As I’ve been slowly realizing that Wicca is my true spiritual path, I am paying more attention to the changing seasons and the Wheel of the Year. This is the first time that I’ve honored the Sabbat, Lughnasadh or Lammas. My understanding of this day, celebrated August 1st, is a time to celebrate the first harvests. Grains and corn are representative of this, so bread and cornhusk dolls have a prominent role in the celebration. My own observation of the days surrounding the Sabbat have brought up other significant issues connected harvest, storing up and sustaining life through the harsh winter.
I’ve been spending time in the woods and at the river. It only stands to reason that I would come face to face with wildlife. However, my encounters in nature seem to have more significance than the “ah, hey! look at that!” when a woodland creature crosses my path. I started noticing the tendency of animals to jump out in front of my bike on the trail about a week ago. At first, it was a rabbit or two or three and a few birds swooping across our local nature trail. Then it increased in quantity and variety.
Today I hit the apex. Or so it would seem, perhaps I should wait until after tomorrow’s ride to say for sure. So here is the list of animals I encountered on today’s 45 minute excursion through the woods.
- red squirrel
In addition to all of those, we can add the trout that I encountered while playing in the river at Ohiopyle State Park over the weekend.
I don’t claim to have an endless store of knowledge about the symbolism behind these animals, but I know that their appearance is telling me something, and I have resources.
The symbolism of the woodchuck was difficult to find. The lesson it brings appears to be that of being open to dreams and altered states of consciousness. It is the totem animal of shamans and mystics. I feel the woodchuck telling me that it’s not only good for me to be open to the dreams and visions I see in meditation, but that it is necessary for me to do so. I am embarking on a path that will transform me into a psychic, or mystic if you like, and so this woodchuck tells me to keep moving in that direction.
We all associate the rabbit with reproduction, and luck. For me, I take the celtic interpretation of the conception of new ideas and nurturing them in fertile minds and hearts. In other words, that new business idea I’ve been working on is being confirmed by the appearance of the rabbits. I need to nurture that plan so that it can grow in a secure manner.
Chipmunks: these little rodents gather and store, planning ahead, always looking toward the time when resources may not be as plentiful. Their appearance to me at Lammas is not lost on me. It is time to harvest, save, and make a plan. Yes, I’ve already increased the amount I divert into a savings account.
Red Squirrels, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ran across my path today as well. Oh, they are fun to watch, so playful, like the slapstick comedians of the forest. Like the chipmunks, they gather and store. Could it be that the appearance of the red squirrel is to remind me to have fun while making the plan for the new venture? Avia Venefica points out that the squirrel reminds us of the need for balance, not to overthink or invest too much in preparation as the squirrel only finds about 10% of the nuts it has hidden.
A small stream runs along much of the trail that I ride. I often see ducks and geese, and in these days surrounding Lughnasadh, I’ve seen both. Because they are migratory, these graceful birds call on us to consider our own transitory nature. I can feel big changes coming for me. I’ve already taken steps on that transformational pathway. Geese also return to the same home every year, so this may be a gentle reminder to stay grounded and remember those who are my rock and foundation.
Wild Turkey, not the adult beverage that is usually served “on the rocks” but the symbol that they use for their logo. They are shockingly large when one is used to seeing just the carcasses in the supermarket freezer around Thanksgiving. Once again, the turkey reinforces the concept of a new beginning and a cycle of preparation. The turkey is associated with pride and virility and abundance. It is a reminder to be strong, prepared, and grateful for not only what I have, but what is coming my way.
Dragonflies and Butterflies have been flitting around me for weeks now. Dragonflies are always found near water, so the connection is emotional and related to my work as a psychic. Water symbols represent what is deep in our subconscious, but the dragonfly brings that to the surface. Butterflies, in true abundance have been surrounding me this week. They have even landed on me. There is no mistaking the message of transformation. A caterpillar undergoes quite a dramatic change in the cocoon and emerges as the beautiful butterfly. Their message to me seems to be that I too am emerging from a cocoon and that my life is beautiful. Both speak to me of good luck.
Finally, I have spent more time in water this summer than any I can recall in my recent past. This is natural, running water, not some chemical-laiden pool. It is not lost on me that the water of the Youghiogheny River is a symbol for subconscious thought and I am spending a lot of time in that river physically as well as emotionally. My time there is a good indication of what is going on in my head. Seeing the trout reinforces those ideas of creativity, fertility, prosperity, and in the Celtic tradition, knowledge, inspiration, and prophecy. For me, this is where my spiritual journey is taking me. I’m moving on to sharpen my psychic skills so that I can gain insight not only for myself, but for those who would seek me out for insight to their own lives.
It’s an awesome, sometimes confusing, incredible and rewarding journey. I see now why I went through some difficult times. I would not be the person I am without those dark days. In turn, I can reach out and light a candle for those who are still in the dark. May I do that for you?