Today's Diva Words:  "Happy Mabon/Autumn Equinox"

September 23, 2007

Eric and I were looking up the weather at some point (sun up, sun down, etc) and got the impression that Autumn Equinox was actually on the 26th this year, but all of the material I am finding seems to indicate that it is today, astrologically speaking.  That is particularly meaningful for me.  It's the first time in a long time that I have really felt slammed into the energy of one of the "wheel of time" turning holidays (Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Vernal Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lammas, Autumn Equinox and Samhain - happening every 6-7 weeks or so to progress us seamlessly through the movement of the year).  Each one has such a different feel to it and heralds in a whole new energy to life.  I can't express enough how much attuning oneself to those energies of human life, imprinted into time over centuries of our ancestors honoring them, smoothes out the bumps and makes the things that happen to us make good sense.  It gives a wonderful prospective to the "big picture" view of how our life is going.  It looks like this:

Winter Solstice (Dec 21): As the tiniest bit of light begins to return to the sky, making the days incrementally longer as each one passes, the "spark" of inspiration is born into our lives.  The weather is cold and sometimes (up here, anyway) impassable, so by necessity, people and families turn inside and spend time together around the fire, sharing, talking and telling stories.  Likewise, (macrocosm, microcosm) we ourselves turn inward and contemplative, deeply considering what changes we want to make in our life in the coming year and how we want life to be different this time next year.

Imbolc  (Feb 1): The word literally translates to "in the belly" and it identifies us as being "in the belly" of Winter, seen as a womblike state.  The goals that we set back at Winter Solstice have had time to "gestate" as we have considered them over the past six weeks or so.  Imbolc (also called Candlemass) is the time when we commit to seeing those goals through in the coming years.  So prior to this, we were making our list and checking it twice, distilling it down to the barest essence (For instance, if we wanted a better job, more money, a nicer car, etc, those could all be distilled down to "financial prosperity."  If we want more friends, a new romantic interest, greater social validation, etc, those could all be distilled down to "love"... you pretty much go for the main idea behind the multitude of goals you want to achieve and work from there).  Now comes the time when we have solidified our goals in our mind and on our list and we commit to ourselves that we will follow through and make those goals become reality in the coming year. 

Spring/Vernal Equinox (March 21):  This is the time when we celebrate new life and the beginning of the active part of the agricultural season.  Farmers will be tilling the land and preparing the soil, then planting the seeds that will bring the harvest for the year.  Likewise, we (and in my family, literally) plant the "seeds" that begin the process of meeting our goals for the year.  We can't sit back and passively wait for God to bring us the things we want.  We have to do our part of the work as well.  If we wanted a new job, this is when we would start revamping our resume and making contacts.  Take a class to brush up on pertinent info you'll need.  Plant that seed!

Beltane/May Day (May 1):  This holiday celebrates the fertility of the crops that were planted when Spring began.  Originally, the intent was to ask for blessings onto the newly planted fields and celebrate the fertile earth that is now warm and soft and "pregnant" with our goals that will be born in the spring.  The May Poles that are merrily danced at this time are a celebration of the phallic symbol (that's right, a May Pole is a giant, gaily decorated penis) that brings fertility to the rich and welcoming earth.  That's why you see all of those ribbons spilling out of the top.  Yeah, I know, but our ancestors were not nearly as uptight about such things as we are.  Likewise, we use Beltane to up our ante, so to speak.  This is when we get those resumes out to the companies where we want to work, meet with contacts who can help us along, buy that power suit!  Fertilize your efforts!

Summer Solstice (June 21):  This is a really exciting time because the sprouts that were starting to break through the ground at Beltane are now strong and tall.  They aren't quite ready to be harvested yet, but we know that the seeds took and the harvest has every opportunity to be successful.  We are still actively out there working "in the fields" as job offers begin to pour in.  We may learn that we have to relocate to accept the perfect job (I'm going with the job thing as an example here, so just roll with me on it), purchase new supplies or jump through some hoops here and there.  At this time, you can see that your goals have successfully taken root and are on the horizon!

