Sunday, 13 November 2016

Ancient Voice

And she opened her mouth and sang.

An ancient voice rose up from deep within the heart of her.

A voice of old stories and well trodden paths, a voice that knew cold winds and hearth fires.

She sang of remembering, of honouring. She sang of old, old truths.

The souls who heard it, remembered it from before, and for a moment their hearts were warm and their spirits flew free.

Awen Clement - 2016 (c) 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Honouring the Blood: Call of the Morrigan

As dusk fell we closed the gates to the ordinary world, allowed the land to envelop and cradle us. Quietly we came, healers and priests, craftsmen and warriors, gathering in Her name. Raven Queen, Battle Crow, Morrigan.

We cast a circle of light and dark, of flame and blood and weaving.  We asked the land to hold us, we asked the ancestors to stand with us, to guide us and guard us. We called our Queen in rich voices of fire and honour.

We cleansed away the old versions of ourselves, prepared to step into new skins, new shapes of our souls.  One by one, turn by turn we submitted to the needle. Gave our blood and received her mark. Gave shape to our prayers, made promises in ink. Witnessed by our brothers and sisters, nurtured by the hearth fire.

We wove together a pattern of story and song, of prayer and devotion as the land and the ancestors looked on. Brave voice of the young spoke in honour and faith. Men cried tears of truth. Women wove prayer and flame in devotion. Some sang in voices not their own and the drum echoed the heartbeat of the world.

And the Great Queen heard us call. She came to us. Accepted our offerings of blood and flesh and honouring. Some trembled, some wept, but all held steadfast in the truth of her sight. Her voice like the gentle roar of the river, we were held out of time. She gave voice of both warning and blessing.

We gave thanks, we feasted and then one by one and two by two we slipped away, across land and sea. Returning home, forever changed, ready to face what is to come.

And so it was done. The ashes went cold and the land fell quiet.


This writing is a reflection of my experience at Honouring the Blood: Call of the Morrigan Retreat 2016.

Awen Clement - 2016 (c)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Sacred Scar

Last Saturday I was fortunate to take part in a 'Sacred Scar' day.  An opportunity to receive a tattoo in ceremony and ritual.  It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life to date.  In the days immediately afterwards this piece of writing came to me, its a narrative of the event and all at the same time it isn't.


Quietly they arrive in ones and twos, slipping through the door on the peaceful street in the early morning light.

Slowly they begin to move around the room, starting the journey into ceremonial space. A drum begins to gently sound, bringing in the heartbeat of the Great Mother to hold her daughters.

In the corner, the red-headed witch sharpens her needles and makes ready, watching the women with a midwife’s eye. Checking the energies, sensing the fears.

The drumbeat rises to a more urgent rhythm as the first sister comes forward and presents her skin to the needle. Her sisters raise their voices in a rich harmony of love and power, carrying her through as the marks emerge on her kin.

One after another they flow into the witch’s chair to receive their sacred scars. Reminders of their stories, of who they have been, of who they will become.

The drumbeat and the voices endlessly circle….and then…it’s done. The sisters gather to hold one another, to share the tears and the joys. 

Then, quietly, in ones and twos, they slip away again. The red-headed witch shuts the lid of her needle box. Their work is done, until the drum calls again.

Awen is a healer and ceremonialist based in the West Midlands, UK.