Happy Lughnassadh

Happy Lughnassadh, in the seasonal world, the first harvest in the Northern hemisphere, recalled between July 31st at sunset and 2nd August . It is mirrored in the southern world by Imbolc, the first stirrings of new life as the land awakes after winter.

A year ago, I naively looked forward to this time in 2021 when I believed we would reflect on the previous year as no more than a bad memory. Now at the wheel of the year’s annual return, it is still a hard Lughnassadh harvest. The early Imbolc growth pushes against the frozen ground of fear, will the virus remain in ever- more deadly variants? Travel is still restricted; masks hide smiles or uncertainties at strangers while others party heedlessly.

But babies are still born, couples declare words of love or goodbye we write books, paint pictures, fix roofs, move home, protest about injustices, struggle to balance the budget and complain about the kids, the neighbours and the price of eggs.

The first harvest is now waiting to be reaped, the new seeds fighting for place in the newly softening soil.

Tomorrow has no guarantees, no definite will or must be, for it is yet unfinished by the Sisters of Fate constantly forming and re-forming their golden weaving of destiny in this Sci Fi movie that has become real life.

The wheel of life turns regardless of our input or resistance. Lughnassadh and Imbolc dawn glorious as the sunrise wherever we live in the world. Time then to give thanks for the reminders of the first growth of the year however tentative and as night falls, to celebrate a mini- harvest of what we have achieved sometimes despite seemingly impossible odds.

For wherever we live in the world, , we can take the tapestry of fate from the Old Crones’ hands and live authentically, with beauty and dignity. We cannot waste a single moment on regrets of what we cannot do right now, but within constraints and constrictions, work diligently towards the planting of a new world. In that way we will make our personal 2022 harvest golden-and that bounty will join with other golden harvest beams of individual strivings and life will radiate once more.

A Wheel of the World ritual

You will need:

A small circle made from flower petals, some faded, some fresh, mixed together or a mix of dried and fresh chopped herbs.

Three white candles in a row, the outer ones small and the middle one larger.

The Ritual:

Light the two outer candles saying, The Wheel of the World is one wheel, planting and harvest; as we move together as never before, two sides of the world shall meet and greet in hope the turning of the year.

Light the central candle by holding the two candles simultaneously in the wick saying, The Wheel turns and the World turns, And so from disaster we can at last work towards harmony. And together, old enemies unite as one humanity.

Walk round your petal or herb circle, nine times clockwise then nine times anti–clockwise repeating The Wheel turns and the World turns, I reach out in trust to those across the sea, one people sharing and caring, learning from tragedy, there really is enough space for you and for me.

Blow out the outer candles leaving the central one to burn, afterwards scattering the petals/herbs outdoors.

May your harvest and planting be joyous.

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