Lammas (Aug 1):  Lammas is the first day of the harvest season and while your goals will not just show up on your doorstep on August 1st, you have definitely begun to see them as a reality and know that they are assured.  Between now and Mabon, you will be harvesting in the result of the efforts that you, yourself invested into the year.  Just as the farmer is now harvesting the corn, beans, peas and other crops from the fields that he himself planted, tended and cared for, you will be seeing the results of your own efforts, for the good or the bad.  Just like with a farmer, if you planted with good intention and spirits, carefully tended your little crops through the year, you now can harvest and enjoy your rewards.  If you planted the seeds with good intention, but then didn't think about it again, you are likely going to come back to your fields at harvest time and find them full of weeds with an unhealthy, dying crop. 

Mabon (Sept 22):  The Autumn Equinox brings in the blessings of Deity to the harvest year.  Our ancestors could, during the Fall, go out into the wild and supplement the harvest that they have tended and grown with apples, nuts, fruits from the trees and other goodies that grew wild with little or no tending required by humans.  They were the "boon foods," seen as gifts from God and Goddess to accentuate their harvest or, in fact, sustain them through the Winter if for some reason, the crops failed.   Mabon is a time of amazing blessings that come into our lives to sweeten our own harvest.  These are gifts that come to us without our own efforts and seem to be a reward for our hard work of the year. 

Samhain (Oct 31):  Samhain/Halloween is the time when the harvest year ends.  In ancient times, crops that were still in the field on November 1st were said to be "poisoned" and should not be touched.  It was, in reality, a potent reminder that reminded us that "to everything, there is a season."  We have to be on the ball and get our crops in from the fields or risk losing all we have worked to achieve.  "You snooze, you loose... He who hesitates is lost, etc."  It's also a keen reminder to be willing to let go and "know when you're done."  October 31st is a poignant reminder to allow the past to transition into the past and embrace the coming future.  The ancestor considered November 1 to be the beginning of the new year and on October 31st, all things were put to rest, which is how the honoring of death came to center around this time.  As the days and nights grow colder, animals that were ill or infirm would often die at this time, almost as though they knew that they wouldn't make it through the harshness of Winter.  In our human life, there do tend to be a greater number of deaths in October and November as well. It's a time of closure and signifies the end of the active part of the harvesting year and a descent into the darkness of Winter, when again, we will gravitate back to the Hearth Home, turn inside and begin the process again.

I can't even begin to tell you the difference it has made in my life to have a pattern to follow for forward progression rather than just bopping aimlessly through the year, reacting to the stimuli that come along and not really having a "system" for growth.  It also gives me a frame to put around events that occur.  For instance, because I received this medical transcription opportunity between August 1st and September 21 (Lammas - Mabon), I have to believe that it is an opportunity that is to be embraced (even though, to be honest, I really don't want to do it and would rather loll about) and explored.  It's part of the harvest and I would be a fool not to avail myself of whatever it can do for me and just reject it outright because I want to laze about.  I have to at least try.

Yesterday was Founder's Day and I didn't even realize how much time and energy I was investing into it until it was done.  Last year, we had Founder's Day on November 11th (two days before Eric started the mail route for the first time).  The school was founded on November 13th and we were celebrating the founding of the school.  As it turned out, it poured rain all day. We still had a good time and it was successful by anyone's standards, but our outside activities has to be canceled or taken inside (our school only has 2 rooms - about 9x15' each).  This year, we decided to be wise asses and move the event up by two months to Sept 22.  We are rarely under threat of rain before the first of October and figured we were safe.  Of COURSE it rained and was really cold.  No rain last weekend.  No rain next weekend.  This one weekend was targeted.  I have to believe it was for some good purpose, but our poor fiddle player's hands were freezing off so bad he could hardly fiddle.  We had 5 bands, who were all just wonderful, a bounce house that the kids used between the showers, a cake walk in the misty rain, a dessert contest, tons of raffles and auctions and good food:  pulled pork and turkey cooked in a pit and hot dogs. 

I honestly don't know if we made money or went in the hole.  The treasurer has to take all of the funds from all of the different areas and stack them up against the receipts we all have for what we spent and see how it washes out.

