31 Days of Lunasa: Day 31 and “Not Yet Done”



This is both Day 31 and also not the final post.

If you’ve been following even part of this month-long series, you’ve noticed several things. Yes, the content and its quality vary widely. And yes, I didn’t manage to post every day. And though it’s the end of the month, I find I’m not yet done with the momentum, the impetus of the series.

full moon half a year ago

These are useful things to notice, and they might inform our practice and our lives, if we let them. First is the commitment to do it at all. While I didn’t write every day, I did post 18 times so far — and that’s 18 more than if I hadn’t committed at all. It’s also more than I usually post in a single month.

If you’re into the numbers, that works out to be 56%. But the power and seduction of number unaccompanied by wisdom is treacherous. 56% is bad odds for Russian roulette, but unbelievably good as a batting average. More importantly, I have posts I didn’t have before, and a handful of them are good enough that they amply repay the commitment.

When we commit to a practice or a person or a passion, we find curious things like this start to happen.

The rhythm of a month, like other natural rhythms our solar system has given us, has shaped our biology and provides useful containers for action. The rhythm of a month, along with the day and the year, offers a harmony with our bodies and spirits that has survived our attempts, conscious or otherwise, to ignore them. These rhythmic observances, if we choose, nest in each other quite neatly, the day in the month, the month in the year, the year in the life. To quote Zora Neale Hurston’s masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer”. Often enough, they’re the same years.

Practice observance of the the “Great Eight” annual seasonal festivals and there’s a satisfying rhythm of a festival about every eight weeks. The four astronomical events, the two solstices and two equinoxes, follow a planetary rhythm, one we can measure objectively, one very ancient in human consciousness around the world. The other four, coinciding with the old Celtic fire festivals in their modern incarnation, fill the spaces between the astronomical four, like dancers and their partners in an annual procession.

The other benefit is a useful momentum generated by action that carries me forward, if I don’t turn it off. Other blog posts linger just out of hearing and sight and conception, attaching themselves to the “31 Days of Lunasa”. That’s partly because Lunasa is longer than 31 days, of course, but also because the action of writing 18 posts on a theme generates its own energy. “How do I know what I think till I see what I write?” certainly holds true. The time- and mind-bending quality of commitment and momentum means that the present will constantly change and re-shape the past. In fact, if I don’t keep seeing the past (and the people, events and choices in it) differently, I’m the one who’s stuck. The past has changed and gone ahead without me, and left me behind.

My grandparents, a century ago

To cite just one example, I spent time doing some genealogical work (lots of free resources available), and these last months have shown me I’ve judged my paternal grandmother too harshly. She always seemed rather forbidding to me (my two female cousins had a different relationship with her), and I never knew her well. She passed to the Ancestors when I was 17. But time spent with her life as I assemble and reconnect its big events have tempered my understanding and awakened compassion. In a little over a decade in the 20s and 30s, she married, had two children, lost both parents after nursing them at home, was widowed, and worked and took in boarders to survive the U.S. Depression. That’s enough to leave its marks, to make anyone come across as more than a little stoic or grim. Looking at my own accumulating decades, I’m a lot more willing to cut the woman considerable slack. We cannot study men, only get to know them, which is quite different, remarked C S Lewis.

Relaxing my grip on time, I can let the Ancestors teach me at any moment, regardless of the punctuation of death or birth.

Posted 31 August 2021 by adruidway in Druidry

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