Spirit Message of the Day – Lughnasadh August 2011

THE PAGAN SABBAT – Lammas (Lughnasadh), August 1
Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, falls at the beginning of the harvest season. Apples are ready and grain is beginning to ripen. It’s also a day for honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. Learn about traditions and rituals for celebrating this first of three Pagan harvest holidays.

SABBAT COOKING
Lammas is all about the bounty of the early harvest. Why not celebrate with a big feast? Nothing quite says Lammas Menu like bread and other grains, as well as early fall veggies like squash, or late summer fruits such as apples. Plan your Sabbat menu and have a delicious dinner to celebrate Lammas!

BLACKBERRY COBBLER
At Lammas, blackberries are ripe and ready for picking. Gather up a bucketful and make a delicious blackberry cobbler for your summer celebrations!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time:
45 minutes
Total Time:
1 hour, 5 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/3 C stick butter, softened
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 to 4 C fresh blackberries
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 C boiling water

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, baking powder, milk and salt. Blend until creamy, and spread into a greased 12 x 8″ baking pan. Pour blackberries over batter, and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Pour boiling water over the top, and then bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with fresh cream.

Lammas/Lughnasadh Folklore
The early harvest and the threshing of grain has been celebrated for thousands of years. Here are just a few of the customs and legends surrounding the Lammas season.

Legends and Lore of Lammas: There are a lot of myths and folklore surrounding Lammas, or Lughnasadh. Learn about some of the stories about this magical harvest Sabbat! In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Lammas (Lughnasadh). Here are a few of the stories about this magical harvest celebration from around the world.

  • In Israel, the festival of Shavout commemorates the beginning of the harvest, as well as honoring the date that Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The final sheaf of wheat is brought to the rabbi for a blessing, synagogues and homes are decorated with flower, and a great feast is prepared for all to enjoy.
  • The festival of Onam is celebrated in India, and people dress up in their finest clothes and give food to the poor. Onam is celebrated in honor of King Mahabali, who was a ruler of Kerala. In one story, the god Vishnu approached Mahabali dressed as a beggar, and asked for land, which Mahabali gave him. Mahabli ended up buried under the earth by Vishnu, but was allowed to return once a year, symbolizing the planting of the seed and the subsequent harvest.
  • Thor’s wife, Sif, had beautiful golden hair, until Loki the prankster cut it off. Thor was so upset he wanted to kill Loki, but some dwarves spun new hair for Sif, which grew magically as soon as it touched her head. The hair of Sif is associated with the harvest, and the golden grain that grows every year.
  • In the Shetland Islands, farmers believedthat grain harvesting should only take  place during a waning moon. They also believed this about the fall potato crop, and the cutting of peat.
  • At Lughnasadh, calves are weaned, and the first fruits are ripe, such as apples and grapes. In some Irish counties, it was believed farmers had to wait until Lughnasadh to start picking these fruits, or bad luck would befall the community.
  • In some countries, Lammas is a time for warrior games and mock battles. This may hearken back to the days when a harvest festival was held, and people would come from miles around to get together. What better way for young men to show off their strength and impress the girls than by whacking away at all the competition? Games and contests are also held in honor of Lugh, the mighty Celtic craftsman god, in which artisans offer up their finest work.
  • It’s become a custom to give people the gift of a pair of gloves at Lammastide. In part, it’s because winter is just around the corner, but it’s also related to an old tradition in which landowners gave their tenants a pair of gloves after the harvest. The glove is a symbol of authority and benevolence.

Deities of the Fields: Gods and Goddesses of the EarlyHarvest
In nearly every ancient culture, Lammas was a time of celebration of the agricultural significance of the season. Because of this, it was also a time when many gods and goddesses were honored. Meet some of the many deities who are connected with the early harvest season. When Lammastide rolls around, the fields are full and fertile. Crops are abundant, and the late summer harvest is ripe for the picking. This is the time when the first grains are threshed, apples are plump in the trees, and gardens are overflowing with summer bounty. In nearly every ancient culture, this was a time of celebration of the agricultural significance of the season. Because of this, it was also a time when many gods and goddesses were honored. These are some of the many deities who are connected with this earliest harvest holiday.

