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Dimming/Lammas/Lughnasadh

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Manage episode 372053359 series 2634748
内容由The Wonder Podcast提供。所有播客内容(包括剧集、图形和播客描述)均由 The Wonder Podcast 或其播客平台合作伙伴直接上传和提供。如果您认为有人在未经您许可的情况下使用您的受版权保护的作品,您可以按照此处概述的流程进行操作https://zh.player.fm/legal

Remember, we welcome comments, questions, and suggested topics at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com.

S4E24 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Yucca: Welcome back to The Wonder, Science Based Paganism. I'm one of your hosts, Yucca

Mark: and then the other one, Mark.

Yucca: And today we are talking about that, that August holiday. We are here already. And I think we should start with, with what we call it, right?

Mark: Right, because this is one of those where there are multiple names out there with varying degrees of pronunciability, depending on what your linguistic background is. And part of understanding what it is, is understanding how we talk about it. So what do you call it, Yakko?

Yucca: So usually for me, it's second summer or when speaking with other people, I might use Lamas. That's because it's the one that's easiest for me to spell and I am spelling challenged. So that's usually what it will be. Sometimes the whole season right now is monsoon for us. So it's the monsoons. So yeah. But, you know, I recognize the other names as well. Unasa and things like that.

Mark: Sure. I've always had kind of a hard time naming this holiday and because as I've mentioned before, I prefer not to use the Celtic names because that's not really

Yucca: It's not your background.

Mark: anything that I resonate to. And I, you know, the Catholic holiday llamas, I'm not all that interested in Catholicism either.

Yucca: It always

Mark: but you know what? Oh, llamas.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Yes, the Peruvian holiday. So, So, there was a member of the Atheopagan Facebook group several years ago who suggested that she is using and I don't remember her name or I would credit her that she is using the terms brightening and dimming for the cross quarters at the beginning of February and the beginning of August.

And I like that a lot because it's universal. I've always celebrated that February holiday as river rain, which makes a lot of sense where I live, but not. Pretty much everywhere else. So, so I've, I've adopted those terms and I find them useful. You know, the days are noticeably shorter now. The, you know, we've, we've stepped off from the peak at the summer solstice.

Still plenty hot, still plenty of light, but there's definitely been a step down from that really blazing peak. And so Dimming, Dimming is a name that works well for me.

Yucca: You know, I think one of the challenges with names may be that the, what's happening in each person's climate is, is really very different. And it's not as drastic of a difference in terms of it's not a change of season. We're in the middle of a large season. It's not like in the autumn or the spring, really, when.

There's this switch going on, but what summer is for me and what summer is for you is very different, right, and what summer is going to be for somebody somewhere else, and whether it's still summer or, or we're approaching getting into autumn, because for me, it's not, right, this is not, you know, you talk about it dimming, and I do notice that the days are getting shorter, but this really is Thanks.

This is the peak of summer for us.

Mark: Huh.

Yucca: It's not, there's no, this is the point where there is, it is the hottest time of the year. It is the most summery of summer. The, the summer solstice, it's like spring Barely ended and it is just jumped into summer for us. And so a lot of the types of things that people would associate with the summer solstice are more appropriate for us here, like sunflowers and things like that, that like the sunflowers are barely opening right now for us.

Whereas I know for other people, they've been going for months. Right?

Mark: Right.

Yucca: And I think that that's

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: You know, kind of across a lot of different places where it's just, there just isn't really a unified, what is this time of year? What is this holiday for many

Mark: Right. Well, and it's not just this holiday. I mean, when it comes to summer, the hottest time of the year where I live is September.

Yucca: Mm

Mark: And the reason for that is that the sun has weakened enough that that fog system that I've talked about before no longer works. And so we're under the full sun rather than under a nice blanket of cooling fog.

So we get days in the hundreds in September, and that is entirely uncooperative with any pagan calendar I've ever seen. It just, just doesn't work, right? You know, Oh, yes, the harvest and the, you know, the, the, the leaves and all that great stuff. Well, yes, we're having a harvest, but Not so much the leaves and stuff, cuz it's still blazing hot and it's going to be for a while.

It's gonna stay really warm into November.

Yucca: Mm

Mark: So, so that's one reason why I find this word di dimming appealing because it doesn't refer to what's happening climatically, it just refers to what's happening with the sun, which is more of a universal thing for people in the northern hemisphere.

Yucca: Right. Where it's, where if you're at the same latitude, same things happening, sun wise.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah.

Yucca: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So. What are some, let's talk about some of the themes, maybe some of the classical themes, and then how, how we approach those within our own climates.

