As I write this, we’re just over five days from the autumnal equinox here in the magical Mid-Atlantic. And as Hecate is so fond of reminding us: “A Witch’s Job Is to Turn the Wheel and Round and Round the Wheel Must Turn.”
Mabon is the “witches’ thanksgiving,” where we draw in and count up our harvest, and celebrate our hard work and the bounty of the earth, the universe, and the deities we revere.
But this particular harvest season has me thinking a lot about loss and endings.
It’s partially because this week, the United States passed the dreadful milestone of 670,000 people dead of COVID. That’s 1 in 500 Americans. Wives and husbands. Mamas and babas. Tias and tios. Nonnas and nonnos. Bubbes, abuelas, play cousins, friends, lovers, children. Dead.
Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg planned a memorial to the dead on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and by the time she could get it installed, it was already outdated.
On a more personal note, a close friend of mine of more than 25 years was just diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. They caught it early, in part because he was experiencing other health problems so was working with a medical team and being closely monitored already, and he was able to have surgery right away, because thankfully our hospitals here in Blue America are NOT overwhelmed with selfish idiots. But the five year survival rate is, basically, zero. His daughter just started college three weeks ago. His wife threw together a last minute birthday party for him just before surgery comprised of a tiny group of vaccinated people because, his relentlessly positive attitude notwithstanding, we’re all worried it will be his last.
At the moment, it’s hard to feel celebratory, or joyful, or even particularly thankful.
Then again, there IS a time to weep, a time to mourn, even, in fact, a time to die. Because that’s a part of turning the wheel, too.
And I hope we are all able to find a time for peace this Mabon.
Full lyrics to Pete Seeger’s lovely Turn, Turn, Turn:
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late
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