The image of the iron age sabbat celebration is burned into my imagination for some reason. It first appeared in a poem more than 2 decades ago, and has been hovering around ever since, waiting for opportunities to show up again in my prose.
The celebration feast is a magical thing indeed, a time of wonders and exuberance. Peasants who spend most days working themselves into exhaustion take a break from the ordinary and give themselves up to celebration. Dancing is always a feature; the throb of the mother drum, the tenor of the smaller drumming adding their voices, the rattles and shakers chiming in. The music is compelling, particularly when assisted by the punch. None can refuse the dance.
Woodland creatures watch from the shadows. Perhaps the fairies judge their clumsier human-kin, who can never be as graceful. But perhaps not: maybe they are kind on sabbat days. Centaurs watch for awhile, then gallop away to their own rough dance. Dryads peek out from their trees and add their blessing.
In my imagination, the druids or the high priestesses possess and protect the secret of the brew. Passed down and perfected for many generations, it is designed, not to reduce inhibitions, but to smash them utterly. In their place is left a total sense of awe, oneness with nature and the fire and the mystery of the dance.
I don’t know from whence this image came. I have few that are this vivid. If I believed in such things, I would believe that I was a high priestess in a former life. When I allow myself to indulge, I do believe.
It brings me utter joy.