Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.
On the day of Lammas, as the sun begins its descent to the horizon, find a place indoors or outdoors where you can feel the warmth of sunshine on your skin. Make yourself comfortable and ensure that the space and your time will be private and uninterrupted.
Close your eyes and begin to track the movement and energies of your breath. On your in-breath, sink deep, deep inside of yourself and anchor within the core of your being. On your out-breath, feel your inner energies reaching beyond your skin, mingling and communing with the outer world. On your return in-breath, draw these outer encounters back inside yourself, rich with the information and energies of your dance with otherness.
Continue to bring this quality of awareness to the movements and turnings of your breath, inner to outer and back to inner again. On your out-breaths, open yourself to the seasonal energies of Lammas, with Summer still hot upon the land, but with the powers of darkness waxing. On your return in-breath, draw in the smells of the sun-baked land, the changing quality of the light and however else late Summer manifests in your part of the world.
When you feel filled up with these powerful Lammas energies, let them paint for you a flat hilltop with an expansive view of the surrounding landscape. Imagine a sunset-hued sky, with the sun descending toward the horizon. Then sense Lugh appear at your side.
Turn to face Lugh; take in the color of His eyes and hair, the look of His face and form, and the feel of His warm, all-encompassing presence. Clasp Lugh’s hands in yours; feel His strong grip and the powerful currents that course through His fingertips — His are skilled, knowing hands that wisely wield the sword that brings death to ensure the wellness and renewal of the whole. Commune with Lugh, sharing words of welcome and connection.
Lugh directs your awareness to the viewscape before you. See an expanse of cultivated land ready for harvest. This is the golden field of your life story that can show you many things, from pieces of your story and soul work that span your entire lifetime or that have come to light in your recent pathwork. It can reveal the micro details of a single memory, or the wider vista of your place and part in the weaving of greater human society. This field resides within you and is reflected in the outer manifestations of your life. It is always present, a storehouse of information and remembrances, to help you make brave, wise choices on your journey of soul.
With a palm held flat against your mid-back, Lugh fills you up with His wise knowing and truth-seeing powers. A beautiful sword, shining and sharp-edged, appears in your hand. When you gaze down at the surrounding landscape, it is as if you can see into the very heart and necessity of things.
Open yourself to whatever the field shares with you in whatever form, be it words, images, sensations, emotions, memories, insights or information. Breathe these things deep into your body, ingesting their healing, transformative lessons, and letting them nourish and change you.
With your sword, carefully, lovingly cut away the old pieces of your personal story and patterns that must now die away. Offer up this sacred chaff to the Mother Earth, knowing that She will honor your sacrifices and endings by transforming what you have cut away, in Her great composting belly, in service of new life.
Tenderly gather up the seeds of new beginnings and possibilities that reveal themselves in your winnowing work. For now, let the seeds be and do not probe any further into their contents. Hold them close to your heart, infusing them with your love and commit to follow where they lead in the next cycle of your journey of soul.
Take as long as you need for these essential Lammas tasks.
Through His touch, your awareness widens and you take in the whole of Mother Earth. You are a part of Her, and She is a part of you. Let yourself fully feel the power and importance of this primal connection; the Earth’s breath is your breath; Her body is your body; Her well-being and stability are inseparable from yours, and your healing and transformation are Hers.
As your Lammas work draws to a close, visualize the last rays of sunlight melding with the contours of the landscape before you. With every passing day, the power of the sun fades and diminishes, and the seasons of darkness and death fast approach.
A parting is upon you, for it is time to say goodbye to Lugh. Gaze upon His beautiful face, His love radiant still in the encroaching darkness. Share with Him your gratitude for His guidance and wisdom, and wish Him farewell.
The sun dips below the horizon and Lugh is gone, taking His sword with Him. Yet your hands are not empty. In their cupped interior are shining seeds that hold the dormant magic of your pathwork to come.
Let your hilltop vision fade away, and use your breath to bring you back into your physical body and waking reality. When you open your eyes, take in the quality of the light as darkness begins to descend around you. As you finish your meditation, take a few minutes to check in with your emotions.
Lammas can be a time of loss and sadness, and it also brings joy and hope. From endings and death, new life emerges. So the world and your life are forever renewed in the waning light of Lammas.
