Autumnal Greetings! I hope you are enjoying the blog posts giving you a thought of nature to take into the week. We reach second harvest — for this is Mabon – the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. This is a season of balance, equality and preparation for the coming dark months. Everything in nature is constantly giving and receiving energy from everything else. We remember the wisdom of cultures past and present — Corn Mother, Epona, or Persephone. Taking in this harvest of apples and squash, of collecting seeds, and preparing the soil for next year, we are thankful for the abundance of our Great Mother Earth. Bright Blessings, Kestrel
The Buddha says “the wave and the water are one”. The fishes that are immersed in the water are forever in their element. They trust the water completely. It is home, safety and continuity. They are born and die there. And, separated from the water, the fish panics and will die without it.
Besides the obvious analogy of air, what in my life is so critical that without it I panic and perhaps fade to death? What am I taking for granted as a security that I don’t even realize surrounds me? Mindfulness reminds me to acknowledge these pieces in my life — not to take them as a given — rather as a gift. The love of my spouse or the safety of my country, for instance. How impermanent these are, and yet I have the chance here and now to immerse myself within them. Like a fish in the water!
Breathing deeply of the air around me, I acknowledge and appreciate those things in my life that just are — for in this beautiful moment, I know peace.
Night! Does the word fill you dread? Wonder? Anxiety? Peace? Our lives are balanced between light times and dark times — the days, the seasons and our lifetimes. Day is the time of doing, taking action, meeting and greeting – the stuff of living. Yet, night is the time of being, dreaming, resting and recovering — it is also the stuff of living.
But sometimes we feel anxiety in the still darkness of night. It is not unknown to us — we experience it every turn of the sun. It hasn’t hurt us — we awake in the morning from our dreams. Why then do we fear the dark anymore than fearing the light of day? Rather if we embrace the evening and welcome the night, we can relish the shift — the downturn of activity into the upswelling of rest.
Taking time to honour night’s calm can help us appreciate the day’s busy-ness. It can put us better in balance with ourselves — both sides for we need both action and rest for health and happiness. So … at this time of year when we can experience both in balance, take some time to embrace the night!
The parched ground, the drooping leaves, the panting animals, the heavy foot — it’s been dry for weeks — no Rain. Where did She go? Why did She leave? When will She return? Another day of radiant Sun — beautiful himself, but not sparkling like when Rain is his mate. The Lady is tired — She needed a rest to rejuvenate and recreate her youthful self — to create energy to pour onto the land — to accept so that She can give. Like all women, She needs some time to herself. She needs to gather her energy to that She can be what She needs to be. So She can serve the Earth, the plants, the animals and us. When She has had her alone-time, She will reawaken.
She is once again the youthful energetic woman. She can once again play with the Sun and create dewdrop crystals and rainbows of light and colour. She comes full of life and vigor. And Sun, at first afraid, hides away from the splash and the flash. Until the initial torrent is done and then, together, they create sparkles and rainbows and prisms. Ahhhh! The ground sighs, the animals laugh, the plants drink, and we rejoice.
I, too, am like the Rain herself. After giving so much, I need a rest. When I have taken in what I know I need, I can give more freely, more vibrantly, more openly to those I love. The dry times are hard — how do I help them survive? Or perhaps I can trust that the Sun will not burn them so badly until I can give again — until we can sparkle together. I am Rain; You are Sun; We are crystal droplets and rainbows!
“Eeek, a spider!” shrieks a little child. Why? What has that spider done to harm the child? Likely nothing — but their ways of movement and capturing prey seems almost alien. So unlike the cat that we keep as a pet — the same one that hunts the spider. We respect the hunter in the pussycat, but fear a house spider. I won’t kill a spider. I move them — shift their webs if they are inconvenient or put them outside if found indoors. Besides the hunting is better out there!
I think the spider brings out my sense of freedom, of living independently, and making your way in life as a solitary being. It’s not often that you see two spiders sharing a web. Each of us has our own web to weave in much the same way. My web is not your web as my fate is not your fate. Of course, in the path of life our ideal morning webs must be damaged in the process of survival. But then we feast … and heal … and tomorrow there is a fresh web. All ready for each day’s surprises.
