Author - Linda E. Savage, Ph.D. DD

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With the Fall Equinox: Lets Celebrate Change
2
Celebrate the First Harvest
3
Greetings for the Summer Solstice
4
Connect with Nature on May Day
5
Joyous Spring Equinox My Friends
6
Imbolc is the Time of Hope for New Life
7
Yuletide Blessings
8
Samhain Greetings My Friends
9
Embrace the Fall Equinox
10
Celebrate the First Harvest

With the Fall Equinox: Lets Celebrate Change

The Fall Equinox is the second of the three major harvest festivals. The Celtic name is Mabon: the season of storing food and preserving nature’s bounty for the coming winter months. This year it will be on September 22nd at 9:37 am Pacific Time as the sun enters Libra, the sign of the balancing scales. Equinox refers to balance, with day and night roughly equal. The theme of transition is also associated with this time.

The other theme of the Equinox is CHANGE. The Autumnal Equinox is a major transition from summer to fall. It is time to prepare for winter. In current times we are going through a major transition, which will likely result in a whole new paradigm for us all.

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Celebrate the First Harvest

Celebrate the First Harvest my friends,

August 2nd is Lammas; the first of three festivals celebrating Mother Earth’s bounty. Baking loaves from the first grains and offering them at a communal meal has always been central to these gatherings, going back to thousands of years before the common era. Traditionally, the first sheaves of grain would be ceremonially cut at dawn, winnowed, ground and baked into the Harvest Bread that was then shared by the community in gratitude. Most hand- fastings were celebrated at the Lammas Fairs where country people gathered. The custom was single folks would choose a companion for the next year and when Lammas Fair came again they wed or separated.

The Celts called this time Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-na-sa), Native Americans called it the Green Corn Festival and in Slavic Regions it is called the feast of the Big Glad Woman.

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Greetings for the Summer Solstice

Greetings for the Summer Solstice my friends,

June 20th is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Latitudes. Also known as Midsummer, this Solstice (meaning ‘Sun stands still’) is when the Sun is at its peak; the longest day of the year. Midsummer’s Eve is one of the three important spirit nights of the year. It is considered a spirit night because the veils are thinnest, facilitating communication with spirit.

Given the serious issues we now face, connecting with the ancestors, spirit guides, source, or whatever you name it, will benefit us all. Communicating with those unseen forces for help and guidance to find health, stability, and most importantly connection is essential. Offering love to our communities, friends and family reduces isolation.

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Connect with Nature on May Day

May Day is the time when nature has truly come alive. Our ancestors joyfully embraced the fertility of Mother Earth because growth and pollination was everywhere, providing abundant harvests in the fall. The Celtic name for this period is Beltane, which means bright or sacred fire. During the festival, great bonfires were lit and animals and fields were blessed in hopes for an abundant year. Traditionally May Day began on the eve of May 1st and lasted throughout the next day. It was often celebrated with feasting, dancing, and merriment all the way through May 15th.

Beltane was a time when lovers ran off to the fields and woods together to honor the Goddess with ecstatic lovemaking. The Maypole, symbolizing the phallic energy of the season, was festooned with ribbons; dancing around it celebrated the sacred power of sexuality.

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Joyous Spring Equinox My Friends

Joyous Spring Equinox my friends,

This year in the Northern Hemisphere, the Vernal Equinox is March 19th, at almost midnight, as the Sun enters Aries. It means that day and night will be balanced at the equator. Also known as Ostara or Eostre (the origin of the name Easter), the hours of light and dark will be equal.

In ancient traditions this is known as the time of Green Fire.

Green Fire refers to the sap rising in trees and to the electrical energy pulsing through the rapidly growing plants. This is not a metaphor; green fire is literally electrical, same as our nervous system: humans and plants have the same oscillation frequency. This mutual receptivity is a survival strategy, certainly plants have offered healing for humans long before modern medicines and humans have exhaled carbon dioxide for the plants.

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Imbolc is the Time of Hope for New Life

Celebrate the Return of the Light, My Friends

In the US, most people think of February 2nd as Groundhog Day, the portent of how many more weeks of winter are in store. However, for thousands of years, Imbolc, meaning “in the belly” was a sign of hope for other very specific reasons. There would be lambs born in the spring because the ewes had milk coming in. There are also noticeable signs that little by little the days are lengthening. Imbolc is the time of hope for new life and the return of the light.

Just before Imbolc this time is the Chinese New Year on January 25th. Let us welcome in the year of the White Metal Rat.

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Yuletide Blessings

Yuletide Blessings my friends,

This letter brings my heartfelt wishes for a truly joyous holiday season and an abundant New Year. In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is the longest night. The Winter Solstice is universally honored with ceremonies using some form of light in traditions all over the world. People have burned bonfires, torches, candles, oil lamps, and today electric light bulbs are strung around our homes. My mother used to tell me as a child that these traditions reassured us that the days of more light would be returning.

What creates the feelings of joy around Yule/Christmas/Hanukah and any other celebrations for the Solstice? Maybe it began with wanting to spread cheer for the people who needed to feel comforted.

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Samhain Greetings My Friends

The time period, between Oct. 31st and Nov. 2nd is one of the most widely celebrated ancient traditions honoring our ongoing connection to loved ones who have passed. Samhain heralds the thinning of the veil between the seen and unseen worlds; the Day of the Dead is a major festival in Mexico. Indigenous cultures have a completely different relationship with the dark and accept it as simply the other side of the light and the same is true for their views about death: it is simply the other side of life.

This year the energy will be very powerful as Mercury enters Scorpio on October 23rd and goes retrograde on Halloween, which enhances our ability to summon the ancestors.

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Embrace the Fall Equinox

Embrace the Fall Equinox my friends,

The Fall Equinox is the second of the three major harvest festivals. The Celtic name is Mabon: the season of storing food and preserving nature’s bounty for the coming winter months. This year it will be on September 23rd just after midnight Pacific Time, when the Sun enters Libra. It comes one week before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Equinox refers to balance, with day and night roughly equal (it is complete at the Equator). My good friend Amalya chose a theme for her Mabon Goddess Celebration: “I am Light, I am Shadow, I am whole,” and I’d like to elaborate.

Ancient cultures have many stories that tell of humans descending into darkness and returning to the light and just hearing the stories helped them cope with grief and other trauma in their own lives.

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Celebrate the First Harvest

Celebrate the First Harvest my friends,

August 2nd is Lammas; the first of three festivals celebrating Mother Earth’s bounty along with September 21st and November 1st. Baking loaves from the first grains and offering them at a communal meal has always been central to these gatherings. Traditionally, the first sheaf would be ceremonially cut at dawn, winnowed, ground and baked into the Harvest Bread that was then shared by the community in gratitude. Most handfastings were celebrated at the Lammas Fairs where country people gathered. The custom was single folks would choose a companion for the next year and when Lammas Fair came again they wed or separated.

The Celts called this time Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-na-sa), Native Americans called it the Green Corn Festival and in Slavic Regions it is called the feast of the Big Glad Woman.

Read More

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