This week of sacred first harvest, let me return to the most simple and vital wisdom I could ever give out on this site. The invitation to set aside the chatter of your head, put down any and all e-devices including tv, and get back to your home.
The constant whir of busyness, of personal and political tumult, of stress and sickness and crisis, is not consistent with the nature of true reality.
It is an indicator of the collective soul sickness of humanity.
Your part in the collective impacts not just you, but the collective. You are made and remade by it, much as you make and remake it.
Your true natural state is one of safety, love, vulnerability, joy, healing, grace and connectivity.
Get back outside where the unfettered rhythm of life is untouched by satellite or cell tower interference.
Let the grandness, the power of the earth and the sun and the moon in the consistency of their infinite dance do what it does. What its bigness is meant to do.
This is the root of real magic.
This is the rising of the ocean’s tide, highest at the gravitational peak of full or new moon. This is the rising of sap in the tree, result of the tension of the elements of the seasons. This is busting seed into both deep down root and breaking ground bud. This is the power of fruit and flower into full bloom.
This too is the source: the reliable recycling of life energy eating itself to birth newness again, again, and again.
Be still, and know this. Patience. Change comes.
This practice is available at any time for any living being to access. There are no secrets, only breaking down or putting down the defenses built up against the patterned chaos of Wild.
It requires you only to re-connect to it. Never underestimate the body’s ability to, in my friend Sepideh’s words, recalibrate, once we’ve gotten our body back onto the earth and away from all the distracting artifice.
My own mental and soul health cannot be separated. Recently, after the loss of my long time wise woman elder, I found myself experiencing professional and personal burn out. I knew that now more than ever it was necessary I heed my own “wisdom”–a word that I use always to mean that which translates from one’s own, personal experiences. 10 years ago I made the commitment to my self that I would travel the road, wherever it took me, to be able ultimately to work for myself, according to my own wisdom, soul, passions, and medicine. That I would blaze my own trail, whatever that took.
I arrived here, back to me, my own hand-built life and dream, over this past year. Who could know that the spiritual mentor, my wise woman Gretchen, whose guidance so surely and regularly led me back to my own while on that path, would depart the earth at the same time as my own arrival into this level of self-autonomy. I had to reach down deeply and trust my own life.
I examined the calendar and chose a week to take off completely. To turn off e-devices and get away from all distractions entirely, to disconnect from the go go go pace of the do do do material world. I chose the time of the month of nature’s elemental reset, the dark moon’s balsamic wane, before the moon remerges as new each month, that I’d make my return. I chose the time of the year when the growing season of summer leans into its own great pause, a great expanse of release and rest, from which the quickening of energy will then surge of itself into first Harvest.
My dark to new moon tide staycation, the dark tide that would birth us into this moon cycle right now, Thursday’s full moon: First Harvest for those in the Northern hemisphere.
My dark moon staycation took what I knew it would, days to simply allow for the stress of my MindBody, my somatic muscle memory juiced and running on amped up nervous system, to dissipate. Then time and more time: it took more days, of moment to moment existing, fire building, cooking fish in the coals, swimming for hours, tent pitching, surfing for hours, laying on the earth in hot drenched sand or beneath trees drowsy with a book over my chest. No agenda, no drive. Just right now with mama nature’s healing rest.
It’s a lot of years I’ve walked this path, and returning to me by returning to her has never led me wrong or let me down. It is always a reset to the imprint of my rhythm, and it is always stunning to me the unexpected doses of harmony and serendipity that occur whenever I do.
It is always a practical miracle how much more I am resourced from within when allow for that reconnection.
Whether or not you nerd out on tracking your own life by the tides of the moon and the seasons of the year as I do, on the real, actual alchemy of it–this medicine can return any of us back to the great majesty of truth in Life:
We are all connected in this sacred web. We create, much as we are created.
The magic of the female body is the rhythmic reliability of this very understanding. The fertility of the full moon is reflected in the peak hormonal time for menstruating women during ovulation each month. At ovulation the psyche is inspired and sparkly. The decline and reflection of the waning moon is aligned with the interior, hormonal alchemy of reflection and release. If we learn to take the time to treat our bodies with reverence, rest and quietude during this time, conscious transformation happens on the psychological, spiritual and physical levels when the period comes.
Learn how to deprogram from the artifice of the material world’s rhythm. The world devalues the feminine orientation of process and change, intuition and emotion. So you must choose to value it in order to find your own rhythm, and to further explore how and in what special, unique ways your own rhythm aligns with nature. This is a gift that will certainly come as result.
To me, it is the gift. The great grace of living. Magic.
Lunar Lammas, celebrated traditionally Aug 2 as Lammas, is reflected the world around in agricultural and indigenous societies that follow the cycles of growth and decline in nature. It is celebrated as a women’s or lunar mystery when the moon grows full while in the sun sign Leo, which this year is this Thursday night, peaking on Friday afternoon.
It comes to us as an imprint of when the late daylight and ample moonlight allowed for the stocking up on the harvest of this season’s fruit, vegetables, and animals.
