A friend gave me a lump of coal when I moved into my new house and i said thank you and left it wrapped up in the tissue and put it on the windowsill. Not having a fire to burn it in it stayed there for a few weeks as i wondered what to do with it.
About two days ago I washed it. Coal is Beautiful!! who knew? under all that dust and black dirty powder coal is black and gnarly and midnight dark and shiny blue at the same time. I was so surprised.
So anyway, sitting in a steam room in Kilronan waiting for Nessa to show up I head off with my lump of coal in my hand to ask the old woman on the island what was the coal all about. I got a few answers,
Coal is about showing that inner light we have and shining out to the world. Our inner fire (creativity, warmth, hearth, passion) can’t go out and we can’t use it up so the more we use it the more we have. We can stoke the fire of our own hearth and like the coal it will glow red and yellow and white with heat and energy.
Coal is also about honouring those parts of ourselves we take for granted. Coal is dirty and unregarded but without coal we would not have achieved so much as humans. Its keeps us warm, cooks our food, gives us energy but we never think to thank it or honour it or give it pride of place. We expect it to work for us. Same as with parts of ourselves that work and work and are ‘dirty’. We expect these parts to keep going and shape our lives yet we never stop to say thank you or let them rest.
I had a dream that night about waking Kali up. She was black and pitted and shiny blue and it was only when I woke up the following day I realised she was like the lump of coal. I am waking up the earth fire, that cleanses and destroys and rebirths again. Feminine energy that so often, like the coal, is taken for granted and kept small.
So light the fire and stoke the coal and feel the heat as it builds and you can see the centre of the fire starting to glow white with the heat. Let it warm you and guide you and create your inner hearth fire as you want it to be.