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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Mabon

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Summer's End

It's the end of Summer and there are few things on my mind. Yes the rush of back to school preparations usually takes my family by storm, but I am pretty dull lately due to my unwavering focus and inability to talk about anything else. I am obsessed with harvest season.

Ask how I'm doing, I'll tell you my zucchini is doing great, but my pumpkins are coming in very slow and I'm afraid they won't beat the frost.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The equinoxes have been marked across the British Isles since the earliest times as agricultural markers, revealing the times of seed sowing and crop reaping as well as honouring the patterns of growth and decrease in our lives. In Ireland the Neolithic burial complex at Loughcrew known as Sliabh na Callighe of  'the hills of the veiled one' contains many astronomical alignments, and the interior of one of its structures, known as Cairn T is illuminated by the equinox sunrise, revealing spectacular designs carved into the rock over five thousand of years ago.  Archaeology reveals that Loughcrew has been a place of ritual and ceremony at the equinoxes for much of that time, a tradition that has been revived enthusiastically in the modern era, the footsteps of the pilgrims today walking the same paths as the ancestors thousands of years ago.

Another lesser known ancient place aligned to the equinoxes is West Kennet Longbarrow, part of the Avebury sacred complex, now a UNESCO world heritage site. I've spent many a night here, in communion with the ancestors, and to me this is a place where the barrow forms a recumbent goddess, receiving the spirits of the dead to return their spirits to life in the spring. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I Have Been So Long Away

Summertime...and yet the living is not but so easy.

My rich and full life has kept me away from here for a good part of the summer. I'm not just a village witch, you know. I'm a gardener and canner, and this summer we expanded one of the community gardens and brought another one "online" in my neighborhood.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Finding Communion in Mixed Company

Sometimes, where we least expect it, we can find spiritual communion.  This isn't my usual monthly post with tips and advice, but perhaps this anecdote has something to offer you, as it did me.

It was my birthday about two weeks ago, and though I wasn't planning a birthday party, the gathering planned for testing my new fire pit and grill ended up being scheduled the weekend after.  It seemed a good time: just after my thirty-sixth, just before Mabon.  I was surprised when I did a head count from R.S.V.P.s that we were expecting up to twenty-seven people, something our house isn't used to accommodating, but I was determined to make it work.

Then, the morning of the gathering, my one year old had sniffles, and not knowing whether it was an on-coming cold or just an allergy, I posted a quick update to my guests.  In under three hours, I had fifteen cancellations (understandable) and a fridge crammed full of food I'd bought and prepped specifically to feed the large guest list (unexpected).

By the start time, I wasn't sure anyone was coming, though I went to build a fire anyway.  Then someone showed up: a friend from university I hadn't seen since I'd graduated.  We sat alone together and carried on small talk, while I felt first embarrassed at not having anyone else there and then embarrassed because I didn't know what I was doing.  I'd never grilled before, nor had I done so by starting a wood fire outdoors.  (Can you tell I work mostly with water and earth?) As I'd expected other witches there, some far more experienced with fire who could give me a boost, and maybe join in a touch of spirit-calling to welcome the fire, I felt wholly out of my -- pardon the pun -- element.

My friend started giving advice from his own experiences camping, and we tried to implement them together.  Shortly after, one of my dearest friends arrived, bringing along his mother, whom I knew from online conversations, and his brother whom I knew not at all.

Feeling a little relieved, we proceeded to acquaint ourselves to one another while discussing the best way to start a fire.  As it turned out, two of the guests including my friend's brother, were experts.  Together, they worked to both encourage the smoldering wood and to teach me how to work with fire in a practical way I'd not learned before.

Though there were a few bumps in the process -- and one very stubborn sweet potato that refused to cook -- after two hours of talk and finesse with fire, we had all managed to enjoy a host of delectable, locally-grown vegetables and meats grilled by our own hands.

What's more, we created camaraderie through the evening's adventure that led to a natural moment of reverent silence between us.  Though each of us were from different backgrounds and honoring different traditions, the silence became a communion in which, serene and smiling, we found spiritual connection.


For several breaths, without intent to guide it there, our small group became one -- with each other, the food, the fire, and the night.  The embarrassment and disappointment I'd felt earlier in the day had burned away, and leaving a spiritual community created just for the purpose of one evening and to teach me an important lesson.

Though my usual band of friends who share in similar spiritual pursuits were unable to join with me that evening, I learned that no matter who I'm with, it's possible to create a supportive, spiritual community whenever needed.  Our paths need not be the same, only the willingness to sit with one another, share in the simple joys, and open our hearts to the possibility of communion.

Thus were my needs met that night, and I realized, have been at every point in my life when I needed connection of this sort.  This event helped me recognize and appreciate the abundance and connection we bring to one another, and all it took was sharing a fire.

Of course, it's been a week now, and despite a lot of creativity, our fridge is still burgeoning with food.  What a blessed challenge to have!

May your Mabon and harvest be as abundant!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Yesterday we celebrated Mabon over at the Broomstix Blog with a fantastic coloring page to print out by artist Robin Ator:

b2ap3_thumbnail_Corn-Dollie-Image.jpg

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Changes

     In order to change we must facilitate change. Change doesn't just come, no matter how much we desire it. Change is often painful, jarring us out of a comfortable, though dissatisfying existence, forcing us into molds that don't fit who we are, but will eventually turn us into who we wish to be. Change in our lives is not the gracefully seamless flow of color and scent we see in nature as the Wheel turns around us. Do trees suffer as they burst from summer's green to autumn's golden splendor? How does the goldenrod and the Michaelmas daisy feel as their colors brighten beneath the cooling autumn sun? Of course we can't know; nature's children keep their secrets to themselves.

     It often seems that as much as we welcome change we are at the same time resisting it, fighting and forcing it back until opportunity has passed us by, only to leave us wondering what went wrong and wishing our circumstances (or we) could change. Why is this so, I wonder? I am as guilty of it as anyone, and like most others I recognize it, yet I still have to consciously remind myself that what I am doing (or am meant to be doing) really is to my own benefit, regardless of how much I detest it. Case in point: that excruciating half an hour on my elliptical machine every day, that half an hour I skipped this morning and will no doubt try my best to avoid doing tomorrow even though I know exercise is healthy for me, and if I want to do a 5K color run next summer I need to begin training now.

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Talisman of the Dark Equinox: A Celebration of Autumn-tide

Talisman of the Dark Equinox:
A Celebration of Autumn-tide
By Devin Hunter and Storm Faerywolf

 

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