Mark: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Sure. Well, to start with, In traditional paganism, and of course, we always have to issue the caveat that traditional neo paganism was put together 60 years ago or something. It's really not, you know, not something that goes way back, but it draws on folk traditions, which do go way back. And so this is traditionally the first harvest festival, the first of three, and this is associated with the grain harvest.

So, the harvesting of barley and wheat and rye and it's associated with bread and with beer making and all of those things that we do with grain that around here, they actually get two harvests of of grain those that grow fodder for cattle. They're actually able to, you know, they get another growth of it that they can harvest before it starts to rain.

But I like all those old associations. I like to bake a loaf of bread this time of year. It's the only time I ever do.

Yucca: Mm

Mark: and, you know, drink beer, which that's not the only time I ever do. And and just sort of enjoy, you know, reflecting on the season and thinking about what it must have been like for people in You know, the pre medieval medieval period, the classical period, you know, finally some real food is coming out of the ground.

You know, the, the, the, the core food stuff that we eat, which is

Yucca: stuff that lasts, right? That's the stuff that you store for the, you know, it's very different with the food that you're harvesting in the moment to eat. But that is what you're going to be able to store for a long period of time and know that, oh, we've got something. Right? When, when winter comes, I have something.

Yeah.

Mark: Yes. Yeah. So I enjoy all those associations. And then I have a bunch of other associations that I layer on top of that. But how about you? Are there other sort of the classical associations that you can think of that go with this as well?

Yucca: The classical, I mean, there's, you know, there's some of the, like, the, the burning the straw man kind of stuff that happens. But a lot of what I, what I see kind of in the pegasphere the pagan sphere, would be would, a lot of that kind of bread. Association kind of stuff which definitely is not how I celebrate it.

We, you know, we don't eat bread. We don't eat that kind of stuff. But it is the grass component is really important for us. That's a big, big theme. It's really honoring the ranges. I'm a range ecologist in particular. And we, we assign different associations throughout the year with different types of ecosystems.

And so this is the other side from, even though it's not quite across but it's the other side from the winter solstice. For us where that's the forests and this is the grasslands. And this is when the grasslands are here. The grass is really at its at its fullest at its peak because it's monsoons.

So for me, this this holiday is a lot about the monsoons.

Mark: Uhhuh. for sure. Yeah. I mean that's a, in the southwestern deserts, that's probably the most influential climatic thing that happens all year round. It's the monsoon rains.

Yucca: the monsoons and the snowpack, right? It's the moist, and those are, and that's when it's happening, right? We're hap it's happening, the snowpack is gonna be in that win in that winter kind of, really January, right? We're not really getting that much in December, it's not until January, so January and August.

Although the monsoons will last for a few months, August really is the heart of it,

Mark: Mm

Yucca: we're lucky. Depends on the year.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: The what was I going to say? Oh, but there are other meanings that I have kind of layered on to this time as well. This was the time when the ancient Greek Olympics would take place right around this time. And so, you know, naked men cavorting with javelins and pole vaulting and racing and all that kind of stuff.

Yucca: Sounds great.

Mark: so I tend to associate this time of year with skill and and I kind of, as our listeners, our regular listeners know, the other thing that I do is I tend to map the Sabbaths of the wheel of the year onto the arc of a human life. And that means that this point in the wheel of the year is for the middle aged.

And I see the middle aged as people that are at the height of their intellectual and skill powers. They, you know, they are your senior engineers. They are your you know, your experienced inventors that have been through enough trial and error to know what's likely to work and what isn't. And so I associate technology.

With this time of year as well, because one thing that note that I noticed was a glaring absence in the traditional pagan wheel of the year is any place for technology, because it's all kind of rooting this ye olde England the kind

Yucca: of nostalgic for the past and yeah

Mark: Right. Yeah. But believe me, at this time of year, if you didn't have a mill, you were you were not having a great time as a having a grain harvest.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: That technology is very valuable.

Yucca: Well and and for today a

Mark: to assume.

Yucca: pretty pretty big fan of fans right now

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: Yep.

Mark: Yeah, you bet. So, you know, technology, invention, skill, middle age all of those sort of I don't know. Summary and later in life kinds of things.

Yucca: Mm hmm

Mark: Not really elderly, but just,

Yucca: mature.

Mark: when I think of elderhood, I yeah, mature. When I think of elderhood, I think of people who have either retired or are near retirement or at least near the age when people used to be able to retire back when that was a thing we could do.

Yucca: I have heard

Mark: that, that I, yes, yes, I have heard the lore of the people that say that. The thing one can do but I associate that phase in life with the harvest festival at the Autumnal Equinox, which I associate with the elderly. And then of course, Hallows is death and decomposition.

