Archive for January, 2013

Remembering the Moment

Remembering the Moment

It is only in the present moment that we experience being alive.


Life, in all of its fullness, is happening right now. While our thoughts are sometimes elsewhere, beautiful opportunities and moments are being passed over and lost to the flow of time. And though we cannot possibly fully experience each leaf that falls to the ground, sometimes we get so attached to reaching our goals that we don’t pay attention to the wonder all around us. When we do that, we live in a world that exists only in our heads, while we miss life itself. There is so much to be enjoyed and appreciated that we need to remember to pay attention to the present moment, because it is the only space in which we can experience being alive.

We learn from our past, but dwelling on it keeps us from being fully present to life in the moment. We create our lives with our thoughts, but focusing so firmly on our imagined future keeps us from co-creating with the universe, so we might never allow ourselves to live our dreams as they manifest. It’s possible to be so happy and comfortable in our inner worlds that we lose touch with the business of life. We may enjoy spending large portions of time in meditation, or focused on our thoughts.

Life must be attended to, and if we are wise, we can enjoy it at the same time. We can awaken ourselves to the moment we are living right now by taking a deep breath and simply looking around. In doing so, we refocus our attention to our location in the real world. Then we can learn to appreciate the process of working toward our goals as much as their attainment. Balancing ourselves between the present moment and eternity, we can experience and enjoy the full range of reality available to us as spiritual beings living on earth.


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Lammas, also known as Lughnassadh is the one of the four great fire festivals of the Wheel of the year. It marks the beginning of Autumn. The beginning of the harvest season and also celebrates the decline of summer into winter.  It is also known as the first harvest festival.  It is the festival of transformation. We harvest grain and then turn it into flour that in turn is turned into bread. It is a time where you can truly go within and transform that what is needed.

Lammas is celebrated in August in the Northern Hemisphere and 2nd February this year in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lughnassadh is named for Lugh, a Celtic God, also known as Lleu, Llew and the Many Skilled. He is a druid, carpenter, poet and mason. He symbolizes healing, reincarnation, prophecy and revenge. He is a Sun God too hence the Pagan Sabbath Lughnassadh. He is associated with ravens and a white stag as his symbol. He has a magic spear and otherwordly hounds.


I am Lugh Samildanach
I am Lugh the Il-Dana
I am Lugh, master of the battle
I am Lugh, master of healing
I am Lugh, master of knowledge
I am Lugh, master of sailing
I am Lugh, master of sorcery
I am Lugh, master of smithing.


Another english folklore is John Barleycorn. Most pagans will celebrate Lammas/Lughnassadh by burning John Barleycorn.

John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley — beer and whiskey — and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death. The circle of life. Birth, death and rebirth.


John Barleycorn

 There were three men come out of the west

fortunes for to try

And they have made a solemn vow

John Barleycorn must die (2x)


Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day

Fa la la la lay o

Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day

Sing fa la la la lay


They plowed him in three furrows deep

Laid clods all on his head

And they have made a solemn oath

John Barleycorn was dead


Well then there came a shower of rain

Which from the clouds did fall

John Barleycorn sprang up again

And so amazed them all


Well then came men with great sharp scythes

To cut him off at the knee

They bashed his head against a stone

And they used him barbarously


Well then came men with great long flails

To cut him skin from bone

The miller has used him worse than that

He ground him between two stones


They wheeled him here, they wheeled him there

Wheeled him into the barn

And they have used him worse than that

They bunged him in a vat


They worked their will upon John Barleycorn

But he lives to tell the tale

We pour him into an old brown jug

And we call him home-brewed ale

The Christian religion adopted the harvest theme of Lughnasadh and called it Lammas, meaning ‘loaf-mass,’ a time when newly baked loaves of bread are placed on the altar. Columcille (St Columba) tried to change Lammas into a “Feast of the Ploughmen” with no success. The Burning Man festival, held in Nevada, has its roots in another Lughnasadh tradition, the erection of giant wicker men or smaller Corn Gods, which were then set on fire. The Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone also comes to mind at this time of year. As January and February progresses, you can see the subtle changes in tree and plants that mark Persephone’s preparations to go underground again.


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