Meditation: First Harvest

A Meditation for Lammas

Lammas is a day of presenting the first of our harvest. Finally, we gaze upon the fruits of our labors, and present to others our successes. Traditionally, August 1st was the day when farmers had to present their lords with their first harvest of grain. They would also take bread to the church so that it might be blessed. “Give us this day our daily bread” they seemed to be saying. The blessing did not just cover the harvest that had come, but also the harvest that would come, giving the farmers an ability to feed their families in the coming year.

For us the harvest may seem different. Today is a day not only to take rest and solace in our earthly harvest of finances and resources, but also in our heavenly harvest. Have you cultivated spirituality in yourself? Celebrate! Have you cultivated spirituality in others? Celebrate! Have you taken care of those in need? Celebrate! Have you taken care of yourself when you were in need? Celebrate! Have you grown in your love of God? Celebrate! Have you had any success with your magick? Celebrate!

What successes have you had this year? What is the fruit of your personal first harvest? And how can God and the Christian community bless your harvest to come?

“Don’t you have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest’? Well, what I say to you is: open your eyes and look at the fields! They’re already ripe for harvest! The one who reaps receives his wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the reaper and the sower may be glad together — for in this matter, the proverb, ‘One sows and another reaps,’ holds true. I sent you to reap what you haven’t worked for. Others have done the hard labor, and you have benefited from their work.”

-John 4:35-38

As we celebrate it is important to remember where our success comes from. The spirituality we cultivated in ourselves comes from experience with the Holy Spirit and centuries of research and devotion from the Christian community. The spirituality we cultivate in others is a reaping of what the Lord has already sown and the Christian community has already encouraged. Taking care of the needy and of yourself when you are in need is God encouraging cultivation on your part. The success we have with our magick is us growing and using the seeds of faith that God has planted in us as well as us learning from centuries of research from the witch community.

Everything we reap, especially magickal rewards, are due to the work of those who came before us. Give special thanks for those rewards this day, and rededicate your success to God.

Happy 50th Birthday J.K. Rowling, never change!

To celebrate, here are some of our favorite badass tweets from her.

1. The time she straightened out this rumour in the most British way possible.

2. This response to a Mail story about her.

3. Her curt response to this tweeter, who didn’t like the way she was voting in the Scottish referendum.

4. The time she stuck up for Madonna…

5. This burn.

6. And this Slytherin-themed burn.

7. …and the time she shut down Rupert Murdoch.

8. The time she absolutely nailed her use of hashtags.

9. Her no-nonsense reply to the fan who tweeted, “I wonder why you said that Dumbledore is gay because I can’t see him in that way.”

10. The time she took on the Westboro Baptist Church.

When I teach different levels of students and classes

When it’s a class full of motivated students who are respectful and ready to learn, I’m like:

When it’s a class full of unmotivated students who are disrespectful and would rather be smoking in a bush somewhere, I’m like:

But I’m a professional, and treat them all equally:

And when any of them succeed, we’re all like:



I will never forget the moment I saw the photos of Iman in the October 1989 issue of Vogue shot by Helmut Newton and styled by Andre Leon Talley. I wanted to be a part of THAT!!! The beauty, allure, elegance, sexiness, drama and fashion exuded in these images were transformative for me from a vision and creative perspective  – these pictures literally changed my life. That was 26 years ago, and Iman is still inspiring me. I’ve had the pleasure of actually knowing this woman personally, she introduced me when I was honored by the Black Alumni of Pratt years ago, I’ve been her date to several grand affairs, and we’ve collaborated on projects for VIBE and ESSENCE. Today is the 60th birthday of the elegant and exquisite Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid and we celebrate her beauty, power and presence. Iman took the world by storm as a fashion model but amplified herself as a global brand when she created her own groundbreaking Iman cosmetics line, a designer with her uber successful Iman Collection at HSN, entered the world of decor with Iman Home, a successful author, and digital diva with Destination Iman. The mother, wife of David Bowie, and ageless beauty also inspires women of color world wide as a philanthropist and role model. Happy Birthday Iman and thank you for WOWing me. 

Part of the Straightedge Minority

We raise a glass to success; we raise a glass to happiness; we raise a glass to life. I feel like I might be one of the only 22-year olds in the room who raises a Shirley Temple. A virgin Shirley Temple.

That’s right: I have chosen the straightedge lifestyle. I don’t drink or smoke. I tried giving the Long Island Iced Tea a shot when I went out with my friends a couple of times. I wanted to experience the same feeling as everyone else; I guess I thought there would be some magical feeling that came with it. But hours later, when the drink wore off, did it really make a difference that I drank alcohol? No. It just left me with a few dollars less in my pocket and a feeling of complete exhaustion.

I realized that drinking just wasn’t for me.

I didn’t enjoy the taste of it, or the way it made me feel uncontrollable. For a while, I struggled with the fact that I have been a part of a straightedge minority. Why was it a struggle? Why put a label on the person I have chosen to be?

I feel that there is a stigma attached to the straightedge lifestyle – a stigma created by societal pressures. When I made the decision not to drink, I felt as though I lost my “fun” title. I felt nervous to tell my closest friends. When they invited me to go to a nightclub or sports bar, I created excuses. “I don’t feel up to it,” I would say or, “I have to get up early tomorrow.” I still felt this guilt. Was it guilt over why I wasn’t drinking, or over the fact that I wasn’t being 100% true to others and, most importantly, myself?

Of course, my best friends are understanding of my decision (They already love me for the quirky girl I am). When I started being open about my preference of soda over alcohol at parties, however, most of the reactions varied from, “Wait, really?” to, “Oh…Why is that? Personal preference?”

It’s an uncomfortable feeling. It’s frustrating. This is America after all: Home of the brave. Land of the free Starbucks when you earn your stars. That’s what we should live for: The sweet stuff in life.

Why should I feel obligated to drink?

The question I asked myself for the longest time was: Can someone enjoy a fun social life without drinking? My answer: Of course! I have been able to do it for four years (+18 if you count all the other years when I was a pretty cool kid – who needs drinking when you have milkshakes and pizza?). Undoubtedly, some people will be taken aback when they realize that you aren’t drinking with everyone else at the house party. You might feel like the awkward sober-(wo)man out, who’s not drunkenly dancing with your friends. You know what? You can still enjoy your time!

I’m a girl who loves to dance! When my girlfriends and I go to the club, all I need are some throwback Missy Elliot songs and a Dr. Pepper to have a good time.

Originally posted by catandtonicnz

The key is to just be yourself. Your friends are your friends, because you are you. If they treat you differently because of your decision, then what kind of friends are they?   

Senior year of high school is scary for all of us; that’s when the fear of being judged and unaccepted really hit me. I constantly asked myself, “Will I ever find the perfect guy who can cook, loves 80’s movies as much as me, and does not expect me to drink? Do those guys even exist?”

Luckily, I found that perfect guy four years ago during my last year of high school. The cherry on top? We are a straightedge couple! So for other straightedge-rs out there: It IS possible to find a significant other who is cool with your decision not to drink or smoke. You just need to find someone who will love you for you.

It took me a few months to realize that my decision, although different from many others, did not make me any less of a person.

It shouldn’t matter what you’re celebrating with, as long as you’re celebrating life.