Yucca: Yeah. Mm

Mark: So, so, you know, kind of a list of different sorts of themes to associate with, but I like having A different station in life for each of the Sabbaths because it gives an opportunity to celebrate people in my community that are of a particular age group

Yucca: hmm

Mark: and, you know, just to appreciate them for being in our community and what they bring and what they've been through, or what they're going to bring forth and, you know, the potential that they offer.

And I just, I think that's a good thing for community building. So it's a, it's a thing I like to do.

Yucca: And I really like your inclusion of the, the technology in there. I think that that's an important important thing to recognize, right? That it's, and it's kind of having a place to honor it because it isn't it's A bad thing, right? It's not like there's this competition between, like, natural and technology.

Like, it's, no, no, this is all mixed in here together and, and, you know, like any tool, it's really just depends on what we're doing with those tools and what are, what's our intention behind the tools. But the tool itself, it's not necessarily, you know, a bad thing.

Mark: right. Now, it doesn't reflect well that pretty much every technological innovation throughout history has been initially applied towards warfare. That, that's kind of a grim factoid.

Yucca: Yeah, now I've heard that many times. I'm not I have to admit that I feel a little skeptical about that. I, but I don't have enough background to be able to point to something and say, ah, here's an example. But, I mean, it's something that I definitely hear is repeated, and there's certainly plenty of examples of it, but I don't know how, how fair of a representation that really is or isn't.

Mm hmm.

Mark: well, when you have a military dominated society and most societies throughout recorded history have been military dominated, then it's inevitable that what technologies arise are going to be applied to military applications.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: Like refrigeration, for example, refrigeration was initially used to transport food around for soldiers and then it got propagated out into various private applications.

Yucca: Well, I can think of rockets, right? Or fire

Mark: circuit, right, right. The integrated circuit was initially used in ICBMs and things like then fighter jets and things like that. But now we're talking over computers that use the integrated circuit. So there are many applications for technologies. And a part of a part of my, my rap about technology and.

Capitalism and human society is that part of the problem that we've had is that the idea of science as this dispassionate value free proposition has allowed us to do research into areas that are very destructive. I mean, you know, doing research about how you can get more of an explosive yield out of a fusion reaction is pretty destructive.

And if we had a society that was more informed by compassionate and humanitarian values. we would be less likely to invest money in that kind of research, I think.

Yucca: hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Mark: But there's a tangent.

Yucca: Well, we have to have at least

Mark: anyway, yes, we do. That's true. Anyway, technology, it does lots of good stuff for us. Keeps me alive. I wouldn't, I'm, I'm sure I wouldn't be here if not for the technology that goes into my pharmaceuticals. So I'm happy about technology.

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: So, those are themes. How about rituals? What are, what are things you like to do to celebrate the grasslands and and those and the rains, the monsoons? Yeah.

Yucca: Well, when the rains come, we go out in them. Because going out in the rain is a very different thing depending on where the rain is. Right, it may not be something that you would want to do if you live in Connecticut and rain is a very different thing there than it is here. But when the storms come it's just we get so little moisture that it's just amazing that we go out barefoot and we watch the, we watch the water just moving across the land. Of course, there's very practical reasons as well, because I want to see where the water is moving to and, you know, how can I slow that down and redirect it and make sure it's not getting into the foundations of my house and all of that stuff. But but it also, we The kids have some clear umbrellas, right?

We go out and look at the rain through the clear umbrellas and get wet and muddy like those cartoons where the kid is just completely covered except for their little blinking eyeballs, right? Like, we, we make sure to do that. And Just spending time outside a lot. The other thing that comes up is that this is the, the proceeds are coming up so it's right after, so the per, they usually peak around like the 12th or so.

But they're already getting going for like about a week or, and so before and after. So we spend a lot of time outside with that and just Just being out, but being out in the evening times because right now it is really hot in the middle of the day and the sun is very intense because we're so high up that,

Mark: Mm hmm. Mm

Yucca: you know, there's just, there's no cloud cover.

And when the rains do come, the clouds come in the afternoons, early evening, and then they're gone, right? It's not like it's cloudy all day. You'll get the, you'll get that Few hours, and then it's clear again, clear again. All right.

Mark: Then you get a great sunset

Yucca: Yes, and this time of year, the

Mark: the remnants of the clouds.

Yucca: Yeah, the sunsets. I mean, we have beautiful sunsets throughout the year, but there's something about the summer and the autumn.

And then just the whole sky is just pink and golden and and the light on the, the trees that we have here are mostly. Pinyon and juniper. So they have the needles that the every single needle will catch the light and it looks like little spears of fire and it's, it's just, it's just hanging out a lot.

