by Margo Wolfe
Cool autumn eve. The air chills your face. You bring the corner of your cloak up to your eyes and shield yourself until the wind passes. When you remove your arm, she is there.
Cerridwen, Crone, Shapeshifter— a vision of our future self. She frightens you even when she smiles, but her withered hand takes yours with such a powerful grip that you can only follow where she leads.
She sits you down on a hollowed log—gnarled with knots and holes. Not exactly a comfortable chair.
She stands before you, stirring the contents of a cauldron, deliberately, slowly, like all her movements.
You peak inside. It looks like the wind is swirling the contents of the cauldron, but you realize that it is the dark liquid brewing that brings the wind.
After a few moments, Cerridwen turns to you.
“Uncomfortable, yes?” she asks. She smiles and waits for you to shift in your spot, vainly attempting to find a flat area on the log.
“Change is uncomfortable, but before we transform into something whole, we must first face the Shadow, the darkness that frightens us and keeps us from growing. And growth can be painful, too. But I am here for you. I may be hidden in the grove, but I will never leave you alone.”
She places another log on the fire.
“You can’t rush through change. We are all shapeshifters and there are stages through which we must pass.
Slowly move through the cycle.
Don’t just look, but listen.
Use your tools to find your way to the other side of the Shadow.
The winter is quiet and slow. So should you be, if your transformation be complete.”