Celebrate Lammas with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Photo Credit: Rose Erkul at Unsplash.com
Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Lammas marks the end of the current cycle of your journey of soul. The wheel of the year has turned from darkness and death, through light and life, and now shines out the last of this season’s light before a new cycle begins. So too you’ve come to the end of one turning of your journey; it’s time to harvest its bounty of life lessons and personal growth, and to seek out the seeds of your next cycle.
At Lammas, the summer sunshine has baked the land a golden yellow. Fruits, berries and grains bend branches and stalks with their plump ripeness, ready to offer up their bounty to the harvest. Yet the outer look of things can be deceiving. Day by day, the light wanes and the dark waxes; cold will soon replace heat, and the powers of death overtake those of life. The balance has shifted, and the abundance that is now so evident will soon be gone.
This theme of self-chosen sacrificial death in support of life and rebirth infuses the mythic roots of Lammas. The Corn King, John Barleycorn and the Harvest King are some of the names given to the sacrificial God who gathers His energy into the crops that are cut down at Lammas to feed the living and to ensure a new harvest in Spring. In Celtic mythology, the Goddess Tailtiu cleared the land for cultivation as a gift to the people, and died from Her tremendous efforts. Lammas is also called Lughnasadh, in reference to the Celtic God Lugh. Tailtiu is Lugh’s foster mother, and legend has it that Lugh instituted a Lughnasadh harvest festival and games in Her honor.
It is Lugh — the Shining One, the many-skilled God, bearing His Sword of Light — that illuminates your Lammas harvest pathwork. Lugh meets you on a hilltop, offering you a wide-ranging viewscape that can help you see deep into the heart of your life story, and deep into the heart of the struggles of the Mother Earth, as one cycle of your journey of soul and one turning of our collective humanity end, and a new cycle and turning begin. In these profound mysteries of life, death and rebirth, Lugh is your luminescent, loving guide as you embrace the incisive, demanding, and often painful tasks that Lammas asks of you.
At its core, Lammas is a season of hope and the miracle of new beginnings. In the golden field that is your life story, you can find everything you need to heal your soul, transform your life and mend our world. Within you are the lessons, endings and seeds of a powerful new beginning that can lead you ever closer home to your Deep Self and authentic humanity.
Celebrate Lammas with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Artwork by Qistina Khalidah
Excerpt from: The Path of She Book of Sabbats
In the midday brilliance of the Summer Solstice, find a comfortable place in your home by an open window or a private space outside to do your meditation. Bring your attention to your center and imagine breathing in and out from your solar plexus. Feel your belly rise and fall with the movements of your breath. Slow your breathing down and track its reflexive, rhythmic cycle from fullness to emptiness, fullness to emptiness, over and over until your body is relaxed, your mind is empty, and your consciousness is deeply anchored in your inner core.
With a soft-focused gaze, open to the signs of Summer in your part of the world: the dry heat, the sun-bright green edges of leaves, the fragrant smells of flowers and grass, and the infinite other ways Mother Earth is blossoming around you.
See what plant, bird or other wild thing catches your attention, and notice its beauty and behaviors. Know that this plant or creature is doing exactly what it is meant to do, in accordance with the blossoming instincts of its unique essence and purpose.
Close your eyes and use your breath to shift your awareness down through your flesh and bones, and into the depth of your inner landscape. Draw the enervating powers of sunlight deep inside of you and feel it spark your blossoming instincts.
Sense the soles of your feet against the contours of the earth and let the powerful presence of your Goddess Self lead you forward.
As you travel, take in the state of this path. Is it smooth and well-tended, in a state of neglect and disrepair, or somewhere in between? Is your way free and clear, or blocked by debris and brambles? Are you beleaguered by limiting thoughts, doubts and fears? Or are you in synch with the natural state of abundance and grace that underlies this path?
Take a deep, full breath and accept that, whatever its condition, this is your path and way forward to your beauty and blossoming.
Feel the rightness of your desire to reclaim your destined place in the greater weaving of Mother Earth. Open to your hungry longing to be reunited with your feminine wisdom and instincts that connect you with the mysteries of beauty, blossoming and sacred purpose. Listen for the beckoning voice of your Goddess Self. Try to catch Her scent on the wind. Surrender to Her magnetic power, and you will be drawn to Her side.
You will know when you have reached the threshold of your inner sanctum; something deep inside will tell you: yes, this is it, this is my most private, sacred space. Take a few minutes to center yourself and ensure you are completely present, for this is a powerful moment — a homecoming and reclaiming of your holy of holies.
