(Tune: If I Had a Hammer)
We got us a Goddess
she got us in the morning
she got us in the evening
all over this land
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What will you give up to the Goddess's sickle?
This has been the question running through my head as we approach Lammas, the First Harvest. Though most of my Pagan friends celebrate Lammas on August 1, I have always celebrated it on August 5, for reasons I can't really articulate. So this week, as my Lammas celebrations -- both private and with my circle -- approach, I've thought a great deal about what First Fruits I'll be gathering, and what I am willing to give up to the Goddess's sickle....
I promised in a previous post that I would write about how I lost weight avoiding GMO wheat and corn. Here is how I did it. I’m calling this the Goddess Diet because it was the goddess Sif who wanted me to buy no GMO wheat or corn.
The god who was with me when I was first making the small decisions that eventually became the Goddess Diet was Loki. Loki skinrode me into a grocery store. When he realized what was in there and that I intended to eat it he turned very dark and angry—not at me, fortunately. He saw that I eat poison because I’m poor by the standards of the society I live in. He was with me as I read labels and asked for products no one carried....
It's part of the ABCs of modern witchcraft: Athame-Boline-Cup.
Boline (also bolline, bolleen): a nice, mysterious, witchy word. Where I come from, it rhymes with "so mean," but maybe in your valley they say it differently.
White-hilted, to the athame's black. For practical, instead of ritual work. That's how I learned it. Different valleys, different ways.
In a sense, it's a case of mistaken identity.
I love the current memes that combine a photo of a gorgeous white-haired woman with text celebrating older women. These memes convey an important message.
But there's a serious problem: with rare exceptions, every photo is obviously someone who was blonde and fair skinned when she was younger. This gives the hurtful and disempowering message that only blondes can be wise, empowered, gorgeous elders.
We're all beautiful, inside and out. We're each a goddess with wisdom and power.
There are two things we can be pretty sure the Minoans did: libations and divination. We have lots of pictures of libations (poured offerings of liquids) in the frescoes, seals, and other art from ancient Crete. As for divination, besides the fact that pretty much every civilization has done its best to foresee the future, there are some interesting “floating organs” (hearts, livers, bones) on some of the seals that suggest the Minoans took part in the same kind of animal-part auguries that many ancient cultures used.
I’m not here to tell you how to check your horoscope in animal guts. Instead, I’d like to talk about wine....
The grain harvest is being collected in the fields around my home. The usually still and silent evening air is filled with the sound of combine harvesters, accentuated every now and then with the hoot of a tawny owl. Lammas is upon us.
Standing on a footpath that divides two large fields, one side filled with barley just reaped, the other with wheat standing pale golden in the sun, I raise my hands to the blue sky and give my thanks for all that nourishes us. I walk a ways into the cut field, the harsh stubs of barley amid the dry, sandy earth and place my hands upon the soil. Thank you for your blessing, may the land be nourished even as it nourishes us. Hail and thanks be to the goddess. I then move to stand on the edge of the wheat field, allowing its song of potential to flow through me. I brush the bent heads filled with seed and say another prayer of thanks.
This is a wonderful time of year, when the songs of the ancestors flow through the rural heartlands of Britain. Though the way we harvest is different, still there is that cycle of growth, of planting and harvesting. After the long hot days of midsummer, the lengthening evenings are welcome, bringing cooler air. Though the dog days may still lie ahead of us, there is something different in the air at this time of year. The scents have changed, the leaves are dark green and heavy, the foliage beginning to choke out and fall back.