New Moon No. 27, Spring


Huckleberry harvesting in Washington
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
Aldo Leopold
Greetings wild child!

& (almost) Lughnasadh blessings to you!


Lughnasadh [LOO-nah-sah] is the Celtic festival that celebrates the first fruits of the land and acknowledges the transition into the fall season. It marks the cross quarter between summer solstice and fall equinox. It's a time to commemorate our efforts and enjoy the sweet fruits of our labor. Literally, as we begin to harvest the foods we've grown or tended in the wild, and figuratively, as the seeds of intention we planted in the spring have been fed with solar energy throughout the summer, and perhaps, are now ripe for the picking.

This holiday is often observed on August 1st, although technically speaking, the actual cross quarter day falls on August 7th this year. The ancient Celts celebrated this holiday on the full moon closest to the beginning of August. They didn't really do calendars, and oftentimes, I envy their connection to the cycles of the sky and Mother Earth's changing seasons rather than the manmade cycle of numbers on a calendar. But because this new moon falls just on the cusp of when you might actually hear about Lughnasadh celebrations, also known as Lammas in Christianity, I decided to share some ways you can honor the harvest literally and symbolically, and if the spirit moves you in two weeks on the full moon, you can hold ritual or host a gathering to honor this transition into the fall season.

And if you're concerned about cultural appropriation, don't fret: there's a good chance your bloodline carries a harvest celebration somewhere along the way. Hopefully this letter inspires you to dig deeper into your own heritage's harvest stories and celebrations, but I'm also a firm believer in honoring the land you live on, so look into how indigenous people local to your area celebrated this seasonal shift and perhaps you'll come across an event to attend and learn more about where you live and how people once lived in harmony with the land as hunters, gatherers, farmers, gardeners, and any combination of the aforementioned. 

Honor the Harvest
Gather from your garden - As foods find their way from your garden to your table, hold gratitude as you gather from the ground, branch, stem, or vine. Savor in the connection you have to your food, from seed to serving, you were present throughout its life cycle. Cherish this gift of self-reliance, health, and communion with the natural world.

Bake bread - I will be cooking up bannock over the campfire and baking a loaf of einkorn sourdough bread, but any traditional bread will do just fine.

Go foraging - it's huckleberry season here in the PNW, so get your hands a little dirty with fruit stains and gather some hucks. Or find what wild edibles or medicinals are in season where you live and get to gathering. Always be 110% sure about your plant identification, harvest responsibly, and if you have no idea where to start, look for a local wild foods walk where someone who really know what they're talking about will teach you the ropes of plant identification and foraging. 

Pick fruits - if gathering wild foods and medicines seems daunting, hit up your local, no spray U-Pick fruit farm and fill your baskets with fruit. It's most likely going to be berries, but you may find some apples ready for the grab. 

Make corn/wheat dollies - a fun, festive craft activity that fondly remind me of the little dollies I used to play with at my grandma's house as a little one.
Crafting these dolls from corn or wheat husks serves as a symbol of the harvest season, and makes a great altar adornment to honor the labors and sacrifices in your life, which yield the sweet bounty you receive from hard work.

Sip on wild-fermented or grain libations - I recently attended an herbal beer and mead workshop with
Jereme Zimmerman here in Portland, and am beginning to dip my toes into the world of brewing. Making your own wild-fermented brews is a process, and this is a great time to begin the endeavor. While you're waiting for your brews to bubble, pick up beer, whiskey, rye, or bourbon to sip on libations that honor the spirit of the grain. I'm also a fan of wild-crafted ciders, if you'd like to honor the spirit of the fruit as your harvest libation. I discovered Graft Cidery while living in New York, and am loving Wildcraft Cider Works out here in the PNW.

Learn about regenerative agriculture - did you know there's agricultural practices that can actually replenish the earth's soil, respect the land, and help restore our climate rather than strip the earth's soil of vital nutrients, abuse the land, and contribute to the ill effects of climate change like a lot of current agricultural practices are doing? Meet
regenerative agriculture! Become informed, follow the movement, and support this beautiful, healthy, and respectful way of tending to the land.

Cook a feast over the campfire - Branch out and cook something other than S'mores over the fire. My wild woods man and I have been watching lots of bushcrafting videos as of lately, and came across this
pretty great YouTube channel that showcases the art of cooking with fire. We will definitely be trying our hand at more campfire cooking in our backyard fire pit, and you should give it a go, too! 

Get outside, kick back, relax, and enjoy the company of loved ones - host a backyard gathering where you can spend time with your community, perhaps incorporating a few of the ideas mentioned above. Cook over the campfire, get crafty with corn dollies, sip sweet ales, slow down, and soak in those sweet summer vibes that are all too fleeting.
May you honor the harvest,
and be reminded of how the efforts behind your intentions
turn dreamy seedlings into sustenance you can physically enjoy in your life. 

Luminous love,
pdx women's gathering

Gather in gratitude for the delight of the summer sun and the bounty of our hard work. Kick back, relax around the fire pit, sip on sweetness, and celebrate the year's first harvest traditions.


7:00PM – 9:00PM

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Stay luminous!
This is Lumen Letters, a writing platform where I share my thoughts on holistically human living. Hopefully, you find the general information in this letter informative and helpful, but it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.
Copyright © 2019 Luminous Architecture, All rights reserved.

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