Category Archives: wicca

Harvests that fail

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Harvests are just around the corner. But not all grains, fruits, and vegetables will be ready to harvest at the same time. and not all harvest will bear fruit…or whatever it was you planted.

Our goals are much the same; bearing nothing but disappointment for our efforts despite the best efforts put out to the Universe. Sometimes these things happen.

The first step is to take stock of one’s actions. Did you do enough, make mistakes, or even pay enough attention to your goals. An example would be to lose weight- did you exercise, keep track of your diet, and do what needed to be done to see results? If not, was there something you could do to adjust your efforts, try harder, for instance, that can help?

The second step is to take stock of the environmental factors. A goal of employment might not bear fruit if the job market is suffering. Perhaps a goal of an herb garden didn’t have the best soil to grow, or not enough sun, or too much sun? You can learn from this, try next year.

The third step is to recognize that some goals need their time to come to harvest. Some goals require more time, more focus, and even more help from others  to bear the fruit of success.

Remember- a failed harvest, or goal, does not make you a failure. You learn from it, and try again, providing the goal is important enough to you.

My own goals this year vary with success. Some goals I recognized I really didn’t want to do the work involved. Other goals required certain elements to succeed that I didn’t have. Other goals show results, but not the abundance I hoped for. I must adjust and move on.

I find myself taking pride in whatever goals I do accomplish, however small. Even goals I didn’t plan on, but spontaneously took up the last minute, earn me self-respect.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write down the goals you’ve set for yourself this year, and what you should differently to accomplish them. Take note of effort versus yield. Give yourself kudos for successes you didn’t plan for.

Thoughts to the harvests

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We’ve passed the Zenith of the year (Midsummer) and must look to the Harvest holidays that soon approach.

Pagans celebrate three harvests in our solar year;

Lammas (or Lughnasadh)- August 1- also known as ‘loaf mass’ celebrates the harvest of the grains. This also celebrates Lugh, the mythic  Sun king, with fairs and games.

Mabon (autumn equinox)- September 23 2014, celebrates the fruits, such as apples and grapes, and the abundance in our lives. This holiday is named after Mabon son of Modron, which is mentioned in the Arthurian legends.

Samhain (October 31) celebrates the end of all harvest, when crops and herds are harvested for the winter months. Preparations for winter should be completed by this time. Samhain is also recognized as the Celtic New Year, with this day belonging to neither the old year or the new, where the Veil between the worlds of mortals and the dead/Fey is thinnest.

034I walk my dog every day down by the Potomac River, and I get to see the gradual changes of the season. I see fruits forming on Blackberry bushes, tomatoes in my back yard, and young Canadian geese full feathered and growing fast for the Autumn trek to the North.

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Our Concord Grape arbor is lush with fruit, not quite purple. When its ready, we make jelly and juice, and once we gave the harvest to a meadary which made a special mead for that season.

Not all pagans have literal gardens/harvests. There is also the symbolic crops we plant in the form of goals and dreams. Like gardens, those goals and wishes need tending, sometimes weeding, and occasionally, you might find some things just don’t come to fruition.

Failed harvests, whether real or symbolic, offers a lesson to learn to do better. I re-evaluate the goal, ask myself if I really wanted it in the first place, and face the facts if I gave enough effort to help it come to harvest.

Sometimes its because I didn’t put enough effort into it, while other times, its just how Life works. Either case, don’t let it drag you down- learn from it, and do better next time.

Its this attitude that helps me accomplish goals, even if takes much longer than expected.

What ‘seeds’ have you planted this year? Are you seeing results yet? Post in comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write down what you’ve done to help the wishes and goals come to harvest. What more do you need to do? When do you hope to see the end product of your goal?

Sacred Scarab

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I found this beetle drowning in a jar on my back patio, so I picked him out. I checked on him periodically to see if he was breathing, which he was, and later he disappeared. I hope he flew off.

He’s from the Scarab family, but more specifically, he’s a June bug, or Grapevine Beetle. They’re not really a pest since they don’t cause too much damage to grape crops, and in our own arbor, I find its something else that seems to be causing an issue. This little guy, however, was only one I discovered.

But it lends to the idea of the value we place on living things- sacred or pest? To the ancient Egyptians, Scarabs represented the Sun, being they ‘rolled’ the sun across the sky. The sacred scarab is specifically a Dung Beetle. You might be thinking ‘ew, that’s gross’, but Dung beetle are vital to the eco system.

Without Dung beetles, we’d have piles of the stuff all over the place, as you can read here on the value of its dung consuming skills.

Popular interpretation in modern academia theorizes the hieroglyphic (the language of Egyptians) image of the beetle represents a triliteral phonetic that Egyptologists transliterate as xpr or ḫpr and translate as "to come into being", "to become" or "to transform". The derivative term xprw or ḫpr(w) is variously translated as "form", "transformation", "happening", "mode of being" or "what has come into being", depending on the context. It may have existential, fictional, or ontologic significance. The scarab was linked to Khepri ("he who has come into being"), the god of the rising sun.

Wikipedia

But whether a creature is sacred or pest depends on its relationship with us. Does it benefit us? If not, why is it now less value as a living creature?

It should give us thought to take a moment to appreciate things that do not benefit us, but just are, who are as much a part of the world as we are. After all, we’re a major pest for many living things, while very helpful to others. I’m sure mosquitoes love us for us blood, while dogs/cat appreciate our ability to open cans of food. Winking smile

Thoughts? Post in comments.