A seed planted in the dark, will make its way towards the light, just as in my Tradition we have the concept of everything beginning in darkness, and working its way towards the light. So our year starts with the season of winter, and our days start at sundown, continuing that belief that from darkness comes light.
As we approach the “end of summer” known by us as Samhain, This is also the end of our calendar Year, the time of reflection, between the elements of Water and Earth, here in this “mud” of the year is the start of our winter, and therefore the start of our new year as well.
We mark this by the celestial planets above us, when the constellation above us is at 15 degrees of Taurus the bull; we mark this moment as our eve of darkness, the beginning of winter and the beginning of our light of a new year ahead.
This moment of Samhain is also our moment of New Year and this year it is May 5th at 11.13pm.
Here in Australia on the East coast where I live, we have no need to bring our cattle or livestock inside, as our Winter is mild compared to that of our European ancestors, we have no need to cull for the harsh season ahead and fill our freezers and pantries to get us through. It’s the time to collect the seeds, and bring some plants and bulbs inside. Yet we also make some plantings at this time for what is grown here throughout winter. Our garlic should be in the ground before Samhain.
Here it is now legal to start our fires on the farms and burn off what is no longer needed, the wild deer are rutting, and most does are pregnant by Samhain. The female Casuarina trees are fully in flower. Our Kangaroos and wallabies are also growing joeys, and breeding for the second time to develop another joey as a back-up, as the mists roll in from the river, we are reminded of our ancestors also drawing nearer in this time. The scent of Death is in the air, as the mists start the rot, the dampness creeps in, we feel it in our bones and we see it on the land. The sun struggles to evaporate what the night has delivered under its blanket of moisture.
As the land releases, we are reminded of sacrifice, and that we all need to make sacrifices in order to move forward, as the cycle continues, we reflect on service and sacrifice on Anzac Day, and we prepare for winter. At this time we spill milk and cornmeal on the land, offering up what was given, and we perform fertility rituals, we also prepare out taxes in winter where we give back too.
This is the time of withdrawal, the sun loving reptiles and mammals retreat, the animals many now pregnant, also slow down, green lush grasses replace the barren places of drought, so the stress of food is eased, as the slowing down to the darkness approaches.
We move into our inner caves of reflection, we see what needs to change and we make the adjustments needed, in the darkness, whilst we can, before we are born again, in the enthusiasm of the new light that approaches at Yule.
And so the cycle continues…
© Astarté Earthwise 2018
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