Earlier this week, we entered the Celtic tree month of Vine (September 2 -29). Yes, I know. A vine is a vine is a vine...except to the Celts, who considered it a tree.
The Celtic word for Vine is “Muin”. I recently discovered that this is also a slang word for “sex”. Interesting, as this is a month in which fertility is celebrated through the start of the greater harvest. It is also a time of balance (it incorporates the observance of the Autumnal Equinox) and can bring about great Joy as well as Wrath and just plain, raw emotion. The trick is to be aware of both, and keep them in balance.
Naturally when we think of Vine and Harvest, our thoughts immediately go to grapes, the fruit of the vine. Wine has various effects on both humans and beasts. (I've seen plenty of documentaries featuring “drunk” animals who have partaken of fermented grapes ... and I'm Irish. Although I don't drink, I've seen my share of Bacchus worshipers dancing in the Dundalk square.)
Vine is connected to prophecy and telling the truth. Once we are in the embrace of wine, we have a tendency to drop our filters. Therefore, this month, it is vital to be aware of what we say. Speak your truth, but do so mindfully.
For instance..(and here I giggle, because I'm getting a Sherlock reference into the non-Sherlock portion of my blog)...if you know you're up for an award, and will probably win, it is not wise to imbibe, especially if an acceptance speech is require. I enter into evidence, the GQ awards...
Yeah. A bit “not good”, but at least Benedict is a bumbly, sweet human, even in his cups. That's not true of us all, so be aware of the way the vine holds you in it's power.
This is also the time when messages can come from the dead. My group has always considered Autumnal to Samhain as “Samhain Season”. I can tell you from experience, it's starting early this year. Jot down dreams, even if nonsensical. There may be a message within that becomes clearer as the days pass.
Vine leaves have been traditionally used in depicting the “Greenman” and also the “Greenwoman”, along with oak leaves. (Yes, there are Greenwomen, although rare.) But grapes aren't the only Vine associated with this month. The other, Irish vine honored by Muin is the bramble..blackberries or, in Irish, “Smeara Duh”.
Blackberries are not to be eaten after Samhain, as they are among the foods the Puca spits upon and makes inedible. (Some Irish say the Puca pees on them. Anyone peeing on my blackberries would be a buzz kill for me.)
Here, again, we see the balance that takes place in this month. Bramble can root at either end, forming an arch. You can invoke evil wishes on another by crawling under the arch on Samhain. However! You can cure a sick child by passing them through the same arch! This was thought to be particularly true of whooping cough.
So, be aware, speak your truth – but pick the proper time and way. Be open to messages and dreams, and enjoy the harvest.
In other news, I found two images on Facebook which seem to be snap shots of my life, both as an aging Witch, and defender of the “King's English”. Enjoy!