September 23, 2011

It’s Harvest Time: A Celebration of the Inward Equinox.

Seeds don’t slip through fingers by chance. ~ Sharon Gannon, ‘Pashupati’

Happy Autumnal Equinox, everybody! Blessed Mabon! It is full-on abundance time: apples and cider and groaning sideboards, mums, leaves, pumpkins and hay: the most obvious high season around, and time to celebrate your harvest, straightforward and natural-as-you-please.

But of course there are always harvests that are not straightforward, but are mysterious and grand.

Harvest of Light and Dark, by Jeff Frazier

Harvest of Light and Dark, by Jeff Frazier

What if your seeds of gain were planted as the seeds of loss?

This year’s growth cycle began with an upside-down seed planting, an Equinox in the inverse. If you know me you know this story, that I got my a** handed to me in the Spring by the Universe when I got down-scythed from my job. That’s the specifics, but transformations like that happen to everybody. My unique problem was that I got laid off right before the Spring Equinox, when I was supposed to be writing an essay about animal young and seedlings. In the time when Earth was re-borning, revivifying, the life that I had constructed for more than a decade was brought crashing down with the smash of a sickle. I did not feel I had new seeds to grow in a rich, fertile soil. In a moment, I lost everything.

And in that instant, I became a farmer. I had to: a farmer of trust in the absolute unknown, because as soon as I could, after the first paralysis of fear had cleared, I began throwing seeds. That was all I could do, to keep my sanity by keeping in motion: I applied for every job in my field I could, in any place I could remotely imagine would be good to live. I had nothing to go on but trust. Once my job ended in bright, beautiful May, all I had was my severance and unemployment, and long days at the local Starbucks sending in electronic applications because the wifi there was more steady than at my house. I cast seed after seed into the virtual fields and hoping one would latch on, somewhere, put root down in someone’s attention.

And I was given it, almost like clockwork on the Wheel of the Year. At Lammas, after that long and lonely Summer, after blind alleys and one harrowing false lead, I ended up with a magnificent job in a place that surpasses anything I could ever have imagined. In March, I could never have encompassed this reality or even projected it, that six months later I would be writing about the Autumn Equinox from an entirely new set of co-ordinates, a new state (sorry, Commonwealth), in a new house, everything new. A whole new life. But it was created then, in that Spring effort of casting seeds in utter blind trust.

If I had not lost my old job, I would not be here. If my old life had not closed down on me, I would not be here.

There are unseen wisdoms that are greater than we can sometimes easily comprehend. What looked like a crushing defeat was in actuality a key to a whole new life, a much better gig than the one I had, but at the time all I could see was shame and defeat. It looked like an ending, but it was a hidden beginning.

I don’t innately have the patience of a farmer: I want instant gratification, and I love spoilers. But I had to learn that trust. Rudolph Steiner writes that those who have insight can see beyond the outer appearance of a plant into its spirit, into the hidden processes at work within. And the Zohar says, that there is a hidden Torah, that all the narratives in the Bible are not ever to be taken at face value, but to be looked at more deeply: for ‘the truly wise… pierce all the way through to the soul, to the true Torah which is the hidden principle of all.’  There are processes at work beyond what we know, causal streams that we can influence but also, once we have done the best we can do, have to trust in. They are what farmers know, that after looking at black dirt there will be a crop, that a nondescript green seedling will eventually bear fruit we can eat.

The seeds of what was coming—a new job, a move to an entirely new place in the United States—were hidden in my failure. What looked like loss—and it was a loss, a sacrifice, because I have lost so much that I knew and was dearest to me—was actually gain. I am not saying that my story is the same as anybody else’s: as the Zohar would say, it’s not the story, but the way the story works. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

Farmers plant and keep faith and know patience, because nothing can grow faster than it can, and you cannot hormonally accelerate the Universe.

We are all farmers of our lives, and if we look we can see that we are in fact old farmers, that we have been sowing and harvesting for as long as we know. At this harvest, stop to breathe and look what the Universe brought for you that you planted during the Spring, how beautiful your life is. For what is around you, in all of its abundance, joy, perplexity, and complexity; in its simplicity and even in its sacrifice, is your harvest. Equinoxes are not holidays of blindingly pure light; they make us think of the interplay of light and darkness in the world, both aspects valuable. They are about wisdom. And wisdom shows that the harvest that happens now is living proof that things you set into motion at one point in time bear out fruit in another point in time, even if you can’t see their workings in the unseen blessed world.

If the Equinox does indeed cause a reduction in the Earth’s magnetic field as our Equator aligns with the Sun, and if as metaphysicians say, because of that, we have easier access to other dimensions, then for the sake of practice, what would you do with the opportunity?

Would you send out messages and jubilations of gratitude?

I do for you. Love everyone who supports you in your life, and also those who you don’t think do, because at some point they may have done you a great favor.

Blessings to you, of all that is seen and unseen! Happy Harvest and Love!


Photograph by Jeff Frazier, www.jefffrazier.com

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