Yesterday was the Autumn Equinox celebrated as Mabon by many Pagans and Wiccans. The Autumn Equinox is most often associated with harvest and in primarily agrarian cultures would’ve largely been a harvest celebration in which people gave thanks for the bounty of the land and offered back a portion of the harvest to the Gods in hopes of securing future bountiful harvests.
Not too long ago, I blogged about North Carolina’s Amendment One and how some self-professed Christians talk about love while promoting hate. In particular, I spoke about the idea that a “beggar cannot hide his poverty”. Sadly, the Christian right are not the only ones guilty of sowing one type of energy and expecting to reap something entirely different.
Many spiritual paths, including Paganism, teach the idea that whatever type of energy your project out into the universe will return to you. It’s a logical concept if you think about it for a minute. No farmer would sow thistle seed in his field and then expect to go out at harvest time and collect fruit. We recognize that as an absurd idea. So why is it that within the LGBT community, it is not uncommon for someone to be bitter, to build their own self-esteem by putting others down, to be judgmental, bitchy, snarky and otherwise just plain divisive? Yet at the same time, these are often the first people who complain about what they harvest. These are the ones most likely to complain that they feel unloved, misunderstood or avoided by the community. Amazingly enough, I’ve even known some spiritually minded people who did this. I find it unbelievable that they feel that they should have attracted something completely opposite to what they put forth.
The real reason for this post though isn’t to focus on the negative elements of our community (although it is a problem and one that I think we desperately need to address). Instead, it’s to reinforce the idea that we all have choices. We can consciously choose what we’d most like to manifest in our lives by what we put forth. If we find love, compassion and understanding lacking in our lives, perhaps it is because we did not sow enough of it to collect a harvest. If we take the time to speak kind words, perform loving acts and reach out to others around us, we will find that those actions will return to us.
These thoughts about the nature of our harvest seem especially important to me lately as I’ve been reflecting on the last year and things that have changed in my own path. In August, I spent 5 days with an amazing and loving group of men at Coph Nia 2012. Almost two months later, the expressions of concern for one another and the affirmation of the bonds forged at the festival continue to be posted on Facebook and I can’t help but smile. For me, starting this festival and giving my energy to it was part of what I sowed last year. To be “harvesting” such beauty from it is an incredible blessing.
I also realize that like many other people, I can sometimes forget to express my gratitude to the Gods and to others. In the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving in November but how many of us just mindlessly gorge ourselves on good while giving lip service to the purpose of giving thanks? And shouldn’t gratitude and thanks be something that we express throughout the year as we realize the many blessings in our lives? I’ve seen a lot of different approaches to this idea such as gratitude journals or posted three things you’re thankful for online every day. I’ll admit, I’m bad at these kinds of “daily” goals but I’m definitely making it a goal for the next year to express my gratitude and thanks regularly. I hope you’ll be inspired to do likewise. And if it’s a person that you’re thankful for, express it to them.
As you move through the Autumn, I hope you’ll consider your harvest, show thanks for it and more importantly if your harvest isn’t what you’d hoped for, I hope you’ll challenge yourself to plant something else this year.