I live in a beautiful glen in southwest Scotland. I am a poet, artist, mindfulness teacher and rite of passages guide. My audio talks and meditations can be found on my teacher's page at:
Once upon a time, time was humane. Sane, spacious. Time was the phases of the moon, the Earth’s tilt towards and away from the epicurean sun. It was the patterns of the stars. It was whole, a measure of soul. It engendered balance and wonder. Four thousand years later time is linear, a mind-made bully. ‘Alarm’ clocks keep our nervous systems in a state of fight or flight, and our immune systems inflamed.
Slowing down to organise our lives around the seasons and cycles is not a luxury extra. It is a radical necessity. The global climate crisis cannot be solved by external solutions, artificial intelligence or new technologies. Solutions need to be led by the Earth on her terms. The festival days are our soul’s watering holes where we ritually recalibrate. They are how we bring in all the tender ways of the sacred. They infuse our energy with joy and gratitude, making us more effective.
On the festival days themselves we leave our homes as if on paws, on the wing for a feast of noticing what advice the ancestors want to tell us through which herbs, birds, animals, stones, trees. The indigenous Grandmothers of all communities know this. It is how they become the Earth and the Earth becomes them, why we must seek them out and listen.
The Earth’s Time © Debra Hall
She says: I am the World dancer, the igniter,
Snake Goddess, Great Goddess, womb of all becoming,
the skins I shed are epochs, millennia.
I am Pachamama, Universal Mother,
holding the soul of the Earth I gave birth to, safe.
I am the fertile void looking out from the eyes
of every sentient being.
I am the eternal flow of giving and receiving.
I am Matrix, Creatrix, Generatrix.
I am the unified field of consciousness everything shares.
I am Vision and Invocation,
Seer, Shaman and Soul-maker.
The womb is my drum, the moon is my drum,
the sun and earth and stars are my drum.
I am also woman, this woman
dancing on a patch of earth in my garden.
Dancing so my soul can experience a thousand inscapes,
dancing so my spirit can be penetrated by hope,
dancing for my next step forward.
I am the answer to the call to live everything.
I am the life of life, Love itself, the ground.
World Dancer © Debra Hall 2019
in quiet darkness,
darkest of darkness,
a pause, a stilling, the end of a breath,
life lies beneath the earth,
resting in darkness.
Awaiting the sun’s return
together on this dawn hill
anything is possible
Joyful, the sun returns
over the dawn hill
everything is possible
everything is Love.
Winter Solstice Song © Debra Hall
May this moment reach in and find you
May fear and pain never bind you
May kindness touch you and guide you
May your friends love you and mind you
May the earth nourish and uphold you
May the air breathe and expand you
May fire heat and ignite you
May water cleanse you and flow you
May the moon illume and soothe you
May silence still and refine you
May spring quicken, inspire you
May summer blossom and feast you
May autumn ripen and harvest you
May winter deepen and rest you
May your heart cherish and open you
May your soul sing you and dance you
And may death always remind you
To live the vastness inside you
Earth Blessing Song © Debra Hall 2016
It was snowdrop time, the end of winter and the very first tender stirrings of spring. The moon was a bright crescent sliver high in the afternoon sky. Snowdrops were scattered in clumps across the hard compacted ground like tiny votive lights, promising the return of warmth and new life. The lengthening days were brimming over with the magic of possibility. It was another chance for a fresh start, for everyone.
Every colour known to nature was waiting patiently beneath the ground: the velvety soft yellow of primroses, the elated blues of spring and summer skies, the bridal white of hawthorn blossom, rosehip and rowan- berry reds, the golds, russets and oranges of leaves in autumn and every shade of grass-green that a hungry old horse has ever seen. All were rolling, snaking, undulating and blending beneath the earth, poised to take over from the ever-dependable evergreens and recolour the land.
In a cave below the hillside, Bridie had been sleeping beneath the huge fur coat of Sol, the winter she-bear. She lay still in the dark... listening. She opened one eye and pushed her fingers and toes into the loamy earth. It was definitely warming up. The shortest days, the darkest nights, the deepest dreams were done.
Imbolc – Gateway into Spring (excerpt from Bridie’s Story) © Debra Hall
She is not a mild, supernal saint or winsome Pre-Raphaelite maid.
She is not that, oh no she is not that.
Her visions are not la-la will-o-the-wisps
that evaporate like dew on morning cobwebs.
She has worked them in leather, baked them in her earth oven,
pounded them on the rocks of the visions of her foremothers.
Seer, she has to be warrior to bring spring through the doorway of winter,
Imbolc sky still gelid cold, stinging winds, sheep on the hill.
Poet, she has to be warrior soul to pare back and bare the beauty
of poems pulsating real and raw.
Midwife, mender of the torn, she has to be warrior shield
attuned to the danger of guiding baby from womb.
Brighid, holding a wild swan on her heart,
A lorica, breast plate. Not armour but prayer
to keep her soul open to the flow of creative grace
as she waits for the next thread of molten imagination,
to snake over the hill and strike her cave.
Brighid Poem © Debra Hall 2019