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SageWoman Blogs

At SageWoman magazine, we believe that you are the Goddess, and we're devoted to celebrating your journey. We invite you to subscribe today and join our circle...

Here in the SageWoman section of PaganSquare, our bloggers represent the multi-faceted expressions of the Goddess, feminist, and women's spirituality movements.

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What is your Lammas Harvest?

It is traditional to bake a Lammas loaf at this time of year, although many may wait to celebrate next weekend, closer to the cross-quarter day.  But there are harvests and harvests. Lammas or Lunasa as we have it in Ireland, is the time when there is a pause in the silage making and hay cutting. There are plenty of festivals around the country and in yesteryear this would be the time for fairs and all that they include - drinking, fighting, wooing, some horse trading.

From Ballycastle's Auld Lammas Fair up in Country Antrim where you can get your dulse and yellow man (a really hard candle that might extract your fillings) down to County Kerry where they crown the goat at Puck Fair, this was the pause for revelry. Many gatherings happened at holy wells and there are numerous accounts of priests having to ban nude bathing of both sexes (together, imagine!) at these sacred sites rededicated to the Virgin Mary.  There were 'faction fights' - supposedly playful, but often they got ugly. My local holy well was contaminated by blood spilt in it at a Lunasa fairy. (All is well; it has been renovated, re-dedicated and the local priest lifted the curse on it back in August 2014.)

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Here is my Harvest Poem, in answer to our question. Blessed Be, Tasha My Harvest My harvest is not from a field or meadow It is n
Lammas, Lugh and the Miracle of the Harvest

Though the heat of Summer still burns bright and strong, the sunlit hours wane with every passing day. Now is the time of Lammas, the pagan Sabbat of the early harvest. Lugh, the Celtic God of light, waits for you on the summit of a hill, ready to guide you in the mysteries of life and rebirth held within the living land and your living body.

The sun has begun is downward arc toward the horizon, and a panoramic view of golden fields, ripe for the early harvest, spreads out before you.

“Behold the great exchange of life,” Lugh says, “the mysteries of sunlight turned into grain to feed the hungry bellies of this world.  But there is a price for this miracle: something must die to nourish the living, and for something new to be born. Everything has its season. One cycle ends so another can begin.”

With a wave of His hand, the scene shifts, revealing the elemental forces that underlie the golden fields.  All is not well.  The earth is parched and barren. The air is filled with contaminants. The fire heat of the sun is too harsh. The water in the nearby stream is clouded with murky sludge.

“Like the turning of Nature’s cycle of light and life at Lammas, humanity is also coming to the end of a cycle,” Lugh says, “For too long, your kind has forgotten the ways and rhythms of the Mother Earth.  You have taken, and taken, and taken, despoiling the air, water and land that sustain you. This imbalance has come to an end point, and a reckoning is upon you.”

Lugh is grave and silent, leaving you to consider the import of His words. The stark evidence of humanity’s environmental excesses and disregard surrounds you. The Mother Earth is weighted down and weary, with Her fragile, precious systems stressed and failing.

“I don’t share these things to burden you with a vision of despair,” Lugh continues, “Look to Nature as your guide, with its Lammas teaching of the miracle of the harvest. Within everything is the seed of a new season, with its promise of a fresh beginning and future harvest.

“You too have come to the end of a cycle,” Lugh says, “and your personal healing and evolution are intimately intertwined with that of humanity and the Earth.

“The imbalance you see before you is also inside of you, side by side with your personal imbalances and discontent, and those of your human society. And the seeds of the new are there as well, within your living body and life story.  With these seeds, you can mend and renew your life and this world.

“But there is a price to be paid for this miracle. Something must die, must be sacrificed, for something new to be reborn. You must be willing to change in profound ways.”

Lugh turns toward you, His face suffused with compassion and love. He places His warm, golden-skinned hand on your midbody, sending His deep wisdom into your very core.

“You must ask yourself: what is ready to be harvested and cut away in my life in service of my soul work, and a more sustainable, life-serving exchange between myself and the Mother Earth? What lessons must I ingest to aid my transformation? What am I willing to sacrifice for new seeds to take root in my life and the greater world?”