Just being with, with the land and and we got lots of animals this time of year. I was telling Mark some stories about our adventures with, with some very large mammals in and You know, that's what we're, that's what we're doing, so,

Mark: That's great. I love that blood warm rain of the monsoons. When we get rain here, it's always cold. But that, that tropical rain is just so amazing. It's lovely to go out and get soaked in it.

Yucca: And it's different, right, depending on which, which desert you're in because we say the desert southwest, but there's like five different deserts here, right, and what elevation you're at, where, you know, it's the, the, the rains that we have up here, I'm just I'm not quite on the Colorado Plateau but I'm right now, I'm at this crossroad between like several different major geologic regions, but it's so different than if you go down into the Chihuahuan.

Right, the rain, even though they're getting the same weather patterns coming through, but the rain is just it smells different. It feels different. It's just so different each place. And then, of course, this is when the grasses come alive. Right, they're waiting, they're sleeping throughout the whole year and then they.

Wake up and here we have, we're on a migratory path. The elk will come through as they're going between these two main mountain ranges that we have. And this is when, you know, we're moving around the, my whole neighborhood. Neighborhood I put that that's again relative for different people. This is a very large area that we have, but you know, we're moving our our herds of animals around and it's just it's just a very alive.

That's that's I think if I had to give this name, this holiday name. I say, maybe I'd call it alive,

Mark: hmm.

Yucca: right? Or awake, alive, awake, something like that. Yeah.

Mark: I like that. Nice. So, well, I guess I'll talk a little bit about ways that I celebrate. I mean, I've already talked about making bread and drinking beer and,

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: you know, that kind of thing. I do like to get together with friends at this time of year and, you know, kind of center grain stuffs in the meal. So, our Northern California Atheopagan Affinity group is going to get together on the 6th of August and celebrate, and we'll be doing that with bread and empanadas, actually, which will also be really nice. So, it's still a summer holiday and to me that means gatherings. And you know, the opportunity to have a highly constrained, safe fire,

Yucca: Mm

Mark: because unsafe fires are unpopular in California now. They they, that's a, that's a good way for you to get sideways of your neighbors is to have too big and uncontained a fire.

But we'll, you know, we'll, we'll build a little fire in a fire pit and that'll be nice to be around and we'll hang out into the evening and talk about life and enjoy bread and beer and empanadas and snacks and early vegetables and all that good kind of stuff. And it'll just be a good way to celebrate the season.

Yucca: Mm.

Mark: yeah, I really find that the the, the summer Sabbaths really lend themselves so much more to just kind of general social gatherings than they do to more. formal rituals. I, I tend to do more formal rituals in the fall, the winter, and the spring. But after the Maypole at at May Day or Beltane everything relaxes a great deal.

Yucca: Yeah. Mm

Mark: Uh, and it, it, it turns into barbecues at the beach and stuff like that as my way of celebrating the holiday because it's a great time to be out, right, to be out. In the world and experiencing it.

Yucca: Yeah Because the other half of the year is much more indoor focused, right? And for me, it's often there's a, it's a much more turned inwards. experience where the,

Mark: Mm hmm.

Yucca: the warm half of the year is a much more turned out experience, just in terms of where the focus is. It's about, you know, what's going on outside with everything else, with the whole, you know, and then outside of the home and then in the home.

Mark: Right. Right. Even even to the extent of other people, whereas in the wintertime, I tend to be more inward and less social. And that's one of the reasons why the winter solstice is important,

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: it's this sort midwinter.

Now we're going to have a big gathering and we're, you know, we're all going to like look at each other's eyes and realize that we're still alive and, you know, pack in the calories because, you know, who knows what we're going to have to eat come the end of January and that sort of celebration. I appreciate that over the years I have come to feel, to feel the seasons in my body.

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: In a way and not just from the standpoint of how much light there is, but sort of a calling towards a particular kind of celebration at a particular time of year.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So this has been a good conversation. This is our 4th. Podcast episode about this particular holiday. So it's

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: the calendar. It's like that. It just goes around and around and around. So, forgive us if a lot of it was repetition, but, you know, it's the same holiday. We're not inventing a new one.

So,

Yucca: about traditions.

Mark: of course,

Yucca: them again and again.

Mark: right, right. And. Of course, we're always interested to hear what kind of things you're doing. You can contact us at the wonder podcast queues at gmail. com or the wonder podcast QS at gmail. com. And we love to hear from you. We always really appreciate that. Anything else, Yucca?

Yucca: I think that's it. So thanks, Mark. Thank you, everyone.

Mark: Yeah. Thank you Yucca and we'll see you next week.

