‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Autumn, described by John Keats as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, is the most restful of all seasons. We are sensitive to a change of seasons. And at this particular time we stop to consider what our harvest is, and then the age-old promise to ourselves that next year will be better, and more productive.
But now the peace and serenity of the season is upon us, and the Artist has painted for our eyes to see the most beautiful of all seasons – the autumn.
Scattered frost has touched everything just enough to give a mottled pattern of brown and green. Early morning mists, blue and gray, hang low in the hills; brilliant red sumac and maples gold and burgundy stand out like jewels among the yellow elms.
There is a whole new world for those who wish to open their spiritual eyes. We need to insist that worries take the back seat while we sniff the sweet scent of wood smoke, and see the lavender-pink sunsets and autumn haze that settles like soft, blue fingers through the valleys. This is a picture for the soul by the Master Artist.
Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
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St Agnes’ Eve
This is an evening for love divinations, even though the spurious St Agnes chose death rather than marry a pagan Roman officer. Most of the methods recommended for determining your future spouse are challenging.
According to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, you should take a row of pins and pull out everyone while saying a pater noster. Stick one in your sleeve and you will dream of your future mate. I’m not sure if this works if you don’t know the Our Father in Latin. Perhaps it doesn’t matter as the words simply represent your effort to make the process sacred, in which case you can write your own charm along the lines of the following:
Fair St Agnes, play thy part
And send to me my own sweetheart
Not in his best or worst array
But in the clothes he wears each day
That tomorrow I may him ken
From among all other men.
To dream of your future mate, you must fast during the day and keep silent. No one, not even a child, should kiss you. At bedtime you must don your best and cleanest night dress.
One method requires the making, in silence, of a dumb cake of salt and water, supplied in equal proportions by friends who help you make it in silence. You then divide it equally and each takes her piece, walks backwards to bed, eats the cake and jumps in bed.
In Northumberland, the girl is told to boil an egg, extract the yolk, fill the hole with salt, eat the egg shell and all, then recite the above lines of entreaty to St. Agnes. This will insure a significant dream which cannot be revealed to anyone.
Aristotle’s Last Legacy (written in 1711) provides another, even more unpleasant, method for provoking an oracular dream of your lover. All you need to do is sprinkle a sprig of rosemary and a sprig of thyme with urine three times, then put each sprig into one of your shoes and put your shoes by your bed and say:
St Agnes, that’s to Lovers kind
Come ease the Troubles of my Mind.
If these seem too difficult or inedible, you can always try the simple charm of peeling an apple in one long strip and throwing it over your left shoulder to see what initial it will make or simply paying careful attention to your dreams.
For a special treat, find a copy of John Keats’ poem The Eve of St. Agnes and read it aloud.