This is the time of year when the abundance of future harvest (or lack thereof) could be predicted based on the fruits growing on the vine. If the harvest promised to be plentiful, there will be much celebrating. If the harvest looks slim, this is the time to gather with your clan to to make a plan for supplementing winter stores.
© Sandra Ure Griffin 2011
This is the season of grain harvesting. Grains are the staff of life. A full grain bin is a beauty to behold, and signifies survival through the dark winter months ahead. One popular tradition that can be practiced as a family or group is the breaking of the bread ceremony. The practice goes something like this:
Bathrobe Boogie © Jakki Moore 2013
Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes. We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle. Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.
The is the first harvest—a time of abundance, our opportunity to assume conscious collective responsibility for creating the future. In this time of grains ripening, as we can also feel the Great Loneliness that wraps our human world, keep asking: What is it we value?
Amaterasu © Hrana Janto 1991
How can we control our population, transition from fossil fuels, eliminate toxic waste, practice wisdom without the sacrifices of technology? How can we stop feeding the world to our machines?
Over five thousand years of patriarchal values have bent us in the direction of domination by the few and pillage of Earth, but that's just a blink in evolutionary time.
How can we channel the trust of this season, re-shape our lifestyles and re-join the spiral dance of creation and equanimity? A dormant mode of consciousness is willing itself awake within us. Grasp the authority to be cultural shamans and bend our society back to serving life. Rebirth. Re-shape. Re-join.
Oak Chezar © Mother Tongue Ink 2019
Ah, but what if the coming Fall harvest does not promise prosperity and abundance? Here's is where the ritual of second planting comes in! After the celebratory baking of first-harvest bread takes place and all have recovered from much revelry, it's back to garden.
To ensure a Winter of comfort and plenty, Fall crops can be planted at this time. With every seed nestled into the soil, offer your intentions of plenty, plenty, plenty. Plenty for yourself, for your family, and for your community. We reap what we sow.
Let go of everything in you. Let go of the body. Let go of space. Let go of time. Just hang out in No place No time. Aaah . . . what a treat!
If we like, we could indeed begin to harvest all we physically/psychically/energetically planted months ago in the ground of our lives. But reality turns on a lot less than a dime these days—no telling if what we chose back then is what our world needs now.
Out here there are Great Goddesses joyriding on waves of infinite potential, just waiting for us to join them in ecstatic co-creation. Set your intention and fly with it out of the Void to the shore of Realization.
Nothing is set in stone. Everything is up for our most outrageous imaginations.
Miriam Dyak © Mother Tongue Ink 2015
Oak Chezar (Jamestown, CO) a radical dyke, performance artist, Women's Studies professor, psychotherapist, writer, & semi-retired barbarian. She lives in a straw bale, womyn-built house. She just published Trespassing, a memoir about Greenham Common Womyn's Peace Camp. Whilst working & playing towards the decimation of patriarchy & industrial civilization, she carries water. firstname.lastname@example.org
The longest night gifts us with time to enter the darkness, fully. We hold our breaths with nature, where life is suspended, waiting in extremis. The stillness behind action gathers as we empty and trust in our renewal. What will you give/lose to the night?
The triumph of light peaks, slides slowly to dissolve. This is the tipping point for everything: democracy, misogyny, racism, climate, freedom. All are on a cliff edge. We've reached the neon-bright entrance to The Great Turning. Change is the only thing that doesn't change. Are we ready?
Perfect balance returns, light and dark in harmony again for the final harvest. As we wheel in the last-lit days of seasonal symmetry, face the coming darkness together with gratitude for what we've learned about light. Autumn's grain is spring's seed; paradox surrounds us with ripening wisdom. If we lose hope, remember that Hope has two daughters to support our balancing acts: Anger and Courage.