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Manage episode 372053359 series 2634748
内容由The Wonder Podcast提供。所有播客内容(包括剧集、图形和播客描述)均由 The Wonder Podcast 或其播客平台合作伙伴直接上传和提供。如果您认为有人在未经您许可的情况下使用您的受版权保护的作品,您可以按照此处概述的流程进行操作https://zh.player.fm/legal

Remember, we welcome comments, questions, and suggested topics at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com.

S4E24 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Yucca: Welcome back to The Wonder, Science Based Paganism. I'm one of your hosts, Yucca

Mark: and then the other one, Mark.

Yucca: And today we are talking about that, that August holiday. We are here already. And I think we should start with, with what we call it, right?

Mark: Right, because this is one of those where there are multiple names out there with varying degrees of pronunciability, depending on what your linguistic background is. And part of understanding what it is, is understanding how we talk about it. So what do you call it, Yakko?

Yucca: So usually for me, it's second summer or when speaking with other people, I might use Lamas. That's because it's the one that's easiest for me to spell and I am spelling challenged. So that's usually what it will be. Sometimes the whole season right now is monsoon for us. So it's the monsoons. So yeah. But, you know, I recognize the other names as well. Unasa and things like that.

Mark: Sure. I've always had kind of a hard time naming this holiday and because as I've mentioned before, I prefer not to use the Celtic names because that's not really

Yucca: It's not your background.

Mark: anything that I resonate to. And I, you know, the Catholic holiday llamas, I'm not all that interested in Catholicism either.

Yucca: It always

Mark: but you know what? Oh, llamas.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Yes, the Peruvian holiday. So, So, there was a member of the Atheopagan Facebook group several years ago who suggested that she is using and I don't remember her name or I would credit her that she is using the terms brightening and dimming for the cross quarters at the beginning of February and the beginning of August.

And I like that a lot because it's universal. I've always celebrated that February holiday as river rain, which makes a lot of sense where I live, but not. Pretty much everywhere else. So, so I've, I've adopted those terms and I find them useful. You know, the days are noticeably shorter now. The, you know, we've, we've stepped off from the peak at the summer solstice.

Still plenty hot, still plenty of light, but there's definitely been a step down from that really blazing peak. And so Dimming, Dimming is a name that works well for me.

Yucca: You know, I think one of the challenges with names may be that the, what's happening in each person's climate is, is really very different. And it's not as drastic of a difference in terms of it's not a change of season. We're in the middle of a large season. It's not like in the autumn or the spring, really, when.

There's this switch going on, but what summer is for me and what summer is for you is very different, right, and what summer is going to be for somebody somewhere else, and whether it's still summer or, or we're approaching getting into autumn, because for me, it's not, right, this is not, you know, you talk about it dimming, and I do notice that the days are getting shorter, but this really is Thanks.

This is the peak of summer for us.

Mark: Huh.

Yucca: It's not, there's no, this is the point where there is, it is the hottest time of the year. It is the most summery of summer. The, the summer solstice, it's like spring Barely ended and it is just jumped into summer for us. And so a lot of the types of things that people would associate with the summer solstice are more appropriate for us here, like sunflowers and things like that, that like the sunflowers are barely opening right now for us.

Whereas I know for other people, they've been going for months. Right?

Mark: Right.

Yucca: And I think that that's

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: You know, kind of across a lot of different places where it's just, there just isn't really a unified, what is this time of year? What is this holiday for many

Mark: Right. Well, and it's not just this holiday. I mean, when it comes to summer, the hottest time of the year where I live is September.

Yucca: Mm

Mark: And the reason for that is that the sun has weakened enough that that fog system that I've talked about before no longer works. And so we're under the full sun rather than under a nice blanket of cooling fog.

So we get days in the hundreds in September, and that is entirely uncooperative with any pagan calendar I've ever seen. It just, just doesn't work, right? You know, Oh, yes, the harvest and the, you know, the, the, the leaves and all that great stuff. Well, yes, we're having a harvest, but Not so much the leaves and stuff, cuz it's still blazing hot and it's going to be for a while.

It's gonna stay really warm into November.

Yucca: Mm

Mark: So, so that's one reason why I find this word di dimming appealing because it doesn't refer to what's happening climatically, it just refers to what's happening with the sun, which is more of a universal thing for people in the northern hemisphere.

Yucca: Right. Where it's, where if you're at the same latitude, same things happening, sun wise.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah.

Yucca: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So. What are some, let's talk about some of the themes, maybe some of the classical themes, and then how, how we approach those within our own climates.

