The Scythe Moon and Feast of Nuts

The Harvest Moon is the moon of my birth.  I came into this world after the equinox had passed, on a moon’s day under a waxing moon, and it has landed so again this year.  I resonate with this time and the taste and smells of autumn.  These in-between and transitional times are when I feel most alive, even in such a time of death.  The reaping was heavy this year- the summer burned in more ways than one.  Back in May, I had hoped that by the time the scythe moon came, that things would be calm and normalcy might look like possibility rather than a memory.  At this point, I don’t even know what will happen but I know that the harvest sickle swings hard in the heat.

The time when the leaves turn, the dying grass, the fall of the corn and the preparations of preserved goods is a sacred moment for the human species of mammal; it’s a bloody, hot, burning reminder of the turning of things, the ever constant change over which we have no real control.  The autumnal equinox of this, the Year of Hell, the Covidian Era, falls on a Martian day, under a waxing sickle of a crescent moon as it moves into the arms of the archer.  The sun passes hands around this time.  Those gods of the green and fruiting world mature into wicker men and rose queens, corn mothers and sickle gods, and go into the land as they do, making space for those spirits who dwell in the turn of the leaves, and in the frosts that creep.  Those hags of winter and lords of silence enjoy their rides along the land, bringing with them the hush of the snow, and the endless dark. But for now, the sun is still high, the horizon is ablaze with fire and smoke, and the nights are still hopelessly hot.

Harvest season brings with it all the fun feasts of the season; the feast of grains and the feast of apples have passed with midsummer and highsummer, now is the time for the maples, the buckeyes, and feast of oaks.  This is when the black blood of the god-trees can be drawn out; the oak-gall and the walnut are here to be bled, and to serve.  The oak harvest is one of my very favorites-- the whole season of the nut really.  The feast of oaks takes place when the acorns ripen and the galls grow brown- the wasps have left but the many crawling mysteries within remain.  The horse chestnuts split and bounce down the hills, crushed under wheel, poking up in the grass. We feed on the oaks and chestnuts, hazels and walnuts, and all those good things, to honor the old gods, the strong and ancient arboreal gods.   Around this time, I feel like the Apple Woman and the Lord of Oaks share a kinship, a balance.  These liminal spirits appear a lot in my life, as doorways and symbols, as heralds and omens.  Their names sound long and ancient in my ears, airy words that I speak only with them. 

 But they aren't the only ones who speak to me clearly this time of year; the horse chestnut trees I've worshiped under and bled for and fed and honored have come to bare fruit.  I only pick from these trees and I have since I was a kid.   The horse chestnuts and buckeyes as a personification represent luck, and the protection of good health, but as a personal acquaintance, these particular spirits are teachers of all kinds of loving green art- whispering advice at me like the pinpricks under my heels while I gather.  Painful and sharp works that reveal something smooth and slick and well structured beneath its harsh exterior, and deeper within... the fruit of knowledge.  The horse chestnut speaks of to me of dolls of health, dolls of love, of clean and fresh smelling clothes and good healthy feelings. 

As I feel the land turn and ready for rest, I go out to the woods to the horse chestnut trees and start picking up the early buckeyes as they come tumbling downhill and gather in the ivy below.  They will be all kinds of useful to me soon enough- as a natural soap, as a fortunes tool, as flour for dough-dollies… a good time to start readying the poppets and bottles is right about now.

Winter will bring a lot of change, I hope.  I've been so stagnated in my statue work, focusing more on videos for my YouTube channel, my contributions to upcoming works and my second book.  I really miss putting my fingers in clay for purposes of art rather than charms.  I feel like I waste every weekend and yet I get so much of my personal goals accomplished I don't know why I'm stressing.  The darkyear will be different.  It will have to be.  Because I need to move on to new statues and I never quite move on when I have old projects left.  May the coming dark bring the peace and time I need.

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