Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shine on, harvest moon

Last night was the full harvest moon, coming on the heels of Sunday's autumnal equinox. It is a magical time, a time of change and harvest, of reaping what you have sown over the year, and it also is a preparation for the long dormant winter.

My little group -- Cowgirls, we call ourselves, after the game Cowgirls Ride the Trail of Truth -- has been meeting about twice a month for nearly three years now to share our lives, to celebrate relationship and friendships, to provide support to each other. Our ages are very diverse: I'm not really quite sure how we were drawn together initially, other than we shared a love of the arts. Certainly our life experiences are wildly different, which makes for interesting stories.

And we share a spirituality that is rooted in Christianity -- we all have church-going histories--but has evolved into an undefined, unrefined mixture of Buddhism, Neopaganism, New Thought, and probably involving elements of several other practices. I don't know that WE know, exactly.

But last night we celebrated the equinox with a harvest feast, with candles, with prayers, and then created our own harvest cornucopias with a variety of locally-grown fruits and veggies. I'd gathered a small basket of acorns from our trees, and after holding them and reflecting on the great promise that each small seed holds, we exchanged harvest wishes for each other, using the acorns as the symbol of growth and promise.

And we celebrated Lady Moon, out here where ambient light is so much fainter than in town and the full moon seems so much larger, so much brighter. It was the perfect evening to do so, too, with temperatures still at shirt-sleeve comfort, no clouds, no sounds but crickets and tree frogs or whatever variety of wild thing makes those oddly comforting humming thrumming sounds.

It was a celebration reminding us of the divine feminine, of the energy of the earth and the cycles of life. It was mostly silent, although I'd written some ceremony adapted from a variety of traditions, and altered it further as we went through it -- but it was meaningful and rich and made me feel very blessed to have these women as my heart friends, to share my home with deer and turkeys and other animals -- including a very affectionate kitten who insisted on visiting the laps of two women who are not particularly enamored of cats (how very catlike!).

I am grateful for change that allows new growth and new possibilities. I am grateful for new beginnings and for second chances. I am grateful most of all for love that surrounds and enriches everything in my life today. Thanks be.

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