It is, as all sabbat(h)s or holy days on the earth path, when we too can consciously deepen into a meaningful flow of our own day to day living by being reflective about what we have made of or with our own life.
The energy of a full moon lasts about three days. It holds us still. My sister Chantal, who leads our moon circles, reminded us this week that this week’s full moon is accompanied by a lunar eclipse.
Mama moon, some say, dictates our inner life and systems, what’s under the surface. Eclipse is when her light is blocked by the earth, which some might say dictates growth in the material, concrete world. So count on something deep in the interior life transformed by your own willingness to release or make changes in specific details of your outer life.
Llewellyn’s moon sign datebook, that tells when to plant, fish, and harvest by the moon tides–given by my soul sis Beth–suggests that we lay low this weekend as this eclipse may generate anger: “fury and wrath.”
In my experience, disembodied rage is an entry point to calling the self or soul back to the self, back to the body. The world devalues the individual’s right to his or her own body’s experience. It devalues the emotional truth of this, too. So when overpowering anger happens, this is often the start of a healing experience that can allow for deep-seated core beliefs (what I frequently call shame stories) to bubble to the surface. Be mindful, for both the deep masculine and the deep feminine lay beneath disembodied rage. Fury lingers as a defense to the wound of the body being not allowed to trust itself. Rage is an indicator and fuel for true inner transformation.
What a powerful tide this could be, if the eclipse helps us alchemize the hurts and faulty beliefs underneath our anger!?
The tide of energy is on the side of creation this week! It is on the side, by the weekend, of active release.
Remember, when we release something it is often helpful to be mindful of what we wish to grow in its place. You get to choose that, if you’re willing to keep returning back to the process of helping it grow!
So most important, what is your flow? How are you feeling? What do you really need?
Ask. Listen. You are more powerful than the world would ever, ever have you believe.
Be mindful of the anger at the gate to your truth.
Experience you, learn from your own medicine, your own life experience: your unique Wisdom.
Who we are is what and how we do. Embrace your harvest, friends.
Get outside and celebrate, because you’re here, and you can.
Lammas blessings!!! Begin, again~
image, Antonio Rubino, 1907
What a year, no? Our first moon cycle in 2017 inaugurated a man as the leader of our metaphoric house who bragged about the exploitation and objectification of the female body. Our values supported this.
The normalization of exploitation in this house is unacceptable.
The female body. The female body. The female body.
How is your house? How are you tending your one true sacred space?
At home–here on earth, our first and most taken for granted body–what’s it been like for you? What level of your own shame stories, meaning your internal narratives about your worth, about being or not being good enough, about your rights, have you become more aware of this year?
How mindful of the stress you are carrying, its physicality, are you? The stories that your body is carrying about you and your experience?
How well have you been at declaring your own right to your own path of unique heart, spirit, soul?
From an earth-based perspective, the growing season of the year relies as much on what has decomposed being turned under, transforming to nutrients, as it does on the potentiality of wild starry fruits blossoming from a single seed. It is an endless continuum of stages and cycles, from dying and dark to birthing, blooming, fruiting, and harvesting, too.
When the moon is dark she is between the earth and the sun, and her other half sends the light of the sun back at itself. We here on earth fall still in her darkness, a holding, receptive gravity.
The moon holds all, receptive and active.
When she is active or full she is at the height of light, actually reflecting the light of the sun back on us here on earth.
Between these two polarities are the fluidity of transitions of dark and light. Metaphoric, yes. And also cyclic and specific. Both applications, and all their subtleties, are necessary. Again, the feminine holds all.
From a menstrual perspective, we track our personal moons. Chances are our personal moon doesn’t follow the actual moon. So we use the moon’s phases as a metaphor to understand both the biology and psychology of the feminine psyche.
The new moon as metaphor is day one, or when we first bleed. When we first bleed, we are dying and birthing at once, as now we re-engage the solar or ovulatory, fertile aspect of our selves. As the days of our cycle accumulate, we track where we are. We learn to re-embody the fluidity of the inter-lobal functioning of the female body, for again, the feminine holds all. For example, at stage four, the Gibbous moon, which can be anywhere from about day 7 through day 17 depending on your unique, beautiful and powerful body, we undergo an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). There is a rise in estrogen level and left hemisphere brain activity and simultaneous testosterone and right hemisphere activity and increase in libido. Read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom to learn more!
Our discharge is known at this time as E-type mucus, which is when small tubules are present in our discharge that hold sperm! This is us in our fertile, almost full cycle. At stage 5, our metaphoric full moon, G-type mucus immediately follows the release of our ovum, and this sort of mucus actually keeps us from getting pregnant. Like the moon at her peak active phase when she’s full, our bodies too lean from our full momentum back into ourselves. And so at peak fertility we start again towards the reflective, recycling, dark and dying phases.
The growing season on earth follows these 8 stages, too!
