BRING HARVEST HOME
by Melanie Fire Salamander
Mabon: the second harvest, of grain and in the Northwest of wine grapes. A good time to think about food, harvested from the fields now. Our lead writer meditates on a whole ritual life built around food, the making of bread, oxtail soup and baked figs and eggplant, and the many connections between cooking and magick. So too do we have another writer’s tale of making communion bread, and discussions likewise of making ritual wine and aphrodisiac liqueur.
Food warms the house as it cooks; food warms the body as we eat. After we gather in our harvest and cook or ferment it, often we share it. Breaking bread together has long been a symbol for truce and the establishment of friendship ties. Catherine Harper considers the sacredness of this act in her lead story. In the Lakota and other Native American traditions, the milestones of life are often denoted by sharing not only food but many or all household goods, in a Giveaway ceremony. Napecinkala writes of this ritual in this issue.
One of my favorite images of this season, driving or walking on an evening just as the last stains of sunset leave the sky, is passing in blue darkness a small house set back among trees. Beyond thinning branches, windows golden with light shine. Behind them, I imagine a family or friends around a fire or a laden table, coming together, cozy against the cold night.
I wish you and your family (of birth or choice) a warm harvest and safety against the coming winter.