Lammas is the mid-summer celebration of the harvest. It fell this year on Wednesday, August 2nd (Yes, I'm a wee bit behind). We are halfway between summer and fall, which means that in this piece of the cycle, the cycle is changing. The days will begin to noticeably shorten, the intensity of summer will begin its descent. We now see the first round of harvesting, though the big harvest celebration will come at the fall equinox. It is always wise to honor the first fruits of our labor and, most importantly, the natural forces that supported this creation. When we assume our own mastery without honoring all of the energies that collectively created it we end up in an ego-centric world.
I have found that one of the most liberating and humbling awakenings I have had is when I began to understand my own insignificance. We alone are nothing, every single thing we do is done together, even if it is ever so subtle. We are the result of everything and everyone that came before us or worked with us. Nothing we have ever done has been done alone or has been the result of our work individually. My work in my garden is a result of my work, plus the many forces of nature, plus the seeds and those who brought the seeds to me. Though I consider the fruit to by mine, it is not and I must be willing to honor all that supported the fruit's growth. Ideas recycle and each piece of the puzzle of the masterpiece that I am creating has likely been made by another. If the pieces of the puzzle weren't originally made by another human, they were made by nature. This isn't to steal the show away from the artist who put the signature on the painting; but it is a reminder of how wonderful it is that we are all connected even if it is ever so subtly. Tiny threads weave together to make the masterpiece of this world.
Just as humbling of a reminder that no man is an island, so to it is liberating. Several years ago it became very apparent to me that if I wasn't around anymore, the world would go on. I have always lived with a very strong work ethic, feeling as though I need to show up 100%, 100% of the time. Although this is a great work ethic, it is also very ego-centric. Selfless-selfishness, the belief that the show can't go on without us. Although it is great to be there for others, it is important to remember that our space will be filled if we aren't there. This realization helped me to build better habits of taking care of myself- instead of sacrificing my well-being to make sure that everything was running perfectly I began to realize that I am replaceable and my part can always be filled. Why? Because this world is a result of the collective and the parts are interchangeable. The understanding that we are all one, we are interchangeable, this is a collective experience bonds us in a very communal way. We no longer need to compete if we are ultimately seeking to create the same thing. The world will carry on, with or without us. This isn't the green light to be less present, but to remember that our presence is just as valuable as any other's presence. Our presence becomes more powerful because of the interactions and interweaving with the world we live in. If I don't do it, someone or something else will. We must learn to celebrate in the world as much as we celebrate in ourselves.
An activity that I am quite fond of is called Extended Gratitude... it takes gratitude exercises to a whole new level. When practicing gratitude, don't just stop at the person or the object that you are holding gratitude for, but express gratitude for all that brought it forth too. For example, don't just have gratitude for the food on your table, but the farmers who grew it, the forces of nature that grew it, those who picked it, those who transported it, etc., etc. Practice this just a few times and it will begin to change perspective of the interconnectedness of us all.
Below is an excerpt from We'Moon 2017, written by Kim Duckett:
"At Lammas, we appreciate the fruits of our labors. We stop and honor all that we have created, nurtured and protected. This Holy Day is time to be aware of the power of food in our lives. Feed one another in ritual, give each other drink in small chalices. Say the words "May you never hunger, may you never thirst" and look deep into each other's eyes. Look deep enough to know that there is more we hunger for than food.
Lammas is also about the potential loss of all we have worked for. After the planting, tending and petting, our plants and plans (and we) are large and full and near harvest and... everything could be lost, in an instant. The "locusts" could come as flood or drought of illness or accident.
We turn to old gestures of protection inherited from our foremothers. We may make a corn dolly and hide seeds in the folds of her dress, to be held by the Goddess through the coming dark time. These may be literal seeds of herbs, vegetables, flowers- or the seeds of ideas, dreams, hopes, desire for healing. We get to feel our original earth-based natures as we unearth old rituals for protection from the hard times. These times are now upon us. May we be strong and resilient for what is to come.
Lammas is the built-in moment, the true north of your inner compass for following what is right for you. Lammas is about gratitude, a true and deep emotion that can well up inside us when faced with the absolute magic of harvest, of gather in our true heart work."
Chelsea M Latham
When I was a kid my mom would occasionally refer to me as a Reverend, because I had the need to speak so passionately about just about everything. Little did she know that some day I would build a business upon sharing the wisdom that I am so passionate about. So here you go, here are some bits and bobs of thoughts strung together for your enjoyment.