From a recent Facebook post by my dear friend and Wiccan priest, Jonathan White:
At the antipodes of the year from Imbolc, at which we celebrate the claiming of power, the moment of daring to speak, to make, or to heal, is the evening of Lammas. Now we celebrate the relinquishing of power, the moment of sacrifice, surrender, and return. Both moments are magical; both claiming and relinquishing are integral to the experience of empowerment–that is to say, living in the world of power, and aware above all of the sacred and mysterious power of the natural Universe. For all who at this time bow in awe at the blessings of sacrifice, blessed Lammas.
Jonathan’s post reminds me of my recent questions about “surrender,” what it means, what it triggers in us, and how we can examine those triggers to encounter a valuable spiritual practice. I am a very seasonal person, and it makes sense that these questions come up for me around the Pagan holiday of Lammas.
Another practice of surrender that comes often to me is that of srvasana, or Corpse Pose, in the physical-mental-spiritual practice of yoga. Many teachers offer srvasana at the end of their classes. It is simply surrendering our resistance, letting it go for those minutes we lie in as complete a relaxed state as we can. We acknowledge that resistance keeps us alive, helps us struggle against injustice, maintain our boundaries, and live in the world. And yet, for a time, we simply let Earth hold us.
As the time of srvasana passes, generally at the end of class, integration happens. Our bodies and minds absorb the work we have done in class, our minds rest and new ways of being sink in, we reconnect with a gentle breath, and we allow ourselves to be changed by the work that has come before.
We allow ourselves to be changed.
We are no longer doing the overt work of change. We are allowing ourselves to be changed.
And maybe that is part of the lesson of Lammas, of yielding, of giving over, of surrendering for a while. Maybe part of the lesson of sacrifice–of handing one’s self over to another–is that it is only by letting go that we may receive and appreciate the gifts we’ve worked so hard for while hanging on. Work is good. The grasping of the implements of the forge at Imbolc (February 2) is as important as the nodding of the grain before the scythe at Lammas. Neither is better than the other.
We ignore either at our own risk. So this Lammastide, may we practice the art of graceful relinquishment. And failing that, just relinquishment.
Blessings on you and on your house –