So shift your spiders — say thank you for keeping the garden bugs in check and reminding us that each day is an opportunity for a new freshly woven web. Namaste
I hold a piece of bloodstone … deep and beautiful greens with speckles of blood red — like stars in a dark sky. What have I to say to a stone so ancient? You are so marvelous. I honour your journey into my hands today. When I hold you, do I touch that magical journey? Am I a part of your story? “Of course, you are!” the stone says. “All things are inter-be.” Generations after generations across the earth and sky, molecules, atoms shifting, sharing, moving. A dynamic dance in the cosmos. The rocks hold their own for a relatively long time in this dance. Stable, mature, confident — yet, like us, still they are impermanent. All things transform .. and so must I. Oh the stories if rocks could talk. Telling their tales of smooth patches, rough patches, spots and holes — like our skins as we age — telling the stories of our lives. This wrinkle is from smiling — this one from surprises. This spot reminds me of joy in the summer sun. Love your face with all its give-away tales. What a shame when medical science erases our journeys with laser beams. I’d rather be like the stones.
I love the fell of cool, wet mud as it squeezes between my toes. Walking on and walking in the Earth brings peace and pleasure to my self. This is true knowledge — stepping into Earth and knowing that I am part of this greatness. I am a piece of Her and this is ever my home. We bring a little bit of Her into our homes when we enjoy pottery. Useful, practical pots can hold water or seeds. My mud pot would not be even and smooth … as life is not always even and smooth. My mud pot has the shape of flowing waves … here the smoothness is wrapped upon itself. Calm and gentle then wild and dangerous. This pot has the sense of abandon — going with what is but keeping shape to hold things being helpful. My life is a wavy pot!
Greetings! It’s been a while since my last post — the busy-ness of spring and summer was just not conducive to reflective writing. But … today is Lammas — First of the Harvest Holy-days. As we begin to gather from our gardens, we appreciate the abundance of our Earth … the gifts given freely from the Mother to us every year. With this post, I will begin a series of blogs focusing on our Earth Mother — all the creatures, the elements, weather and more. I invite you to join me by reading the post and contemplating what each theme means for you. I’d love to have you share on the themes here so please feel open to sending your thoughts. Bright Blessings to you this Lammas, Kestrel.
Dates October 25th to October 31th
Natural Element The Universe
Affirmation I love and accept the abundance of the universe.
Add an Altar Piece Your Image of All
Creative Cooking Food Blessing
The Universe is boundless and you are a part of that. You have completed your harvest preparation for the dark season and are open and ready to accept all the abundance that comes your way. Enjoy your harvest altar for a few weeks and then dismantle it to make way for your Yule time décor.
As a final totem to add to your altar, seek an image of your sense of the universe and everything. This can be an image of divinity, unity, oneness, freedom … whatever speaks to you as an image of it all.
This week incorporate a blessing over the food you prepare. As brief as a thank you or as long as you wish, setting the intention for goodness with your meal is a wonderful way to add mindful attention to your cooking.
Thank you for joining me on this Harvest Journey. I hope there were some weeks that supported your path. There is now a time of rest to re-group and re-imagine. Bright blessings for Samhain. Namaste to you.
Dates October 18th to October 24th
Natural Element Your Breath
Affirmation Each breath I take gives me a moment to be mindful and aware.
Add an Altar Piece Incense and Holder
Creative Cooking Smoke
We can take our breath for granted … in and out each moment of the day. Take a moment to focus on your breath and truly fill you body with life-giving air and exhale the spent air with its released toxins. In that brief moment, you can become mindful and aware of all that you are and all that is around you. Blessings!
Add some incense and a safe holder for it to your harvest altar. We are nearing the end of the journey so your sacred home space will be quite full of all the wonderful items you have discovered or rediscovered over the past few months. I hope it is a place where you can sit and enjoy what you have created.
Cooking with the essence of wood smoke can add interesting flavour to your dish. You can purchase liquid smoke at the grocery store to add to a soup or stew. Try adding some smoked cheeses to a regular dish and see what happens.