Initiation

The layer of blood

caked over my whole

naked body

is cracking.


This is it.

The initiation into

the next cycle of my life.

A cycle without

blood. This is

significant.


I stand

in front of the fire

after sailing down

the river of blood,

my blood,

in the long boat

with Hela.


She spins

as I stand.

Spiralling with her

black cloak billowing,

as she calls up

the animals

of Niflheim and

the Otherworlds.

She dresses me

in fox fur

and wolf skin

around my shoulders,

placing

the head of a fox

on my head.

I smell of fox.

I smell of wolf.

I smell of stale, cracked blood.

Hela is half skull,

half goddess face.

It is right that she should

be my guide.

I stare at her beautifully

terrifying eyes

and understand

that I am staring

at myself.

She laughs as she

places a human skull

in my left hand,

the thigh bone

of a warrior

in my right.

They are heavy.

My shoulder aches.

It is hot in front of the fire

and under the fur I itch.

I long to jump

into that river

of blood,

fast moving, fast flowing.

Instead I am forced to stand

here, itching and uncomfortable.

This is my initiation.


The animals

descend upon us

led by Garmr:

the eagle, the bear,

the raven, the magpie,

the stag, the whale,

the badger,

the boar,

the spider, the fox

and many, many wolves.

The forest is thick with wolves

howling, they are celebrating.

They have come

to lick the blood

from my body.

I am howling

with them.

This is my true nature.

My wolf self.


I am entering

the cycle

of the wolf

on a wolf moon

in a super blood

eclipse.

The initiation is complete.

I am licked clean.

I taste the wolf spit,

it is strong.


I have howled

a whole life time.

I have howled

the loss of my blood.

I have howled

the loss of my father,

my son, my mother,

my sister.

I have howled

the loss of a husband,

before gaining another.

I have howled

in the dark

with the beasts

of shame and exhaustion.

I have howled

in ecstasy

many times over,

with a multitude of lovers.

I have howled

on the rocks

where the mountains

meet the sea.

I have howled

in the eye of the storm.


I realise I shall

keep howling

but this time

the cry will be different.


For the blood is gone.