A wonderful way to honour this time is to gather your family and friends around a bounty-ess cornucopia-like feast and give thanks for all that life brings to you, for the harvests of your efforts and the gifts of the Earth.
A few good things to contemplate and discuss at that feast: What has your year long growth cycle produced?
What have been the ‘fruits’ of your labour?
What worked to produce a bounty-ess harvest? What didn’t?
Our metaphoric harvest, as well as our literal harvest, needs to sustain us all winter whilst nothing grows and the seeds of the new lay dormant in the Earth, the time of inward reflection and contemplation. The harvest needs to sustain us well into spring when the new shoots will grow. At Lammas, we have the opportunity to assess the fruits of our labour, and see whether our Spring and Summer activities of this year, in the metaphorical garden of ourselves, in fact yielded, and will yield further into autumn, the harvest we wanted and hoped for. Perhaps we need to learn new ‘gardening techniques’, again metaphorically speaking, for a greater, more sustaining harvest next year. The other garden activity for Autumn is pruning and the deciduous trees let go of their leaves. This energy is also present for us as beings of the Earth effected by Her seasons.
The way this all shows up is different for everyone, however there are similarities and they are the feelings that arise in us as the ‘party ends’, the feelings we have as we begin the decent into the darker seasons. Women have his experience first hand every menstrual cycle for weeks 3 and 4. After ovulation, if she has not conceived, a woman’s body prepares to release the unneeded uterine lining and as this happens she feels many feelings. Mostly they are in the category of what she needs to let go of, or what no longer works in her life.
Notice how you feel the energy of this part of the summer season affecting you. Notice what you need to notice, learn what you need to learn, change what you need to change and heal what you need to heal. That’s the opportunity, that’s the gift.
The harvest festivals continue into Autumn. The seeds from these harvests will go back into the Earth, gestate over the Winter, and be what will be reborn in the Spring. This happens literally in the garden and metaphorically in our lives. Perhaps if you’re not happy with the ‘seeds’ your current harvest will create, then you might choose to plant different ‘seeds’ for your new growth cycle next Spring. Make new plans, start new ways so you don’t repeat anything that didn’t work so well from the last cycle.
This same cycle and opportunity occurs each lunar cycle and menstrual cycle.
So much opportunity!
Love, Jane Hardwicke Collings
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