The sun now dips below the horizon, bringing on the chill of impending darkness. Your time with Lugh is ending. As His light dims, He leaves you with one last gift of illuminating wisdom.

“Remember that the seeds of the new are held within the body of the living. Everything you need to heal, grow and transform yourself and your world is present in this now moment, in the golden field that is your life story. Be brave. Be wise. Be guided by the profound endings and new beginnings arising within you.”

As Lugh and His hilltop vision fade away, know that a time of reckoning has indeed arrived; we must make sacrifices and change if we are to preserve the beauty and abundance of our Earth home.  Some things must end, must die, for something new to be reborn. Within each of our lives are the seeds, the miracles, of the new season and harvest to come.

Photo Credit: Emma Van Sant on UnSplash

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Tasha's Astro Planner for August 2017

Tasha's Astro Planner for August 2017

The most important aspect we have this month is the total eclipse of the Sun on August 21, with the New Moon and Sun in Leo, and as it happens also conjunct Mars in Leo. An eclipse is a powerful signal of change. One astrologer friend described it thus: The curtain comes down on one stage setting and when it rises there is a different setting on the stage. We can look for change depending on which house or section of our charts it takes place. Here are some hints.

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Lughnasadh and the State of Grace

Lughnasadh is upon us, and the farmers are anxiously looking to the skies for a few clear hours when they can harvest their crops of wheat in my area. It has been a hot, dry summer, and of course, just when the harvest is due to come in we get changeable weather with rain showers every day; not ideal when you need to gather in a crop like wheat totally dry, or else it will rot. So just like our ancestors, we look up and hope and pray for some dry weather, and for the farmers, that they’ve rented the combine harvesters on the best day for it, and not when it's going to dump it down halfway through their work.  

Things are unpredictable in life. It's just something that we have to accept. With a little grace, we can face the problems and triumphs, the highs and the lows with equanimity. Grace is a word that is little used today, but one which I think is important, and one that I've been trying to live each and every day.

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. . .Lammas is the built-in moment, the true north of your inner compass for following what is right for you. Lammas is about gratitude, a true and deep emotion that can well up inside us when faced with the absolute magic of harvest, of gathering in our true heart work. . .
Excerpt Kim Duckett © Mother Tongue Ink 2016

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Lunasa Dreamtime

It is Lunasa in a week's time. Here in Ireland the hints of autumn have come early. The billberries are already plump. My husband has cut down some rye grass for me to make harvest decorations. The rowan berries are already reddening.  Everything in nature feels a bit rushing the season, early, out of sync somehow. The actual weather has been bucking previous summer trends as well.  We have had long spells without heavy rain, only soft smatterings, more extended bursts of sunshine than unusual, but also warmer and more humid spells, with lots of oppressive low cloud. Which may not be so unusual since our celestial, astrological weather is pretty maverick right now, too. But this summer season has also felt like an extended dreamtime to me.

I know that in some places readers are drowning in record rainfall. My friend in Arizona has endured 50C/120F days with only water condensers to cool them down. The hot, humid NE USA means my friend with MS is very grateful for supermarkets that are open 24/7; she has to avoid the heat of the day to do shopping since that might trigger an episode.

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The Queen of Pentacles: Guide and Mentor

   Each day I do a Tarot reading. The time of day varies--Sunday is really the only day I do a morning reading. Sometimes it's when I get home from work around 4:30 and I am sitting with a mug of tea. Other times it's after dinner at 7:30. Most usually it's just before I go to bed, and by that time it's late enough where I don't do a full reading  and instead do a single-card draw.

     For the last three months or so, the single card I regularly select is the Queen of Pentacles. I use Kris Waldherr's Goddess Tarot, and in that deck the Queen of Pentacles is depicted as a beautiful silk-draped Indian woman, regal and self-assured. (In Waldherr's deck the suit of Pentacles is associated with the goddess Lakshmi.)

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Sweet! Thanks!

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