“Hoof and horn hoof and horn Those who die shall be reborn Corn and grain corn and grain Those who fall shall rise again”
I’m not sure the origin of the chant above but I learned it when I was a new witch. I’ve been thinking about it this morning. I posted in one of my witchy groups about mourning and sacrfice. I believe that even when you work magick to assist you in meeting a goal you have to be prepared for sacrifice. Will that goal require time, money, and energy? Nothing comes for free. The sacrifice could be as small as throwing some of your favorite plant into the fire to assist with your spell. At the last full moon I threw some of my precious lavender flowers into the fire because I have found my magick works better when I use materials that are sacred to me. When thinking about the harvest I’m bringing in for this turn of the wheel I was reminded of the sacrifices I had to make to get here. I had to leave my home of 50 years and move. In doing that I lost many friendships and connections and even angered some of my family. I’m in a smaller community which means a loss of opportunity. That being said, I have gained a back yard to practice my spirituality in, a studio where I can work on my business, and a safer community to live in. Oh yes and a lovely dedicated temple space!
Another thing I have been focused on is mourning. Here in Wisconsin, if you haven’t planted most things by now you are out of luck till next spring. If your crops have failed you have to just mourn the loss and look ahead. I feel it goes that way for goals as well. What goals did you plant in the spring? Did they all sprout up and grow or did some of them never get off the ground. It might be time to allow yourself to mourn those goals and let them go until you can plant them next year. I know not all witches live on the wheel but I do for the most part. Right now I am focused on harvest not planting. When the wheel turns again to Imbolc I will be ready to start thinking about new goals or old goals I want to restart.
Lughnasadh is one of my favorite turns of the wheel. We celebrate by playing games and having a big feast. We remember the sacrifice of John Barleycorn and we honor Demeter as the mother of grain. Usually we have pretty good weather this time of year, although it can be humid. It is always a great day. Underneath it all the energy calls on us to recognize we are turning towards the dark time of the year. The god of the grain will be cut down and Demeter must prepare to be without Persephone soon. As with everything there is light and shadow, harvest and sacrifice.
I can feel the energy shift towards the darker season. This morning when I went out to my backyard I saw two yellow leaves resting on my deck. It was just a glimmer of what is coming.
What will you be harvesting? Do you have things you wish to mourn?
Well, another turn of the wheel is passing us and soon it will be Mabon. I hope that you had a lovely Lughnasadh weekend. Here in Wisconsin, we have been having cooler weather. The cooler weather is a nice reprieve from the super hot and muggy weather we saw for most of July. I spent much of my weekend out in the woods and at the parks with my dog and my husband. I took time to count my harvest and reflect on Lugh and Demeter as I usually do. I foraged some apples and gave them to Morrighan as an offering. My little deck garden is bountiful and I am so grateful for my little harvest of herbs. I am also grateful for the harvest of a booming business and progress towards healing. While I was walking in the woods I could feel Lugh in the gentle glow of the sun and Demeter in the embrace of the tall grasses. The wind kissed my neck and at that moment I realized I was truly relaxed for the first time in a long long time. I am grateful for the gentle reminder that in nature I find my healing and rest. Out in the woods, I can breathe deep and I even stopped to smell the flowers. Maverick always reminds me to do that.
Maverick took so much joy in swimming while we were at the park. He also stuck his whole face in the flowers. I think he needed some time in the woods too. I made some bread on Saturday to honor Demeter and we cooked up some good food in the kitchen to honor Dagda. I tried to push work away as much as I could so to prolong the rest I was experiencing. Lughnasadh has always been one of my favorite turns of the wheel but this year it seemed extra special. It has been a hard year for everyone and I really needed a good harvest. In my personal writing, I have been referring to this year as my happy harvest. May it continue….
I am not digging the weather we’ve been having here in south central Wisconsin. We have had tons of rain and it is pretty humid. I think the ragweed has hit because my allergies are going insane. Late July always brings the same thing every year, a longing for autumn. Autumn is my favorite season and late summer is the season when I am the most house bound due to allergies.
One of the themes of autumn is the harvest holidays. This all kicks off in the late summer with Lammas/Lughnasadh or as I think of it Demeter’s Day. This turn of the wheel has long been one of my favorites. I have fond memories of making corn dollies with my kids and coven mates. Lammas brings to mind good meals and good times with friends and family. It also makes me think about what I want to harvest. My experience has been that each of the three fall harvest holidays grows in intensity with regards to what I bring in. This is also the time of year when I start to think about what I want to let go of. Slowly over the coming months, it will become more and more clear. Usually a day or so before Samhain I will know exactly what is required and I will be ready to throw it into the cauldron.
I think I will start my prep by doing some meditating on Demeter. I may start a list of things to harvest and release as well. Do you celebrate this turn of the wheel? I will post some pictures of my work as I move through this time.