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Samhain, Winter Nights 2011 - Southern Hemisphere

~Beltaine or Mayday, in Northern Hemisphere ~

Double rainbow over North Adelaide, from the RainbowWeb looking West

This double rainbow framed my view of the Western sky one winter morning

Autumn leaves

May 1st. seems to be a time for celebrations of some kind all over the Earth.
Someone here in Oz has designated it National Permaculture Day,
it's International Labyrinth Day,
and International Labour Day.
Many here in the South still celebrate Mayday as if it were a Spring festival
- our local Medieval Fair is on that weekend -
although it is really the beginning of winter, and so Samhain is more appropriate.
What to do?

As I write, showers & mist have succeeded the unseasonally warm weather we had last week, & the leaves of the
Persimmon leaves in front of apple treePersimmon have suddenly assumed their dramatic Autumn colours.
So on this first night of Samhain I shall light the fire in honour of the coming season,
set out photographs of my beloved dead, and light candles for them.
On May 1st. I'll upload an updated Garden Description, with illustrations,
to celebrate National Permaculture Day
and maybe visit a local Labyrinth.
And throughout the 3 days use the fire
in the stove to cook apple butter, soup, pulses & grains.

The flower buds of the Loquat are swelling, the Wattle birds have returned, & a pair of Willy Wagtails are energetically marking their territory. Yesterday the female actually flew several times onto the back of a peaceable dove who dared to drink from 'her' water bowl, chattering loudly. Unperturbed, the dove finished drinking, then wandered off. Since there is ample water available - 4 small water bowls at Planty of water bowls!ground level in the sculpture garden, & 3 large ones behind the greenery, Mrs.Wagtail was simply showing off!

Watching THE wedding service last night, I was delighted to see that Westminster Abbey had been turned into a young forest for the occasion. It seems that the new Princess Kate shares her husband's & father-in-law's passionate love of nature, & her choice of garnishings made an important statement. No doubt both Kate & William would have preferred a simple garden wedding, but the duties & responsibilities of their position decreed otherwise.
(The trees, 6 field Maples, & 2 Hornbeams, will be be planted in Highgrove Gardens, as a memorial to the wedding.)

There is still hope for a world in which members of one of it's leading families has such vision.
In "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World", the latest book by HRH The Prince of Wales, he writes:

"It is the way we see the world that is ultimately at fault. If we simply concentrate on fixing the outward problems without paying attention to the central, inner problem, then the deeper problem remains, and we will carry on casting around in the wilderness for the right path without a proper sense of where we took the wrong turning."
Throughout the book, the Prince emphasises the need for connection with Nature, mystical insight and tradition:
"The land lives and, as humanity is a part of the land, so the land inhabits man. We are in Earth as we are in Heaven."


Samhain (Celtic) or Winter Nights (Anglo-Saxon) in the South
precedes the Dark Moon of 3rd.May. at 12°31' of Taurus, 6:50:37 GMT

Although we in Australia & New Zealand think of our war dead,
both combatants & victims,
a little earlier, on ANZAC Day, April 25th.
Samhain is traditionally the Day of the Dead
when we remember & honour our ancestors.
It is also the beginning of the most inward season of the year.
From now until the Winter Solstice on June 21st. or 22nd.
depending on how far East of Greenwich you live
the nights lengthen rapidly, the sun's path sinks lower each day,
leaf-fall increases until the skeletal structure of deciduous trees is revealed
It is a time for deep inner reflection
& both practical & spiritual re-connection with the Earth.

In the North, the traditional May or Beltane celebrations have
appropriately begun with the marriage of the future
King & Queen of Great Britain & the Commonwealth of nations.
In some places Maypoles will have been erected, the May Queen chosen,
while the church celebrates the Coronation of the Queen of Heaven.
We share those joys, & also hope with them
& the many farmers who have been unable to sow the spring crops
that the month of May will bring some welcome rain,
after the driest April for many years.

Recent upates:
I have brought the weather & climate figures up to date on the Gardening & Weather Calendar,
added new links to all 3 links pages, and re-written Margaret's Habitat for National Permaculture Day 2011.

Autumn leaves

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

Autumn leaves

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.

Balance of the hemispheres

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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