Celebrate the Bounty

The Golden Lions of Lugh

On August 7th, we will reach the halfway point between summer solstice and autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere. This is one of four “cross-quarter” days that occur in our annual trek around the Sun

Many of our ancestors celebrated the harvest at this time of year. The Celtic people in the British Isles paid homage to the Sun God Lugh at this time. The first sheaf of wheat was harvested and ceremoniously ground and baked into bread for the festival of Lughnasadh. Bonfires were lit to honor the fiery energies of the Sun. The fruits of the harvest were celebrated and shared by everyone.

Later in Britain, the festival of Lughnasadh became Lammas Day. The festival of Lammas was held to honor the wheat harvest. The word Lammas comes from the Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas  or  “loaf-mass.”  On the day of Lammas it was customary to bring a loaf of bread made from the new crop to church in celebration and gratitude.

Many centuries before Lugh or Lammas existed, the Goddess Arinna was worshiped by ancient tribes living in the region that is now Turkey (1400 BCE).  Arinna was their main solar deity and her consort was the weather god, Teshub. Arinna was honored for creating the natural abundance of our Earth and making human life possible.

Whether through honoring Arinna, Lugh or Lammas, our ancestors took time to express their gratitude for the bounty of the harvest every year. Their ceremonies were ritualized ways for the community to acknowledge and honor the food that grows when Father Sun unites with Mother Earth. Our ancestors lived closer to the Earth and the cycles of the seasons. They understood that all life on Earth depends on the magical union of sun, seed and earth.

What have you harvested this year? What are you grateful for? During this sacred time, take a few moments to express gratitude for all the abundance in your life.

And take time to thank Mother Earth and Father Sun for life itself.

🌞 🌎

Love of Country

“As I grew to understand the gifts of the earth, I couldn’t understand how ‘love of country’ could omit recognition of the actual country itself.

The only promise it requires is to a flag. What of the promises to each other and to the land?

What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of the species, to raise a pledge of interdependence?

No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question:

Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?

… What happens to nationalism, to political boundaries, when allegiance lies with winds and waters that know no boundaries, that cannot be bought or sold?”

~Robin Wall Kimmerer,
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
🌍 ❤️

We are the Ark

“Today I heard a new client ask me in a perplexed moment.. “ But what will I use the land for if I give it back to nature?”

That language.“ What will I use the land for?”….. It cut into my heart. 

Every life form matters.
Every conscious being has a role to play in the web of life. 
Except us. 

We have no role In the earths ecosystems…The only living beings that don’t. 

But now we must undertake a vital position in the web. 

We have got to become guardians. 
Not gardeners. 
Caretakers of the wildness. 
Inside and out. 

The time is up. 
The earth is crying out for our attention. 
We fight to live, so shall she. 

We are many and We Are the Ark.”

~Mary Reynolds
www.wearetheark.org

🌍 ❤️

Save the Trees

Wise Old Oak

” Ever since we arrived on this planet as a species, we’ve cut them down, dug them up, burnt them and poisoned them. Today we’re doing so on a greater scale than ever.

We destroy trees at our peril. Neither we nor any other animal can survive without them. “

~Sir David Attenborough

🌲❤️

Elemental Advice

“Place your hands into soil to feel grounded.
Wade into water to feel emotionally healed.
Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear.
Raise your face to the heat of the sun and
connect with that fire to feel your own immense power.”

~ Victoria Erickson

The Dark Season

“Life’s waters flow from the darkness.
Search the darkness, don’t run from it.”
~Rumi

❤️

Now is the season of tricks and treats
When the veils between the worlds grow thin
And the ancestors walk among us.

We descend into the dark season in the north
A time to reflect, take stock,
Clear the old, make space for the new.

What do you hope for and dream of?
What do you wish to leave behind?
What will you honor with your love and care?

As within, so without
To change your world
Start with you.

❤️

Traditional ritual / celebration days in early November include:

November 1:  Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead –  a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico that focuses on praying for and remembering friends and family members who have died. Rituals are also done to help support the spiritual journey of the departed beyond this reality.

Nov 6:  Tiamat’s birth. Tiamat is the primordial creative force of the Cosmos, the ancient Mesopotamian mother of all the Gods. Tiamat is depicted as a Dragon Goddess who emerges from the Sea and gives birth to all the other deities. She is the  Sacred Feminine itself – fierce,  protective, loving and nurturing. Tiamat is “Ummu-Hubur, who formed all things”.

Nov 7:  Celtic Samhain Cross-Quarter Day falls on the boundary between autumn and winter halfway between autumn equinox and winter solstice (November 7th this year). The light is slowly fading away as our Sun drops lower and lower in the sky and our nights grow longer. This is a potent in-between time. The veils between the worlds grow very thin during this sacred in-between time.  Loved ones who have departed this Earth are believed to be nearby. Samhain is  a time to acknowledge and celebrate the sacred cycles of birth – growth – death – rebirth that are an integral part of Nature.

The Goddess Hekate was also celebrated and honored in ancient Greece at this time of year. Hekate is the guardian of the gateways between the worlds. She is a wisewoman crone Goddess of the Moon and Magick who stands at the crossroads and assists with all kinds of transitions, including birth and death.

Hindu Diwali  or Festival of the Lights is also celebrated at this time of year (November 5-9 this year). This popular festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. In some traditions, the Diwali night’s lights and firecrackers represent a celebratory and symbolic farewell to the departed ancestral souls.

The Equinox has Arrived

Today marks the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere and spring equinox in the south. The equinox marks a time of transition as we move from one season to the next.

This morning our Sun rose directly in the east and tonight it will set due west.  Day and night approach equal length at the equinox as well. This is a time of natural balance.

Take a moment to pause and honor Mother Earth and Father Sky for their sacred dance of light and dark, autumn and spring, yin and yang.  Light a candle in the dark and express your gratitude for the abundance of our sacred planet. Bless the energy of life that pulses both without and within you.

“…Wherever we find ourselves on the spectrum, it is the time of balancing the dark and the light. In the Northern hemisphere, as the days get shorter and the outer light recedes, we move inward to kindle our inner light. In the Southern Hemisphere, as the days grow longer, we we move our way back into the world and bring out our inner light to share with the world.

Everything in nature is constantly giving and receiving. This balance is essential, and it is part of the expressive energies of yin and yang that we are re-balancing as a collective…”

Excerpt from Mysticmamma