September is Pagan Pride Month!
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My apples turned red this week. One day they went from egg-sized and green to apple-sized and rosy-cheeked. This has coincided with the maples starting to look a little bit “rusty” and dried out. It is still hot, with bright blue skies and intense Sun, but the evenings are cooler, the rain is colder and the crickets rule the night. We moved into August, when Summer distills its last, sweetest moments of growth and beauty. It's still Summer, it even feels like Summer, but the season is winding down, and we are deep in the transition towards Autumn. August is when the slow but steady turning of the Wheel is most evident, both visually and emotionally.
In these last hot weeks of the Summer, there's a definite melancholy in the transition. The light becomes more golden, the plants begin to look droopy and tired. We feel nostalgia as go home after vacation, and are surrounded by back to school advertising. We see our gardens start to slow down and stop producing. We feel the need to get ready for the descent into the dark, at the same time that we cling to the light. I spent a few hours today in the Sun and water, and it felt marvelous, but next weekend the pool closes, my kids are already back in school, and the crush of Autumn's events and demands begins to loom, ending this time of relaxation and leisure and play. So there's always a little bit of sadness in saying goodbye to the Summer, even if we are excited about the coming Fall....
We have this thing we do in the South. It's called Homecoming but what it really is is a chance for reprobates and prodigals to return to the church of their wasted youth and to be welcomed home. There is always a huge spread--fried chicken and homemade cakes and eleventy kinds of deviled eggs and potato salad.
The preacher prays over the food and at the drop of a hat. Gardeners and farmers head out to the churchyard and clean up weeds around the old headstones. There is singing and working and gossiping and visiting and tea so sweet it makes your teeth ache....
I spent a bit of time in my garden yesterday, and one emotion overwhelmed me more than any other: despair, and yearning.
Well, that’s a bit dramatic. But I’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking about the Wheel and how it relates to my practice, and the seasons too, and this season is definitely my least favourite. For me, the seasons are intrinsically connected to my practice, which is indeed earth-centred and intimately connected with the land. Working with, and not against, the land can be a challenge at times. Especially when the seasons turn harsh and the spiritual struggles that accompany, particularly the sense of ‘waiting’ can be the bane of the more impatient amongst us!
In a foreign warzone, some of the trappings of a traditional Asatru holiday are forgone out of necessity.
There is no alcohol available, fires become a security concern as well as a highly regulated event when they are permitted at all, and feasting is limited to carry-out plates from the chow hall if you are fortunate and Meals Ready to Eat if you are not. Hard copies of Eddic Sagas and study materials take up too much space and weight where both are premium commodities, and the infrastructure (and safety) doesn't support portable options like smart-phones to use as the ever-present resource they have become back home....
Celebrate the inward journey
Join Persephone as She descends
Mother Earth turns toward Crone
As we dance the last dance
Half is Day, Half is night
Harvest moon, orange sight
Bless the dance, bless the rite
Half is Day, Half is Night
Spiral out, Spiral In
Harvest, death, rebirth again
Goddess-selves bless us all
Who spiral out and spiral in
With the school term having started again, things are crazy-busy for me here. Still, I wanted to post something for the Fall Equinox, since it begins my absolute favorite time of year. This is a little something I wrote a couple of years ago. Enjoy, folks.
I adore this time of year. There’s a crispness in the air, the herald of colder, darker things to come. The leaves are just beginning to change into what, in my region of the US, will soon become a riotous panoply of color. I live in the belly of the mountains, in the Hudson River Valley and fall is something to be celebrated here for its beauty alone. It’s as if the lines of varied color show, for a few brief weeks, the very and varied musculature of the mountains, rippling, stretching and preparing for the long sleep of winter. It’s an awe-inspiring sight....