It’s been three weeks now since the balance of the Light & Dark at the Gate of the Autumnal Equinox. A time of marking time. A time to pause. A time to re-member, to reflect, be grateful, celebrate the victories, grieve the losses, & honor the harvests.
This is my record of reflection for this year’s Harvest Gatherings. Stopping to breathe deeply as I notice where I am & how I got here. Pausing serves me in that I can rest & regain my bearings during a hectic, somewhat chaotic period of uncertainty & change.
October’s full moon is a favorite celebration of mine. One of many among my earth-centered practices for remaining in tune with the seasons & cycles of life. No matter where I may be or what may be happening around me, I am steadied at these anchor-points, creating a beacon to mark my passage along the way.
If there is also an opportunity to connect with community, I consider it a fortunate potential for expansion & affinity. Listening to the experiences, stories & adventures of others allows for new perspectives, revealing a depth of meaning that is missing when I am alone.
I was invited to a sweet, yet powerful, intimate celebration for blessing our hands & our sacred work in the world as we began the Harvest Season on August 1st. I found it to be a potent, yet subtle rite, resonating with the tide of small, yet rich yields that have been the theme of this year’s growing season.
As I look back, I am in a state of wonderment. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was wrapping up a seven-day series of rituals honoring the harvests that had been cultivated over the spring & summer? This year, my First Harvest celebration produced some amazing gifts, powerful blessings, & intense shifts into another level of perception & a deeper comprehension of the power of ritual that continues today.
The first collecting of this harvest season’s gifts allowed me to share my work with a local radio audience. I was interviewed on August second by a powerful, gifted & talented woman in her own right. A skilled artist, of whom I have had the privilege & honor of supporting & witnessing her growth & blossoming into an inspiring example of an intelligent, powerful modern woman, living her truth as she brings all her gifts to bear for helping her community to thrive. Sometimes to her advantage, sometimes not. A pure force of nature in action.
It was & remains an honor to know her. She, as a steadfast circle-sister, valued friend, & profound catalyst in my life, has propelled me to heal & grow. As a result of our interactions, I have searched within for my own answers to how I choose to live authentically & in tune with the natural world. This friendship has stretched over the past 20 years, shaping each of us in our own ways, on our own paths. I hope, intend & pray that I have brought the best out in her, as she has done for me.
Another invaluable gift acquired from the work of this year’s season of cultivation was a special opportunity to attend a yoga retreat in exchange for my creative skills. Taught by another dear, knowledgeable & inspiring sister-friend, it brought me back home to myself in a profoundly powerful way. It reminded me of how I can best take care of myself daily. Now as I practice my formal daily yoga routine, created especially for me, by me, I continue to reap the plethora of benefits, while feeling stronger & healthier as time goes on. Sacred Balance in action.
This brings to mind other rituals focused on the receptive/feminine/yin aspects that have provided nourishment & meaning in the Harvest Season with other circle sisters, along with my own family of sisters, & the quality of our relationships. Honest sisterhood is an elusive experience in my life. I have had both positive & negative sistership encounters & interactions. Each one teaching me in the process. About myself, about them, about women’s mysteries, about natural cycles, & about life as a female in our current culture.
In regards to women and our mysteries, in my lifetime I have witnessed the birth & evolution of the ERA, the birth of the #me too movement, the illumination of the sex trade that has gone on far too long, & the rising of the Divine Feminine in a dominator-patriarchal paradigm. It always amazes me how long it takes humans to evolve, to change, to fulfill our potentials. Sometimes it takes one a lifetime, & sometimes devolvement happens instead.
There are so many activists in the world right now. I don’t think of myself as one. This role is almost certainly expected of anyone who leads, who teaches, who instructs others to be who they are, to find their own truth these days. It is a must that they find their voice/cause & make sure as many people hear it as possible. And yet, I know that I am quietly working away & sometimes one soul at a time is all it takes to change the world.
I recognize this because I am a visionary, actively practicing my truth-telling. I am a passionate supporter of pure love, creativity, eco-consciousness, healing, inner exploration, self-mastery, & the catalyzing opportunities I offer others who are ready for evolutionary creativity to enter their lives. For me, this is my soul-calling, a burning, intense desire to revive the ancient tools of archaic wisdom, of connecting our seen & unseen realms; the realms of spirit, nature, & humanity, for healing & wholeness to be restored in harmony with ourselves, each other, Nature & this precious little blue planet we call home.
Some may view me & the path of my sacred art as being ego-centered, self-delusional or wildly radical (with a negative connotation). I can understand how that might be perceived by an outsider. Someone who doesn’t know me, personally. They wouldn’t notice how everything I do, every little thing, is infused with meaning, giving it a purpose that is woven into alignment with pure Love, connected with Divinity, always for the greater good. They wouldn’t understand the attention, focus, & energy it takes to be fully present. They can’t know that I am in a constant state of openness, unceasingly sensing even the subtlest of energies, from the smallest part of this earth to the wholeness of the cosmos, continuously aware, paying attention from a multidimensional state of being connected to the All/One.
Reflection allows for improvement in the future, a honing of skills, a refinement & an evolution of sorts. Listening again to my responses, to my choice of words, I imagine them as the intentional spells they were meant to be, being woven into the fabric of my life & my sacred work. I hear where I can improve, illuminate my responses, rewrite my story to help give it more meaning & depth.
All this ‘taking stock’ as we near the end of the Harvest season is an endurance test at this Turning. Sorting & sifting through the remains of my experience, I am inspired to see things in a new light, gain a different perspective & check my headings before moving forward again. This process helps me to find my inner truth among all the words, all the stories out there in the world. It helps me to discover where I can improve, & even if I want to pursue that particular path or interest.
In my experience, everything is sacred. I am aware of the existing paradox in our current reality that makes the opposite true as well. Creativity, rituals, curiosity, connections, nature, explorations, art, love, healing, compassion… these are the things that offer us purpose & give us deeper meaning in our lives.
When I am focused on practicing my creative expressions, priestessing the sacred arts, offering my expertise in the form of time-tested spiritual tools, ritual techniques, ecstatic practices, this is my activism & my active service to the health of the Whole of Creation. I know my Self more & more deeply with every Turning. I am sSelf-Centered, in that I am centered in a sense of my whole sSelf. The multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, complex being that is I/me. ❤
Original Art by Cat Shepard in collaboration with Kitty Love c.2019-August
Link to Kitty Love…
Link to my radio interview…
If you enjoyed listening, please consider donating to Asheville FM’s public radio services.
Yoga Teacher article link…
With Gratitude for all my sacred Sisters & Brothers & for all the Harvest blessings! ❤