, I had arrived in a haunted boneyard where my greatest longings had failed to fruit and lay rotten and reeking in the ground. Forgotten spells that shriveled and dropped from the vine, unblossomed buds of hope lost, splintered and charred branches of countless obsessions, and the unhatched and bleeding eggs that once kept my grandest ambitions warm and well lay strewn across this vast and graceless field, their deaths ungrieved by a woman so stubborn as me. The dullest mewling, an arrhythmic banshee-babe’s weeping, echoed from the soil below, and I fell to my knees and bewailed all I would not become, all this world would never be, and all the many wonders that have ceased to beguile my bitter, jaded heart.

As if it were scripted by some omniscient hooded narrator then, some wily trickster grandmother who was writing this world alive, the ground began a demon-dance of slow-slithering ravenous worms and million-legged mini-beasts who wove their way through these dead dreams of mine. Deafening crunching and skittering and gnawing and crawling overtook the low keening sounds of mourning and renamed these grounds of decay, christened this place the fecund garden of desire reborn, of composted hope turned beloved bloom, of rot made ripe again.

So soon, this barren wasteland teeming with tiny monsters sparked to life with long-stretching and untamable vines, with bark and berry, sapling and sprout. A lush love-song to renewal, it was. A bright and beauteous ode to the tender times, to the shifting tides, it was. Here, I was elder innocence and womb-water wisdom, each hungry for a potent and fruitful solstice union. I was full of faith in fires rekindled and the sanctity of fallow times.

My flesh wanted a feast, my bones wanted belonging, and that wild moon lit the way while I devoured the heaviest fruits and plucked the petals that would feed me in the way I needed to be fed, soothing and softening my hard places and sweetening up that bitter heart of mine. I dined on the fertile forest grown up from the roots of rotten dreams, and I named myself a witch-queen for one more day.

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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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