Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.
~ Pema Chodron
Tonight’s Full Moon is a much beloved one around here ~ the strawberries are in the height of their ripeness, and we can understand why the Algonquin Tribes native to this area referred to June’s Full Moon as the Strawberry Moon, in tribute to the short period when strawberries were in bloom and growing wild across the valley. Today, it is a very special treat indeed to happen across a patch of wild berries – and we always stop to pray and offer gratitude when we do. Many years ago, Rhianna was taught by Grandmother Twylah of the Great Seneca Nation, that the ripe, red, seeded strawberry is a representation of Woman’s womb. To see strawberries growing wild is to know that Mother Earth is still with us, and is able to bear fruit and to regenerate from within. Grandmother said that when the wild strawberries were gone, we would know that we (humans) have taken too much. That we had gone too far. Fortunately, though rare, we do still find wild strawberries in our travels, and we revere them greatly. In honor of this tradition, Rhianna will be sharing her annual strawberry elixir at Full Moon Ritual this Saturday.
In addition to our Women’s Full Moon Gathering, it is a wonderful time to head out to one of our local Hudson Valley farms and soak up the Sun and walk gently upon the Earth. Take your time in the fields, listening to the sounds and tuning in to the elements. Think about all that is required to bring those strawberries to your table. Now we have a system in place wherein hardworking men and women plant and tend the fields for us, but originally, it was the wind and the birds that carried the seeds. It is still the Earth, however, that provides a home for those seeds to take root. Our Sun, so strong at this time of year, and the element of Fire, still provide the energy that draws those seedlings up to the surface to be nourished by the light. And it is Water, always the Water, that slakes their thirst and fills them with life, making them juicy, and washing away the dross on the surface that would prevent them from reaching their fullest potential. Like juicy red strawberries, let your heart swell with gratitude as you pause to thank the elements for their gifts, honoring the four directions who guard them. Send a blessing to the farmers and the workers who give of themselves, so often doing back-breaking work– under the full and sometimes merciless power that the elements can unfurl – in order to provide sustenance; too often with little thanks from us, the receivers.
Over the years, I’ve found that the days I most enjoy being in the field are those when I’m out there in flip-flops and dirty feet, with my skirt gently brushing the plants as I walk among the rows, the sun beating down upon me, chanting to myself and singing my blessings and my gratitude to the plants whose most precious jewels I am permitted to pluck and to enjoy. It seems to me that food always tastes and feels better when you have grown or gathered it yourself. Consider that if you have grown the plants yourself, you have a symbiotic relationship: you have taken part in an energetic exchange, by watering them, or shading them, and tending to them as they reach maturity. If you are harvesting from plants you have not tended personally, it is always a nice idea to offer a similar exchange of energy, as best you can. This can begin with asking permission from the tree or plant before you harvest – listen carefully…you may be surprised to hear a “no” at times – and sending reiki to the plants or the fields along with a blessing for their continued health. Some of us at the DG like to pluck a few strands of our own hair as an offering and acknowledgement that as we are taking something from the plant, we are willing to give of our own bodies in kind.
Since this moon is also known as the Rose Moon, those of you who are gardeners or herbalists, may wish to commune with your Roses this Full moon, harvesting with intention before moonrise, or perhaps – especially if you are fortunate enough to be on your own property – by performing your own Full Moon Ritual among the lushness of your Roses. Be sure to leave an offering for the Faeries as they too are active during this month of ‘MidSummer’s Eve.’
Just as MidSummer’s Eve and the corresponding Summer Solstice were a time to rejoice in the abundance of life that teems around us in June, this Full Moon too serves as a seasonal reminder in regard to where we want to focus our energies, and in what ways we wish to express our gratitude. Summer is a time of fullness and joy – a time to be in Nature and to witness and embrace its healing qualities. Many of us can tend to shy away from the cold, hibernating indoors during the cooler months, and this is an opportunity to reconnect, and allow the elements to caress your body. Despite any other happenings in the world, and your personal life, choose to welcome this Full Moon with joy, allowing yourself to release any feelings of restriction or harshness, surrendering to the flow and the feelings of warmth and outward expression. Step in to the season with thanks for your blessings, knowing that good things always come in their season.
Love & Blessings,
~ Dreaming Goddess