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Lughnasadh always brings an interesting energy with it.  While Lugh won a lot of trials in his life through sheer skill, some of that skill was humour and wit, and there is never a shortage of humour or wit in the messages that come through this time of year.  But what else?  In honouring Lugh we remember the funerary games he organized for his foster mother, Tailtiu. We play games of skill and celebrate our respective talents.  We dance, sing, enjoy the life energy of summer thriving around us.  Now let’s incorporate the celebration of Lamas, the first harvest.  Traditionally the first grains would be used to make bread to bless the occasion as the community came together to enjoy the bounty of harvest.  Sometimes bread was baked in the shape of the Green Man in honour of the sacrifice he gives so that we may thrive.  In all of this there is a theme of both celebration of the light and recognition of the dark as we begin to notice the days shortening, reminding us to be thankful for the harvest that will sustain us in the coming winter.

In my practice I’ve used it as a time to cleanse and bless my hearth and home, fortifying our household for the year to come with the rich energies of summer.  This year I took a deeper look at that practice.  Yes, I will probably still cleanse our home and reinforce our crystal grids, but the more meditation I’ve done the more thought I’ve given to the “hearth” in my life.  While my tangible household is a brick and mortar place, my home is transient, my family scattered between the coasts, farther once I incorporate metamours.  So what of this tribe?  What of our hearth?  How can we be cleansed and fortified for the year to come?

The beautiful thing about our Ohana is that everyone, no matter how far away or how little involved, brings something to the tribe.  We each have our strengths, skills and talents that enrich the energy of the whole.  There is not a single one of us who doesn’t work hard and strive to really experience life in their own way, and this energy finds its way to the core of what makes us strong as a unit.  Those skills and strengths become our grains, and with some nurturing and encouraging, those talents flourish.  Through their harvest we begin to manifest our best selves, and we become the bread men of Lamas, ingested to feel the blessings of the very earth that grounds and holds us.  So, the hearth?  The hearth is community, fired with our dedication to each other.  It’s love, support, and solidarity, but it’s also sacrifice.  We each give at one point or another so that the others may thrive.  When each of my partners’ family becomes my family, and we weave a web of compassion and love, we become a strong tribe.  Through that web we feel each other’s joy and pain.  Through that web none of us can starve no matter how cold the winter might get, and because we’ve got Lugh on our side we do it with the flare of laughter and maybe some smartassery.  Ok, a lot of smartassery.

Aloha, and Blessed Lughnasadh

Go now, celebrate your talents!

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Yesterday I heard of the passing of a girl with whom I went to high school.  Reading through the posts and comments on Facebook, it seems many of us had the same conclusion, that whether or not we had been close to her, in school or in the years since graduation, she was a shining soul who would be missed.

I went to an all-girls Catholic High School in the Oakland Hills.  Our class topped out at 70 girls, and in what I would learn was unique even among the other small Catholic schools in the area, we were a family of sorts.  While we may not have all socialized or had the same interests and goals, when it really mattered we rallied together, be it a staff member with an illness or a fellow student going through tough times.  Even in the years since graduation I have been touched by a quick message from someone I only spoke to a handful of times in school. 

This experience is probably what held me together through my teenage years.  As I felt my world change in extremely violent and frightening ways and watched life pull away from me en masse I cannot think of one woman I graduated with who didn’t reach out to me at least once even if we had less than a handful in common between us.  It was this genuine care and strength as a unit that had led me through my adult life as I strive to help others in any way I can whether they’re strangers or close friends. 

I have yet to make it to a reunion, and I don’t visit with old classmates often, even ones who live only a few miles from me now, but the fact that we have all come together over the past couple days to send our love and light to Erin’s family is just one example of the spirit of Holy Names, a spirit we were all imbued with and encouraged to carry with us always. 

Nobless Oblige, ladies. 

Peaceful crossing, Erin.

 

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