The festival known as Samhain, or more commonly Halloween, is coming up. For many Neo-Pagans, this is the end of one yearly cycle and the beginning of a new one. This links closely to the harvest when the last of the abundant crops are picked and a winter mindset begins setting in. It’s a time to bring closure to the year, honoring the process of death and rebirth, and to play around with some new possibilities, at least for a while.
This is the time of the autumn equinox. From an astronomical point of view, equinoxes are times when day and night are about equal. Symbolically, we can see this as a balance between light and dark. Light is life and darkness is death, so the autumn equinox is a time to appreciate both sides of our experience but to recognize that we’re headed into the darkness with the coming of winter. We can feel this on a physical, personal, and spiritual level.
August 1 is Lughnasadh or Lammas in the Northern Hemisphere (February 1 in the Southern Hemisphere). This is known as the first harvest (the other two being the autumn equinox and Samhain). That means we’re starting to see results from the labor of previous months, but there’s still lots of work to do. This is an important time for being thankful and praying for abundance. It’s a time to celebrate the cycle of life. It’s also a good time to reflect on where we are and where we want to go for the remainder of the year.
May 10 is Mother’s Day in the United States. But what happens when your mother is abusive? As long as there are kind, loving mothers out there, and as long as there are mothers who are abuse survivors who refuse to become abusers themselves, Mother’s Day is worth celebrating.
I’ve been tracking the lunar months for a while now. Nick Fiorenza is an astrologer who generously offers a free lunar calendar at his site Lunar Planner every lunar month. He does a little write-up of the month’s theme, which he’s titled “Metamophosis” for this month. There are two things in this month’s theme that really resonate with me right now: moving from “lower-order” concerns to “higher-order” concerns and taking deliberate action for positive change.