A Simple Path: Journey of a Hedgewitch

*The Hedgewitch lives in the space between the Village and the Forest. Between the mundane and the magical. S/He lives with a foot in both worlds.
This column is dedicated to the Hedgewitches of the planet earth.


September 2009
Harvest Time!!!

It is that profoundly magical season of harvest here in the hedge, and the abundance has amazed me beyond my wildest dreams.
My garden has been a constant source of joy and lessons learned.
The watermelon and cantaloupes, unsown by me, came to life on their own, because we left the seedlings where they sprouted.

It was a teetering balance of my way, and Nature’s way.
In the end, I caved completely and allowed the weeds and plants to grow side by side.
The weeds provided a soft landing spot for the pumpkins and melons, and they had perfect skin as a result.

And as I render these gifts of Nature into usable food products, whole and natural, I am reminded of the lessons of Mabon, and the feasts of Thanksgiving.
My ancestors worked diligently, nearly year round to ensure the food supplies would continue through the long months of winter.
They toiled in their gardens, hung hand-washed clothes on a line, chopped, split and stacked wood for the ever present fires, and canned and dried fresh foods.
As I engage in these activities, even as a modern witch, I am reminded in a deep down cell-remembering way, of these industrious people who came before me. It makes my spirit rejoice to repeat the actions of my foremothers and to feel the satisfaction of having accomplished so vital a task.

In this season of harvest, I am grateful. I am reminded of all I have been blessed with, and all I anticipate to come.
The very act of growing food, harvesting and preserving it is hopeful, and spawns fresh hope when the food is consumed.
It is an opportunity to bless the stores that they might last until the next harvest, and bring needed blessings in the months to come.

Mabon is often referred to as Witch’s Thanksgiving, and for me, that is exactly how I celebrate it. I prepare a feast to celebrate the coming of the dark months of the year, the warmth of our home and the abundance of blessings contained therein.

As well as a time of joy, there is an undeniable sadness associated with this time of year, for me.
When I see a bright yellow school bus, or smell a freshly sharpened number two Ticonderoga pencil I am overcome with a wave of bittersweet nostalgia. A falling leaf; a mud puddle; a ripe orange pumpkin…these things hold a sort of wistful sadness for me.

But again, I am reminded of the time of year. The dying back. Things being cleaned, dismantled, stored for the year. Bright green things turning crisp and brown.
Of course there is sadness. It is Nature at work, and we can feel it stir in us, even before the first leaf falls.

Each year on my path, as I observe and fall into deeper rhythm with the cycles, I have a deeper appreciation for the Natural occurrences that mirror a metaphorical reality. Not a circle, for I never return to the same place again, but a spiral, which allows me to see the places I have visited before, again, with the fresh eyes of new experience.

As we raise our chalices in celebration of the season, and remember the sacrifices which were made in order to bring about not only this harvest, but those to come, may we join together to commit to care for one another. To use our abundance to bless those less fortunate.
To make humanity our business, and to care for those we find along our way.
To simplify our lives so that we have time and energy for the truly important blessings in them; the people we love and who love us.

Happy Witch’s Thanksgiving, and Happy Harvest Season to all!

May your table be heaping;
Your larder quite full;
The blessings you’re reaping,
as Autumn now pulls,
be stacked to your rafters
with plenty to share.
~May the mission we’re after
be one of Care.

Brightest Blessings of the Season