Your Goddess Self may look like you, or have Her own unique appearance. Bask in Her beauty and radiant smile, absorbing the details of Her physical form and the up-close sensations of Her energetic presence. Open to your own energetic and emotional responses to this reunion and homecoming.
Reach out to your Goddess Self, clasping Her hands in yours. Gaze deep and long into each other’s eyes. Let the love and goodness that you are, and that infuses all things, flow between you. Settle into this rightness that is you — this worthiness that is you — this beauty that is you — this power, mystery and presence that are you.
Spend as long as you need with your Goddess Self to renew your bond and to receive Her guidance, insights and loving support. Follow Her into the deepest roots of your beauty, gifts and best qualities. Delve into the true essence and purpose of your Deep Self. See what parts of your beauty and purpose are ripe for blossoming, and what your emerging pathwork may look like. Explore together your shadow-side, fears and doubts that are also part of your pathwork.
Expand your shared awareness beyond your personal pathwork and story to your broader environment, including your family, workplace and community. Open to your Goddess Self’s knowing of the natural abundance of the sacred feminine and Mother Earth. Let Her reveal the beneficial impact you can have on your outer environment through your beauty and gifts, and how you can bring more grace, goodness and generosity to your life and to others.
If you are ready, say yes to your blossoming and the pathwork that has been revealed to you. If you not ready, share whatever changes and commitments are right for you at this time on your journey of soul.
Retrace your passage along the pathway that led to your inner sanctum. With each step and breath feel yourself return to your physical body and everyday consciousness. Open your eyes and connect once more with the summer-bright world, basking in Nature’s generous gifts of sunlight, fresh air and green-growing things.
Put your hands on your solar plexus and savor this moment. There is no separation between you and your feminine wisdom, and there never was. Like the plants and creatures of the natural realm, you too have a luminescent spark of Creation in your core that holds the unique essence and sacred purpose of your Deep Self.
There is a place for you in the great weaving of life, just waiting for the shining outward of your deepest beauty and gifts. In this shining, and your spirit of grace, goodness and generosity, you naturally are a part of the munificence of the Mother Earth, and naturally help to create an ethos of abundance in our human society.
The Goddess is everywhere and in everything. Thou art Goddess.
Excerpt from The Path of She Books of Sabbats: A Journey of Soul Across the Seasons.
Let The Path of She Book of Sabbats transform your life through teachings, guided meditations and pathwork exercises that reconnect you with the seasonal energies of the Earth, the mysteries of the Goddess, and the deepest roots of your life’s purpose and story.
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There’s a powerful juxtaposing of realities going on right now. One is our human world stuck in a mindset of fear and scarcity that bears the fruits of poverty, social injustice, war, mass overconsumption and climate change. The other is a life-centered ethos revealed in Nature’s emerging summertime landscape of stunning beauty and overflowing abundance.
Two realities, two ways of living and engaging the world around us, two different outcomes for our lives, human society and Earth home. At this moment, both these realities are turned on high, in our face, shaking us awake and asking us to choose.
This isn’t a comfortable discussion to have. It asks you to show up to the toxic brew of sexism, homophobia, racism, violence, environmental destruction and the myriad of other ills that pervade our human psyche and collective behaviors. These terrible events and human ills aren’t isolated, disconnected aspects of our society. They’re symptoms or outcomes of a reality of fear and scarcity that rules our world, where there isn’t enough food, money, jobs, power, social status, and even love to go around. In a reality where the dominant, aggressive and greedy rise to the top of the pile, gathering life’s goodies to themselves, things are going to get nasty and ugly.
Here are three simple, potent lessons from Nature that can help you revision your life and our collective reality in alignment with the powers of life in Summer.
1. Abundance is real.
In the sun-bright days of Summer, abundance isn’t an illusion or utopian ideal. It’s real and substantive, woven of the raw elements of sun, earth, rain, soil and seed that, through the wondrous miracle of life, produce the foodstuff that feeds the hungry bellies of this world.
Nature’s abundance expresses itself in an ethos of generosity, of giving more rather than less, and taking only what is needed. Take a single cherry tree, not only does it offer up delicious fruits for humans and creatures alike year after year, but the pits of the fruit provide the seeds of future plants and harvests.
Imagine living in harmony with Nature’s ethos of generosity by giving more of yourself rather than less, and only taking what you truly need by walking lightly on this Earth.
