Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.
Seeds Sown, Seeds Grown
The sunflowers bloomed this week. Overnight dozens of bright petals opened up to line the road along my drive to work. They are small now, but by the time Autumn arrives some of them will tower 6 feet high or more, and their button-sized faces will be the size of dinner plates. There are more of them every day, dark eyes lashed in bright yellow, nodding on their sticky tough stems. They always bloom in July, opening up when the Sun is still fierce but lower in the sky, and the monsoon rains have come. The apples on my trees are swelling and the tall grass along the back fence has turned from green to bright gold. The Wheel is turning.
Summer goes on, luxuriously. It's still hot, the days are still long. But there is a subtle shift, as we approach August, and the harvest of first fruits, known as Lughnasa or Lammas. We see it in the plants and trees, heavy with fruit and leaves, in the creeks choked with cattails and reeds. We see it in the gardens of our neighbors, and it's on display in every farmer's market. The Earth is abundant and full, and all of its abundance spills out, in the life going riotously around us, in the light and pleasures of the season.
Preparing for harvest, preparing ourselves for the times of sacrifice and letting go that harvest compels us to live, we can take an inventory of our gardens, and our lives. I am reminded every year that seeds sown are not seeds grown. Not everything I planted came to fruition, neither did any number of plans I made or intentions I set. I go into my garden, it's overgrown and feral. This has been a fallow year, for many reasons. It's been so rainy, that everything is very lush. My apple trees are full of fruit, and I'm grateful. Instead of planting a garden, I’m going through and reclaiming beds, yard by yard, and making them better able to support more plants next year. In much the same way, I will review my Imbolc dedications on Lammas, to see what has come to fruition, what needs to be left to grow a bit longer, and what has borne no fruit.
This means there can be the sadness of letting go, of disappointment. But there's also a refining of clarity and focus, a gathering of energy towards our most desired outcomes and goals. This can also be a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments and begin to give thanks for all the blessings we receive every day.
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