Mark: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Sure. Well, to start with, In traditional paganism, and of course, we always have to issue the caveat that traditional neo paganism was put together 60 years ago or something. It's really not, you know, not something that goes way back, but it draws on folk traditions, which do go way back. And so this is traditionally the first harvest festival, the first of three, and this is associated with the grain harvest.

So, the harvesting of barley and wheat and rye and it's associated with bread and with beer making and all of those things that we do with grain that around here, they actually get two harvests of of grain those that grow fodder for cattle. They're actually able to, you know, they get another growth of it that they can harvest before it starts to rain.

But I like all those old associations. I like to bake a loaf of bread this time of year. It's the only time I ever do.

Yucca: Mm

Mark: and, you know, drink beer, which that's not the only time I ever do. And and just sort of enjoy, you know, reflecting on the season and thinking about what it must have been like for people in You know, the pre medieval medieval period, the classical period, you know, finally some real food is coming out of the ground.

You know, the, the, the, the core food stuff that we eat, which is

Yucca: stuff that lasts, right? That's the stuff that you store for the, you know, it's very different with the food that you're harvesting in the moment to eat. But that is what you're going to be able to store for a long period of time and know that, oh, we've got something. Right? When, when winter comes, I have something.

Yeah.

Mark: Yes. Yeah. So I enjoy all those associations. And then I have a bunch of other associations that I layer on top of that. But how about you? Are there other sort of the classical associations that you can think of that go with this as well?

Yucca: The classical, I mean, there's, you know, there's some of the, like, the, the burning the straw man kind of stuff that happens. But a lot of what I, what I see kind of in the pegasphere the pagan sphere, would be would, a lot of that kind of bread. Association kind of stuff which definitely is not how I celebrate it.

We, you know, we don't eat bread. We don't eat that kind of stuff. But it is the grass component is really important for us. That's a big, big theme. It's really honoring the ranges. I'm a range ecologist in particular. And we, we assign different associations throughout the year with different types of ecosystems.

And so this is the other side from, even though it's not quite across but it's the other side from the winter solstice. For us where that's the forests and this is the grasslands. And this is when the grasslands are here. The grass is really at its at its fullest at its peak because it's monsoons.

So for me, this this holiday is a lot about the monsoons.

Mark: Uhhuh. for sure. Yeah. I mean that's a, in the southwestern deserts, that's probably the most influential climatic thing that happens all year round. It's the monsoon rains.

Yucca: the monsoons and the snowpack, right? It's the moist, and those are, and that's when it's happening, right? We're hap it's happening, the snowpack is gonna be in that win in that winter kind of, really January, right? We're not really getting that much in December, it's not until January, so January and August.

Although the monsoons will last for a few months, August really is the heart of it,

Mark: Mm

Yucca: we're lucky. Depends on the year.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: The what was I going to say? Oh, but there are other meanings that I have kind of layered on to this time as well. This was the time when the ancient Greek Olympics would take place right around this time. And so, you know, naked men cavorting with javelins and pole vaulting and racing and all that kind of stuff.

Yucca: Sounds great.

Mark: so I tend to associate this time of year with skill and and I kind of, as our listeners, our regular listeners know, the other thing that I do is I tend to map the Sabbaths of the wheel of the year onto the arc of a human life. And that means that this point in the wheel of the year is for the middle aged.

And I see the middle aged as people that are at the height of their intellectual and skill powers. They, you know, they are your senior engineers. They are your you know, your experienced inventors that have been through enough trial and error to know what's likely to work and what isn't. And so I associate technology.

With this time of year as well, because one thing that note that I noticed was a glaring absence in the traditional pagan wheel of the year is any place for technology, because it's all kind of rooting this ye olde England the kind

Yucca: of nostalgic for the past and yeah

Mark: Right. Yeah. But believe me, at this time of year, if you didn't have a mill, you were you were not having a great time as a having a grain harvest.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: That technology is very valuable.

Yucca: Well and and for today a

Mark: to assume.

Yucca: pretty pretty big fan of fans right now

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: Yep.

Mark: Yeah, you bet. So, you know, technology, invention, skill, middle age all of those sort of I don't know. Summary and later in life kinds of things.

Yucca: Mm hmm

Mark: Not really elderly, but just,

Yucca: mature.

Mark: when I think of elderhood, I yeah, mature. When I think of elderhood, I think of people who have either retired or are near retirement or at least near the age when people used to be able to retire back when that was a thing we could do.

Yucca: I have heard

Mark: that, that I, yes, yes, I have heard the lore of the people that say that. The thing one can do but I associate that phase in life with the harvest festival at the Autumnal Equinox, which I associate with the elderly. And then of course, Hallows is death and decomposition.

