Lammas, as all of the other holidays, demarcates the tipping point and heralds the movement and changes that will characterize the coming weeks.
Traditionally, Lammas, one of the cross-quarter festivals is associated with Fire, sacrifice and blood. It finds its place opposite Imbolc on the wheel of the year. As Imbolc is the time of first shoots and stirrings of life following the Winter Solstice, Lammas marks the first harvest, following the Summer Solstice. Each of these cross-quarters contain within them the element of RISK. Imbolc’s new shoots are easy prey to the threat of frost and snow and Lammas’ ‘almost-but-not-quite-ripe’ crops are at the mercy of potential rains, blight and hail.
We are here now, poised in the slow, languid days of summer where everything in nature is beginning its inexorable journey inward and down. The seeds are ripening, growing thicker and making the imperceptible shift into a condensed and potent form – seed that will be harvested for food, stored for later use and some portion thereof retained for the planting next Spring. This very seed is our insurance policy, insuring us against hunger in the cold days and nights of winter, insuring another year, another cycle of sustainability.
Insurance the halfway mark between hope and fear; hope that ‘enough’ will be realized as we move toward reaping and fear, an awareness that all can still be lost, in the blink of an eye, to the ravages of wind and hail.
Insurance is not a new notion though our ancestors made a bid for it – in a manner of speaking – through prayer, gratitude and sacrifice rather than policies and contracts. Insurance hinges upon the notion of a future outcome or potential threat to security. Sacrifice is an acknowledgment of our connection to all life and gratitude is based on the remembrance of the past, expressed in the moment’s eternal NOW.
There is no such thing as a guaranteed outcome – as much as our fear-based consumer society would like us to believe there might be; there is only the present – ever-evolving, ever-cycling, the truth of what IS.
In the face of this we can give thanks, acknowledge that we have thus far been carried by the grace of Life itself, to this moment and that this same moment will undoubtedly usher us forth into the next moment. By acknowledging our place in the continuum of life and its inevitable growth and decline, fear dissolves and we are free to breathe each breath and embrace each moment.
Blessings on the first harvest!