For me, despite still having a house to finish remodeling before mid-October and a new job to start, I feel as though my time "out in the fields" is over.  That's why today being Mabon/Autumn Equinox is so powerful for me.  My work "out there" is done and now I go inside and tend to my home and family and take time for myself. I am already seeing that the changes I am making with the remodeling makes my life so much easier.  Those parts of the house are tremendously easier to take care of now and more efficient.

I feel as though up until yesterday, there were voices and chaos and noise all around me, like 100,000 people were talking all at once, horns blowing, jackhammers pounding, dogs barking and madness brewing.  I couldn't sleep last night.  I fell fast asleep for about 3 hours (around 9pm), but then woke up at midnight with my circulation bad, arms asleep on both sides, blood racing...  Eric was still out on the balcony thinking and drinking wine, so I came downstairs to my favorite chaise where it was much cooler and I could relax sitting almost upright.  I slept well after that and woke up at 8am with no headache for the first time in weeks.  All of that noise had stopped and there was just silence around me.  It was blissful.

Today, we are taking the kids to Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus.  That's the full extent of our plans.  Tomorrow, I'm going to clean my house, fold laundry and lay about a good bit.  Tuesday, I'll get started on painting again.  The world is my jewelry box (I don't like oysters, so that wouldn't work for me).  I plan to sleep well tonight and enjoy the feeling of having nothing major on the horizon...just life.

Be particular,

Today's Diva Words:  "Remember, pillage THEN burn."

September 20, 2007

Today is my brother's birthday.  He's...forty today.  Happy birthday, Eddie, where ever you are.  I love ya.

Ha!  I got nowhere near my planned list accomplished yesterday, but I did get a good bit done.  The bathroom and my bedroom are completely complete.  I got the carpets all cleaned, which took hours and hours.  There aren't enough words in the English language to adequately express my white hot hatred of carpet.  I hate how it holds on to every stain, every smell, every hair... It's just nasty stuff.  He has been so accommodating of the changes I'm making in the house that I couldn't begrudge him that one thing, so I spent most of the day with my Bissel steam cleaner trying to get the carpet clean.  My grandkiddies haven't quite mastered the "Mammaw said don't eat upstairs" thing, so there were several stains going up the stairs where drinks and such had been spilled.  I got most of them out, mainly because that fickle bitch of a steam cleaner decided she was having a "good" day and could actually do her job.  Still, it took a few hours of doing and redoing and redoing carpets.  I'm glad to have it done and I will by God kill anyone who spills a drop on that sucker.

Got the curtains put back up this morning and last night, got the downstairs into something resembling order. I wanted to get busy on the painting, but I think I might wait on that until next week.  The only thing I might do is finish painting the top cupboards (got the doors off the other ones) and finish tiling the wall behind the sink and the stovetop.  I still have about 3 weeks, so I'm not too worried about getting everything done.  With the adjustments I've made along the way (not painting all the walls, not taking carpet off the stairs and refinishing the steps, not pulling down the drywall from the living room ceiling), it won't take nearly as long as I previously thought.  Right now, I'm pretty much down to clearing out my desk to make room for the other computer and painting a lot downstairs.  I also have to go through the boy's closet, go through the storage shed out back and help Delena finalize her room.

I'm tarred.

Some kind of late summer cold is trying to get aholt of me.  I've been power drinking Emergen C.  It's the best stuff on the planet, I have to tell you.  I prefer the tangerine flavor (I don't like tangerines, but it's orangey enough to pass), but if push comes to shove, I can do the strawberry.  It has a bajillion mg of Vitamin C in it and will knock out about just almost anything that's trying to take you down.  Since I have a lot to do for Founder's Day on Saturday, my instincts say I should to bed and rest for the morning, then get a little busier in the afternoon. 

It's cold and rainy out with a 40% chance of raining on my Founder's Day again.  We were rained on hard last year in November, so we moved it two months ahead of time this year because it normally doesn't start to rain until October.  Of course, it's supposed to be sunny on Sunday and Friday. 

I will be very pleased when this event is over.  I do not plan to be as active in the community over the next year as I was this year.  I just won't have the time with the new job at all.  It will be good to be back in my cave again for a while.

I'll be back around next week, feeling a lot better after this event is finished and I'm going into the quieter time of my year.

Be particular,


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