Sunday, 25 September 2011

Autumn Equinox - Alban Elfed

It was a lovely day on Friday, Pops and I went for a meandering walk to my allotment. We walked for an hour and then went into St. James Green dog park where Pops met up with her friend Luke. She had a lovely time, running and chasing balls while I stood with a a group of dog owners  enjoying the warmth of  the sun as we watched our dogs play.   Pops and the other dogs had such a sense of joy to be with each other it made us all smile and laugh.

Pops and I then went to allotment.  It was very peaceful there.  I looked around and saw that it was time to take down the bean poles and compost what was left of the beans. As I cleared the beans away green shield bugs tumbled out, huge garden spiders crawled away and woodlice scurried this way and that looking for safety. I love seeing the insects that live on my plot.  I have planted flowers and herbs that are beneficial to them as well as leaving wild areas. The reward is I have very few pest problems.  For example an army of ladybirds and their larva  march on black fly and aphids and clear them away.

Last year I cleared a bed at the bottom of my plot and put my herbs there but did not like them so far away from where I meditate, or just sit and enjoy being so near to the sea with the natural world around me. So here I was clearing and lightly digging a bed at the top of the plot for my herbs. Some plants I will plant now but some I will pot up and put in my cold frame over winter. I grew 31 herbs last year.  In the coming year I am going to add to my collection lemon verbena, sweet cicely and perhaps others as well.

The next task was to cleared another bed to plant broad beans.  They are such tough plants last year I planted them in October, those that the mice had left had just emerged when they were first covered over by water then the water turned to ice, I could see the tiny plantlets under the ice, It snowed in November and January for several weeks  but by late Spring they had grown and produced a huge crop of beans.  They have an amazing hardiness and survival ability.  

As I worked I realised that it was a wonderful way to send the day of the Autumn Equinox. My Ancestors would have worked to bring in the harvest at this time and I was very aware how blessed I was to have had a wonderful harvest this year and am very grateful for this and for my plot and the wonderful seascape around me.

Organic Gardening
The Atumn Equinix is Celebrated in Druidry as the festival Alban Elfed, one of the Celtic fire festivals, a time of contemplation, of gratitude for not only the harvest but for the experiences of the past year. As the blowzy summer months have given way to the chill of Autumn,  I have been planning for next Spring, sowing seeds and planting bulbs ready for the rebirth of light and growth.   Preparing for Imbolc, Candlemass when the goddess Credwin and Brigid brew the essence of Spring and the celandines and snowdrops begin to flower  - the heralds of Spring. 

With Reiki Blessing
Merry B