Mi Mean Fomhair
The Irish have a long tradition of starting seasons at the very first sign of their coming. So the summer months are May, June and July (Mi Bealtaine, Mi Meitheamh and Mi Iuil) and Autumn begins at Lunasa. The months of Autumn are then August, September and October (Mi Lunasa, Mi Mean Fomhair and Mi Deireadh Fomhair). And Winter starts at Samhain. Mi Mean Fomhair can be translated as Middle of Autumn or Middle of Harvest and Mi Deireadh Fomhair as End of Autumn or End of Harvest.
I love the way this system for Autumn links in with harvest and how it places the solstices and equinoxes at the centre of the seasons. I love the way each season begins at its conception rather than its birth. How even in the summer heat of August we know that Autumn is here. How in the cold chill of February Spring is already stirring. In a very real sense the Goddess is always pointing us to the first stirrings of hidden possibility.
And so in the middle of Autumn we stand at the Autumn Equinox - a point of balance all across Mother Earth - as the North moves into the dark and the South into the light.
Mi Mean Fomhair is such a beautiful month, the light, the climate, seem just right. The leaves are beginning to turn and soon the trees will be a riot of glorious colour and we can dance through the fallen leaves. It is a time when our Mother gives us such abundance. A time to pick apples fresh from the tree and gather blackberries from the hedgerows. A time when the moon and stars appear to shine more brightly than in the summer as if they exult in the Earth's good fortune.
And so the North moves into the dark. The Goddess has taught me to love the dark. Dark is not evil - it is the womb from which all is born. Here in Brighid's Isles we are blessed with many Neolithic womb spaces. In remote places you can just curl up inside and let the Goddess birth visions in the soul. But every home has its own womb space in winter where visions come to birth. As the dark rises it is time to draw the curtains, turn off the lights, curl up before the fire and dream dreams that can be envisioned in the reality of our world.