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Posts Tagged ‘dedicant’

So it looks like I’m going to get to meet the local protogrove here sometime in the next week or so. Yngvi has been corresponding with them and is working on a time we can all meet in the evening.

After my previous experience, I’m having trouble keeping an open mind about it, but I know if I’m going to do this for real, I need to be on at least communicating terms with the local group. And they may be wonderful people! My impressions from facebook may be totally off base.

I’m still nervous though. I’ve completed the DP, but I’ve not been doing ADF for even two full years yet. I like people, but they stress me out. (Also, the suggested meeting location is an IHOP, and the only thing I can eat at IHOP is fried eggs, because they put pancake batter in their scrambles and omelets, and I have celiac disease!) I know they have a Celtic focus (Irish, I think), but I don’t know much else about the group.

New things, new directions. I am getting pushed out of my comfort zone a lot recently with ADF. But that’s what happens when you start making oaths, I suppose.

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The Autumn Equinox (often called Mabon or Harvest Home in Neopagan circles) occurs on or around September 21st each year, and falls at the point of balance between day and night, when the two stand equal. This year it falls on Sunday, September 22, just a few days after the full Harvest Moon on Thursday September 19th. In the Wheel of the year, this is the second harvest festival – usually the harvest of vegetables and fruits – and serves as the gateway into the “dark” half of the year in some myths. (In other myths the dark and light halves of the year switch at the Summer and Winter Solstice, or at Samhain and Beltaine, so this is a common motif that has several different applications).

Our Own Druidry suggests that this is a time to honor Thor and Sif for their functions at the harvest (67), but this doesn’t make much sense to me, so I will be honoring the Vanir as a pantheon, for their role in the fertility of the earth and its productivity. These Gods and Spirits are involved in the productivity of man and the cultivation of the earth, from Frey’s direct patronage and sacrifice at the Harvest to Freyja’s fertility and Njord’s blessing on the harvest of fish from rivers and seas. Since this is a celebration of harvesting and preparing for the winter, storing up and taking stock and being thankful for the plenty of the year, the Vanir are an appropriate group of deities to honor.

Thematically, in the Neopagan Wheel of the Year, this is the time of reaping what we have sown – all of the ideas and plans that were set into motion at earlier holy days are now coming to fruition with the crops, and the focus is on harvesting the bounties we are due for our labors. The cornucopia is a common symbol, and in some traditions this holiday is called the “Pagan Thanksgiving” – a time of giving thanks and celebrating the harvest.

This is a time of plenty – all the crops are ripe – and a time of very busy preparation. Those ripe crops need to be picked and stored appropriately so they will last until next year, whether stored dry like grain, or canned and pickled, or just placed in cellar storage. Winter may be long, so it’s best to be prepared. Being thankful through that preparation is something I find very appropriate at this time of year. I also enjoy canning and pickling as hobbies, which are good ways of celebrating this harvest festival. My garden is still producing okra, so perhaps I will make some spicy okra pickles to mark the occasion.

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Added in a new meditation this week! I tried out walking meditation, which went SURPRISINGLY well. I have a standard route that I walk outside, and it was sunny and warmish today, so I figured I’d see if I could do my standard walk as a meditation exercise. I found it pretty easy to focus on observing my walking steps, and found that counting steps and ordering my steps with my breath was a good way to achieve almost a trance state. I wouldn’t do this kind of walk in an unfamiliar place because I think the familiarity helped me really just observe what I was doing once I got into that sort of floaty, mindless state. I didn’t get the full 20 minutes as meditative exercise, but I think I was able to focus/refocus for about 10 minutes. Having nature to watch and being able to move my body was really beneficial. I’ll definitely be doing this again.

My sitting meditation went OK, but nothing special. I don’t feel like I’m getting any better at focusing, even when I do the 9×9 breath exercise. I’m continuing my mental grove work before bed, and that’s been lovely though. It’s becoming a place I can easily reach and visualize.

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