Transmigration stories
Sun stories

Moon stories (for Beltane)

Celestial Pablum by Remedios Varo

Personaje Astral by Remedios VaroMoon Gathering

by Eleanor Wilner

And they will gather by the well,
its dark water a mirror to catch whatever
stars slide by in the slow precession of
the skies, the tilting dome of time,
over all, a light mist like a scrim,
and here and there some clouds
that will open at the last and let
the moon shine through; it will be
at the wheel’s turning, when
three zeros stand like paw-prints
in the snow; it will be a crescent
moon, and it will shine up from
the dark water like a silver hook
without a fish -- until, as we lean closer,
swimming up from the well, something
dark but glowing, animate, like live coals --
it is our own eyes staring up at us,
as the moon sets its hook;
and they, whose dim shapes are no more
than what we will become, take up
their long-handled dippers
of brass, and one by one, they catch
Born Again by Remedios Varothe moon in the cup-shaped bowls,
and they raise its floating light
to their lips, and with it, they drink back
our eyes, burning with desire to see
into the gullet of night: each one
dips and drinks, and dips, and drinks,
until there is only dark water,
until there is only the dark.

The paintings here are by the great Surrealist painter Remedios Varo (1908-1963), who was born in Girona, Spain, studied art in Madrid, fled to Paris during the Spanish Civil War and to Mexico when the Germans occupied France. She then spent the rest of her life in Mexico, where she worked closely with the English Surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. For more information on this wonderful artist, I  recommend Janet A. Kaplan's fine biography, Unexpected Journeys; and Surreal Friends, by Joanna Moorhead & Sefan van Raay, about the friendship between Varo, Carrington, and photographer Kati Horna. (Varo, by the way, was a formative influence on the character of Anna Navarro in my novel The Wood Wife.)

Personaje by Remedios Varo

The poem above is from The Girl With Bees in Her Hair by Eleanor Wilner (Copper Canyon Press); it appeared online on All rights are reserved by the author.


Happy Beltane to you Terri, and to everyone. I've just been watching the Padstow 'Obby 'Oss dancing on youtube. Quite close to you, of course, Terri. Have you ever been to see it dancing live, so to speak?

Happy Beltane to you. Magical, evocative writing and stunning artwork. A joy to behold.

We were meant to go today, with our friends Andy Letcher (Telling the Bees), Nomi McLeod (Air & Parchment), and Rima Staines (The Hermitage)...mythic artists all. Who better to share a folk pageant with? But alas, a deadline delayed by health issues intervened. (The story of my life, these days.) They're there, though, and I look forward to hearing about it.

And for me: Next year, damn it! Next year!!!!

And to you.

Sorry to hear that you missed it this year, Terri. Though to be honest it always looks so horrendously crowded I'd imagine that it would swiftly become a sort of endurance test! Anyway, better luck and better health next year.

Happy Beltane, and thank you for the introduction to Remedios Varo. It's so refreshing to see other Surrealists than just the usual Dalí or Duchamp. I must go and investigate...

So much beauty. It is Samhain here, on the other side of the world, and I went out last night at dusk to bless the delicate young moon. It is always strange to see people celebrating warmth and blossom when here we are delving into cold shadows, but the moon - she is a shared constant. She reminds me that, although we may have different seasons, and different voices, we have the same silence at our heart. I hope your health improves.

Happy May Day! I hope there is some joy to be found in today's mislaid plans. And there is always next year.

Fascinating paintings. Here's to a season of wellness to you and yours. Beltane blessings from the forest.

The idea of "something/dark but glowing" brings such imagery to my heart--all the possibilities we can find in the bright darkness of the heat of Beltane.

About the painting... I know that Varo and the last painting have little to do with the late Gabriel García Márquez, but seeing the artist's first name and the fantastic lady in the last painting made me think of Remedios la Bella's ascension to heaven in Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude; the painting reminds me of the character's ethereal ways.

Oh, and I've just added The Wood Wife to my wish list. Love the title.

Forgot to say, hope you had a lovely Beltane!

I introduced the surrealists to my just-turned-6-yr-old little sprite. i will look for a book on Varo. thank you for the reminder, i haven't seen this work in many years.

and merry beltane. we have been away in the midlands, but now returned to our devon home. i'm looking for local festival celebrations that are family-friendly, i so look forward to rejoining these, now with sprite in tow.

Have you read 'The Distance of the Moon' by Italo Calvino?

You can find it in his collection of stories entitled, Cosmicomics.

It's a moon-related must-read.*



*and has inspired some very pretty and intriguing paintings, too.

a bit late here and so poignant

there is a beautiful animation of this tale by Israeli author and illustrator Shulamit Serafy, here's a link-

While you kept Beltane, my family celebrated the eve of St. Walburga:


While pale women hover
over the well’s round face, searching for the jagged moon
to light the fading lamps, the people gather
round the bloom of fire, to keep warm
with the season while it holds its breath . . . pauses . . .reevaluates
and is signaled onward. A tight-rope trick they join
by jumping over bonfires. Before the pyrite-moon
can wash the bluebells, the women gulp it down
‘til all is dark. Meanwhile, the people keep the burning awake
in censers strung with dew like prayers,
and Saint Walburga tucks them in.

© L.C. Ricardo

Oh, that's beautiful!

Thank you for the Beltane wishes, everyone! May is lovely here, with bluebells everywhere in the woods.

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