Yucca: Yeah. Mm

Mark: So, so, you know, kind of a list of different sorts of themes to associate with, but I like having A different station in life for each of the Sabbaths because it gives an opportunity to celebrate people in my community that are of a particular age group

Yucca: hmm

Mark: and, you know, just to appreciate them for being in our community and what they bring and what they've been through, or what they're going to bring forth and, you know, the potential that they offer.

And I just, I think that's a good thing for community building. So it's a, it's a thing I like to do.

Yucca: And I really like your inclusion of the, the technology in there. I think that that's an important important thing to recognize, right? That it's, and it's kind of having a place to honor it because it isn't it's A bad thing, right? It's not like there's this competition between, like, natural and technology.

Like, it's, no, no, this is all mixed in here together and, and, you know, like any tool, it's really just depends on what we're doing with those tools and what are, what's our intention behind the tools. But the tool itself, it's not necessarily, you know, a bad thing.

Mark: right. Now, it doesn't reflect well that pretty much every technological innovation throughout history has been initially applied towards warfare. That, that's kind of a grim factoid.

Yucca: Yeah, now I've heard that many times. I'm not I have to admit that I feel a little skeptical about that. I, but I don't have enough background to be able to point to something and say, ah, here's an example. But, I mean, it's something that I definitely hear is repeated, and there's certainly plenty of examples of it, but I don't know how, how fair of a representation that really is or isn't.

Mm hmm.

Mark: well, when you have a military dominated society and most societies throughout recorded history have been military dominated, then it's inevitable that what technologies arise are going to be applied to military applications.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: Like refrigeration, for example, refrigeration was initially used to transport food around for soldiers and then it got propagated out into various private applications.

Yucca: Well, I can think of rockets, right? Or fire

Mark: circuit, right, right. The integrated circuit was initially used in ICBMs and things like then fighter jets and things like that. But now we're talking over computers that use the integrated circuit. So there are many applications for technologies. And a part of a part of my, my rap about technology and.

Capitalism and human society is that part of the problem that we've had is that the idea of science as this dispassionate value free proposition has allowed us to do research into areas that are very destructive. I mean, you know, doing research about how you can get more of an explosive yield out of a fusion reaction is pretty destructive.

And if we had a society that was more informed by compassionate and humanitarian values. we would be less likely to invest money in that kind of research, I think.

Yucca: hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Mark: But there's a tangent.

Yucca: Well, we have to have at least

Mark: anyway, yes, we do. That's true. Anyway, technology, it does lots of good stuff for us. Keeps me alive. I wouldn't, I'm, I'm sure I wouldn't be here if not for the technology that goes into my pharmaceuticals. So I'm happy about technology.

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: So, those are themes. How about rituals? What are, what are things you like to do to celebrate the grasslands and and those and the rains, the monsoons? Yeah.

Yucca: Well, when the rains come, we go out in them. Because going out in the rain is a very different thing depending on where the rain is. Right, it may not be something that you would want to do if you live in Connecticut and rain is a very different thing there than it is here. But when the storms come it's just we get so little moisture that it's just amazing that we go out barefoot and we watch the, we watch the water just moving across the land. Of course, there's very practical reasons as well, because I want to see where the water is moving to and, you know, how can I slow that down and redirect it and make sure it's not getting into the foundations of my house and all of that stuff. But but it also, we The kids have some clear umbrellas, right?

We go out and look at the rain through the clear umbrellas and get wet and muddy like those cartoons where the kid is just completely covered except for their little blinking eyeballs, right? Like, we, we make sure to do that. And Just spending time outside a lot. The other thing that comes up is that this is the, the proceeds are coming up so it's right after, so the per, they usually peak around like the 12th or so.

But they're already getting going for like about a week or, and so before and after. So we spend a lot of time outside with that and just Just being out, but being out in the evening times because right now it is really hot in the middle of the day and the sun is very intense because we're so high up that,

Mark: Mm hmm. Mm

Yucca: you know, there's just, there's no cloud cover.

And when the rains do come, the clouds come in the afternoons, early evening, and then they're gone, right? It's not like it's cloudy all day. You'll get the, you'll get that Few hours, and then it's clear again, clear again. All right.

Mark: Then you get a great sunset

Yucca: Yes, and this time of year, the

Mark: the remnants of the clouds.

Yucca: Yeah, the sunsets. I mean, we have beautiful sunsets throughout the year, but there's something about the summer and the autumn.

And then just the whole sky is just pink and golden and and the light on the, the trees that we have here are mostly. Pinyon and juniper. So they have the needles that the every single needle will catch the light and it looks like little spears of fire and it's, it's just, it's just hanging out a lot.

