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Samhain 2010
~ Beltane or May Day in Northern Hemisphere ~

Parasol Mushrooms in the RainbowWeb garden, amongst fallen leaves of the Acacia Fimbriata.

News from the RainbowWeb

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

April weather has been, as in many places in the mid and higher latitudes,
both South & North, a month of contrasts and changes.
Record heavy rains alternated with long dry spells, but the monthly total has been average.
Temperatures ranged from below to well above average.
Growth has been almost rampant, and the wildlife, especially the birds, have been jubilant.
As soon as the sun is up, the Acacia Fimbriata, now heavy with delicately-scented flowers, is loud with bees.
The Wattle birds have returned, ready to nest, as the first few flowers appear on the Grevilleas
while the resident Willy Wagtails, Crested Pigeons, Doves, Blackbirds, & New Holland Honeyeaters are all busily mating.
I'm pretty sure what I heard last night was my usually solitary brushtail possum "entertaining" in the light of the still full moon!

One of the amazing local sights is the flock of white, or sacred Ibis which now regularly fly from the nearby restored Billabong to feed on the oval
- a neighbour once counted more than 35 birds!

It's been possible to harvest lots of delicious wild mushrooms, whereas last year crops of edible fungi were very poor.
From the garden I've been getting persimmons, guavas, macadamias, 7-year(Hyacinth)beans, a few carrots,
pumpkins, lemons, lots of greens, and still plenty of basil, as well as other more hardy herbs.
The Jerusalem artichokes are almost ready, I've already bandicooted a few,
and I'm trying hard to resist the temptation to pick some of the avocados - they look ready, but should be left another few weeks.
Numerous self-sown seedlings have appeared,
the wild garlic and some of the bulbs are showing shoots,
and the peas I sowed a few weeks ago have come through

Neighbours are building an extension and garage which will come within a few metres of my NW fence,
but the builders they have chosen are doing all they can to minimise noise and dust.
The plan is to install solar panels on the garage, since local heritage regulations prohibit their installation where they impact on the streetscape.

Over the nearly 21 years I've been here, I've been really built in.
This, and the removal of so many trees, is really challenging my commitment
to maintaining a source of wild green energy here, but the people themselves, and those who use the lane,
are generally sympathetic, though only one or two truly understand what is being attempted.
But the worse conditions become, the more important it is that the energy is maintained.

One of the songs in our choir programme this year is Irving Berlin's "Count your Blessings, instead of Sheep"
One of the sopranos commented that she found it distressingly schmaltzy.
I love it, because it reminds me to be grateful.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive energies available - and it's free!

This is a fire festival or cross-quarter day
The date is not fixed, & many may have celebrated,
appropriately, at the Scorpio Full Moon a few days ago.

Traditionally, April 30th.is Samhain Eve in the South
May 1st. May Day in the North.

As those of us in the South prepare to spend All Hallows
remembering the dead and honouring the ancestors,
remember that the feast of Samhain, though solemn,
is also a time of rejoicing.
We rejoice in the legacy of those who trod the Way before us.
We celebrate their lives,
give thanks for their achievements,
and contemplate their wisdom.
Most of all we are grateful for the fact that love never dies,
and that we are surrounded by the love they gave during their lifetimes.
We grieve with and comfort the newly bereaved,
those who have been parted from loved ones during the last solar cycle.
Death & Dying~~~~~~~Grief
In Guatemala the Kogo people fly kites
to send news from the past year to those who have died,
while in many traditions feasts are held in the graveyards
so that the spirits of the ancestors can take part.

Beltane comes for inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere,
with bonfires & feasting.
Couples often choose Beltane for their handfasting,
and the mood is one of unrestrained joy & creativity.
Trees are in full leaf, flowers abound,
& the world is full of life.
Birds, butterflies, & gauzy-winged dragonflies fill the air with colour,
the frogs & cicadas are tentatively trying out their voices.
Everything basks in the warm Spring sunshine
as the days lengthen.

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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