New days will dawn.

Much of the traditions in my faith are based on cycles; the cycle of the Moon, the cycle of the Sun, the cycle of Life. All cycles have an impact on existence and therefore are cherished for the contribution they make. The Moon, for example, controls the ebb and flow of the tides, while the Sun’s rising and setting has a tremendous impact on life itself.

While my beliefs lie in the laws of Nature, they are also terribly scientific. The chart of cycles was not written as an order to follow, a dogma, nor by that of a holy man. The cycles celebrated in my faith are the ones you can witness with your own eyes, without being told to see them. They are filled with common sense and logic, the Sun will rise every morning and set every evening.

Many religions use the same cycles for writing scripture and mapping paths to Paradise, but since I don’t follow such things, I simply use the cycles for the here and now. Easter in Christianity happens in Spring, symbolizing the Resurrection of Christ. The date for Easter, which changes year to year is calculated on the cycle of the Moon, a fact often unknown or overlooked by Christians. Easter is held on the First Sunday after the Full Moon directly after the Vernal Equinox. Sounds confusing, but it’s not. For 2010 the Vernal Equinox happened on March 20th (its most common date). The following Full Moon happened on March 29th. The first Sunday after that Full Moon was April 4th. Christians celebrated Easter on April 4th 2010. The same calculation is used year after year.

In my faith, the tradition is to celebrate spring fertility and this occurs the same time as Christian Easter. The difference is the Vernal Equinox and Full Moon being held in high regard rather than a holy being. In modern traditions as well as my own, this celebration is called Ostara.  In similarity however, like the Christians we are also celebrating resurrection. This is based on the approach that this is when certain kingdoms of Nature are reborn, seeds bloom, plants sprout, the Sun moves back closer to the Earth bringing forth life…the Earth is renewed with life. It is believed in my tradition that our celebration came first, since it only made sense that any culture, including those before Christ, would have planted their seeds at the same time of year, that the plants would have sprouted and the trees would have budded at the same time 5,000 years ago as they do now. (While many Witches and non-Christians will refute the validity of Christ, my tradition embraces him as another explanation of cycles. But that’s a very long and drawn out discussion)

Let it be said that this is within the Western (and usually Northern) Hemisphere. I’m writing on the assumption that one knows the seasons are opposite in opposite hemispheres.

As a Witch, I keep track of many different cycles, but what makes me a Witch is how I use those cycles to my benefit. And yours. The Moon is of especially great importance to me. It is the tool by which I plant my garden, harvest the fruits of my labours, plan financial actions, engage in social events. It is second nature for me to work around the cycles I’m most drawn to. Some would call this the “woo-woo” aspect, because it might sound rather wonky to plan my whole life around the moon, but, before you judge me, you’d better get to know me. In forty years, it’s just never failed me. Never.

The current cycle, the one that excites me so, began with the Autumn Equinox and will conclude on All Hallow’s Eve. This time is called Harvest Home in my Tradition, or more commonly, Mabon. The actual sabbat was on the Autumn Equinox and most just celebrate on that day, but, for me, it is a celebration several weeks long. It is the time of the year when the darkness overpowers the light. Now, before anyone thinks I’m summoning demons to take down the angels, it’s literally about daylight versus nighttime, no hocus pocus involved. On the Equinox, day and night are for equal lengths of time. Prior to the Equinox, there was more daylight in the day, now, after the Equinox, there is more nighttime than there is sunlight. Easy huh?
Harvest Home signals the passing of summer, celebrating the fruits of labour, nesting in the home for the coming winter. It is a time of rest after a season of hard work, a time to reflect and to prepare for the Winter ahead. And, it is a time of balance. During Mabon we learn to allow change, we open the doors for definition and discovery. We see that the Earth doesn’t resist change, and learn that neither should we. We also learn surrender, for those things that just must be as they are for life to be fulfilled. We can’t stop the night from overpowering the day, some things are worth appreciating just the way they are. We are coming to the end of a cycle, a new year is about to begin. It is time to find balance, in life and death, sorrow and happiness, light and dark.

Oddly enough, some Christians celebrate this time as well. They call it Michaelmas, in honor of the Archangel Michael.

Harvest Home, or Mabon is my favorite time of year…with my favorite celebration, Samhain, just around the corner….

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4 Comments

  1. Lisa said,

    October 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Atill kinda wish we could move along to spring. Fascinating stuff!

    • MDM said,

      October 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

      no way! I love autumn! my favorite time of the year, even moreso than spring, when my birthday is.

  2. Mindless Rambler said,

    October 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I’m loving the series of post you are doing, it is absolutely fascinating. So very well written, informative without bombarding the reader with just a load of facts. Great stuff! xx

  3. MDM said,

    October 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    So when is your book coming out? lol I love your writing, although I think I told you that before.

    Melanie


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