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The Unburnable Beloved: An Excerpt from Seasons of...

The Unburnable Beloved: An Excerpt from Seasons of Moon and Flame: The Wild Dreamer’s Epic Journey of Becoming 

The Unburnable Beloved the house of twigs thot
Danielle Dulsky has her next book that is about to be released in March. She has provided and excerpt from it as well as The House of Twigs being mentioned in her book for some of her writings. Check out a glimpse into what is to come and look forward to some more writing by her via THoT.

Our collective journey of becoming is, in part, a navigation of our many contradictions, a slow and uncomfortable process of seeing and sitting on the edge of the unknowable. Resolving our contradictions too quickly is precisely the strategy that birthed many of the ills we seek to remedy, and there is the finest thread of a line between apathetic complacency and not rushing to define, act, and fix. Language encourages finite categories and a concrete naming of this or that, and, we might wonder, what would happen if there were words that meant everything and nothing, or action and stillness, or this and that. What if the words we spoke allowed for contradictions to exist, simultaneous opposites to sit and be? What if we invited our many discomforts, our innumerable shadows, to come home and rest, if only for one night, for one story? 

Sometimes nonsense is the best medicine, but not just any kind of nonsense. So easily will we pack the nonsensical into our mental boxes labeled pointless, futile, and unimportant; that is, unless those preposterous ideas are flavored with a certain potency. The irrational is not particularly productive and therefore not socially valuable or economically viable; we might then ask ourselves if nonsense is a true currency of the outlaw. 

Can a story be absurd and still make us feel deeply? Beneath this wild moon, may we let the bizarre rule. May we hold hands with our deep confusion and, like the witch in this brief non-story, may we rest in that holy discomfort that always blankets us at this time of year. While you read, imagine the tale being told by a loving and hateful creature with the face of a child and the voice of a hag. 

 

The Unburnable Beloved

 

Once upon a time and then every day thereafter, there lived and died an enchantingly beautiful wretch. They had the bold and golden eyes of a sun-sprite and skin made of dark moonlight. To look upon them was to fall into a certain trance, under a particular spell that had you knowing nothing and everything all at once. They, this witch of many names, was both beloved and feared, as all the best people are, and everyone said they could never be caught, never be caged, for to catch this witch would mean the world would lose all its mysteries. Were this exquisite and elegant creature trapped, every shadow would be brought into the light. There would be no more illusion, no more theories. Everyone would have a name and a place, and every quest would end.  

Naturally, because the human animal is a repulsive, fractured, beguiling, wholesome, selfless, selfish thing, there were those who wanted to capture that uncapturable witch.  

“Oh, won’t it be just a blissful utopia once we can rest?” the peace-loving war-makers would say. “No more will we tire. No more will we squabble over matters that don’t matter.” 

Just as naturally, because that soft-bodied and hard-minded creature called human is an argumentative monster, there were also those who believed the witch should remain free. 

“Well, what will we do? Surely, there will be no more adventure, no more motivation to move and climb or converse or weep?” The war-loving peace-makers would ask. “How will we know we’ve won when there is nothing to lose?” 

Of course, the peace-loving war-makers took it upon themselves to hunt that unhuntable witch; it is far easier to take an action you believe in, of course, than it is to simply resist, far easier to attack than protect.  

In a grove of unburnable elder trees, that witch lived, hiding in the plainest sight, spending their nights sunbathing and their days howling at the moon, but those peace-loving, war-making hunters came upon them at dusk, during that liminal twixt-and-tween when they were at their weakest and most powerful, their bravest and most cowardly.  

“Come now, witch,” the confidently humble captors half-ordered, half-requested. “Our minds are tired of so much pondering, and our bodies are exhausted from all this business. You are the ugly and beauteous heart of mystery, and we must, we simply must, take hold of you.” 

The witch cocked their head to the side like a bird and said nothing with their tongue but everything with their eloquent eyes. Just then, the war-loving peace-makers arrived, and the grove was encircled with those bizarre human angel-devils spaced like yellow-bellied brave-hearted soldier-babes between the elder trees, the witch standing at the center point and the whole of the scene cast in the dust-pink glow of twilight.  

It was at once night and day, defense and attack. Everyone was victim and perpetrator, and everyone but that holy demon of a witch was so sure of their position, of their rightness, of their morality. Every single human creature in that moment would have called themselves good, had anyone asked, and each of them would have gladly died so sure they served some grand purpose, so sure their lives had been lived with honor 

What none of them had considered was that, while they were all quite accustomed to quick-and-dirty resolutions, the witch was quite at home in the precarious and on the edge. Long had they lived on the fringes, and they were fueled by that wild energy of infinite and unformed potentiality.  

They lived for this, you see. Precisely here, with nothing and all things possible, was their domain, and those human animals began to sense their folly. It was as if some forgiving and vengeful god with sullen cheeks and a fat belly posed an unsolvable riddle that stopped time, that alerted all those so-reasonable, so-rational creatures to their eternal conundrum.  

They were logical fallacy. They were actors in an infinite play, protagonists and antagonists in a never-ending story of becoming. The plot may have been written by a mad alchemist of sound mind and body who despised both lead and gold, who was only interested in the brewing. 

Those unburnable elders ignited then, for those haunted trees had lived long and learned to love those rare moments when human beings united in their common drama, when these humorous animals were stunned to silence by their own actions, genuinely surprised by their own behavior, and somewhere and everywhere, this grove still exists, eternally frozen and ever-burning in time and space, and we human animals can all sense the necessity of both mystery and the quest to solve, of shadow and flame. We are at once the witch, the hunter, and the hunted. We are the burning unburnable, and our fractured wholeness, itself, is radical.  

May we leave a little room in your witchery for nonsense. Feel into those moments when there is a blessed uncertainty, when some errant thought or external quandary sends you rushing to find resolution and envision all those wild parts of your psyche coming together and simply being with one another amongst those firelit immortal trees. Confusion is participation in the grand conversation. Here, we rest, ‘til life and death do us part. 

From Seasons of Moon and Flame: The Wild Dreamer’s Epic Journey of Becoming (New World Library 2020) 

https://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Moon-Flame-Dreamers-Becoming/dp/1608686426 

 

 

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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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This work by The House of Twigs / Author of Article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.