Beloved, beloved, beloved, thrice beloved!
If this is your first time getting or reading Reflections, either in your inbox or on The Way of the River site, be welcome. I also invite you (if you do Facebook) to investigate our Facebook Group for The Way of the River. Be welcome there, and if you are so inclined, introduce yourself and maybe even share in our weekly, Monday Beloved Selfies thread!
In other news, next Sunday, July 29th at 3:00 Pacific time and 6:00 Eastern, The Way of the River community will be celebrating the feast of Lammas, a word that comes from “Loaf-mass,” and celebrates the harvest of grain. It is the first of the three harvest festivals celebrated by contemporary Pagans and paired with Samhain in the ancient Celtic calendar.
Lammas is directly opposite Imbolc in the calendar, Imbolc being just around Groundhog Day. As Imbolc is light without heat, Lammas is the dog days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and is hot, even in the waning light. Though the summer solstice was six weeks past, it is late July and August that tend to be the hottest times of the year up here. Despite the heat, the season of relinquishment, of true letting go, is soon to be upon us.
At the summer solstice, the height of Sol’s light, the power of our yellow star, at the very moment of strength, Sol’s bright hands opened and began to let go of the light. Just as we reach the triumphs of our prime, we are already moving toward a season of relinquishment, of wisdom (one hopes), and repose.
So Lammas is complicated because it is HOT outside in a lot of places. And really, REALLY hot in some places. And yet it is the time when the grain is gathered into the storehouse. It is not yet the grape harvest, not the time of cider and wine. It is the time of the scythe, the sickle, the swelled heads of grain, that wind that catches the chaff and carries it away. It is the season of letting some grain fall that those who might otherwise go hungry might have some of the bounty of Earth’s grace.
And it is, after all, “loaf-mass.” It’s not just the grain, but the creation of bread. Which always makes me think of the words in the Roman Catholic rubric for Holy Communion, “Gifts of the earth and work of human hands.”
Lammas is the celebration of the beauty that can happen when human beings and Earth are in harmony. When we work together. When we take care of one another. When we offer one another Jubilees—our Sabbaths, our times of rest.
All that said, I invite you to our little ceremony Sunday, the 29th. It will be an observance of the holiday, and an accompaniment for those of you who have other, larger events to attend. That’s 3:00 Pacific and 6:00 Eastern on Sunday, via Zoom. You will receive another couple of reminders, don’t worry. ?
Have a glorious week, my loves, and may we see one another on Sunday—
And while we’re at it–Wow! Who knew?
So the course Making Hard Choices: The Art of Discernment filled right up, even before we had fully launched our letting the world know what was happening. Ten people will be sharing four weeks in August together to work on honing skills of discernment, and perhaps making some choices and changes in their lives.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped me get the word out ahead of time. Your efforts were not in vain!
It’s clear that we all know how important good decision-making is. It’s clear we all know that we need discernment. It’s clear that, especially in times of transition, stress, overwhelm, and rising political madness, we need clarity and serenity about our own choices more than ever.
In my own discernment, I have decided to go ahead and offer Making Hard Choices again in six months, this coming February. If you would like to get more information about the course, and sign up to get information about the February version, please go to this page and we’ll get connected.