Lammas, again using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, can be understood as stage 6, the Disseminating Moon. Like for the year! Disseminating moon, according to Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon is the “first stirring of dark,” when the seed has become what it was meant and the “life impulse must fulfill, distribute energy and disseminate and share the value of the meaning.” From a menstrual perspective, it is “the luteal phase” when “we turn more inward, preparing to develop or give birth from something deep within ourselves.” (Northrup, 2010)
Disseminating moon is the fruiting phase, or harvest. Whether an ovum has been fertilized, or it was the fertility of a new idea that peaked, maybe a transformed inner narrative, or however it was that you lived out this growing cycle psychologically, biologically, spiritually and creatively, the disseminating moon phase from a menstrual perspective is the fruiting time, our first harvest. After peak fertility phase.
And so it is we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest of the earth’s natural growing year. People who tend these concepts, embodying them and staying close to nature, outside with feet grounded upon her and skin and blood and biology and body in one rhythmic inhalation exhalation of all that is, recognize this as connected to a variety of different anthropological rites. Traditions the world over acknowledge with celebration the bounty of fruit on the vine at summer’s height.
From a lunar perspective, which for me is the feminine-embodied perspective, we celebrate Lunar Lammas when the moon is in the sun sign of Leo and full.
So, ya with me? We learn to track the phases of the moon, and then to metaphorically apply these phases. They can inform the dark and light aspects of our biology, and of the seasons of the year. We too learn to hold all, to think quantum or multi-dimensionally, to hold our still point within, and All At Once at once!
Lunar Lammas is the full moon on Monday, August 7, this year. Already the sun-made shadows of heaping breathy green tree walls here are muddled, that certain angle of soupy dark I so love.
Mind what this moon cycle brings. It is your harvest. What will you reap? Mind what stories live, what experiences happen. Mind your light and your dark. Mind your experiences this month from a reflective viewpoint that holds the continuum of the year, all those spirals of moon around the far side of the earth and back to between the earth and sun, again and again.
What is illuminated under the active light of her reflecting back the height of the summer sun? For that is what happens on Lunar Lammas.
Unplug from your computer or other e-devices. Leave your phone in the car and get outside. Restore your natural circadian rhythm from all that electronic interference.
Give yourself back to yourself. Back to your body. Back to the earth. The natural perfect spheres of rhythm. Happy first harvest season friends~!!
To understand more, make some time and visit my Facebook page. We will spend this month learning more about the moon’s 8 phases.
This weekend’s full moon peaks around 11 tomorrow morning.
This is the First Harvest, or Lunar Lammas. Soul wisdom arises from within: your bounty is in front of you, your own fruit is what is alive within your own two hands, in your one precious life! Surrender to the life in front of you, give thanks, embrace what and who is YOU, all of you–not just the parts that we like to label good. Embrace all of your self, without judgment! You are your harvest, embrace, surrender, accept you for the wise medicine and messages that you have grown, tended, that live and are ripe now, within…
At the peak of the summer it makes sense, I have no underwear and haven’t since I got back from school. Meaning I haven’t gotten to the Laundromat. I give thanks to the goddess of bikinis who oversees summer’s peak. I have so many, the tops and bottoms never match, yesterday at Sleepy’s I scrounged and found the fringy Billabong black bottoms from that warehouse sale last year when Walsh was in the town. Far in the back of the trunk. The top was Hollywood red, OP, bought at Walmart one June afternoon in 2009 when I’d left Chesapeake College and drove straight one and a half hours to the beach because I needed to swim. Michael Jackson died that day, I remember right when I got down to the sea two ladies who were strangers read the news off their (then) fancy internet phones and one started to cry. I ran over to them, we stood in a circle and hugged while I changed into my new $12 swimsuit beneath a towel standing on the sand.
The man I most recently have been seeing is vegan. I think about this in the closet scrounging together another set of mismatched bottoms and tops to change for my day. At some point I will do laundry but why when bikinis are The Way. I will get a burrito on my way up PCH and can’t wait. What would he say?
Three work days from now I will be done at my job. This is a prayer to discipline, bikini gods of love and sun, a prayer to the poetry nymphs whose job is to oversee how to be into being, how to yearn into words on the page. This is an act of offering, of moment in-bliss, to show that I am willing to show up again, and get it all down.
The full moon in Leo is traditionally known as Lunar Lammas, or first harvest.
This is when the earth tide peaks at her highest wax of fertility. Fruit is heavy on the vine, heat is high, the sun bold and white, fields of corn vibrating in rows, waxy forests breath out a stunning wall of ripe green.
There is no part of this life in which we are not inter-connected. The ecology that offers its harvest all around us is the same that quickens the energy of the people speeding up the freeway, or the ones feeling like they may burst unless they get to the ocean and dive in, or maybe have a good stiff drink! Likewise, what we do with these energies–with each choice–has an effect, seen and unseen, on every aspect of life which connects out from us.
Find your inner stillpoint today. Take time to acknowledge what you have grown this year. What needs tending, what hangs heavy on your own vine. What needs appreciating or thanks given?
What needs cutting back, or given more time?
Happy Lunar Lammas friends, our first Harvest in the wane towards Fall….