Posts Tagged ‘Lughnasadh’

Religion and other bothersome matters…

October 4, 2010

Painting: "Irish Coast", watercolor, 2005, j.kohut-bartels

Lately I have been thinking  about religion and spirituality.  I don’t see these as the same, and I struggle through a lot of nattering influences to come to a place of my own.

I went through a period of searching for a religion where I felt I could belong.  Raised haphazardly Christian (Episcopalian) or as my brother the holy roller likes to refer to this as “raised by wolves”….nothing of organized religion seemed to ‘fit’.

A short while ago an Orthodox Jew (who turned out to be a bad example of Jewishness and humanity), tried to harangue my husband about “the Saints”.  I guess to this Jew’s thinking my husband looked like a Christian.  I had to laugh because my husband was and is a Buddhist of 25 years standing.  His wife finally told him to shut up because she didn’t want to hear this stuff.  Good girl.

His religious narrowness didn’t put me off the Jewish religion and for a year went to classes about Judaism and attended Temple.  Somewhere my father’s family was Jewish, and though it was on the wrong side of the blanket, I wanted to understand something of this religion.  Finally, it was, to me…..just rituals.  About as mystical as those damn Saints.  I couldn’t suspend my disbelief.

I have a lot of friends who come from different religions.  Muslims, Ba’hai, Christians, pagans, Jews, etc.  The Christians break down into many various parts.  Episcopalian, Unitarian, Quaker, Unitarian Universalists, etc.  With the Jews it was Reform, Orthodox, Conservative.  The Ba’hais were pretty consolidated.  The practicing pagans were just down-right silly to me. Perhaps I had grown far beyond such  stuff.

But still there was a nagging issue of spirituality.  This, I believe,  is something that encases a broadness  that perhaps the religious dogmas can’t touch.  For me, it comes down to a question of Gratitude.

I am grateful for the breath of life, for the ability to awake and walk, to read, to laugh, to see the marvelous passage of clouds and time, to commune with nature and friends and family, and all this is wrapped up in Gratitude.  To receive love that sometimes I don’t deserve.  To give love and to mean it.

I fight this battle with myself and at times it gets overwhelming.  It’s more than I am, and more than I can solve.  I’m out on a limb here, and the answer isn’t  within these accepted forms of worship. At least not for me.

Today it was a perfectly beautiful day…one which was memorable for nothing except the perfection around me.  The sky was marvelous, from dawn to dusk, that sharp sentiment of expectation in the change of season, and the season to come;  the beauty of the still-green leaves and overwhelming, huge trees here in the South; the winds that made themselves known, not as gentle blowing breezes, but as swooshing dervishes, rotating branches and making their power known.

I felt such gratitude in the presence of this day: what wonderful beauty was before me.  There was no way around gratitude.

I came across something tonight, and it struck me as a coda for the day; something that brings a definition or a conclusion to this marvelous beauty before me.  It gave structure and meaning to what I was seeking.


“The Autumn quarter of Lughnasadh brings the gift of maturity and is a time of physical harvest and spiritual garnering. It sees the greatest change in weather from broiling heat to dark and chilly nights.  It is the time for celebrating the harvest and sees the busy preparations for winter.  In the human growth cycle, Lughnasadh corresponds to the period of mature adulthood when a certain steadiness and responsibility have been established.  It is a good time to celebrate the lives of all who have helped stabilize and uphold the noble values of life, of all who have exercised good judgment and steered the doubtful into the harbor of certainty, of all holy ones whose guardianship has saved us from life-disabling mistakes.”

From “Celtic Devotional”, by Caitlin Matthews.

Funny, this hits the spot.  It incorporates the Gratitude I am feeling and it gives a particular direction.  It gives hope.

Lady Nyo (with a fond hug to Margie and Bren)

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