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Lammas morning—I woke up and saw that during the night we’d reached our first funding point on our Kickstarter campaign for The Fifth Sacred Thing movie. Yesterday, I’d posted the update below on our Kickstarter page—hoping that we’d hit that landmark on Lammas, and we did! Such good magic!
“August 1, Lammas, one of the eight key Celtic Pagan holidays on the Wheel of the Year. Lammas, traditionally, was the beginning of the harvest, when the early crops are coming in and the summer fruits are ripe. In Ireland, it was Lughnasad, the festival of the sun-God Lugh. “Lammas” comes from “Loaf-mass”—the loaf made from the first-harvested grain. It was a time of fairs and feasts, of hopes and fears, when the grain is ripening in the fields but not yet brought into the barn.
“Here in northern California, Lammas generally marks the beginning of the driest, most dangerous time of the year. We are midway through our long dry season, with all the moisture burned out of the grasses and the trees beginning to thirst. A spark, a careless cigarette butt, a bottle of water left in the field that serves as a magnifying glass can start a fire that will rage over thousands of acres. Water tanks are running low, springs dry to a trickle, and rain is still weeks away.
“For that reason, I chose Lammas as the date of the Uprising, and its anniversary, in The Fifth Sacred Thing book. “In the dry time of year, the dangerous time, the risk time, an old woman climbed a hill…” so begins the story. “Like most people in the southern part of the city, she called the season El Tiempo de la Segadora, the Time of the Reaper. The hills were dry, the gardens dependent on the dwindling waters of cisterns, the rains still weeks away. A time of ripening, but not yet of harvesting, when nothing was certain.”
“Incidentally, I was originally going to call the novel The Time of the Reaper. Bantam thought that sounded too much like a Gothic novel or horror film, and someone in their editorial offices suggested The Fifth Sacred Thing. Thank you!
“As I look at Kickstarter today, I realize we may well reach our first funding point on Lammas—or very shortly thereafter. A first harvest, indeed!
“Lammas is also a time for gratitude, and I am deeply thankful for all the wonderful support we have been receiving in so many ways. The movie is far, far from its ultimate harvest point, and our funding point on Kickstarter, we hope, will not be an end point but an important marker—and a moment of huge relief as after that, we know that we will actually be getting all the funds that people pledge! But what a powerful first harvest! Thank you all so much for being part of this wonderful adventure! May your own harvests be abundant and your endeavors yield sweet fruit!”
No one was up at my house when I saw the good news, except for fifteen-year-old Kore who was subjected to a sequence of ecstatic hugs and eventually fled to go rouse the parents. I called my good friend Donna—good news needs to be shared!
“Well, now you must really be terrified,” she said.
“I was,” I admitted. “But fortunately our Lammas ritual this weekend focused a lot on letting go of the things that get in the way of your dreams.”
I should say that I had nothing to do with planning the ritual. That’s the wonderful part of collaborative organizations—in Reclaiming, over the years, I’ve been able to step back from many roles and let other people take them on. The gift is that you often get something you don’t expect. Were I planning the ritual, I probably would have focused on something different. But for me, having a chance in ritual space to connect with a few people to share our dreams and name what might keep us from them, and consciously let go of the outcome—oooo, I resisted that, but it was good for me.
I don’t let go of the sense of responsibility I feel—to all the people who have given their support and good will and hard-earned money to this project. I feel a great determination to do all that’s within my power—and perhaps a bit beyond—to make it the movie, and the larger project, that can help propel us into the positive vision of the future we want.
But there are many things beyond my control that could get in the way. The most likely being that the Republicans and Democrats between them will utterly destroy the economy in the next week. A tsumani could wash away San Francisco. Another earthquake could hit. A giant asteroid could crash into the earth. The rapture might actually happen this October. The sun could burn out way ahead of schedule. We could make the movie and everyone could hate it.
So…take a deep breath, and instead of focusing on the worries, let go of the outcome. Move ahead without fear, but with joy and gratitude. Enjoy the harvest as it comes in.
We will continue to raise money—it’s amazing the amount of money it takes to put together the proposal for the investors whom we hope will provide the next tier. But now we know we can move ahead with some key facets of the project, and that we have some resources to lay on the table. Thanks to all who have been supporting us in so many ways.
And great gratitude to the Reclaiming ritual planners, and to all who offer ceremonies and spiritual support to your communities.
A blessed Lammas to you all!
Reclaiming has groups in many areas who offer rituals, classes, and camps:
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Fifth Sacred Thing Book:
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