12 August 2016 – Astro-weather: Tonight is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower (see yesterday’s blog offering for details http://reverseritual.com/glow-worms-hide-in-the-folds-of-my-blood-flashing-hygienic-iron-dust-from-shooting-stars/#comment-445) Today is also known as World Elephant Day, International Youth Day & in the United Kingdom the “Glorious Twelfth“, as it marks the traditional start of the grouse season.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.” Rudolf Steiner
30 BC– Deathday of Egyptian queen Cleopatra
1827 – Deathday of 1827 – William Blake, poet, painter, mystic
1831 – Birthday of Helena Blavatsky
1848 – Deathday of George Stephenson, Renowned as the “Father of Railways”, he was an English civil & mechanical engineer who built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use steam locomotives- considered a great example of diligent application & thirst for improvement
1851 – Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine
1875 – Helena Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in NY
1877 – Thomas Edison invented the phonograph & made the first sound recording
1883 – The last quagga dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1914 – World War I: The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary; the countries of the British Empire follow suit
1944 – Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions
1950 – Korean War: Bloody Gulch massacre—American POWs are massacred by North Korean Army.
1952 – The Night of the Murdered Poets: Thirteen prominent Jewish intellectuals are murdered in Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union.
1953 – The Soviet Union secretly tested its first hydrogen bomb
1953 – A 7.2 Ms earthquake shakes the southern Ionian Islands. 800 people were killed
1955 – Deathday of Thomas Mann, a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, & the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic & ironic epic novels are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist & the intellectual. His analysis & critique of the European & German soul used modernized German & Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche & Schopenhauer
1960 – Echo 1A, NASA’s first successful communications satellite, is launched.
1964 – South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games due to the country’s racist policies
1976 –3,500 Palestinians are killed in the Tel al-Zaatar massacre, one of the bloodiest events of the Lebanese Civil War
1981 – The IBM Personal Computer is released
1992 – Deathday of John Cage
1998 – Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion as restitution to World War II Holocaust victims
2010 – Deathday of Isaac Bonewits, founder of Ár nDraíocht Féin
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Open your wings
& fly from the Moon
To the Sun
Carrying the stars
In your fierce talons
Having been out & about in adventure-land when August began, striving with Faust to be truly human, I didn’t have a chance to fully immerse myself here at Reverse Ritual in the bounty that August brings. And yet the ‘big wheel keeps on turning’…
The Sun is in Regulus, the heart of the lion , which calls to mind the image of the King of beasts, lazing in the shade of the trees in the hot afternoon sun.
The earth is baking under this late summer sun, battered by the sudden violence of summer storms, & the Perseid meteor showers, as the wheel turns to Lammas, a term used by our ancestors for the start of the harvest season. Although not the longest day of the year, the Lammas season is the hottest part of the year.
During Spring & Summer, the earth was cooler than the sky; now the heat has flowed from the air to penetrate the earth, which is filled — pregnant — with the fire of the Sun, returning this warmth to the sky. The heat of the sun comes to us from above & below, & it feels as if the crops could be baked into ripeness.
Even the storms of the season carry fire in their hearts. We have the lightning strokes of thunderstorms- the sudden downpours out of a clear sky. Tropical storms & hurricanes strike with the fury of a lioness enraged.
But…The seeds of darkness have been planted. The days may carry the peak of warmth, & yet the Sun has already begun to fade, & the nights begin to be noticeably shorter.
The cycle of life turns past the peak of growth & into the time of release. The life of the Green God has begun to bleed off into the grain & into the fruits on the trees.
‘The King is Dead Long Live the King’: Now is also the time of sacrifice, of death in service of life. Some of the first fruits are ready for harvest, but some, too unripe to be eaten, must be plucked anyway. These are culls, killed so they won’t drain the life force from the fruit we wish to keep. If all the fruit were left on the tree, the life force would be diluted, & none of the fruit would grow to maturity. And even worse, too much fruit can weigh down a branch until it breaks, destroying the entire crop, & sometimes killing the tree. So the culls are killed, that the rest of the fruit-& we who depend on the crop for our survival-might live.
John Barleycorn must die…Cut in half & buried, then beaten with sticks, & finally crushed between stones, nevertheless He rises once again. Bread is the perfect sacrifice for Lammas, or “Loaf Mass”, as the Anglo-Saxons called it.
It’s more than just the first fruits of the earth –it also involves the first fruits of human labor. Grain is processed by human craft, & combined with the four elements to make the staff of life.
Lammas marks the point where we leave the Garden, & earn our own way,
“by the sweat of our brow”. It is the time of coming to maturity, of taking responsibility for our own path. We select the seeds we plant, & from that we select the fruits we will eventually harvest.
The harvest season is upon us, a time of judgment – for we are called upon to sift through the things that have grown up during the past half-year, & decide what we will keep & what we will cut down. We must make choices, we must discern, & we must act on our choices.
Lammas is a festival of regrets & farewells, of harvest & preserves.
Regrets: Think of the things you meant to do this summer or this year that are not coming to fruition. You can project your regrets onto natural objects like pine cones & throw them into the fire, releasing them. Or you can write them on dried corn husks or on a piece of paper & burn them.
Farewells: What is passing from your life? What is over? Say good-bye to it. As with regrets, you can find visual symbols & throw them into the fire, the lake or the ocean. You can also bury them in the ground, perhaps in the form of bulbs which will manifest in a new form in spring.
Harvest: What have you harvested this year? What seeds have your planted that are sprouting? Find a visual way to represent these, perhaps creating a decoration in your house which represents the harvest to you. Or you could make a corn dolly or learn to weave wheat which were made by early grain farmers as a resting place for the harvest spirits.
Preserves: This is also a good time for making preserves, either literally or symbolically. As you turn the summer’s fruit into jams, jellies & chutneys for winter, think about the spiritual fruits that you have gathered this year & how you can hold onto them. How can you keep them sweet in the store of your memory?
This kind of contemplation can give us a good opportunity to reflect upon our hopes & dreams that were sown in the dawn of the year, came to life in the springtime, & are now perhaps ready to bear fruit. And on the spiritual level, we can ask ourselves what wisdom we have garnered so far this year: What will your soul harvest?
Blessings and Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg