What are you harvesting this year?

Hello, friends, and welcome to the Harvest Home issue of our newsletter!

Our first order of business is, hooray! We have a newsletter! With our shop being mostly virtual and at Farmer's Markets and festivals, we know sometimes it's hard to keep up with where we'll be, so we decided to start a seasonal newsletter. 

This year, the Autumnal Equinox is Tuesday, September 22nd (in the Northern Hemisphere- our Southern Hemisphere friends are celebrating the Vernal Equinox!) and it is commonly celebrated as Harvest Home, Mabon, and many other names. We here at Hearth and Stars celebrate the equinox as the Fruit Harvest- or, as our resident soaper Tsuki calls it, Fruit Day. 

This holiday marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, although our weather here doesn't always reflect that change right away. Astronomically, this is the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator. Due to differences between the tropical year and the calendar year, this can happen any time between the 21st and the 24th of September. 

Mabon, the Wiccan festival commonly celebrated around this day, was coined in 1970 by Aidan Kelly, as a reference to Mabon ap Modron from Welsh mythology. On the Wiccan wheel of the year, it's the second of three harvest festivals, with Lunaghsadh coming before it, and Samhain coming after.

Sometimes called the Pagan Thanksgiving, the autumnal equinox is a good time to look at what you've sown over the year and reap the results of that hard work. This is a time to look at the hopes and dreams we planted during Imbolc and Ostara, and see how they've come to fruition in our lives. 

What have you grown this year? 

2020 has been a difficult year- with plague and fires, earthquakes and floods, smoke and drought. We've seen death and destruction, struggle, and we've been fighting against oppression and hate. However, this season is a time of gratitude as well. As hard as it can be to find something to be grateful for in the sea of natural disaster, political corruption, and ambiguous grief, it's vital that we turn to each other and strengthen our communities. 

What are you grateful for?

We here at Hearth and Stars are grateful for so many things. We're grateful that our debut year has given us the opportunity to bring joy and beauty to our community. We're grateful for all the new faces and friends we've found at the Farmer's Markets, at the festivals we attend throughout this season, and here online with all of you. We're grateful for apples, peaches, apricots, and all the fruits of the harvest we'll be feasting on for these coming weeks, and for the support that each of you has shown us. We're grateful for the helpers, the inspirations, the laughs and smiles and tears that we've learned from this year. We're grateful for apple pie and fresh whipped cream, for feasts with our families, and for the delight of children when presented with cookies fresh from the oven. 

Most of all, we're grateful for our chance to meet, know, and revel with all of you.

Seasons Blessings to each of you!