Hear the call of the rooster in the early morning haze, another day of heat and humidity. The corn silently ripens in the field as the crows gather to claim their share. The scent of fresh ripe tomatoes fills the air in the kitchen. The clean mason jars, brought from storage, washed and ready to receive the bounty of field and garden glisten in rays of the morning Sun that pierces the veil of mist.
In the cool of the cellar are the crockery jars, ready for the pickling of cucumbers and cabbages the bins have been cleaned to receive their full compliment of the first harvest of potatoes, onions, cabbages and carrots. As July passes, we remember the flag, thirteen pentagrams in a circle, one for each English Colony that made up a young nation; or one for each lunar month in a year and now, of course, it could be one for each witch in a coven. The red and white stripes are like the streamers on a May Pole.
Americans, American witchcraft and American Wicca are totally unique, nothing quite like either has ever been seen before, even in this great, new land of ours.
The American nation, founded for the purpose of religious freedom is the home of the greatest revival of ancient practices in the world. The Neo-Pagan religions are growing by leaps and bounds and as American Witches we have the best the two worlds, both old and new have to offer.
A very few are born into the tiny pockets of hereditary witchcraft that seem to be still scattered about the world, the rest of us, we the chosen children, must make our own new traditions, claiming as our own, gathering bits and pieces from around the world. Who is brave enough to deny us this right, remembering the God and Goddess themselves have called us to the fold and made us their own?
We are a people, we are the children of the Gods, they have made it so. Our task is to reclaim the good, the useful, the ancient ways from the wreckage of the past.
Lammas or first harvest is a bountiful and wondrously full time of year, what traditions are each of you celebrating during this time? If you have a tradition that is too secret to share, keep it to yourself, this is an echo for caring and sharing. Those of us who are the Goddess’s chosen children, those of us who answered the call of Herne the Hunter in whatever form, here we can learn and develop our own new and uniquely American Traditions based upon the Ancient Ways; with a flavoring of the new for sauce….
Celebrating the first harvest with American Corn Dollys, pumpkin pie and jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for Washington apples, hard and soft cider, homemade bread, hand shucked popcorn, ice-cream, made at home like our grandmother’s did….
Rites and rituals, burning of last winter’s candles….
Ritually washing with handmade soap made from the finest tallow…
Cologne and rosewater, made from the bounty of our gardens or from the corner farmers market…
Reclaiming the ancient ways… in our hearts and minds, in our homes, in our rituals, looking to the Gods themselves for guidance…