Sunday, September 9, 2018

Lughnasah Rememberances as Seasons Change

It is a cool and grey day nearing Equinox, the eve of the new moon before.
Then, it was still high summer, garden full of colors of flowers and butterflies.
I don't think we have seen the last of the hummingbirds, but soon.
Soon, too, will our fruit ripen and then leaves will change.
But at Lughnasah, all this seemed far away.

It is totally dark now at 5:30 in the morning and the days rapidly grow shorter.
This crispness brings apples and memories and a desire to gather in.
It had just started then.

For me, Lughnasah was the first coming back after going through so much
and I set up a weekend of celebration.

Which was kind of overload but important and seasonally appropriate.
And also so fun.

It is great to be alive and full and to be hot and languid in the summer,
just as we welcome sweaters and stews as we inch towards autumn.

But back then, there was much plenty and plenty to do.                       
There was lots of food and color and flowers
and also lots of love.

Artists and Musicians and Astronomers
and Recent and Long-Time Friends,
creatively gathering in the damp mist and near the fire or inside in the cool room.
 and then we rested and then it was Lughnasah ritual day and we started again.
We were us 3, her and her and the two of them,
them and 3 or 4 friends of theirs, and her friends who came just as we began. 
More people is cool but also more and sometimes hard to keep whole,
but the fire always keeps us focused.
I can't really remember our Lughnasah ritual all that much, I have been trying to just be more present and taking less pictures and letting the afterglow of the day wash over me
without feeling like I need to take notes for this blog.
Even though the notes, like the photos, are always helpful to remember.
Historical poetry of trans-dimensional time.

We have started the ritual of lighting the fire before ritual,
Our Whole Grovemates together.
But sometimes that doesn't happen and that is ok too. 
I know we had a fire the day before and into the cool night and then we continued it again, 
first a small fire and then the pyrotechnical shape-shifting sacrifice that Bryan crafts.
I know I honored the directions and I am sure I brought out the outsiders offering,
and I believe I was offering sacrifice to our Kindred as Bryan called upon them
and then of course there is always his final sacrifice. 
 There are often bird calls.
The smoke was powerful and spoke volumes.
All kinds of sacrifice and prayers from all around the circle.
Digging deep into my pockets with gratitude
for endings and new beginnings. 

This season has been a transitional time of great change.
I remember that it had been high-summer hot and had cooled down to perfect
and then back up to heat advisory days and now we welcome fuzzy socks.
I remember that after much dry weather we had a week or more of rain,
a mostly gentle ongoing rain keeping our newly planted trees watered.
The thunderstorms of Lughnasah came and now we await hurricanes.
I remember time rolling fast like a wheel downhill
with us trying to keep up.
I remember rising to many challenges,
whether too hot or too tired to too sad or too hard,
grateful each day and for each other.
Crying a lot like the storms.
Laughing a lot like the sun.
Our Omens
from our Honored Dead: Wunjo or Joy, the good company of people, the heart uplifting feeling and the sharing of the joy of being together. Everybody has a tough time of being a human but apparently we all get to have some happiness too. And it is nice to be reminded of this by our Ancestors.
And joy is always a good place to start from.

from the Spirits of Nature & Place: Fehu or Fee, mobile wealth or fluid capital, the whole cash movement and circulation thing, it also has associations with cost, the notion of cost and care. The exchange that we have with the Nature Spirits, the ties between us. Expectations and investment and interrelationships.
I think the garden is reminding us of the cost of it's harvest and beauty.

from the Gods & Goddesses: Isa or Ice, so here is Bryan's Isa rant- as much as he avoids the polarities of things, with the portals of the fire, well and tree we are playing with the vertical aspect and the well and the fire as being opposites. If the well is taken to the extreme it becomes ice in the sense that it becomes cold. It is the opposite of the bright, it is the cold, wet, dark that has been made solid. But it is also pretty and has been made transparent with its solidness. So there is a clarity there. And in that way it is the opposite of the radiant, the bright and warm thing. It is about a contraction. Again it does not suggest a flexibility or a fluidity, nor is it about the stormy disposition of atmospheric water. Ice is locked up and is static, it is hard.
And in the heat,ice refreshes, maybe the Gods are trying to cool us down.

for the Season: Sowehlu or the Sun, that dynamic outward expansive energy and it is also about the regularity of each sunrise, it is the symbol of the new day and the day is when you get all of your work done. It represents the non-terrestrial energetic distant ability to touch and change.
The sun brightens all around it and reminds me of Lugh.

Drinking the cool waters and taking in the blessing is easy.
Offering our thanks is easy.
Grounding is sometimes easy.
Loving is always easy.
So much life has happened this season.
Maybe that is always how it is.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Glorius MidSummer Solstice

I have no notes and we have been through a lot this month so its hard to remember much
but I know that the time was full (as befitting MidSummer) and we were on a path to healing,
to moving forward and towards becoming more of ourselves.

I remember groupings of people, friends bringing friends, younger ones and older ones and families.
I remember that the fire was as hot as it was tall
and that it reminded me to pay attention with reverence.

I remember many women and 3 men-two of whom live here, several people who had never been here
and yet everyone fit easily around the circle
or on the deck
or in the kitchen.

I remember how amazing ritual was.
I remember how magical ritual was.
I remember how I could have stayed up by the fire talking
all night.

The sun has seemed stronger these days, four weeks later,
but I notice the gentle lessening of the light in the dawn and at the end of the day.

We move towards the season of great thunderstorms.
May they be appropriate and quenching without destruction.

Back then, when the daytime was longest, the garden had just begun its total blossoming,
now there is a riot of flowers many taller than the tallest of us.

For us, we went from graduation and family
to illnesses and doctors and healing
to a new door and festivals
to our anniversary and more healing
to Solstice.

There was a stick breaking in the morning.

Renewal of repetitions of ritual.
Marking cycles.  
five-circle firepit set with last summer's stalks
And we were thinking there might have been even more,
maybe there were 13 of us altogether.
Bryan was pretty sure we would see flaming mice
run out of the pyre, which we didn't. 
Chairs around the fire were good, comfortable and easy,
not unlike this season.

The fire was strong and large and powerful.


And it was super full and bright.

 There was a lot there.

And then there was the final sacrifice,
flame suddenly reappearing after quickly burning down
floating fire over fire.

  Seeking Omens

Our Omens
from the Ancestors, our Honored Dead- Isa/Ice, thinking of ICE taking children away from families, thinking the smooth hard glassy surface, thinking the opposite of this holiday in the dark of winter, thinking staying cool with a frosty one.
from the Spirits of Nature & Place- Berkanu/Birch, beginning, birth, new beginnings
from the Gods & Goddesses- Sowelu/the Sun, the path of the Sun, it has to do with the cycle and with the dependable nature of the movement, orientation, the Major Director of obvious stature.
For the Season- Fehu/Fee, what is the value, the mobile wealth and property, absolute value, could also be the level of cost and what something costs.

We drank our waters and gave our thanks
and settled down again returning to ourselves.

We filled our plates with the great bounty of food.

Started before everyone arrived it glowed long into the night.