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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The grain harvest

Lugnasadh, or Lammas, marks the end of the grain harvest, the time for celebration as all the crops are in. Yesterday, I walked in the Cotswolds, and I saw a great many ripe but un-harvested fields. In other years, I’ve seen it all come in well before Lugnasadh, and I’ve also seen the harvest fall much later. In wet summers, the crops can fail, and there is nothing of the grain to celebrate.

For me, this highlights an issue of Pagan disconnection from the Wheel of the Year. We celebrate the grain harvest at Lammas (the name means ‘loaf mass’) but most of us will not have been involved with the harvest, or even have an inkling as to when it happened in our locality. Not all areas are grain growing either. Does it even make sense to celebrate this festival if you live in an upland area that grows sheep, not corn?

For our ancestors, the grain harvest was a big part of the agricultural year, and everyone worked. Well, everyone who wasn’t very wealthy. Pre-industrialisation, most people worked on the land. If you were a strapping bloke, you’d be out reaping. The less able would be out there bundling up sheaves, ferrying food and drink to the reapers, and generally helping out with the process. After the harvest, poor women and children in a parish were able to come in and glean the leavings. Those gleaned grains were critical to the survival of poorer households.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Astrological Lammas Ritual

Within our tradition we celebrate the sabbats as they occur astrologically. This year astrological Lammas will happen on Friday, August 8th when the sun enters 15* Leo. Traditionally Lammas is celebrated as the first of the three neo-pagan harvest festivals with roots driven deep in Irish and Celtic folklore. At 15* Leo we find a fixed star by the name of Dubhe (pronounced DUB-ee) (Bear in Arabic) which is associated with psychic power and destruction. Dubhe is also referred to as “The Eye” or “Pivot of the Universe” and makes up the center of Ursa Major’s spine.For our Lammas ritual we combine both the terrestrial fascination of the first harvest with the celestial alignment of this great star.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_uma.jpg

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday August 1

It's Faithful Friday and we've gathered stories on spirituality and religion from around the world. A tribute to Margot Adler, how do we pass along Paganism to the next generation, Lammas, modern atheism and much more. Happy Lammas and enjoy the weekend!

Peg Aloi suggests a fitting memorial for Margot Adler in Central Park, New York City.

Religious News Service reports on the question of passing along Paganism to the next generation.

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Changing How I Feel By Changing What I Do

The problem with being a creature of habit is that it takes SO much effort to change my habits.

Way back in April I made a decision to break my bad habit of distracting myself from my own life by re-reading my favorite books for hours every day.  I had no idea it would be so difficult.

I've changed my habits before.  I went from a processed crap diet to a home-cooked vegan diet a few years ago, completely changing a lifetime's worth of habits relating to how and what I ate over the course of a single month.  Why was that easier to accomplish than breaking my too-much-reading habit?

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Go Ashely go! I need to limit all tv time to bike time. By that I mean I need to ride my exercise bike if I'm going to watch tv.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Tarot Blog Hop: Oh Shut Up, Mom!

PREVIOUS | MASTER | NEXT

For those of you who are new to the Tarot Blog hop, the idea behind this is that the Tarot community joins together every six weeks to blog on a specific topic. That topic is proposed by whomever is wrangling the hop. We began in 2012 with an Imbolc hop that asked, "How can I be a better candle." This is our third year. The bloggers change and we are always happy for more to join us. You can learn more here. All those who work to promote camaraderie and community within the Tarot world are welcome.

This time I'm publishing my post here at my SageWoman blog, Tarot Templates. I wanted to loop this community in because there are some amazing blogs here as well. I hope some of the Tarot and Divination bloggers here will consider joining us for the Mabon Tarot Blog Hop.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Olivia Destrades
    Olivia Destrades says #
    This is a wonderfully creative spread, I love it!!!
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Thanks so much, Olivia!
  • Aisling
    Aisling says #
    I love it! And I will do it! Nice one!
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Awesome, Aisling. I'd love to hear your feedback.
  • Karen Sealey
    Karen Sealey says #
    Lol I'm not going to offer you any advice! Do I look like your Mom?

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Making Potions, Part 1

Merry meet! Welcome to The Burning Cauldron. I’ll be writing about how to make potions, elixirs, condensers, ritual incense and oils. From time to time I may post information about other items you can create for use in your practice and worship. For today I thought I’d start with how to make potions.

“That’s great,” you say, “but what is a potion? What does it do?” Glad you asked.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Back to Basics

As my family prepares for Lughnasadh by building a fire pit -- digging the area, laying a foundation of bricks and gravel -- I'm reminded in these tasks of returning to the foundation of my practice.  I mentioned in my last post how I reconnect when it's been a while since I honored the sacred: at times of reconnection or high stress, I go "back to basics," which for me involves simple steps in grounding and meditation. Whether these tools are foreign or familiar to you, I'd like to walk you through my process, using tools from a variety of traditions.

Step 1: Breathe

This is also my Rule #1 for all the challenges I meet in life, and I teach my children this as well.  Sit or lay in a comfortable position, and take a deep breath.  Let it fill your chest and abdomen, causing both to rise.  Inhale to a slow count of six, hold the breath to the count of two, and exhale to the count of eight. Repeat two more times, and then breathe normally, but remaining focused on the process. This mindful breathing has been scientifically verified to alter brain chemistry, which can ease stress, reduce cortisol, affect the heart, and improve certain medical conditions (see research by Herbert Benson for supportive studies).

Step 2: Ground

Sometimes I feel I could float away, at other times I feel disconnected from Source and Spirit.  If you have that head-in-the-clouds feeling either from distraction or stress, and need to focus, moving from the deep breathing exercise to this will help.  Imagine your legs and coccyx (tailbone) are the roots of a great tree. Inch them down into the soil, reaching for the bedrock below. Do this until you feel fully connected to earth energy (if you feel daring, you can even reach your tailbone root all the way to the core of the earth, drawing from the center and the molten rock between).  Draw energy up from the roots and feel it filling you from your toes up to your head.  While doing this, I combine grounding with ...

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