I’m so looking forward to a calendar of festivals at Viveka Gardens! Feast days marking the year open the heart to the rhythms of the cosmos. Alignment with nature and connecting with forebears’ practices is so beneficial to the soul in modern times. Food growing, spirit and nature come together in thanks and blessing – the aim of Viveka Gardens.
Today (15th May 2016) is Pentecost, meaning 50 days. In Judaism it’s the Feast of Weeks, 7 weeks since the sowing and a time to make offerings of the first grain (and burnt offerings too). It’s the first of three Jewish festivals in the growing year to give thanks for food. At Viveka Gardens we can make some simple offerings of food that has already grown, maybe baby leaves, even though we’d just be climbing out of the hungry gap.
It was at Pentecost that Moses received the ten commandments on Mount Sinai. It’s through the grace of these guiding principles, Vishnu principles, that society is safe and stable enough, at least for most in the world, to have space to lift up from humans’ animal nature. In Raja Yoga, the yamas and niyamas – ten ethics – are the foundation for yogic life.
Pentecost is also the time to celebrate the descent of the holy spirit. Disciples of Jesus were gathered together for Pentecost, seven weeks after the crucifixion, when ‘a noise like violent rushing wind filled the room..and tongues of fire rested on them’. Filled with the spirit they all began to talk in tongues. While this can seem alienating, to those on a spritiual path this can make sense. So for Christians this marks the start of the Church, and also the grace of being filled with spirit. Beautiful.
Whit, or white, Sunday is another name as it is a traditional time for baptism and confirmation, and so dressing in white. Youth and all that is fresh new and full of life is celebrated. Nature abounds. What joy and prana, full spring.
See you next Whitsun, if not before for tuning in to the wheel of the year. Om.