Always in the past we have noted and sometimes celebrated the various equinox and solstice occurences of the year. Whinnie was due on the winter solstice, though she decided to come 1 week early…fine by me. 😀
This year, though, starting with Lammas (August 1st) we are learning about age-old holiday traditions related to these calendar events.
Mabon is coming next week. It’s known by other names of course, as I learned in this excellent article at Witch Vox.
The article has helped me to bring a focus to my thinking about Mabon, about the harvest, about how I wish to express my spirituality and about the seasons and festivals to come.
Within the Waldorf tradition we are encouraged to do ‘inner work’ and to dig into and better understand our own spirituality. This is not a religious thing. Religion needn’t be involved at all, unless that is the path the speaks to you spiritually. This is about acknowledging that we are spiritual beings, and that we come from spirit and will some day return to spirit. There are quite differing opinions about what happens in that netherworld of ‘return to spirit’ but that needn’t prevent us from acknowledging one another as spiritual entities.
This is one of the reasons I felt the Waldorf path was right for our homeschool. By encouraging me to dig in and know myself and care for my own spirituality, it encourages me to understand the celebrations and festivals that resonate, those that don’t and then to share those things with my young ones.
Yes, I understand that this is what religions do for their followers as well. But I’ve never felt comfortable within any religion — nor with following someone else’s ideas. (And I wonder where the children get it. 😉 )
So my thought about Mabon have me thinking about sacrifice and harvest. The idea of a sacrifice being both thanks for the harvest past and offering for harvests future appeals to me. So does the idea of balance the the equinoxes represent. I’m especially taken with the idea of giving back to Mother Earth in thanksgiving for all that she has given us.
Yes, we live in a world where we can go to the grocery store any day and buy almost anything. Fruits that should not be in-season can be shipped from all over the world. Ok, so they might be tasteless, but they are there. So we aren’t tied to the harvest the way our ancestors were. But thanksgiving should still be in our hearts.
What can/should I sacrifice as a token of thanksgiving for the blessing of continuing good health, beautiful views, local food and the caring people in my life….all of which is possible because of Mother Earth?
Additionally, what can I model for the children during this time of harvest and thanksgiving? I think one idea is to do something tangibly-caring of the Earth on the day of the Autumnal Equinox. As the wee ones and I take nature walks each morning, we see trash strewn about. It is heartbreaking to me that someone would be so thoughtless.
So when the equinox comes around next week, the attachlings and I will head out on our nature walk with a mission. We will have bags in hand to clean up the litter we find along our way. Much of it is recycleable, and will find its way directly into our recycling bin. The rest we will put in the trash.
And maybe we’ll work on tangible plans for making things for the animals for winter. Our ‘free cat’ Solstice needs a safe, warm place to hide from the elements and predators on the porch (assuming he doesn’t want to come inside) and the birds could use some feeders. And the deer, hmmmm, not sure what to put out for them.
See where I’m going? We need to do things, tangible things, that show the attachlings that our love of Mother Earth is more than lip service to make two liberal-minded parents feel good about themselves.
Ah, spirituality. Sometimes I think that’s a word that embodies equal parts serenity and ‘a kick in the rear’ motivation. 😀