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Lughnasad, Lammas, or Thing-Tide 2010
? ~2nd.February~ ?

A stormy sunset February 2007
A stormy February sky, just before sunset
Demeter, the harvest Goddess, borders the page

Pale Rainbow
Reflections from the RainbowWeb
Pale Rainbow

"The Earth is capable of replenishing herself and supplying every living thing with a home and sustenance"
Sarah King

This festival is marked by an abrupt change in the rate of the Sun's descent towards the Ecliptic,
not a specific longitudinal position in the Zodiac.
It's late summer, & already a few leaves are turning gold and drifting to the ground.
Although the days are warm to very hot, they are noticeably shorter, and the sun is much lower in the sky.
It takes all four weeks of December for the Sun to rise one degree, reaching it's culmination at the Summer Solstice.
The first two weeks of January see it descend two degrees. But by 2nd.February, it has fallen 2 degrees in 4 days
- a dramatic acceleration, which will now continue until the Equinox.
By the Winter Solstice the Sun will be as far below the Ecliptic as it was above it at Summer Solstice.

Traditionally this is the time of the cereal harvest, and Saxons held a Thing, or parliament,
presumably to assess food supplies and plan for the coming winter.

So much has changed since the last time I made a page for this festival in 2006.
While Experiments in sustainable living and then updates for 2008 tell most of the story,
late 2008 and early 2009 brought even more dramatic changes, which I wrote about in September.
The watering system I told you about in December has so far worked quite well
using much less water than at the same time last year, but still keeping everything in good condition.
Last week my daughter and I made some changes which reduce the amount of time and labour involved in the task,
hopefully without increasing water usage.
I am also about to reduce the number of days on which I water, choosing non-watering days according to the weather.
There is no glut of soft fruit this year.
The grape bunches have had to be covered with individual bags of tulle,
and the apples wrapped in paper cones stapled around the branches.
But the garden remains green, shady, and a sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds.
I do so look forward to the huge orb spider webs that appear each night at this time of year,
their skilled weavers sitting patiently at the centre.

It's Oimelc, Imbolc, or Brigit
if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.
I wonder if the first green spears of Brigit's snowdrops are appearing in England and Europe?
And are the ewes about to drop their young, and to produce milk?
After all the shockingly cold weather experienced in the North,
some have been tempted to conclude that Global Warming is a hoax,
but believe me, nothing could be further from the truth!
The warming does not take place evenly, but is disrupting the annual patterns of wind and water
that drive the Earth's weather systems, resulting in more and more extreme events.
The recent mud slides in areas denuded of natural plant cover are yet another result of
environmental vandalism/ignorance coupled with extreme rain events.
As for recent devastating earthquakes, although they are not connected with climate change,
I can't help wondering if Gaia is not convulsing in grief at our apparent indifference to her plight.
But I guess I'm being fanciful.

Full Moon in Leo

This Full Moon, in the Fire sign of Leo, is very appropriate for Harvest-time.

Monarch butterflies migrating

The ancient fire festivals occur roughly halfway between The Solstices and Equinoctes.
Pre-dating the Gregorian Calendar by thousands of years,
the most appropriate time for their celebration depends on local factors,
such as whether signs of harvest or germination are established.
Also, if there is a Full, New, or Dark Moon close to the date,
it is appropriate to combine the celebrations, making the rituals more powerful.

This year a Full Moon in Leo (10° 15') occurs at 6.19 GMT on 30th. of January,
(Adelaide 16.49 on 31st.) and I shall certainly be celebrating at that time.
Contrary to what some have been saying, this is not a "blue moon"
"Blue Moons" are actually full moons occuring in the same sign of the Tropical Zodiac,
not those supposedly occuring in the same calendar month.
This year, for instance, while there was a Full Moon on January 1st
here in Australia, and another occurs on the 31st.,
this was not the case for people living in the West.
The western calendar no longer bears any relationship to the Moon,
and dates depend on Longitude, calculated East and West of Greenwich.
So the Cancer Full Moon fell on 31st.December 2009 for half the world.
Two successive Full Moons occured in February and March 2000, in the sign of Virgo
followed by two Full Moons in Aquarius in July & August 2002.
The next, as far as I can see, will be in May & June 2016, in Saggitarius,
followed in March & April 2019 by two Full Moons in Libra.

As for the New Year!
The Gregorian Calendar may begin on January 1st. but the ancient Greeks
began their year with the new Moon immediately following the Summer Solstice.
In many Asian cultures the year still begins with
the second New Moon following the December Solstice.
Financiers begin their year on July 1st. Gregorian.
Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah
takes place in the month of Tishri (September &October Gregorian calendar).
Hindus in various parts of India celebrate their New Year at four different times of the
year, as Diwali, Poila Baishakh, Vishu, and in Central India Ghudi Padwi or Yugadi .
Pagans and Celts begin the New Year at Samhain,
so it falls in October or April, according to which hemisphere they live in.
The Islamic Calendar is completely Lunar, so the current
Islamic New Year began on December 18th.2009,
while in 2010 it begins on December 7th.

See also Seasons and Calendars for more information.

Balance of the hemispheres

Why observe and celebrate the interactions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun?

The Festivals, Feasts, and Fasts of most human belief systems originated in our observations of this Cosmic Dance and it's effects.
Everything is affected by the changing seasons and the rhythm of the tides.
Why not commit yourself this year to celebrating in tune with these natural rhythms?
You will benefit physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and it will help you to truly re-earth.

For those who dismiss such practices are mere superstition, consider that:

"We cannot know more than a fraction of what exists. We will always be a minor part of the information system"
Methods of Design - 3.10.3

and that: "Nothing we can observe is regular, partly because we ourselves are imperfect observers.
We tell fortunes, (or lose them) on the writhing of entrails, or cathode ray graphics;
on the scatters of dice or bones, or on arrays of measures.
Are the readings of tea-leaves any less reliable than the projections of pollsters?"
Pattern Understanding - 4.1
from "Permaculture - A Designer's Manual" by Bill Mollison


Seasons and Calendars
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