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Gratitude for a bountiful harvest season.
A quick note to start with…
I first published this dispatch on my blog this time last year. I really enjoy diving into ancient solar-related traditions, and I hope to research and write more about them.
In the meantime here’s one way to celebrate the beginning of the harvest season...
Image: An arrangement of seasonal home-grown flowers and a bowl of nectarines.
Happy Lughnasadh (Loo-nas-ah) to you if you're in the southern hemisphere. And happy Imbolc northerners!
Pagan/solar calendar celebrations are a whole new world to me. But diving down rabbit holes, and reading about ancient ways of celebrating the seasons and the sun feels more like remembering than learning.
It feels really right to punctuate the year with celebrations of gratitude for what that particular time of year brings.
It definitely feels more appropriate that some of the dubious public holidays our modern calendar would have us believe are important.
The rather abridged version of my rabbit-holing about Lughnasadh is that it’s named after the god Lugh (god of many things, including craftsmanship) and marks the halfway point between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox.
It’s a time to celebrate and show gratitude for the bountiful harvest season. Literally, things that grow in the earth and less obvious things that you might be reaping reward for in your life.
Lughnasadh is often celebrated by pilgrimaging/hiking (often to a mountain top). By baking bread from the first wheat of the season, or cooking something regionally appropriate. And just generally partying and feasting with the kinfolk and friends.
It’s celebrated on the 1st of February here in the southern hemisphere and on August 1st up north, or the closest Sunday to the 1st. And for now, the way I’m marking this time is by making a wild arrangement of things that are abundant in the garden right now.
Sunflowers, dahlias, echinacea, cosmos, carrot and parsley flowers, nectarine branches, and some cheeky wheat that popped up from some mulch. Other than gathering around this feral party in a jar, I think I might make a cake with some of those nectarines.
Who’s on board? Should we forget about celebrating genocide, the queen’s birthday, shows, and regattas that barely anyone actually goes to, and instead celebrate dates that connect us to the earth, sun, and the food that nourishes us?
Maybe our calendar needs an edit.
Sounds good to me.
Damn good links
Here are a few damn good links for you. Also, you can find an ongoing list of great things to listen to, read, and watch here.
PODCAST / Fair Folk Podcast by Danica Boyce. A podcast rediscovering and sharing the sacred song and folk traditions of Europe.
BOOK / The Enchanted Life - Reclaiming the magic and wisdom of the natural world by Sharon Blackie. The enchanted life is one which is intuitive, which embraces wonder, and fully engages the creative imagination – but it is also deeply embodied, ecological, grounded in place and community.