It’s Lammas time again, the first of the three harvest festivals and the one that especially honours the bread and the brew. My altar has artwork for the body of grain, bread art representing the female and male principles, two favourite corn dollies made by my daughter when she was young, a favorite framed harvest photo, a favorite piece of rock art of the Hunter/Shaman from the Four Corners area of the Southwest, a copper etching of another ancient spirit from Sweden, the visage of the Green Spirit as a mask (another art offering from my talented daughter), and fragrant juniper freshly pruned from a tree in my courtyard. And always, my rock friends and a string of stars.
And a journal page from last year in which I explored some versal letterforms.
Tending an altar, lighting a candle, arranging my symbolic things, these are all a form of solace and centering for me. And I have long thought of my journal as a kind of personal sacred space, an altar. It’s a place where I can explore, sort, honor, and comfort.
The fact is, I’ve been struggling with some medical issues. It doesn’t really matter what they are, but my mobility and freedom are restricted right now, so building an altar is my solace, when I can’t spend time in my garden.
This is my offering for this turn of the wheel. Writing these posts helps to keep me connected to my practice and to you all. My gratitude to you for reading.
A heartfelt postscript: I am so moved as your responses come in; thank you. I am always selective about what I share, and that almost never includes vulnerability or physical challenges. But I should know by now that I have nothing to fear by doing so, and everything to gain. I can’t say this any better than a great wisdom teacher, Rachel Naomi Remen: “Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.” So this, this caring and compassion from you, enlarges and enriches my harvest of healing. Deep gratitude.
Happy Lammas, Cari. I’m sorry you’re not feeling well but hopefully you’ll be back to normal soon!
Wishing you well and thanking you for the lovely post…..
Thank you for your lovely post, with links to previous posts highlighting the poem. So interesting and beautiful. I also wish you well.
A festive and happy Lammas to you, Cari. Each time I read your blog I make good intentions to respond to you as I’m always touched by your touching words. I appreciate the sharing with us of your practice. I practice in my heart and mind most often – and you’re right. Our practice does bring us solace and a deep centering. I hope to make my practice concrete someday. I send healing thoughts and energies your way across the ethers.
The Green Man mask is quite striking — I love the coppery color, as though they are summer leaves and fall leaves at the same time.
I have so much enjoyed reading your posts about your seasonal altar choices over the years. I am thinking that I need to set up something like this for myself, a way to mark the turnings of the wheel. Thank you 🙂