Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year

Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.

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     The full Harvest Moon rises tonight. As its clear light falls on forest and field, take a moment to meditate on the majesty of the season. Harvest-tide is a time to be thankful. Our ancestors knew this abundant season was their only hope for the winter months. Successful harvests meant survival. Today that dreadful uncertainty is taken from us. Of course we will survive the winter. There are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and breads available at the local grocery store. We have nothing to worry about.

     Or do we? This year-round abundance is available to us at a cost. Pollution from shipping, from poorly managed factory farms, over-planted fields stripped of nutrients, herbicides, pesticides--they are all eating this planet alive. I am as guilty of purchasing off-season produce as anyone else: my four year old adores strawberries and apples, and in my effort to instill healthy eating habits I am not going to refuse him fresh fruit in January.

     I am not pointing fingers. I am only asking that people be aware, and make an effort to facilitate change where possible. My family recycles all our paper, plastic, glass and metal, we compost, we only eat meat twice a week at most; we visit local farm stands and farmers' markets through the summer, and this year we planted a plot in one of our town's community gardens. The delight on my son's face each time he picks a lemon cucumber from vines he planted himself is even more of a reward than the vegetables themselves.

     Because I got a late start this year I didn't plant as much of a variety as I'd hoped to. Once the growing season is over and we pull all the plants out, I will turn the soil over and plant garlic and tulip bulbs to winter over, and at the shaded, far end of my plot, a milkweed plant for the benefit of visiting monarchs. Yes, planting weeds in my vegetable plot seems a bit hare-brained, but as much as I want bees to visit, I want butterflies too. Any and all pollinators are welcome, and I want to encourage as many as possible.

     We need to be conscious that amid the abundance around us we are living on borrowed time. Unless we are willing to change our lifestyles, we are going to run out of time.

     Harvest-tide is a time to be thankful. As you stand beneath the Harvest Moon tonight, give thanks. Give thanks for your family, for your friends, for your life. Give thanks for the food on your table, for the job that you have, for your home. Give thanks for your ability to make some sort of change to benefit our world.

     Many blessings to you and yours.

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I am a writer and poet living in western Massachusetts. I have a degree in English Lit, with a focus on the nineteenth century, and am working toward a degree in Women's Studies as well. My work has previously appeared in The Pagan Activist, The Pagan Review, GrannyMoon's Morning Feast, and The Montague Reporter. I am currently working on a series of children's books, a novel trilogy, and a poetry manuscript (I simply can't do one thing at a time!). I also have several random fantasy-based short story projects that I attack once in a while.   I am a Dianic Pagan and practice Kitchen Wicca, and am also a Reiki Master. For a glimpse into my own little corner of reality, you can stop in and visit me at Ellie.


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