So much for my diligent observance of the Wheel of the Year! We're now five days into February, and I haven't done a damn thing to mark the cross-quarter day that comes at the beginning of the month. I have to admit that I've struggled to connect with this festival, the festival of harvest and sacrifice. The weather here has been erratic - alternately cool and windy, cool and raining, steaming hot and rain, burning hot and sunny. Each day - each hour - is a surprise, seemingly unrelated the last.
The Blasted Oak, from The Wildwood Tarot, represents the sacrifice and cleansing fire of Lammas.
My days are largely spent indoors, staying out of the heat or the wet or doing tasks that can't be done anywhere else, and there's no obvious thread of season to grasp on my walks to and from home. There are no changes that I can discern in the mostly-evergreen trees in my neighbourhood, and my indoor tropical and desert plants seem to operate independently of the external weather. I'm still enjoying the tail end of summer fruits from the supermarket, but apart from that, there's little sense that anything is cycling through.
Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I think what I've been wanting is some kind of sign that the Wheel is turning! Reading Beth's beautiful tales of Imbolc on the Isle of Skye makes me crave meteorological drama, and makes me wish I was more obviously in sync with things, perhaps in a garden, harvesting root vegetables. Instead, when I thought about sitting down to write this blog post, I was stumped. Shouldn't things feel more like they're wrapping up, as we get ready to go into the dark? Instead, life seems busier than ever. 2016 finally seems to be underway, with all kinds of projects gearing up around me. The sleepiness of the Christmas break is well and truly behind us. Everyone around me is throwing themselves into creative work, travel, new jobs. No way do I feel like thinking about storing my grain for winter!
It occurs to me, though, that part of the reason I haven't felt like stopping to engage with this harvest festival is that I've been busy harvesting! Creative ideas are coming to fruition, hard work that I put in over the past couple of months is beginning to pay off, and I'm busy, busy, busy keeping all these plates spinning! As well as being a time of harvest, Lammas is also a time of sacrifice, and I've been happily sacrificing time and energy for my grand plans and projects. I'm a huge fan of Rob Brezsny's weekly horoscopes, and trusty ol' Capricorn keeps being told that sacrifices are in order, negative habits must be released, if targets are to be met. I hear you Rob, I hear you!
Living in a city with often undifferentiated seasons doesn't mean the Wheel's energies aren't visible. I'm learning to see the changes in my internal weather, and in the social weather around me. The connections aren't always obvious, but I'll keep trying, keep observing as the year goes on, and see what I can learn.
Even though I'm a little bit late, I couldn't wrap this up without a Lammas-inspired tarot spread. If you're feeling like doing a little late harvesting, too, feel free to give it a try!
1. FRUITS OF THE FIELDS: What blessing from the recent season is coming to fruition in my life at this time?
2. FUEL FOR THE FIRE: What habit, experience, or mindset needs to be released from my life before I move into dark, quiet period of the year?
3. PICKLES FOR THE WINTER: What lesson do I need to preserve from the recent season for the darker days ahead?
These are my findings, using the Earthbound Oracle -
Funnily enough, these cards do put me in mind of that turn towards the slower season. Turtles and birds nests are my images to take away here! I'll have to spend a little time with these cards and see what other insights they have to share.
What are your thoughts on the harvest festival? How do you make it feel relevant and meaningful? I'd love to know in the comments! Oh, and don't forget, you can subscribe to Two Sides Tarot and get posts directly into your inbox!