The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Author Ms.Faith

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Harvest Is Upon Us . . . A Time Of Endings As The Wheel Turns

Good Afternoon My Witchy Readers,

So many people enjoy this time of year, the coming fall season with the leaves starting to turn, the nights getting cooler and the air getting a bit crisper. Yet along with the harvest of abundance, from foods from the orchards, gardens and fields, as well as the harvest metaphorically of our lives from the seeds we  planted earlier this year around Imbolc, and all of the changes we have brought into our lives. There is the inevitable sense of sadness for some of the dying year, the things passing that must be set aside, the endings of things once so wonderful in our lives that are no longer.

The Wheel of The Year inexorably turns, we cannot stop it's relentless although slow movement. Along with it's turning comes change. How we humans detest change. From creeping age, to changes from our favorite season to the next not so favorite season, to changes in relationships, to changes we must accept within ourselves, for we all must change. No matter how much we wish to ignore or avoid accepting or acknowledging this fact.

Sometimes we notice and accept the changes on our own, but most times others point out these changes much to our dismay! Yet, remember the Wheel of the Year, where it is now at the end and things are ending, closing, being put aside and the dead are being buried. Yet as we know, as we Pagans believe,  as the Wheel turns, all things dead , will be reborn in the springtime. New green shoots burst through the frozen ground and all things past return in a new form, all things sent out return to us, in one form or another.

In these modern days, when I teach students and when I conduct Sabbats, I focus attention on the Wheel of the Year as a metaphoric agricultural season for us humans. A time of planting seeds in our lives of things we wish to bring into our lives at a later time, a time of nurturing and tending, the all important weeding out of things we do not need in our lives, and then the inevitable harvest. Some years we plant, tend, and harvest things that bring us pleasure and joy and then there are years when we, for reasons that perhaps only our souls know why, that we plant, tend and harvest difficult times, sadness, pain, even grief and intense loss.

Our lives need to experience all things.. Not just the happy and the exciting and wonderful. We also need the sadness, the loss and the pain of living life. This concept follows the Hermetic principle of polarity. We cannot 'know' light without darkness, hot without cold, up without down.  This is why sometimes 'bad' things happen to good people, because their soul decided they needed to experience that. No other reason. Not that they are a bad person, although we do have to respect Karma. But the energies that surround and weave a tapestry around our lives are seldom simple and easily understandable.

There are actually four harvests on the Pagan Wheel of the Year, from Litha where we can start harvesting medicinal and magickal herbs, to Lughnasadh, to Mabon and culminating with Samhain. Okay, say you have 'planted' the seeds in your life, back during the springtime. Then you tended and weeded and nurtured during the summer season. Just how does one 'harvest' their metaphoric crops during the harvest season?

Excellent question!! Many people ask for new people, friendships, relationships, perhaps fellowship with like minded people to come into their lives and if this is what you planted in your life, then during this harvest, be sure to go out and spend time with these new people, even if you would rather stay huddle at home! Be part of the group you so much wanted to be a part of your life, remembering to allow for acceptance, understanding and compassion as new people will bring new experiences and personalities that may not sync up perfectly well with you right off. Perhaps that is exactly why you planted seeds for new people in your life to begin with and why you felt a need for new friends. Be open and allow for differences. We, as we grow older, learn to be more open and flexible because to be a rigid as we were when we were younger could cause us to break!

A really good example of this, is a person who wishes to be famous. Whether they have a talent, such as singing, or acting or even nowadays that non talent phenomenon, where some people become mega famous simply by being on curious reality TV shows for no other reason than for being themselves. They focus, work at becoming famous, wanting the adoration, the fans (because frankly, without fans you cannot become famous!!) and when all of their efforts, their hard work hits big and the amazing, the impossible happens and they do become mega famous, their harvest becomes shunning their fans, deciding to retire at the age of 25, no longer going on tour, or giving up the life of acting or singing or whatever brought them fame to begin with.

Now, I am not speaking to the paparazzi which hounds famous people mercilessly, but when some famous people actually leave the life that brought them fame and fortune, brought them exactly what they want. Hmmmm, then they find themselves so unhappy they want the very opposite of what they desired for so long.

I think this is why some actors, who become so famous in Hollywood and on the big screen, find at a time in their lives, they go to Broadway, to the smaller theaters and experience a period of harvest where they can truly delve into their craft and feel the audience and the emotions of the theater in real life. Where a famous singer or musician, rather than constantly perform at huge sold out concerts will surprise unexpected patrons and show up at a coffee shop to perform for the simple joy of performing.

You can harvest in your life, this time of your life, that which you have planted. If you are raising children, regardless of their age, stop for some time and just appreciate, watch and enjoy where they are and how far they have come. I started a year ago, singing classes, just for me. Not to perform on stage or to become famous or even locally notorious! I just wanted to learn the intricacies and ins and outs of music as it has always been such a love in my life. So I started classes. After a year I can now look forward to performing at small open mic nights, small recitals and for family and friends and be proud of how far I have come.

Author with singing coach the amazing Jack Riley

There is a concept in the Pagan world, for some of us. The concept of a Year and a Day. We apply it to many things. Many still follow the modern ways of marriage till death do you part, or beginning something for it to end years and years later. Yet some of us, will renew our commitments yearly, or look to change and move to the next level after a year and a day. It is common for me to ask during the birthday candle spell, that something special that is in my life will stay for the next year and a day. Some of us will only dedicate themselves for a Year and a Day and then reevaluate after that time and see where they are, if they are still satisfied with the course of events and if they wish to continue or happily move on in a different direction. I have myself, seen the example, of many times when after a year and a day it is time for students to graduate Enchantments and move on. The program is designed to be a year and a day and sometimes I allow students to stay longer, but for some the year and a day is the best choice.

In the practice of Law we see the year and a day concept from several centuries ago and even in modern times. During English Common law, if a crime against a person was committed which resulted in death of the person, but the death occurred more than a year and a day after the crime or assault, then the perpetrator was not held responsible. This was an upheld belief in the practice of law right up until 1996 when the argument of doctors and modern medicine being able to keep a patient alive for months or years after a crime was committed before a death happens was taken into consideration.

There is also the old and modern legal precedent that a misdemeanor is sentenced to less than a year and a day, specifically eleven months and 29 days or less, and felonies are a year and a day or greater. Also, in these modern times, the concept of allowing prisoners to be eligible for early release is only applicable for felonies, and that must be a sentence over a year and a day. Early release is not applicable for misdemeanors, so it is conceivable that someone who is convicted of a felony eligible for early release may indeed get out of prison before someone sentences on a misdemeanor if both start their sentences on the same day!

 So, even though you may be harvesting crops from your garden, the deeper harvest of your life is upon you, it does not have to wait until your Golden years, it can happen each and every year of your life.

If you have nothing to harvest or are not pleased with your harvest at this time of the year, have no worries. Simply use this quarter of the year to start planning, looking forward and desiring what you wish to plant in your life come springtime and then you will be ready to plant the seeds that you can in turn harvest next year at this time.

To live a Pagan life, in this fashion, takes care, planning and future visions and then work to make your world manifest as you desire it to. What will you plant, and then harvest next year at this time? Realize you are the only one who is responsible for your life as it is right now.

Are you happy with this year's harvest? Are you happy with your life? Ms. Faith

Live, Laugh and Always Love

© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

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