August 1st is Lammas. Also known as Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide (Teutonic), Lammas and Lammastide (old Christian). The Witches’ calendar beginning of Autumn, first of the three harvest festivals. Lammas was the Christian name given this holy day. The term literally means ‘loaf mass’ for feast of bread to celebrate the wheat harvest. The grain god was molded into an edible figure and passed around. Everyone broke off a piece and ate it thereby becomingone with the deity in symbol. This is clearly the predecessor to the Christian rite of communion. In Ireland this holy day was traditionally a festival of the dead, a mourning ritual.”
“Wheat may have been regarded with awe as it was what made civilization (loosely defined) possible in Western Europe. This festival was called Lammastide in medieval times and was observed withcraft fairs, parades, dances, ceremonial plays and the usual warm weather revels. Baking bread is a tradition as is the making of a corn dolly to guard your home for the coming season. This is the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest. The Sun King gives his energy to the crops to ensure life. Now is the time to teach the young what you have learned so that thefruits of your accomplishments may endure. Altars are commonly decorated with Baked Breads, Grains, Fruits and Vegetables.”
Excerpt taken from the Seasons of the Witch Weekly Calendar 2009 – The Year of the Bog Witch by Victoria David Danann.
“When this card appears, it indicates that the ‘fruits of your labor’ are manifesting from the planting of the long-term goal. Preparation to obtain your harvest must now begin. It is not yet time to rest, but the work ahead ensures the realization of your plans. It is time for anticipation, receptivity, and outcome.”
“Lughnasadh signals the beginning of the harvest season in northern European festivals. This card depicts the ritual setting for the Lughnasadh festival as the time of the anticipation of the coming harvest. Statues of the Goddess and God appear behind an altar, which the half-lit moon in the starry sky of night (for this is the eve celebration). Here they stand as the Lady of the Fields and the Lord of the Barley. The statue of the Goddess is decorated with the red, black, and white woven cords of the mystery tradition. Red represents the living blood of our ancestors, which flows in our veins. Black represents the deep shadows that contain the enlightenment awaiting the true seeker. White symbolizes what remains behind, a metaphor of the bone, representing the wisdom and knowledge left behind by our ancestors.”
“Dangling from the cords around the Goddess are moon flowers. On her statue appear vervain, rue, lavender, and rosemary. In her hand the Goddess holds a sprig of lavender. At her feet is a cauldron filled with fruit, which represents the full ripeness of the womb of the Goddess. A lighted candle sits on the God statue, representing his divine presence. Between the statues the altar is set with a cornucopia overflowing with the bounty of nature. It is flanked by two pale yellow candles representing the decline of light as the days grow shorter.”
THE SHADOW’S EDGE
“The Lughnasadh card conveys teh concept of receptivity and expectation. In the spiritual sense, this is the idea of not only being the vessel for manifestation but also behaving as though the desired change has already come about. This is one of the keys to magic.”