Thru the Seasons

1
Samhain Greetings My Friends
2
Embrace the Fall Equinox
3
Celebrate the First Harvest
4
Summer Solstice
5
SPRING SELF HELP EXERCISE
6
Rejoice with Nature on May Day
7
Joyous Spring Equinox
8
Celebrate the Return of the Light, My Friends
9
Winter Solstice 2018

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.

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Summer Solstice

Merry Midsummer my Friends,

June 21st 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. It is also one of the eight great spokes on the Celtic wheel of seasons, and celebrated in some way in all cultures. Midsummer’s Eve is one of the three important spirit nights of the year; the other two are Beltane (May Day) and Samhain (Halloween). It is considered a spirit night because the veils are thinnest between the worlds for communication with the spirits.

Shakespeare’s comedy, The Tempest, was tapping into common beliefs in Elizabethan times that Midsummer is the time for contact with the world of Faerie.

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SPRING SELF HELP EXERCISE

CELEBRATE THE GREEN FIRE!

As you take walks in gardens, parks, your neighborhood, wherever there are green growing plants, tune into their energy, especially now with the Green Fire so intense.

Learn about them and how we can be allies with each other, not just recipients of their love. With mutual respect, we can actively work to create communities that are based on cooperation, sustainability, diversity, and serving the light.

May you receive the love of the Green Fire– Offered by Wise Woman Dr. Linda Savage

pear blooms

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Rejoice with Nature on May Day

May Day, or Beltane in Celtic traditions, is a time when nature has truly come alive. The whole period invites us to joyfully embrace the fertility of Mother Earth. There is growth and pollination everywhere, providing us with abundant harvests in the fall. The Maypole, symbolizing the phallic energy of the season, was festooned with ribbons; dancing around it celebrated the sacred power of sexuality and its essential role in the abundance of all life.

Our culture presents a view of sexuality that is almost entirely physical. The pleasures of the body are amazing, yet very little is said about the spiritual dimensions of sex. Sexuality is energy. It is our life force energy and it connects us to spirit. It allows us to have a deep connection to self, to a partner and to Source.

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Joyous Spring Equinox

Joyous Spring Equinox my friends,

This year in the Northern Hemisphere, March 20th is the Spring Equinox when day and night will be equal in length at the equator. Also known as Ostara or Eostre (the origin of the name Easter), light and dark will be perfectly balanced, and this year it is on a full moon. In ancient traditions this Vernal Equinox is known as the time of Green Fire.

The concept of Green Fire has fascinated me for years. It refers to the sap rising in trees and to the electrical energy pulsing through the rapidly growing plants. This is not a metaphor. My electrician husband pointed out that green fire is literally electrical, same as our nervous system.

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Celebrate the Return of the Light, My Friends

Imbolc is the time of hope for new life and the return of the light.
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 as there would be lambs born in the spring. In addition they saw the noticeable signs that the days were lengthening.

According to Christiane Northrup, many Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or the “winter blues,” and 4 out 5 people who suffer from SAD are women. This type of depression is even more common the farther north you live but I see it even in San Diego.

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Winter Solstice 2018

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 time of the longest night (it is the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere). The Winter Solstice is universally honored with lights the world over. People have burned oil lamps, candles and bonfires, and now, electric light bulbs are strung around our homes. My mother used to tell me as a child that these traditions reassured us that days of longer sunlight would be returning.

Yet there is much to appreciate in the dark. Indigenous wisdom holds that darkness is simply the other side of light and there is great creative power in the void. The following lyrics capture this:
On the longest night, we search for the light
And we find it deep within
As we open our eyes, we embrace what it wise
And see the light of our souls shining
Enter the night and you’ll find the light
That will carry you to your dreams
Enter the night; let your spirit take flight
In the field of infinite possibilities

From Lisa Thiel, Circle of the Seasons CD

The current fascination with Shamanism in this time reflects a desire to delve into that mystery.

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