Thursday, August 20, 2009

Breathe a Sigh of Relief

It has come, finally, my favorite time of year. This new moon is called the Nesting Moon in Annette Hinshaw's calendar and it is the moon I was born in. Do you feel most comfortable, most at ease right around your birthday? Maybe it's a Virgo/Nesting Moon thing, but I do. After the hot, frantic month of August, September comes in like a cool breeze. I wake up feeling like the world has color again.

This year the Nesting Moon starts a little early for my tastes, still well in the ick of August, but I still feel a slight shift in the energies around me. The Nesting Moon is the first hint of fall, when leaves start changing and we all start getting ready for what will come. It's a time to take action on plans and put up food, weatherize the car, start settling down for the coming winter. It's a time to start thinking about the future and what makes you safe.

Every evening on my drive home from work I listen to NPR's Marketplace. Kai Ryssdal is totally my NPR crush. Anyone who listens to Marketplace, or other financial news or other news shows, or has not been living under a rock, knows that at about this time last year our economy suffered a pretty serious collapse. People freaked out, people thought a new depression was upon us or that the entire capitalist system would collapse. 12 months later that hasn't happened, but times are tough for many people. Last fall when I was listening to Marketplace on my increasingly dark and wet drive home from work I had my own version of a run on the bank. One night I found myself at the discount grocery store with a grocery cart full of meat for the freezer and canned goods for the pantry. When I got home and got everything put away I had reveled in my sense of security. I felt like I could weather whatever the winter and the next great depression threw at me.

But that stocked pantry probably wouldn't actually keep me safe, would it now. If the electricity went out the meat would rot in the freezer and I wouldn't have a way to heat up all that canned soup. Some people take this idea of self sufficiency to extreme lenghts and stockpile years worth of shelf stable food in underground bunkers. Other people believe that their virtuous actions or right beliefs will keep them safe in this unsafe world. I'm not really sure that any of that will keep us safe. The world isn't safe, it's crazy and unpredictable and diverse and beautiful. What is it that keeps wild creatures safe? Horses have their speed and sharp hooves, but they still get taken down by wolves and lions. Squirrels gather nuts and make a soft, warm nest but they still freeze and starve in the bleak days of late winter. Nothing really keeps them safe except faith that the Mother will see them through, or she will be doing what's right if they don't make it through.

We Virgos and other Nesting Moon natives have a hard time giving up that control to the Mother. We like to think that our full pantries, virtuous lives and pure thoughts will keep us above the fray of this dirty, scary world. This fall, though I am engaging in some food preservation activities like jamming and drying fruit, I am not letting myself get pulled into a frenzy of stocking up to make myself feel safe. God helps those who help themselves, but the Goddess provides.

Instead, I will spend my fall enjoying the weather and watching the leaves turn brilliant colors. I'll enjoy the misty mornings, blazing afternoons and early evening star gazing. What are you doing this fall to make yourself feel safe? What signs of the coming autumn and winter do you see around you? Do you like this time of year or dread it?


~avie~ said...

You may be right! I am a virgo too and I LOVE this time of year... AND I am a pantry-hoarder too!

Angelina said...

I didn't get to do a lot of preserving this year so I am just trying to enjoy the little things I a have time to do. Winter is my favorite season, not fall, though I do love fall. I love the appearance of all those apples fresh from the orchards. For the last three years I have gone down to the fruit loop near mount Hood and come home with a couple of big boxes for apples so I miss that. That really makes fall feel real to me. I love the real return of the rain.