The August full moon has many names in different cultures around the world, and in medieval England was known as the Corn Moon. This name makes sense, as it is the time when the corn is being harvested in from the fields.
In Druidry, the full moon is traditionally a time to reflect on peace, both within ourselves and in the wider world. The Anglesey Druid Order point out that in the works of Iolo Morganwg, one of the founders of the Druid Revival of the 18th and 19th centuries, peace (Heddwch in Welsh) is linked to “tranquility; truth; justice; love; mercy; gentleness; and goodness”.
Peace is not passive – it is more than simply the absence of war or conflict. Peace is an active choice, and one which we must make each day, one which we must work individually and collectively to bring into being in the world and to defend.
The full moon is a natural time to call for peace, meditate on peace and experience peace. It lightens the darkest sky, it pulls on the oceans to create the highest tides, it is “the time of integration and perfection” according to Doreen Valiente in her book Natural Magic.
Peace is the vessel which allows for creation. Like Cerridwen’s cauldron, peace provides the space in which the Awen, the “flowing spirit” of inspiration at the heart of Druidry can be brewed, and from which it can flow.
I’ve been feeling like my own Awen has been blocked lately, not being able to flow freely and find its course. I did some work with a local stream today, connecting with the water, seeing how it flows over rocks and around obstacles, occasionally bursting beyond its banks, small rivulets branching off, finding new ways to flow, feeling its coolness and the speed of its journey to the river, then to the ocean beyond. If the stream is blocked, the water will divert its course, flowing around the blockage, discovering new ways.
Peace is like the wellspring from whence the stream flows, its beginning. To have peace within yourself, no matter how much the world is not at peace right now, is to open yourself to this flow, and that’s where I think my recent blockage has come from – a lack of peace, a mind racing from one worry to the next.
The energy of the full moon both provides an impetus to change, and paradoxically also an opportunity for stillness, silence and contemplation. A time for peace. I tend not to plan any major ritual work, or for that matter mundane work, for the full moon. Instead I simply sit out in the garden (or by a window if the weather is not amenable), light a candle, and meditate.
I like to use the brilliant audio meditations available from the Anglesey Druid Order Facebook page: the whole thing takes no more than 15 minutes and gently guides you to connect with the energies of the land, the sea, the sky and the full moon, to find peace within your being.
May the Corn Moon bring you peace.