August 1: Lammas/hope
August 2, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today is Lammas, the halfway point between summer solstice and fall equinox. In the pagan calendar, it is the celebration of the harvest season. According to Starhawk, it is the time to think about our hopes and fears. This is something I think about a lot anyway. Starhawk, along with a few other women, has written a wonderful book called Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions, which has great ideas for ways to celebrate the seasons with kids, even if you are not pagan-inclined. In this book, Starhawk writes about Lammas:
“We call on the Harvest Mother when we have to do hard things or make difficult choices. We must face our fears of failing, or losing the harvest, of making mistakes. She gives us the strength to do what needs to be done, to tell the truth when we are afraid, to say no to things that are not right for us. She helps us clean house and get rid of what we don’t need, and she helps us finish what we start. She loves her children, and the gifts she gives us are food, abundance, and plenty — everything we need to live and grow.
She is hope as well as fear, so if there is something special you are hoping for, you can ask for her help. But remember, she expects you to work for what you want.”
I like this Harvest Mother. I have been having great fears of losing my harvest lately. The book also recommends making hope cards and fear cards, which I thought was a great idea, so tonight I made a hope card.
On the left is my girl Kali, the destroyer, who cuts down all that is untrue and unnecessary. The text says “When we have need of her, Kali descends as the powerful warrior goddess to slay the demons that threaten her devotees.” On the right is the one and only Woody Guthrie, and the quote is as hopeful as hope gets in my opinion, and goes as follows:
“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you’ve not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I’d starve to death before I’d sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.”
In the middle are some words I cut out about things I hope for, such as “courage,” “sacred rhythm,” “poetry,” “breath of the heart,” etc. Mostly these days I hope for balance in my life and the courage to act on changing things I don’t like instead of being afraid.
I was not the only one in my family who was creative today. D. is creative on all days, but that is a different story. J, however, created petroglyphs on rocks he found at the beach, and created stories about them. The first is a goddess of fire who has flames to protect her; she is protected by fire. The second is a monster in a cave, a two-horned dragon that has no wings but uses power of flying to fly, and has two tails, actually three.