Death-of-Summer is the Holy Day that indicates the decrease; the light of day will again become shorter and shorter, and we must be willing to reap what we have sown. Today marks the beginning of the harvest season. We are exactly mid-way through Summer and now the heavens switch their focus to the coming darker months and bringing forth the fruits of our labor. The leaves have reached their pinnacle of growth, and that which was planted in Spring and Summer is now producing seeds that can be stored for next year’s planting. In ancient Ireland, this festival was called Lughnasadh (or Lammas) and honored the God Lugh, who was the “Lord of Light”, the life force of the plants. A representation of him, created out of bread was made and he was symbolically sacrificed, to ensure that everyone would be able to eat throughout the cold months. Some believe that the idea of eating the body and drinking the blood came from these rituals—as both bread and fermented products were used. You look toward this time of the year to determine what you truly believe, cultivate the power that is your birthright, and discover your own harvests, all in preparation for the waning of the year! There is a complexity to this Season Cycle that you haven’t encountered thus far in Sacred Circle rituals. This time of year is about the penultimate of our maturity. One might say, “It is all down-hill from here,” but it’s more complicated than that. You have been given many things this year: a new life, new gifts, a new relationship with yourself, and the identification of your Shamanic self. But, now is the time to begin clarifying, harvesting, giving away…in preparation for the dark time that must always come—regardless of if you want it to or not. Be prepared for a level of resistance here. In our culture we are used to receiving, but we aren’t so good at things being taken away.
What You Will Be Doing on this Holy Day:
There are four very unique parts to this ritual, all of which are preparing you for the darkening months ahead. First of all, you will be developing a clear picture of what the Divine is to you, so that you can utilize that image when you need strength. Then you will have two separate journeys—one to meet the Divine Father, who will bestow upon you the birthright of your inner power; and the second to visit the Killing Fields of your own Mythic Landscape to bear witness to beginning of the Death process. And finally, you will be blessed by the Divine Masculine through a mystical communion which will infuse you with the energy you will require as the days grow shorter. The end of the Workshop will be the Activation of your SOUTH-WEST Stone.
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