Celebrate Harvest

The Corn Harvest by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Now is the time of first harvest in the Northern Hemisphere. Traditionally, our ancestors held festivals at this time of year to celebrate the bounty that Mother Earth and Father Sun create.

Take a few moments to pause and take stock of everything you have accomplished and “harvested” in your life this year. Offer thanks to our Earth and Sun for the life they offer us all.

Celt Mara Freeman shares insights about harvest time below:

It’s high summer – time to celebrate the old Celtic festival known as Lughnasadh in Ireland and Lammas in Britain – the traditional time of pilgrimage in the northern Celtic lands where for centuries people have rejoiced in the endless light-filled days by climbing sacred hills, drinking at holy wells, or voyaging to green islands set like jewels in a sunlit sea.

As we pause in our labours, celebrate the warm weather and enjoy the fruits of our daily work, we have an opportunity to take stock of what the seasons so far have yielded: to reflect upon our hopes and dreams that were sown in the dawn of the year, came to life in the springtime, and are now maybe ready to bear fruit. On the spiritual level, we can ask ourselves what wisdom we have garnered so far this year: What will be the harvest of our souls?

For as the wheel turns, the life-giving triumph of the harvest must give way to death, reminding us that nothing stands still, and that on the human level, for whatever is gained in our lives, there must be an equal giving-away, a sacrifice, so that cosmic balance and order can be maintained. 

~Mara Freeman, Chalice Centre

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And The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School shares details about the astronomical and astrological significance of early August:

Lughnassadh  (pronounced Loo-nuh-suh) refers to harvest and victory and is usually celebrated on August 1 or 2 but the actual zodiacal cross-quarter is August 7 when the Sun reaches 15 Leo.

In 2018 on August 7 the Sun is within a couple of degrees of Retrograde Mercury at 17 Leo adding to this unusual Cross-Quarter Time.

The August Cross-Quarter marks the half-way point between the June Solstice and the September Equinox – an in-between time for gaining insight and/or inspiration. Said another way this is excellent time for divination, meditation, journeying and connecting with other forms of guidance.

~Cayelin Castell, Shamanic AstrologyMystery School

Happy Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
Our Sun is at its furthest north position in the sky
and that means long luscious days filled with light. Enjoy!

Pause and take a few moments to honor the Sun, bringer of light and life.

#solstice

Harvest Cross-Quarter

Temple of Goddess Arinna    Image: Bernard Gagnon

In a few days, Earth’s northern hemisphere will reach the halfway point between summer solstice and autumn equinox.  This is one of four “cross-quarter” days that occur in our solar year.

Many of our ancestors celebrated the start of harvest on this particular cross-quarter day. The Celtic people of the British Isles paid homage to the Sun God Lugh at this time. But long before Lugh was known, Arinna was worshiped by the ancient tribes  living in the region that is now Turkey (1400 BCE).  The Solar Goddess Arinna was their main deity. Her consort was the weather god, Teshub. 

I love what Cayelin Castell has to say about worship of the Solar Goddess:

“Before the patriarchy this Cross-Quarter celebrated the Sun Goddess thanking her for the abundance of the ripened grain. As the Solar Feminine was diminished during patriarchal times this festival celebrated the Sun God. The Irish called him Lugh (Light). Lugh’s festival focused on celebrating the skills of the warrior and the craftsmen with less emphasis on the ripened grain or bounty of the mother as a gift from the Solar Feminine.

It is true that the Solar Feminine is returning to our awareness in many ways now. So it seems appropriate that the cross-quarter points are a time for remembering the original Solar Feminine festivals and their intent.

  • The February Cross-Quarter celebrated the Mother’s (Solar Feminine) power to give life including the life giving light of the lengthening days.
  • The May Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine in her passion for intimate pleasure and the beauty of life in great abundance.

The August Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine for her abundant life giving gifts of Food and sustenance for the coming winter season .

  • The November Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine power to live through death and be reborn to a new life.

The returning strength and power of the Solar Feminine is a reminder to honor and celebrate the gifts of life-giving nourishment that we all enjoy. If you feel inspired by this you might use the first week of August as a time to give daily gratitude for the Earth and all that she gives us everyday.

At the Turning of the Ages we might ask: What are the new emerging ceremonies and celebrations that are relevant now?” ~Cayelin Castell

Sacred Solstice

Artist unknown

Turn your face to the Sun
And let the shadows fall away…

☀️

Summer Solstice is upon us!

Summer Solstice is sacred Sun time. Here in the northern hemisphere, it normally falls between June 20-22 each year.  It denotes the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Young children dance with the Solstice Sun.  They run and jump and scream with sunny joy. They beg to stay up just a little longer so they can squeeze every last drop of living out of the long sunlit days.  Children intuitively understand the power of this sacred Sun time.

Let’s follow their lead. Go outside!  Soak up the sacred rays that bring life to this beautiful blue planet.  Enjoy the green fields and flowers of early summer.  Revel in Nature’s abundance. Get up early and watch the sunrise.  Pause and honor the sunset at the end of another long luscious summer day.

Allow the sacred abundance of summer to bless you.

 

Sun and Moon Dance

Summer Forest
Summer Forest

It is summer solstice. Every year in June, the Sun returns to its northernmost point in our sky. This solstice time signals the peak of summer sunlight falling on the northern hemisphere (and the peak of winter darkness in the southern hemisphere).

Traditionally summer solstice is a time of celebration, a time to rejoice and offer gratitude to the Sun for continuing to bless our Earth with life giving sunlight. This particular solstice is extra special because the Moon is full at the same time.  This combination of solstice Sun and full Moon hasn’t happened in 40 years.

Our moon is full and bright in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, the truth seeker. Meanwhile, our Sun is dancing out of Gemini and into the watery sign of Cancer, the nurturer. Both Sun and Moon are in their most expansive state, creating a potent interweaving of the sacred feminine and masculine energies.

Mystic Mamma offers insight into the significance of this special full moon summer solstice time:  full moon solstice insights.

Abundant Summer Solstice

Earth Laughs in Flowers (1)

Earth laughs in flowers… especially at Summer Solstice!

Summer Solstice normally falls around June 21-22 each year in the northern hemisphere. It denotes the longest day and shortest night of the year. Summer Solstice is the sacred time of the Sun.

Young children understand the potency of Summer Solstice. They roll in the green grass and smell the blooms of summer. They run and jump and scream with the joy of long summer days. They beg to stay up just a little longer – trying to squeeze every last drop of living out of the long sunlit day. Children intuitively understand the power of sacred Sun time.

Go outside and smell the roses at Summer Solstice. Go outside and revel in Nature. Go outside and witness a multitude of life dancing with exuberant joy! Go outside and the sacred abundance of summer will reward you and bless you.

This excerpt from a poem by Rumi catches a hint of what you may feel when you stop to witness the sacred in Nature:

Don’t grieve.

Anything you lose comes round in another form.

The child weaned from mother’s milk

now drinks wine and honey mixed.

God’s joy moves from unmarked box

to unmarked box, from cell to cell.

As rainwater down into flowerbed.

As roses, up from the ground.

Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,

now a cliff covered with vines,

now a horse being saddled.

It hides within these, till one day

it cracks them open…

~Rumi,
13th century Sufi mystic