The wheel of the year is marked and celebrated by most, if not all, indigenous cultures around the earth in their own ways. Our roots here at the Temple are primarily European/Celtic, and so we turn to those traditions to inform our own celebration of the annual cycles (Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lamas, Fall Equinox, Samhain).
The goal here is not to walk stiffly through a re-constructed ritual, but to honor our ancestors' knowledge and bring it forward in time in a way that feeds us and grows roots that will feed our descendants.
LAMAS (the festival of lugh - lughnasa):
We gather together to honor the moment of first harvest and the turning of the wheel of the year. This is a moment, another moment, to listen to our blood and bones, to the earth and sky, and pool together our collective wisdom. We weave a tapestry in this gathering of the wisdom of the ancients, the legacy we'd like to leave for our descendants, and the stories we need now in order to walk our paths. How do we enliven this moment of the year in a way that makes sense for our lives? For our seasons? For our land- and city-scapes?
We feel called to re-invigorate this holy day on the wheel of the year because, well, it's been missing for us. Our Celtic ancestors of path (and/or blood) celebrated this moment with days-long outdoor festivals of prayer, pilgrimage, music, ritual and debauchery. It was a moment of leaping for joy at the first harvest of the season, a harvest time that would extend through Samhain -- with Samhain marking the point at which all uncollected foods were left for the wild, the fae, the nurturing of the Otherworld. This was a time of gathering! And of sharing what you'd gathered!
The festival of imbolc, the feast of Brigid, is the midpoint between the brink of winter solstice and the balance of spring equinox. It comes amidst the lengthening of days, the green hills of our winters, the cool walks and the warm hearths.
This gathering is a celebration of the return of vitality to the land, and beginning to lean into the promise of the coming spring.