Imagine conceiving this same abundance in our shared society, where a decent standard of living is a given, and power, worthiness, love, and other markers of personal satisfaction and social value are infinite and available for all, each in accordance with our deep, true needs.
2. Life is good.
The powers of life are at a peak it the Summer, and the good things of the living world are on full display. The sun is hot. The sky is clear blue. Wild things are plump, healthy and busy tending their young. Ripe fruits weigh down branches. Gardens are overflowing with produce.
Sunshine caresses bare skin. Luscious flowers scent warm breezes. Wild music of birdsong and buzzing insects fills the airwaves. Flowers paint the landscape in bright colors and vibrant greens. Strawberries are soft and sweet. Life is very, very good.
Imagine living and sharing this same goodness inside of you by gifting others with your best qualities and nature.
Imagine a world in which Nature’s goodness is cherished, with its gifts and wonders received with gratitude and a debt of protecting these precious resources, and where people share their own goodness and best nature with others.
3. All life is beautiful and worthy.
Wild things don’t have self-worth or identity issues. A dung beetle doesn’t stop to measure its beauty and value against a butterfly. It goes about the business of being a dung beetle, in alignment with its unique dung beetle purpose and place in the great weaving of life.
Be it a dung beetle or butterfly, dandelion or rose, robin or turkey vulture, mouse or wild cat, no one is more beautiful or worthy than another. The summertime powers of light and life call every living being to blossom, flourish, and play their essential part in the balance and well-being of the whole.
Imagine honoring and claiming your beauty, gifts and sacred purpose, knowing that you’re truly beautiful and worthy, and that your contributions to life deeply matter.
Imagine living in a world where others do the same, where there is no better or worse than, just infinite configurations of beauty and gifts, all contributing to the balance and well-being of the whole.Visioning a New World
As I share Nature’s lessons and these visions of a life-centered reality, I want to be clear that I’m neither naïve nor someone who believes that light and love can banish life’s evils. Nature isn’t always gracious and generous. Winter brings scarcity and death, and the wild world can deliver up devastation through earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. Yet Nature always returns to abundance, goodness and life.
In the same way, our personal lives and collective humanity are plagued by the natural ravages of illness, suffering and death, as well as the countless ills and horrors of our collective reality of fear and scarcity. Yet we can choose a vision for our lives and world based on a reality that always returns to abundance, goodness and life, no matter what challenges and hardships come our way.
This isn’t an easy choice to make. It’s hard sometimes to believe in abundance, goodness and life’s beauty in the face of the pain, suffering and horrors that weigh down our personal histories and shared humanity, and the terrible, terrible things we humans continue to do to each other and our Earth home.
Believe me I know, because I’ve traveled into the depths of my own personal horrors and those of our humanity, and come out the other side. I’ve come to understand that I/we can’t undo the harm that’s been done to us, and to the people and things we hold dear. What we can do is look life in the eye, see and speak truth, and choose accordingly.
We humans are capable of immense horror and great goodness. We can build a world based on an ethos of scarcity and fear, or abundance, goodness and beauty. We get to choose, each moment and each challenge, which of these two realities will be our guiding force. Yet, in the end, only a life-centered ethos, love and the best of our nature can mend our hearts, transform our life and take on the momentous task of creating a new, better world.
Nature shows us what we’ve forgotten. It teaches us that abundance, goodness and beauty are real and ever present. It reminds us that nothing is forever; from the depth of Winter, life always returns to and unfolds into the stunning plenitude of Summer. So too we can emerge from the long winter of soul of humanity, and a collective ethos of fear and scarcity, to return to a life-centered reality that can embrace and nourish us all.
Imagine that there’s a place and purpose in this world for every person and wild being, each beautiful, worthy and precious, and that we each bring our best gifts and qualities to the communal table of humanity to solve the problems we’ve created and build a better world together.
Then shift into this living state of abundance, goodness and beauty; stretch out your hands and send this vision outward, like a prayer, into the suffering hearts of our human world.
Bring these lessons and the life-centered ethos of the Summer into your life through the Path of She Guided Journey – Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess .
The Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess offering is part of a Guided Journey Series through the seasons to help you seek and source the transformative, life-centered teachings of the Goddess and Nature. The Summer Journey includes: a Guidebook (pdf ebook), Journal (pdf ebook), and Guided Meditation (mp3 audio) that offer an integrated, seven lesson program with wisdom teachings, awareness practice and journaling exercises, and a guided meditation.
Learn More at: Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess.
