Monday, 27 September 2010

Moments of Radiance

Yesterday we held our Mabon (Autumn Equinox) Ritual. It is starting to feel like a tradition each autumn: during the ritual we write those things we'd like to shed from our lives onto leaves and then burn them in the cauldron; take stock of the year's blessings and take an apple from the altar to symbolise those blessings; and finally pass around a basket of hazelnuts, taking it in turns to give them to each other - a nut for each wish or blessing we want to bestow. This symbolises the sharing of our year's harvest.

The ritual is always emotional, moving and heart-warming as people speak of the negatives they want to shed, then move on to the good things they harvest and finally bless each other in turn with lovely hazelnut-wishes.

Afterwards the group gathered in my kitchen as I finished preparing the mushroom quiche and apple crumble we were about to consume. Pinky and Suzanne were in the corner discussing tarot decks, IB and Dom compared mead recipes at the kitchen table, and all the while Sid serenaded us on his flute, moving from Ave Maria, through some Irish jigs to Ravel's Bolero.

I looked around at the lovely people assembled in my home, as the sun streamed in through the windows, the smells of the feast to come permeated the room, and the lovely ethereal music wove its way through all. And I felt a blaze of happiness. This is what I have always wanted, a group of true friends, a meaningful spiritual path, a comfortable home in which to gather and share with those friends in celebration and love.

Sometimes in life we are happy without even knowing it, only realising how precious a moment is after it has passed, and sometimes we are lucky enough to recognise true happiness in the moment. At this year's harvest I was truly blessed with an opportunity to recognise and count my blessings in a moment of radiance.

May we all be so fortunate. Blessed Be!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Beautiful September

We' ve had some rain, but also some beautiful sunny early autumn days recently. Here are some photos to prove it!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

On Mellow Fruitfulness and New Beginnings...

The early morning sunlight is golden on the treetops, and mist still lingers in the valley folds. The robin's song has a tinge of autumn melancholy, and the sunlit dew highlights a hundred spider webs. September is here, and with her the onset of autumn. Though the swallows and martens of summer haven't yet departed, autumn now begins to take over.

I was musing this morning how strange it is that September and autumn can feel like a beginning. Mostly autumn is portrayed as the end, the culmination of the year, a time of harvest. And yet isn't it - aren't all turning points - also beginnings? Years ago, I wrote a poem, part of which declared:

"Through life and death and rebirth,
The thread continues spinning;
And though all beginnings have to end,
All ends are but beginnings"

In September the children go back to school, the new academic year begins. People return from summer holidays and in many cases begin planning their next holiday straight away! The shops begin their run-up to Christmas (yes I know!). Bulbs are planted in anticipation of the next spring, jumpers and boots re-emerge from their summer hiatus, the swallows begin their long journey back to warmer climes.

September marks the end of summer, but also the beginning of a new season - autumn. There are so many turning points in our lives, but every ending is simultaneously a new beginning, a new opportunity. This morning I'm remembering to be thankful for what has passed, whilst welcoming in the new...