Gillian Monks

'Making Fairytales Come True'

Tag: Harvest

Greetings For Calan Gaeaf!

Ancestor Table

The Ancestor Table is set and awaits the names, photos and memorabilia of those to be remembered and honoured… a time of soft light and deep shadows.

So, here we are… at the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. The seeds of all our endeavours for 2020 have been sown – and harvested – and what a curious year it has been.

Now it is time to draw all the threads of our year together. To take all that we have hoped for, striven for and achieved, all we have failed at or lost, and pull them within to be reviewed, reworked and reborn in resolutions for the coming new year. In the summer months of the year the light is all around us… it pervades, intrudes, even disturbs our sleep as it demands our attention and constant activity. But here we are at the very threshold of Winter – with barely eight hours of daylight each day, less in stormy times of heavy cloud and driving rain, and growing ever shorter as we journey on to Midwinter.

The focus of our lives shifts. The undeniable light which suffused us throughout the summer has dimmed. It is time to harvest that too, and take the light within… to shield and nurture it… to sit and be present with it… to bring it to the very edge of our own inner cauldron which represents the roiling, moiling inner source of all that makes us ‘us’ and illuminate what we discover there. For this is also the time of our own inner harvest. Then we may rest, recuperate, and await our rebirth with that of the Sun at Midwinter. Take time to breath and reflect… to decide where you go from here… what you wish to see and do in the new year… and, perhaps most importantly of all, how you wish to achieve it.

Be bold! Be daring! This time of pandemic is not one for holding back and being timid – it is a time of make or break, a time to play your hand and aim for the very highest goals.

As Darkness envelops us (in many more ways than one) and the northern half of the  Earth judders and sighs as she settles for her rest, all that has passed and gone before – along with all possibility of what may be to come – draws near us at this liminal time, the transition from this to… what? It is for us to choose. And at this time of decision, all the Ancestors, our ancestors, of blood, of place, of belief, draw close once more. Do they come to support us? To chastise us for our follies? To seek forgiveness and love? Welcome them. We need solidarity at this particular time. They have faced it all before. They can help to guide us through. Simply open your hearts and minds to them with love. You do not have to know who they are, just acknowledge that they have been… must have existed, or else you could not possibly be here now. Buried deep within your DNA are genetic memories of all that they have experienced, and they will help you remember now, so that you may learn by their own personal collective triumphs and failures what to repeat and where not to go.

I do not wish you a mere ‘good weekend of festivity’, or a jolly, enjoyable or exciting ‘Hallowe’en’ with silly masks and make-up and fancy dress and all the theatricals which humanity employs when it is really seeking to dodge important issues.

I wish you a mind-bogglingly transformative weekend, an experience of such depth and colour that it will take your breath away. But to begin, simply sit with yourself, light a candle, and be silent, with love in your heart.

May the true blessings of Calan Gaeaf / Samhain / Hallowe’en be yours!

The Goddess Don

Lammas 2019Greetings !

I hope that you and your loved ones are still safe and well?

August is upon us and the start of the grain harvest. The seasons are turning and our challenging situation with Covid-19 still stalks us. But here we are. The sun is shining, the crops ripening and a different – but potentially very positive – future lies before us. A future which we can all participate in reforming and rebuilding.

This is the theme of Walking With The Goddess in August which introduces you to the mother goddess, Don. She will help you to identify and connect to elemental energy and encourage you to develop your own relationship with such an entity. Working with elemental energy, you will be able to begin to directly heal all that is amiss and broken upon our planet – including humanity itself. This you can achieve. It is not difficult or complicated or necessary to be gifted in some special way. You can begin today. Take charge of the future and become empowered in your own creation of an ecologically sustainable and harmonious new way of life.

It is up to you – the decision is yours – the way is found by unlimited connection and unconditional love to all.

https://www.earthwalking.co.uk/checkout/

With my love to you,
Gillian.

