Corn mother

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Image: Lammas mandala from the healing area, Green Gathering August 2014.

I can just about feel it…little hints of summer’s decline. A little cooling off; a little waning.

Most years, at Lughnasadh, I’ve focussed on the themes of sacrifice, gratitude and personal harvest. The latter two themes have been on my mind a lot this past couple of weeks, but more than anything I’ve thought of the Corn Mother figure and what she represents to me.

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In our garden, the purple sprouting broccoli I wrote about a few weeks ago is almost ready to give us its seeds (having donated a few to the birds already; we know our place!) This is what the corn mother in my mind keeps doing; she comes with a basket brimming with all the crops the land has grown abundantly this year, all ripe and whole and colourful. Then she holds out her hand, revealing a cluster of seeds. “Take them” she says, “Take them and keep them then sow them and nurture them once more, on and on.” She says “I’ll be here with you. I’ll walk with you. I’ll guide you. I am the land and know the wisdom of all its seeds that have ever been. These are your seeds; your wisdom, your truth”.

It’s something I’ve not previously thought a lot about at Lughnasadh (but, like many things that I take a while to realise, seems so very obvious now): that we not only harvest the crop we eat now but also the seeds that we plant next year. So relevant to the parallel of our garden seed-saving endeavours here chez Heart Shaped Hands (?The Heart Shaped Home?!)

For the past couple of years I’ve celebrated Lughnasadh around August’s full moon. I like to be a little geeky about corresponding seasonal festivals with lunar phases and I also tend to find this extra few days allows me to see more signs in nature that autumn is on it’s way. So today is when I celebrate this festival of the first hedgerow fruits and of the grain harvest.

This Lughnasadh, I have a really strong sense of culmination. It’s not been the easiest year for us as a family but, of course, struggles usually bring their own harvests. That learning is part of what I’m feeling has culminated; that’s my seed that I take forwards. The sense of culmination ties in nicely for me (geekily corresponds, if you like!) with my having turned thirty this year and with my Saturn return wrapping up in a few months time. When I walked my thirtieth birthday labyrinth, I had this image of the land goddess appearing and inviting me to a deeper connection with her. Here she is, as the corn mother. With many seeds for me to keep, sow and tend. ♥

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