Lessons of the land, Nature

Lammas

In the wheel of the year, Lammas (also known as Lughnassadh) falls on 1st August and is the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox in the northern Hemisphere. By Lammas we are into the second half of the year and may refer to this time as ‘high summer.’ The days are still long and the sun’s energy is strong yet active growth is waning. The earth is adundant and many of our grain crops have ripened and await their gathering, full and golden.

Traditionally Lammas is thought of as the first of 3 harvests; the grain harvest. This is followed by the second harvest of fruits at the Autumn equinox and the final harvest of nuts and berries occuring at Samhain.

Despite the suns waning energy, this time of year is often marked by celebration; festivals, fairs and gatherings that honour local produce, celebrate the remaining light and acknowledge the ease of abundant times.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we currently are in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Continue reading “Lammas”

Lessons of the land, Nature

Summer Solstice

In astronomical terms, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere. Just to confuse things a little, you may also hear this time of year referred to as ‘midsummer.’ This year, the summer solstice falls on Friday 21st June and will mark the longest day and the shortest night of the year. This means that the light reaches its peak, after which we cross over the threshold into the second half of the year. Light after the summer solstice begins its slow but sure decline towards the shortest day of the year on December 21st, winter solstice.

Transitioning to the second half of the year can provoke a sense of sadness, overwhelm or leave us feeling unprepared and rushed (anyone else wondering where the first half of the year went?!) Us humans commonly have a preference for the light (not to mention warmth) so thinking of its retreat is not easy. However the earth, if we allow it, can be a good teacher of balance. Year on year we witness darkness and light rise and fall, and give way to one another through the seasonal cycle, always moving, always changing and always returning.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we are currently in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Continue reading “Summer Solstice”

Recovery

Rise

It is a privilege to be able to support others in their journeys towards building a more meaningful life. I work in a prison and the community running groups and providing one to one support to individuals with a range of experiences and mental health challenges.

There are days that are tough, really tough. Days that I feel as though I can’t do enough for someone. Days that I struggle to manage my own wellbeing alongside supporting others and days that I see how unfair life can be over and over. Continue reading “Rise”

Recovery

The day’s work

Hands up who else has ever felt a sense of dread or panic, when faced with the age old question, ‘what do you do?‘ Those four bland words usually uttered pretty early on in an attempt to get to know somebody. The question almost always equates to a description of what we do for work; how we earn our money. I feel lucky to be able to say these days that I’m in a job that I quite enjoy, however it hasn’t always been this way. I have also experienced the shudder run down my unemployed spine when faced with this question.

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