  • Adonis (Assyrian): Adonis is a complicated god who touched many cultures. Although he’s often portrayed as Greek, his origins are in early Assyrian religion. Adonis was a god of the dying summer vegetation. In many stories, he dies and is later reborn, much like Attis and Tammuz.
  • Attis (Phrygean): This lover of Cybele went mad and castrated himself, but still managed to get turned into a pine tree at the moment of his death. In some stories, Attis was in love with a Naiad, and jealous Cybele killed a tree (and subsequently the Naiad who dwelled within it), causing Attis to castrate himself in despair. Regardless, his stories often deal with the theme of rebirth and regeneration.
  • Ceres (Roman): Ever wonder why crunched-up grain is called cereal? It’s named for Ceres, the Roman goddess of the harvest and grain. Not only that, she was the one who taught lowly mankind how to preserve and prepare corn and grain once it was ready for threshing. In many areas, she was a mother-type goddess who was responsible for agricultural fertility.
  • Dagon (Semitic): Worshipped by an early Semitic tribe called the Amorites, Dagon was a god of fertility and agriculture. He’s also mentioned as a father-deity type in early Sumerian texts and sometimes appears as a fish god. Dagon is credited with giving the Amorites the knowledge to build the plough.
  • Demeter (Greek): The Greek equivalent of Ceres, Demeter is often linked to the changing of the seasons. She is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother in late fall and early winter. When her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter’s grief caused the earth to die for six months, until Persephone’s return.
  • Lugh (Celtic): Lugh was known as a god of both skill and the distribution of talent. He is sometimes associated with midsummer because of his role as a harvest god, and during the summer solstice the crops are flourishing, waiting to be plucked from the ground at Lughnasadh.
  • Mercury (Roman): Fleet of foot, Mercury was a messenger of the gods. In particular, he was a god of commerce and is associated with the grain trade. In late summer and early fall, he ran from place to place to let everyone know it was time to bring in the harvest. In Gaul, he was considered a god not only of agricultural abundance but also of commercial success.
  • Neper (Egyptian): This androgynous grain deity became popular in Egypt during times of starvation. He later was seen as an aspect of Osiris, and part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
  • Parvati (Hindu): Parvati was a consort of the god Shiva, and although she does not appear in Vedic literature, she is celebrated today as a goddess of the harvest and protector of women in the annual Gauri Festival.
  • Pomona (Roman): This apple goddess is the keeper of orchards and fruit trees. Unlike many other agricultural deities, Pomona is not associated with the harvest itself, but with the flourishing of fruit trees. She is usually portrayed bearing a cornucopia or a tray of blossoming fruit.
  • Tammuz (Sumerian): This Sumerian god of vegetation and crops is often associated with the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Today’s article is from Patti Wigington on About.com.

Click here to read the Spiritblogger for KIDS to learn about Lammas Crafts.

Click here to read a previous Spiritblogger post on the Lammas Sabbat.

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Spirit Message of the Day – NEW Spiritblogger’s Blog for KIDS!

Hi Spiritblogger Fans! I recently launched a new site: Spiritblogger’s Blog for KIDS! (Click here) which I hope you’ll check out and enjoy! Having started the Spiritblogger’s Blog over two years ago I wanted to create a sacred space for kids of all ages; kids young and old; a place where parents can visit with their kids. Here you’ll find ideas for fun, creativity, seasonal activities, recipes, and global inspirations from spirit to enhance joyful living while building awareness. Bright Blessings to One and All!

Published in: on July 16, 2011 at 10:02  Comments (1)  

Spirit Message of the Day – Practice Serenity, Promote Peace, Be Blessed

THE DRAGONFAE NAMED APALALA
“You are a peaceful being. When this card is drawn forth, a sense of peace and new depths of serenity become truths for you. Simply breathe deeply and learn that your peaceful nature can become a daily source of delight and courage, of strength and beauty. Peace is like a quiet glade within, a sacred grove to which you can go and belong. Take strength and draw nourishment from this place within you, and be sure to visit it daily.”

“Practice acts of peace within your life. Be strong, be free, be blessed and be at peace. When you come into this place daily, all around you will benefit. Do not mistake or confuse peace for inaction – being a peaceful activist is one of the most dynamic and powerful choices a being can make in this world, now and ever. When all around you is drama, and all within you feels in turmoil, go to that place and know the truth of your being in peace. Is serenity. Is serenity. Is blessed. And is free.”

ABOUT APALALA
“Many legends say that apalala was a convert to Buddhism. But the truth is that the Buddha and the Dragonfae wisdom-keeper Apalala shared many feelings, beliefs, and discussions, and the Buddha learned as much from the loving compassionate heart of Apalala as Apalala did from the wide-open eyes of Buddha. Apalala encourages you to take part in discussions about peace, and will support you in finding ways to promote peace on a personal, practical, and global levels. You may be interested in speaking with people who live a monastic life when this card is drawn.”

“This card can also indicate that you have already experienced other lifetimes as a member of a Buddhist Temple or monastery. Investigate this connection, but most of all, take care to be loving, peaceful and harmonious in the present moment. Remember, the Buddha loves laughter too!”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
” You are a peaceful being, bringing more peace into your life. You may be wishing for more peace and for conflict on a personal and global scale to be done with. Please do not put your energy into fighting war, instead, create peaceful moments wherever possible. This does not mean that you need to be weak or passive, but instead, choose to draw incredible strength and do not waiver from your choice to bring more peace in. Know that your conversations about peace and beliefs are bringing about change. People may have also told you lies about peaceful ways meaning lack of strength. This is not so. Choose to be stronger, more peaceful, and watch harmony and joy flower in your life.

WORKING WITH APALALA
“Invite peace into your life by choosing to work with people and beings whose beliefs are aligned with yours, and who are held with integrity. Understand that the conflict around you is the result of people attempting to control each other’s hearts and minds and futures. Apalala teaches us that the here and now, when tended with love, creates exciting and peaceful outcomes for all.”

Today’s message is from Oracle of the Dragonfae by Lucy Cavendish.

 

Spirit Message of the Day – A Time to Express and Share

EXPRESS YOURSELF
“Allow your true self to shine because you’re Awesome! You drew this card because you sometimes worry about social acceptance. The fairies want you to take time to celebrate your uniqueness, since to them you’re delightful and perfect just as you are right now. The fairies love your ideas, your creativity, and they urge you to just be your authentic self. Don’t squelch your true self to gain others’ approval. Pretending doesn’t ever work anyway, and you can’t please everyone. Instead, enjoy being authentic and trust that like-minded people will be attracted to you wherever you go, whatever you do. Perhaps it is time to express your creativity through an artistic project or new business idea, or dress in a way that makes you feel happy.  Trust and follow through with  your creative ideas, dreams, and visions and speak your truth.”

Today’s guidance is from Magical Messages from the Fairies by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.