Finding the Star-Fire Inside

The saying ‘as above, so below’ has always fascinated me, likewise that we are a ‘microcosm of the macrocosm’. Both tell of the intimate connection between earth and cosmos, human and cosmos.

So what of stars? Are they simply, only, the bright points of light we see in the night sky, which astronomy identifies as nuclear furnaces, similar to our sun, situated vast distances away from our earth and our solar system?

In some ancient paintings stars are depicted as deva or angel like beings. Once long ago human beings could experience them that way. Once long ago the life of plants, soil and crystals was experienced as the work of beings, earth beings who, inspired by cosmic impulses from the planets and the stars, pushed the trees up out of the earth, back towards the source; beings of light and warmth who shaped the flowers, ripened the grain.

Perhaps this awareness was forgotten so that we could grow up as individuals, experience our independence from Mother Nature. At midwinter, in outer cold and frost, we turn inwards to find the star-fire inside. If we are truly a ‘microcosm of the macrocosm’, then the light we generate in our hearts at midwinter could rekindle our connection to the stars ‘out there’ and to the nature spirits, who, in fundamental synchrony with the rhythms of the stars and planets, keep our seasons turning and the plant world thriving. We are so much more powerful than the current materialistic paradigm allows. We can make a difference.

Reverse

Bare feet on wet brown leaves…
What speaks aloud through naked sole,
upsurgent into the heart?

Do we value enough the cowslip leaf,
nestled for winter under yellow grass
and the magnificent crown of thistles?

The sky holds only a memory of stars;
beautiful paths of silence dancing,
waiting for new paths to flesh them.

That is the heartbreak of our star hearts:
as if our homes had been plucked out
and heaven become an empty socket;

we being exiled here in the world wind,
a tax on all our heads and no room,
no room in the tight brown sheath.

As we sit huddled over our hurts by night…
HERE, under wet hartstongue and thistle spike,
suddenly… NOW… the poles are reversing and

behold the last iron band cracking…
under the wide blind sky the earth splitting
and our hearts balanced over the abyss, trembling…

for, swelling upwards to the steep blood beat,
announcing a higher birth at every centre that will hold it,
a light robed multitude of inner stars moves out,

angels of the deep, ascending.

On Minchinhampton Common

I am walking,
walking barefoot on the common,
on this warm green ground,
ground that belongs only
to itself,
to the four wise winds,
to the treasures it conceals under its
ancient crinkled gown, cow trodden,
unfurling it all along the changing seasons of the sun,
in subtlest colours of gold, violet
purple and deep blue,
finely stitched and embroidered with
bramble, briar and hawthorn
and spangled with the dew.

This is common ground,
never ploughed,
never dug, since
long forgotten folk
built round houses,
buried their dead,
threw up bulwarks against
marauders
and watched the stars,
glimpsed through forest boughs
ages since unseen,
dipping and wheeling
in their round dance
horizon to horizon.
Here I walk on Albion’s ground,
her secret spirit still awake,
in spite of the fog that fetters feeling
and tangles thinking into knots we do not
even notice,
her secret spirit still awake,
still calling through our feet;
and do we hear, do we hear
the quiet insistent voice of the ground,
the common ground that belongs only
to itself?

 

Dusk

Robed for midwinter celebrations,
the dusk bends over the town,
the crescent of the moon dangling gold bright in her ear.
Shedding her soft and ink dark shawl into the west,
she reveals her priceless star gems, one by one,
spilling out from thick folds of cobalt and indigo.

Below, the earth wears her trees like tiaras,
glinting in the frost fall
and we tread our crowding winter way
through sloping streets searching in overlit windows
for festive bling.

But secretly we are star seekers
looking for the simple honest radiance
shining in the faces of friends
because we sense some other light gleaming out
behind, beneath,
and one still planet stands, huge and high,
spreading a slow expectant silence,
into the listening December dark.

 

Top of the Town in December

Tonight there are no stars,
but electric icicles wink
under the eves of the house
on the corner.

Tonight there are no stars,
but Man. United kick off versus Wigan
at 8pm on Sky TV
at the Cross Hands.

Tonight there are no stars,
but tail lights of home bound traffic
slither away uphill,
receding dragon eyes glaring,
in the hiss of wet underbelly.

The sky is thick wrapped in cloud.
There are no stars.
But in my garden evergreens grow…
ivy, holly, box and a tiny yew.

Going inside, I light candles.

Jehanne Mehta, ©2011

www.jehannemehta.com