Lammas Greetings!

My Lammas Loaf, specially baked in the shape of a sheaf of wheat

Dusk came early to our valley this evening. Throughout the day there has been thick cloud obscuring the mountains after all the rain, but now the rumbling, flashes and downpours have ceased. All is calm, still and quiet. As the light dimmed I went to our front door and rang my tinkling little bell and called to the  fair  folk, the Tylwyth Teg, to come and bless my home. I left offerings of crusty home-baked bread spread with sweet thick honey, a bowl of milk and a glass of home made oak leaf wine for them to feast upon in the dark hours when prying human eyes are tightly shut in slumber.

For I am writing this on Lammas eve. By old beliefs and the natural calendar of the land this is the time when true summer begins to draw to an end and we enter early autumn. Be mindful that this is the beginning of the main harvest season – the grain harvest – although we have already had the hay cut and been gathering fruit, herbs and vegetables from the land for several months!

This is a good time to ponder on what we have gained and what we have sacrificed of ourselves over the light, bright season. Our own actions mirror the bounty and sacrifice which the Earth constantly enacts to sustain all the life on this planet.

This is also traditionally a good time to reassess or appraise relationships, contracts and agreements, and to enter into new ones too. Historically this was one of those times of year when people came together… a brief respite in the gruelling farming calendar between one lot of harvesting and the next… but still a time of light evenings and good weather when picnicking in the fields and boisterous games allowed the young to safely let off steam and the more sedentary to gossip and catch up on news… to discuss business and strike new deals… to come to fresh understanding with one’s neighbour.

There is something here for all of us to take away and think about… and to also put into practical action! It matters little where you live and what your daily occupation and employment is. Perhaps you might like to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and become more aware of who and what is around you… of what you have to be thankful for… of what you need to improve or make new arrangements for… to decide what you have so far achieved and what you are willing to do or give of yourself in the coming months. And to reach out to your friends, family and neighbours in friendship and understanding.

A very merry,  prosperous and joyful Lammas celebration to you all!

 

A Woman For All Seasons

It seems as if we have had all four seasons in one week!

Gillian at Dorothea

Observing the autumn in the quarry

First came ‘spring’ last weekend with all manner of spring and early summer flowers having a second go at blooming – the rhododendron outside my dining room window is fairly well covered in delicate blooms – smaller than their early summer counterparts, but flowers nonetheless.

On Monday, autumn had descended. The valley was filled with lowering grey skies weeping mizzely rain and softly drifting leaves of gold and brown. My son and I decided to take a walk down our local disused quarry. Muffled in waterproofs and armed with foraging baskets we strode into the silent woods with our two golden Labrador dogs happily snuffling through the rank undergrowth. The woods were immensely welcoming and the various lakes (formed where once-cavernous quarry holes have now filled wit water) lay serenely still without a ruffle of a breeze across their bright surface.

Autumn in the quarry

Dusk approaching on a damp and very still autumnal afternoon

This felt more authentically appropriate. After all, it is October now. Time to bid farewell to light warm summer days, the fruitfulness of harvest fields and rich wild abundance of woodland and hedgerow. The only things left here to gather are mushrooms of many kinds – some destined for the dispensary and medicinal purposes and others for the kitchen. We gratefully filled our baskets. Then stood to witness the Earth sighing and stretching as she settles for her Winter sleep.

But what is this? By Wednesday we were plunged back into ‘summer’! Blue skies and golden sunshine; the temperature a very balmy 21 degrees and suddenly everything I was wearing was too thick and far too hot. Out came the strappy sandals and tissue-thin dresses again…

Now it is Friday and what do we have? Winter gales buffeting the house, some trees suddenly stripped prematurely bare, rain rattling against the window panes in squally torrents and the daylight almost gone, even though it is only 5.40.pm..

What, I wonder, might the next couple of days bring? Which season might we be inhabiting come the beginning of the new week?

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