When I was a little girl, I thought that cornucopias were the coolest things, but as I had never seen one in “real life”, I wasn’t quite sure they existed. I had only seen them in pictures, drawings and cartoons. I learned otherwise as a grownup, and when I happened to find them for sale in an Arts & Crafts store, I had to buy one! Welcome back, Broom Closet Witches, to the eleventh article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” column! Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition.
The word “cornucopia”, from Latin, is usually translated as “horn of plenty”. It was my understanding that a “horn of plenty” was a sort of basket or bowl that people would use to hold/keep fruits, vegetables, nuts and sheaves of grain in at harvest time. But, when I tried to fill my cornucopia the first time, I found myself wondering why on Earth anyone would want to use a cornucopia to hold/keep mostly round-shaped objects in instead of a plain old bowl or basket? Everything kept rolling out of the front of it and onto the floor, and I almost lost my patience with the situation when it dawned on me that maybe that’s what is supposed to happen! Maybe it is a symbolic thing . . . Come to find out, that is exactly what it is!
The “Cornucopia Conundrum” became, for me, something of a “glass half full” or a “cup that runneth over” kind of lesson. It brought home to me that one of the Lughnassadh/Lammas Harvest Season takeaways seems to be that in order to share the “fruits” of one’s harvest, they must leave the container they are kept in. And if those “fruits” are already spilling out of the container, they are halfway there to the hands of the recipient(s).
That realization then led to thoughts of Mother Nature and all Her generous bounty. I thought about those animals who can’t climb or fly up into the branches of fruit trees to eat the fruit within sight but out of reach. With a bit of patience, that fruit will eventually fall to the ground for them to benefit from, as well. I also thought about the decomposition process in which the fruits that don’t get eaten will eventually enrich the soil around the tree, ultimately benefitting the tree itself, (generosity benefits the giver, as well as the receiver), not to mention the possibility of even more fruit trees in the general area. Just some thoughts. . .
As the Harvest Season, (which we celebrate as Lughnassadh/Lammas), is, for the most part, a secular observance in the eyes of the general public nowadays, Broom Closet Witches should have little to worry about in terms of being “exposed” for celebrating it, I would think, except in very strict circumstances. Harvest Season decorations are visible in just about every public place and there are many for sale in just about every store. And one can always find fruits, vegetables, nuts and breads galore available to be purchased for a Lughnassadh/Lammas celebration. One can also incorporate a bit of home baking into the preparations to enrich the experience of this Wheel of the Year Sabbat, as it is mainly focused on the harvest of grains.
Here are a couple of photos of my first Lughnassadh/Lammas celebration, which, when I look at them, always make me laugh at myself and my “Cornucopia Conundrum”:
The Cornucopia, which finally ended up being the “Bread Basket” instead:
Here is the Cornucopia “Bread Basket” beside the Fruit Bowl, with some of the fruit that I gave up trying to keep in the Cornucopia:
I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time –
Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet again!
Claire du Nord