When we come each year to Autumn Eve, Lughnasadh, Lammas, the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, we celebrate the feast of the first fruits of the harvest. As we enjoy our sabbat, we would do well also to reflect on a certain natural law of the harvest, which reminds us, “We reap what we sow.”
Some Pagan traditions call this idea the Law of Karma, while others describe a similar idea poetically within the long version of the Rede as the Law of Threefold Return:
Ever mind the rule of three:
What ye send out comes back to thee.
This lesson duly thou must learn
That ye get only what ye earn.
Reform Pagans need not subscribe to any moral imperatives. But we can still appreciate the natural law of cause and effect: each of our thoughts, words, and actions plants a seed that bears fruit in kind. Thus, verily, we reap what we sow.
This law applies not only individually but also collectively. Reform Pagans describe our once and future faith as a new branch of the Great Tree of Paganism, and we say that our multifarious Reform Pagan traditions are the twigs, leaves, and flowers of our branch. We speak of the Stele of Reform Paganism as its Fifteen Theses and Five Elements around a living Pith: our central conviction, vision, and mission. If we want to be intentional about the operation of the law of cause and effect in relation to us Reform Pagans collectively, we should consider, as well, the fruits of our branch: corollaries of the Stele of the Pagan Renewal. What do we see arising from the manifestation of the Pagan Renewal’s vision of positive transformation of ourselves and our world?
Generally, we see individuals, communities, and all of Nature flourishing, filled with Life, Truth, Love, and Power and connected intimately with Divinity. More specifically, we may see transhumanity, the next emergence (“theogenesis”), the reinvigoration of Gaia, and the expansion of the biosphere from Earth to other planets, among other wonders the proximate and distant future. What corollaries of the Stele of the Pagan Renewal—what fruits of our faith branch—we may hold within our mind’s eye are limited by only our imagination.
As the Pagan Renewal would carry us into the unimagined future, so our movement will bear many other fruits that are yet unimagined. Individually and collectively, our direct influence on that which is unimagined is limited. But at least to the extent that we are intentional about sowing good seeds in each moment, we can hope to reap good fruits in due course.
Accordingly, on Autumn Eve, let us contemplate, on the one hand, how we now harvest the fruits of the seeds we sowed and, on the other hand, which seeds we would like to sow for harvests to come.
Also published on Medium.