Lughnasadh outside of the wheel

I attended a workshop at Mystic South hosted by Stephanie Woodfield focused on paying attention to your local environment and adjusting your celebrations based on environmental factors. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought to, especially since I live in South Florida. Our weather is a Tropical Rainforest Climate on the Köppen Climate Classification and we get more rain per year on average than the Pacific Northwest by about 20 inches!

Our harvest will be one of gathering in our thoughts and taking a period of rest while we wait for the heat and rain to break in a couple of months.

The crux of the workshop was to create your holidays based around what is happening around you. There was some talk about considering whether the wheel of the year is appropriate for you, I have grown to love the regular observance and in the Temple of Witchcraft (of which I’m a part), it’s a core part of the practice. Having said that,  I do strive to gear my fire holidays, the ones between the equinoxes and solstices, around what I’m seeing locally. For example, on August 1, I’m personally meditating on the themes of harvest, even though the only harvest I could possibly be doing is of mangos (maybe) and avocados. There are a number of flowering trees and bushes in bloom somewhat around this time, with royal poinciana and tabebuia having just finished up their second showing of the year and flowers from the Geiger tree in their full orange bloom. But this is also the beginning of the very active portion of hurricane season when it’s rarely in the 70’s overnight and humidity remains consistently high. For me, August and September are more recognizable not for gradually cooling temperatures of northern climes, but endless rainy days, and overcast skies.

So this holiday, I’ve created a special ritual that ties in the story of Lugh battling the Fomorians, specifically when he killed his grandfather Balor by shooting a sling stone through his destructive eye. Taking that story and linking it up with the fact that hurricanes have an eye, the calm center in the middle of the storm, we’ll be making a charm to kill any destructive storms that turn their eye in our direction.

Our harvest will be one of gathering in our thoughts and taking a period of rest while we wait for the heat and rain to break in a couple of months.

Do you gear your celebrations around your environment? What successes have you had?

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