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The time of year has finally arrived in full when we of the Companie of Ater Draconis awaken.  I love this time of year; it’s our time!

During the lazy days of summer, we sleep, only stirring to harvest our herbs, plants and woods.  We store, nurture and strengthen our magical skills while watching the Wain climb ever higher in the night sky.  As the nights become darker, we wait for and watch for the appearance of the Hunter in the South and as it comes ever more clearly into view, we quicken and know that our time is at hand again.

Not for us the burning sun and meadow flowers; our domain is the one that begins with Sloe berries, ripening bramble, falling leaves and darker nights.  This is when we start to make our magic and put all our skills into our charms, talismans, oils and blends.

As the woodland begins to give forth the aroma of decay, the shadows grow longer and the mists hang above the damp ground, the Elven rings appear and the numerous fungi blossom at our feet.  We cheerfully frolic in the sacred woodlands and groves whilst collecting the ingredients for the dreaming unguents and flying ointments.

As other cunning folk begin to withdraw and use the winter for reflection, rest and recuperation, we set forth, out into the glistening frosts to meet the Queen of Ice and Snow.  During the frosty nights, while the Moon shines brightest in the darkest skies, we commune with the Dark Mother and through Her, open the ways for the Ancestors to be heard and acknowledged.

These are the nights when dark shadows may be seen to move amongst the skeletal trees, when the Dark Mother sends Her emissaries out into the world with messages and the night resounds to the screeches of Her sacred owls.

As the Holly King stands guard over us, we give honour and thanks to the guardians of the land and look forward to the revelry of the winter Solstice but ever mindful of the appearance of the Wild Hunt and those it might sweep up on its journey.

This is the time when we pass our knowledge between us, so nothing becomes forgotten and when we strengthen our bonds.  It is also the time when we bring the new souls into our Companie and so begins the next cycle, ever circling outwards and inwards; the dance of the Companie of Ater Draconis of Albion.