August 2017
BBI Media News
Publishers of SageWoman, and Witches&Pagans magazines
and the PaganSquare blogosphere.
Where Are You in the Seasons?
A Lesson from Elder and Harebell

Article and Image by Nimue Brown, ©2017

Lammas, Lugnasadh, the celebration of the grain harvest is a few days behind us. However, not all plant life corresponds with the grain, there are many things out there in the UK at different points in their life cycles right now so I thought I’d talk about those to offer some alternative takes on the wheel of the year for this month.

Lammas rituals often encourage us to focus on personal harvests and bounty, but there’s nothing in nature that says it is natural to be at the harvest stage at specifically this point in the year. If your life is not aligning you to the grain harvest, look around to see what you do connect with.

On the grasslands of the Cotswold edge, there are flowers that appear at this time of the year. Scabious, bird’s foot trefoil, and harebell, particularly. On lower ground, the ragwort is blooming, and playing host/food source to the cinnabar moth caterpillars. They’re none of them in harvest mode right now. I’ve chosen a harebell photo for this post. They look a lot like bluebells, which can cause confusion, but bluebells flower in woodland at Beltain, and harebells flower in grassland at Lugnasadh.

Around me, trees and other fruit-bearing plants are all at different stages. The rowan berries are ripe and falling. The elderberries are just starting to turn – which is early. The blackberries are also ripe early this year. Low to the ground soft fruits -- gooseberries, currants, strawberries and the like have long since finished fruiting, and the first of the soft fruits on trees are coming in. I have already eaten my first wild plum of the season.

I’m not personally at any kind of harvest stage -- a large project should come to fruition at the end of August, other projects are in various states of progress and one of those won’t complete until November. There’s nothing out of kilter with nature in having a project that won’t end until much later in the year. It will come in alongside the sloes and the parsnips. It’s the traditional time for ‘harvesting’ your livestock, as well.

 Whatever is going on in your life, the odds are that other things in the world around you will be at similar stages. If conventional wheel of the year narratives leave you feeling out of touch, look around, there are always other things going on, and you will find resonance and feelings of connection.

(This article excerpted from Ms. Brown's post on her blog "Alternative Wheel" on PaganSquare.)

Nimue Brown is the author of Druidry and Meditation, Druidry and the Ancestors. Pagan Dreaming, When a Pagan Prays and Spirituality without Structure. She also writes the graphic novel series Hopeless Maine, and other speculative fiction. OBOD trained, but a tad feral, she is particularly interested in Bardic Druidry and green living. She writes on PaganSquare and her own site " Druid Life".

Coming Soon!
Embracing Change SageWoman #92

Creating RitualIn a world that often careens of balance, how do we keep ourselves centered? In this upcoming issue of SageWoman, our writers address how they have faced changing circumstances by leaning in, digging deep, and moving forward with passion, grace, and conviction.

Making Our Stand. Molly Remers tells of how she uses woman's ritual to create a miniature version of the world we’d like to see and that we want to make possible.

Cleanse Me, Heal Me, Teach Me.  A terrifying diagnosis leads Jessie Shaw to a journey into plant magic that will change her life forever.

Broken Open: Transformed by Trauma. Tragedy strikes, and Theresa Curtis turns to the wisdom of the Elements and of the Goddess to find healing that seems impossible to reach on her own.

Maiden Crone. DeAnn Bell is training new witches in a mysterious site on the British coastline.

Cry Me a River: Letting Go of my Mother. Brenda Lightfeather Marroy faces a challenge on the horizon for many of us: caring for her aging mother.

On Becoming a Witchy Warrior. Rowena Green seeks to cut through the despair.

Persephone: She Who Puts Change in Motion. Ritual, story, and myth from loremistress Diana L. Paxson. Of all the Greek goddesses. the one whose transformations are most clearly marked is Persephone. In a time in which we face so many changes, what can we learn from Her?

You can pre-order this Fall issue now -- or even better for us, subscribe to the next issue -- and be sure to receive it when it mails in September.

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Year Seven  Heart of Lammas, Sleepless Mother Shaman, Singing with Ancients, Praying with Gaia, Moment in Nature / Granny Cosby’s Table, Transitions Ritual, Being Raised Pagan, Blessings Teach Gratitude, Feeling Holidays / Live & Let Learn, Spirituality & Disability, Search for Spring, Successful Passage, Sisterhood Across Generations / Harmonizing with Life, Periwinkle Fairies, Stinging Nettle Teaches Why People Shop, Birth: Peace & Power.

Year Eight Attending Pagan Festivals as a Family / Herbal Medicine Chest: Yarrow for Fevers / Make God's Eyes with Kids / “John Barleycorn” Song / Earth Mother Stories "Wheels of Life" / Runes for Healing / A Family Lughnasadh Ritual / Sabbat Activities for Lammas & Mabon / Choosing a Magickal Name / The Beauty of Home / The Magic of Being Seven / Avoiding the Holiday “Gimmies” / Cooling Comfrey / Fantasy Pirate Crafts / A Weaning Ceremony / Teen Magick / Rune Crafts for Kids / the Holly King and Ivy King / Discovering Yuletide · Birth is a Force that Gives Us Meaning · Nourishing Nettle / Homemade Root Beer / the Story of CuCuhulain / Doula Wisdom / Umbilical Cord Ceremony / Wisdom of Corn Mother / Sunny Calendula / The Story of Lugh / Learning to Love Words / Celebrate Menarche / Our Samhain Altar. 128 pages, published in 2006-2007.

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