As I sit here, smelling the tobacco burn… I think. I probably… Think too much.
It was far too hot to forge today, and it’s only going to get hotter. Joy. I grunted in frustration because that ‘itch‘ to work the metal hasn’t faded. Not by a long shot. I am one of many fire-workers, and I’m sure we all have our own taboos, and observances towards the divine fire. I’d love to talk to one sometime, to share a magically delicious beverage. But I digress…
So I look around where I sit – I hear the wild horses rage in the thunder, the corn spirit cackle in the corn field across the dirt road from me, after I fed my hearth spirits, my two arevoette… With morsels of food from our dinners, and a constant maintenance.
I do not live on an agricultural cycle, nor a pastoral one. My autumn feast is not a ‘Thanksgiving,’ as some would like to just assume it is in it’s farming or pastoral sense; and as aggravated as it makes me when people do assume it is – it is a gathering and celebration of the past summer bounty and of family. Sure, you could interject the whole farming notion – but at it’s core.. It just isn’t a feast from any farm or ranch. Collecting wild fruits, growing some on a small scale for one’s family – it’s the ‘option C‘ in the list of options I suppose.
When you celebrate your autumn celebrations bound around grain and farm, I am sharpening my arrows and preparing my gear for the hunting season, which depending on the prey begins at various times. It isn’t a harvest that fits into many Pagan molds, it’s a feast to be happy for the gifts of summer (we do give gifts at the summer solstice, but not as extravagant as at the winter solstice), and a pause before we move on for the call of the hunting horn only hunters can hear within them in their stirring at 6am during these cold months.
I am not a farmer, nor rancher. I am a smithy/metalworker, leather-worker, hunter, fisher, brewer, and I’m delving into my own family herbalism. My calendar is not dominated by the ‘culling of the herds of cattle,’ nor with the ‘cutting of the last sheaf,’ as many do as the seasons turn. No, I don’t think this is bad, horrible, or nonsense. At this time of year I give my own offerings to the Ones of Vegetation , of every leaf, branch, and root myself – but no grain dolly is made, no farming tone is there. There is more to Pagan seasonal understanding than two boxes of pastoral or agricultural.
I know, it’s hard to see. It’s so ingrained into damned near every Pagan tradition I’ve come across that it’s like seeing faces in the clouds – you just assume and see in your own eyes that all traditions work that way. I did it too. Mine own calendar however, doesn’t work that way.
Even the farms and ranches are bound as I am to the greater weather, the climate, the spirits and local Gods. To a farmer (I’ve met quite a few) their farm is their world. To a rancher, it’s the same. So what about those of us who don’t ranch, or farm? Those who the farmers call to hunt the deer eating their feed? To those who fish and hunt during the summer rather than work a tractor?
Come out to the barely seen trail – we can share a cup of coffee as dawn breaks, and talk as we skin and prepare our meat. Let us share a cup with the many Gods, of whom we may never know all Their names – raise a cup of whiskey to the thunder, to the winds, the rivers, the land itself. I may worship only one, but there are many in this world of ours – why not celebrate rather than argue semantics?