Just being with, with the land and and we got lots of animals this time of year. I was telling Mark some stories about our adventures with, with some very large mammals in and You know, that's what we're, that's what we're doing, so,

Mark: That's great. I love that blood warm rain of the monsoons. When we get rain here, it's always cold. But that, that tropical rain is just so amazing. It's lovely to go out and get soaked in it.

Yucca: And it's different, right, depending on which, which desert you're in because we say the desert southwest, but there's like five different deserts here, right, and what elevation you're at, where, you know, it's the, the, the rains that we have up here, I'm just I'm not quite on the Colorado Plateau but I'm right now, I'm at this crossroad between like several different major geologic regions, but it's so different than if you go down into the Chihuahuan.

Right, the rain, even though they're getting the same weather patterns coming through, but the rain is just it smells different. It feels different. It's just so different each place. And then, of course, this is when the grasses come alive. Right, they're waiting, they're sleeping throughout the whole year and then they.

Wake up and here we have, we're on a migratory path. The elk will come through as they're going between these two main mountain ranges that we have. And this is when, you know, we're moving around the, my whole neighborhood. Neighborhood I put that that's again relative for different people. This is a very large area that we have, but you know, we're moving our our herds of animals around and it's just it's just a very alive.

That's that's I think if I had to give this name, this holiday name. I say, maybe I'd call it alive,

Mark: hmm.

Yucca: right? Or awake, alive, awake, something like that. Yeah.

Mark: I like that. Nice. So, well, I guess I'll talk a little bit about ways that I celebrate. I mean, I've already talked about making bread and drinking beer and,

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: you know, that kind of thing. I do like to get together with friends at this time of year and, you know, kind of center grain stuffs in the meal. So, our Northern California Atheopagan Affinity group is going to get together on the 6th of August and celebrate, and we'll be doing that with bread and empanadas, actually, which will also be really nice. So, it's still a summer holiday and to me that means gatherings. And you know, the opportunity to have a highly constrained, safe fire,

Yucca: Mm

Mark: because unsafe fires are unpopular in California now. They they, that's a, that's a good way for you to get sideways of your neighbors is to have too big and uncontained a fire.

But we'll, you know, we'll, we'll build a little fire in a fire pit and that'll be nice to be around and we'll hang out into the evening and talk about life and enjoy bread and beer and empanadas and snacks and early vegetables and all that good kind of stuff. And it'll just be a good way to celebrate the season.

Yucca: Mm.

Mark: yeah, I really find that the the, the summer Sabbaths really lend themselves so much more to just kind of general social gatherings than they do to more. formal rituals. I, I tend to do more formal rituals in the fall, the winter, and the spring. But after the Maypole at at May Day or Beltane everything relaxes a great deal.

Yucca: Yeah. Mm

Mark: Uh, and it, it, it turns into barbecues at the beach and stuff like that as my way of celebrating the holiday because it's a great time to be out, right, to be out. In the world and experiencing it.

Yucca: Yeah Because the other half of the year is much more indoor focused, right? And for me, it's often there's a, it's a much more turned inwards. experience where the,

Mark: Mm hmm.

Yucca: the warm half of the year is a much more turned out experience, just in terms of where the focus is. It's about, you know, what's going on outside with everything else, with the whole, you know, and then outside of the home and then in the home.

Mark: Right. Right. Even even to the extent of other people, whereas in the wintertime, I tend to be more inward and less social. And that's one of the reasons why the winter solstice is important,

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: it's this sort midwinter.

Now we're going to have a big gathering and we're, you know, we're all going to like look at each other's eyes and realize that we're still alive and, you know, pack in the calories because, you know, who knows what we're going to have to eat come the end of January and that sort of celebration. I appreciate that over the years I have come to feel, to feel the seasons in my body.

Yucca: Mm hmm.

Mark: In a way and not just from the standpoint of how much light there is, but sort of a calling towards a particular kind of celebration at a particular time of year.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So this has been a good conversation. This is our 4th. Podcast episode about this particular holiday. So it's

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: the calendar. It's like that. It just goes around and around and around. So, forgive us if a lot of it was repetition, but, you know, it's the same holiday. We're not inventing a new one.

So,

Yucca: about traditions.

Mark: of course,

Yucca: them again and again.

Mark: right, right. And. Of course, we're always interested to hear what kind of things you're doing. You can contact us at the wonder podcast queues at gmail. com or the wonder podcast QS at gmail. com. And we love to hear from you. We always really appreciate that. Anything else, Yucca?

Yucca: I think that's it. So thanks, Mark. Thank you, everyone.

Mark: Yeah. Thank you Yucca and we'll see you next week.

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