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For everything there is a season, and Beltane is the time to embrace your life-making instincts for the new and beautiful to take root and flourish in your world. Whatever you seek, the Green Man will give to you, for He is the lover-God whose ardor can spark new life and possibilities.
On Beltane, in the heat of daylight hours, seek out a patch of the wild world where you can privately commune with Nature, preferably with soil at your feet and the sky overhead. Make sure this is a space where you feel safe and comfortable to go deep. If you can’t be outdoors, settle yourself in front of an open window that lets in ample natural light and fresh air.
Close your eyes and use your breath to ground yourself. Track the soft, sensual rhythms of your breath, slow, slow in, slow, slow out. Savor the tingling passage of air through your nostrils, filling your lungs and stretching your muscles and ribs outward, and the long, gentle release of breath, flattening your belly inward toward your spine. Follow this pattern over and over, emptying yourself of thoughts and concerns, until your body feels supple, enervated and relaxed.
Focus your consciousness in your solar plexus and then reach your awareness and senses outward toward the exuberant ways in which Nature is bursting forth new life in your part of the world. With your eyes still closed, immerse yourself in the smells and sounds of the burgeoning life around you, and the wild-world energies of sex and birth; draw these energies into your body and let them connect you to the erotic, sensual currents that infuse the Green Man’s Beltane magic.
Take a few minutes to check in with yourself in this exchange. Beltane energy is edgy and intense, and can sweep you off your center or dredge up any shame or wounding you may have around your body, sensuality and sexuality. Be very, very gentle and compassionate with yourself, and only take this work as deep as is good for you at this moment.
Yet do not retreat back into the shadowy places in your psyche. For everything there is a season, and now is the time for you to embrace your life-making instincts for the new and beautiful to take root and flourish in your inner and outer landscapes. No matter your personal doubts, resistance and judgments, or those of others, know that life loves you as you are and longs for you to embrace and live from your deepest beauty.
Know that it makes no difference whether you are straight or queer, man, woman or transgendered, a blade of grass, a frog in heat or a nesting eagle — the Green Man is beloved and lover to us all.
In your inner landscape, let your wild instincts paint for you a forest wilderness decked out in its glorious, Beltane display of new growth: the bright, leaf-green canopy of trees, the musky scents of mating animals, and the melodic communion of nesting birds. Feel the heat rising from the soil, from the branches and foliage, and from the creatures of this place.
Feel a mirror heat emanating from your soul’s desire. Surrender. Become the lover that says yes to life’s embrace.
Imagine the Green Man emerging from between the trees. Take in His physical appearance, His scent and the way He moves His body. Feel how your body and heart respond to Him. Sense the energy field between you, and His magnetic pull on your body and soul. Share whatever words of welcome and communion come to you.
Abandon yourself to the love- and life-making dance that arises between you. Whatever you need, in whatever form, the Green Man will give to you, for He is the lover-God whose ardor can spark new life and possibilities within you, rooted in your deepest essence and beauty.
Do not rush this embrace. Leave behind all traces of your old stories and hurts, and anything that stops you from being fully, wondrously present and sensually engaged. Luxuriate in His delicious companionship. Savor His taste of the wilderness and the delicious joining of your outer forms and inner energies. Let Him fill you, fill you, fill you, and receive His igniting, transforming magic with your whole being, making fertile your soul’s desire to live and flourish from your Deep Self.
When this magical union feels complete, seal it with a sweet, gentle kiss. Then say goodbye to the Green Man with words of love and gratitude. Let the forest landscape fade away. Use your breath to bring you back into your physical body and waking reality. Slowly open your eyes to the bright light around you.
The shadow-side of humanity runs counter to the Green Man’s magic, and you may come up against tender, wounded places inside yourself. These things may resist and block your impetus for new growth. So be gentle, take care of yourself, but do not let the old, stuck places hold sway on your journey of soul.
You must become the lover of your own life, tending your new growth, cultivating your deepest beauty, and making the most with what you have been given. It is time to dig deep, shine bright and embrace the magnificent gift that is your Self.
Artwork by Amdhuscias
Excerpt from Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available on Amazon.
Make your own journey with the Green Man into the wild, delicious, life-making powers of Beltane with the Path of She’s Beltane Guided Meditation. Available at the Path Store for $9.99.
Make your own journey with the Green Man
into the wild, delicious, life-making powers of Beltane
with the Path of She’s Beltane Guided Meditation.
Available at the Path Store for $9.99.