Tonight the moon will shine at her fullest, a time of magic and mystery! This year the harvest moon falls in October (early october, as being the full moon closest to the autumn equinox) which is quite late. Tonight’s moon is in Pisces. The Milton Keynes, Circle of Hearts Medicine Wheel will be holding their regular moon moot.
Hi everybody its that time again the full moon was at 8.02 so this is a waning moon a time for letting go its also the vine moon and the vine of England is the bramble. so tonight bring wine and we will celebrate with the old gods and goddesses of this land. the ceremony will be at the stone circle at 9.00 o pm Willan north lake Milton Keynes and the celebration at the house please bring food and drink to share blessed be Nick
I unfortunately won’t be able to make this evening, but hoping to see everyone next time.
Bedford’s newest Moot at the Half Moon pub was a huge success, there will be another post on that as soon as I can write it! It was lovely to meet everyone, renew a few aquaintances and get to know our local pagans. There was a brilliant turnout for the firest moot!
In the meantime I thought a post about the turning seasons would be nice, it will also let me use the pictures I’ve been taking specifically for the blog.
Already Lughnasadh is becoming a memory, the long sumer days are drawing in, and the most of the wheat harvest is safely stored or sent off for millingl. One or two fields remain on larger farms, but on the whole the season has turned, and preparations for winter are well underway, this photo, featuring the ears of the Fiery Red Horse, was taken mid august. Many fields have been ploughed already. In times not so long ago the shortening days of early autumn (a tide that begins in august) meant that the full moon’s light was welcome enabling the plough teams to stay out longer. Nowadays of course we hear the tractors working almost through the night with huge spotlights and powerful beams lighting their way. Our rides around the fields have gone from the green of ripening crops, to the gorgeous golden yellow at Lughnasadh, to the dust of harvest and now back to the brown of ploughed earth. There’s a certain dusty smell you get at harvest time, which always reminds me of long evening rides under a hot sun, travelling along dusty bridleways, with hard packed sun baked earth sounding out the clop of shod hooves, and cantering between fields of tall standing crops, quite often with the sight of the tractors working away. Well apart from one farm which has what they call a Field Power Unit, which I call ‘Flipping Huge Horse Scarer’ this thing is the size of about four tractors, the driver sits about twice the height above a regular tractor, and it has arms that reach the length of a football field, and apparently can be made longer. It was trialled by a local farm, but intended for the huge sweeps of land in the U.S and other countries. Must admit, around the village bridleways it can come as a bit of a shock to the system for any unsuspecting horse! Unfortunately I’ve never yet managed to get a picture of it, as most of the time I’ve been keeping both hands firmly on the reins! This thing is the ultimate in ‘economy harvesting’ meaning that one guy can do one huge field in a fraction of the time even a normal combine can. I suppose with the huge explosion in population, combined with global economy, we will see more of this, I can see the sense, but I feel something is lost and distanced in the steps away from the natural rythyms of the land. Life used to be slower, and we lose touch in the mad dash for more speed in everything, Now is a time for us to slow down and take stock.
The ripening corn meant also meant the obvious signs of autumn, poppies have always grown around the corn fields in our area, some places they come out earlier but for us, the lovely Field Poppy is associated with the ripening crops, The brilliant red reminding us of the red of the blood of sacrifice, the Corn King soon to be cut down in his prime to go into the seed and hold the magic of rebirth through the dark winter months.
Of course the while most people think of as ‘corn’ in the UK is wheat, or oats or barley but whatever it is, it’s the main grain harvest celebrated at Lughnasadh,,
The harvest doesn’t stop there tho, the soft fruit and apple harvests are both well underway. We had our first blackberry and apple crumble before august was even out this year. Now onto about the fourth making, along with the long early autumn rides, collecting blackberries reminds me of a time when we would have been reliant on the harvests for getting through winter. Reliant on the abundance and generosity of mother Earth for our very existence. This year we would have struggled making elderberry syrup which can, usually, see off most colds, the harvest was terrible for elderberries this year. There were some, but the last years bountiful harvest was certainly not repeated this year, Thankfully we have some frozen for the syrup making. Another convenience not available in older times! Apples tend to do well on the bedfordshire clay, and go very nicely with the blackberries!
The fruit harvest is associated with Autum Equinox (often called Mabon, but our group don’t use that term as it is only down to one author that it has become popular) and this year that is on the 22nd, I suspect by then the same will have happend as has with the wheat harvest, most of it will be done and dusted by the time the actual date rolls around. Think I’d better freeze some of that vat of blackberry and apple if I want a pie for the Equinox feast!
For pagans everywhere, no matter what ‘flavour’ the harvest can mean many things, it can be an evaluation of the year, as we have entered the waning energies of this year, and our new year begins after Samhain. Harvest can be internal or external, how have we developed over the growth months? How have We grown, how have we changed? what needs to be let go so that the period of rest over Winter renews us, and the new growth in the spring brings fresh hope. Equinox is a time of both balance and preparation, the nights will draw in faster and our thoughts will turn firmly towards Samhain. For now the long hot days continue, even if the nights are growing colder – certainly the thicker coats on the horses indicate this. Long dusty autumn days are still with us, giving us opportunity for our own harvests, and possibly the start of plans to keep us going through winter and into the coming spring.