A Warm, Relaxed Gathering for Harvest

Due to the low turnout for Moon Meet 2018, those of us in attendance at that event had a discussion about how best to make local Atheopagan in-person events more accessible and attractive. Some of our conjectures were that it was asking too much to expect people to come for a multiple-day event for their first gathering with us, and that the site for Moon Meet was too remote for some of the prospective attendees.

I mention these concerns because we are a far-flung community, distributed across the globe. Any lessons we learn can be used in creating your own events and gatherings*.

Accordingly, three of us planned a Harvest gathering on the autumnal equinox which was only a few hours long, required little commitment (a potluck dish), and was closer to a population center of group members than to where I happen to live.

The result was lovely! There were somewhere between 15 and 20 of us, and we had a nice Harvest potluck feast followed by a ritual to celebrate the season. Very eclectic group, including several folks I’d never met before, and a couple of charming kids.

We declared our individual personal “harvests” for the season, and the things we are grateful for. We celebrated community. And we enjoyed each other’s company with song, food and drink.

Success! We’ll be doing more of these gatherings going forward and look forward to meeting more of our local Atheopagans and friends to celebrate the seasons.

Thanks particularly to Kaigi-Ron and Joe for their help in organizing this event.

 


*And I do encourage you to create your own events and gatherings! For longer and more complex events, an Event Planning Guide with budget and planning timeline spreadsheets are available on the Resources page.

 

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Join Us for a Harvest Celebration!

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, we welcome you to join us for a potluck Harvest celebration on Sept. 22! It will be held from 2 to 6 pm at the Orchard Picnic Area in Tilden Park, Berkeley. Bring a potluck dish to share and something to drink*, your own plates, cups and cutlery, and any items you would like to place on the group Focus to represent your harvested achievements for this year.

One of the lessons we learned from Moon Meet this year is to hold events that require less of a time and logistical commitment, so we’re doing Harvest this year in an area not far from where many of our Facebook group members live, and only lasting a few hours. Please RSVP in the comments if you are coming, so we can plan for numbers!

If you’re too far away to be able to attend this event, I hope you will hold your own! Harvest is a great time to introduce friends to Atheopaganism through a community feast and a simple celebration ritual, giving thanks for all the year has brought us, including our friends and community. Just holding hands and expressing our gratitudes can be a very powerful ritual for people who aren’t used to them.

Check out the linked articles on Harvest (link in the first paragraph) for ideas, and be sure to ask questions if you need help! I wish you the happiest and most abundant of Harvest celebrations with your friends and family.


*Beer, cider and wine are welcome, but no hard alcohol, please.

A Reflection at Dusk

Days are noticeably shorter now. The coastal fog cycle native to my region is sputtering with the weakened power of the Sun, so we have days of heat followed by days half of which are soft and gray, burning off only in the afternoons to sun.

Autumn is here.

Usually, this is a joyous realization for me. I love the fall, with its colorful leaves, spectacular sunsets, skulls and bones and pumpkins. Autumn feels like the reaping of rewards long striven for, the achievement of the year’s culmination.

This year is a little different. It feels as though I have suffered many blows and time is running out to secure another job and get on with things.

Yet I feel hopeful, still.

Yesterday, I asked the question: What if we’re screwed? What if the Earth’s Anthropogenic Sixth Extinction and its advance into full-on Greenhouse Earth are too late to avert? What if all we have built—this cruel and remarkable global civilization, these technological miracles—are temporary dreams, soon to be washed away?

Well, you saw where I went with that. And I do so at the personal level, too.

Things could get really bad. Many of us are struggling to survive now, as late capitalism wrings us dry.

Yet still, there is that sunset. There is this moonrise.

There is yet another day, and with it, the prospect of good news.

In these dark days, friends, I say take heart, and take one another’s hands. Join in community and share a Harvest feast. Know that your efforts matter, and your good intentions count.

Tip a libation to the thirsty Earth, and feel the love for our world that is the truth at the core of all living beings.

It’s not over yet, for any of us. Celebrate.

Live.