All Pan Society holy days are connected with the natural world – particularly the sun. The Feast of Transformation is an agricultural holy day that marks the beginning of the harvest season. It’s time to reap what we have sown. Indeed, the feast is a reaping of the hard work that went into planting this year’s crops. It is made up of seasonal, fresh foods from this year’s plantings. Wild foods are also a great way to symbolize the Earth’s natural fertility.
This time of year is often the hottest, but we already see that night comes on earlier. We’re at the halfway point of the sun’s reign on earth. His power wanes. The death of the sun is but a short time away.
The “transformation” is a recognition of the need for sacrifice. Something has to end so that something else can begin. Or to put it another way, it’s a time of death and rebirth. The wheat that we harvest must be cut down so we can make bread. The seeds are collected so they can be sown again next year and be reborn.
The Feast of Transformation is also a fire festival. The Promise of Spring starts the fire festival season with a small hearth fire. May Day and the Summer Solstice also feature fires, but the Feast of Transformation is the biggest. The harvest demonstrates the sun’s victory over the cold, wet, windy weather of winter. Life can continue for one more season. This is cause to celebrate. How?
Feasting, of course. Dancing, music, bonfires or light of any kind. Fairs, festivals. Sports and games. Community fun. Masculine energy and activities are the focus of this time of year. Too soon the cold weather will come and we’ll slide into quiet, dark, solitary time. And this is the way the wheel of life rolls. The sun must decline. Rest will come after the harvest, but today we party!
How can you observe this holy day? Here are some ideas:
- Go to a local “pick your own” farm and harvest some of the season’s fresh food.
- Eat wild or local foods.
- Contemplate how the waning sun and masculine energy is happening in your life.
- Journal on what you are reaping. Is it what you anticipated? Is it what you wanted?
- Journal on what you need to sacrifice to get what you want.
- Attend a bonfire.
- Create an altar of lights or candles.
- Participate in games.
- Attend a local fair.
- Create a ritual that includes gratitude for the Earth’s continued fertility.
- Create a ritual that celebrates the marriage of the Earth and Sun.
- Meditate on the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.