The First Harvest

In a new post on her blog, author and teacher Thorn Coyle asks “are you harvesting what you expected?” I normally think of Lughnasadh as a time for thanksgiving. Samhain – and the secular New Year – is when I think about reviews.

But there is value in taking frequent looks back. We set goals earlier in the year, we made plans – how are we doing? Are we where we thought we’d be? Are there triumphs we need to celebrate? Do we need to make course corrections and reset our feet on our chosen paths?

At the very end of 2010, I wrote this in my personal journal:

Be the guy who’s spreading the word, promoting the faith, articulating Pagan concepts and values. For the mainstream folk, preach God-in-Nature and the sacredness of the Earth. For Pagans, preach the Old Gods and Goddesses. Do your Daily Practice. Read. Think. Write. Teach, speak and lead ritual.

How am I doing? I’ve had more opportunities to write and speak in public than I ever thought possible and more are coming. I’ve recommitted to my daily practice and I’m taking it deeper than ever. I began some new studies I’m not ready to discuss yet, but that will prepare me for new things and open more doors in the future. This hasn’t been perfect and I see some places where I need to make some tweaks, but to answer Thorn’s question, yes, I’m harvesting what I expected.

At the same time, I’m struggling to do some of the things I need to do to support my spiritual calling. I need to eat better. I need to bring some structure to my physical exercise. And some things which occupy large blocks of my free time are going to have to be reduced or eliminated – I need more time for reading and more time for rest.

Which brings us to another theme of Lughnasadh – sacrifice. At Mabon the apple trees will give their fruit and go on living, but at Lughnasadh the grain is cut down to feed us. Sacrifice is a sacred act, but it is also an act of necessity.

Here’s a reminder of that by Damh the Bard. Happy Lughnasadh.

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.


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