LAMMAS SABBAT BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOURS
“On August 1, it’s time to celebrate Lammas, or Lughnasadh, depending on which one you prefer, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. This summer sabbat marks the season of the grain harvest, and is a time when many people are gathering their crops so they can start preparing for later on. In some traditions, it’s a time to honor the Celtic craftsman god, Lugh, by celebrating your skills and talents.
If you’re one of our Southern Hemisphere readers, that means you’re gearing up for Imbolc, the season of Brighid, and a celebration of light and fire. Be sure to read the links in the sidebar on the right for Imbolc information and ideas. No matter which of these you may be observing, may you and your family have a beautiful and blessed Sabbat!
PAGAN LAMMAS HOLIDAY HISTORY:
Welcoming The Harvest
The Beginning of the Harvest
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more. This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.
Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone. In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.
A Feast of Bread
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheafs of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season. The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.
Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God
In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.
Celebrating Lammas Today
Honoring the Past
In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.
By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.
Symbols of the Season
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.
- Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
- Grapes and vines
- Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
- Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
- Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
- Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches
Crafts, Song and Celebration
Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!
Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.”
Elsewhere on the Web
- Lammas History
- Hold a Lammas Bread Sacrifice Ritual – Lammas Ritual – Harvest Ritual
- Deities of the Fields
- All About Lammas (Lughnasadh)
- Lughnassadh or Lammas – Wicca and Witchcraft
All Excerpts Above from Author Patti Wigington
MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
Happy Lammas 2013 Friends! August is a great month (and precursor to the coming Fall Season; a time for deep spiritual work) to begin our process of self-reflection. Where do we find ourselves? What is our daily reality look like? What experiences have we created for ourselves? It’s an important time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished to date, our goals and aspirations to best determine next steps and needed actions in order to best nurture the life we’ve created for ourselves. It’s a spiritual time of year that gives us the opportunity to integrate our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental self into one holistic state of being for authentic living.
Is there one aspect out of synch? Is there opportunity for us to deeper align our inner self with the outer self and world? Take some time to relax, breathe deeply, and close your eyes this month. What is missing; what changes can we make; what is working perfectly in alignment with our highest self, vision, and life purpose? How can we bring more joy, happiness, love, and abundance into our lives? How can we best embody these qualities with our friends, family, career, and the world at large?
MESSAGE FOR YOU
You have a beautiful gift of light, high vibrational energy truth, and essence to share; it’s always available to you if you look within. Allow yourself to make good, positive, and healthy choices and move forward to create the life you’ve always dreamed of living. What will you next create for yourself? Each moment offers us countless choices and opportunities if we are aware and living consciously with deliberate joy.
Live with gentle grace and gratitude. Live and act with positive intention. Take responsibility for your happiness. Take charge of your life and move forward embracing seasonal changes. Live with Purpose. Choose Life. Choose this moment. Choose to live your life from Love. Bright Lammas Blessings to You & Best Wishes for living a life full of intention and unique purpose.
Article on Spiritual Significance of the Pagan Holiday Lammas
Lammas and the August Moons
“The month of August begins with the new moon July 31st and Lammas or Lughnasadh the first harvest festival, usually celebrated Aug 1st. The Celtic festival called Lughnasadh honoured Lugh, the Celtic god of light; Lammas celebrates the grain and marks the time when summer harvest season gets underway. It’s also a day to celebrate things that are coming into being in our physical, mental and spiritual lives – it’s a time to look at the progress that we have made since planting seeds of intent in spring.
August new moon is about adjusting to changes. Even positive changes provide stress in our lives. Are you stronger, healthier, more understanding, or compassionate than you were in spring? What has happened to the seeds you planted? Have some kernels of potential flourished while others perhaps didn’t even sprout? Are there some things growing that you’ve forgotten to nourish lately? Or perhaps you have an abundant garden full of thriving fruitful promise. This new moon the chant “She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches changes” is very appropriate.
The August full moon is also known as the Barley Moon as the first grain harvest begins. Each crop that has sprouted and grown now holds the food for harvest and the potential of the next generation within each seed. During the harvest, the seeds that fall into the soil and become buried begin their resting time, knowing that when the last harvest is done, the time for sleep arrives. The first Harvest Moon is time to think about connections in life, to remember all the cycles of life that have gone before and will continue after our personal journey on this planet. This is a moon to remember the endless connections between all lives here, in all forms.
The first humans birthed the first children, and it continues all the way down to us, to our children, their children, and eons into the future. Each person on earth is related to all the others. Yes, there are many wonderful variations of human beings – how lucky we are to be individuals AND connected! This moon is a time to think about extended family and relationships of all kinds. It’s also a good time to think about the legacy you are creating that will live on after this life cycle is over. It’s a good time to think about business, partnerships, legal matters, what mementos you have and what they represent. It’s about abundance, reward for efforts, celebrating the fullness of summer, personal and spiritual prosperity.
SOME CIRCLE IDEAS
• Wear tan, gold or yellow shades of clothing to celebrate the harvest. You could use altar cloths in these colors too
• Include ears of corn, wheat sheaves, or other grain on the altar
• Burn gold or yellow candles
• Decorate the altar with fresh local flowers
• Use a wheat sheaf, or corn husks to asperge the circle
• Cast the circle with barley, leave it for the wildlife when you finish.
• Serve oatmeal, wheat or other grain crackers, cookies or bread for cakes
• Hold a story circle as an activity, one person begins, the next adds on, and so on around the circle.
• Bring a picture of an ancestor and each person shares what the connection to the person means.
• Make a paper chain, three links per person; write something you are thankful for on each link
• Make a wheat wheel. Make a circle of braided wheat, tie it together and put it in the middle of the circle or on the altar. Give every person a small bundle of wheat, and then ask each individual to put a blessing into their stalks, dance around in a circle each person chanting their blessing. After the energy is released, tie all the strands of wheat onto the circle. Someone can keep the wheat wheel until it gets offered to the fire at Samhain.
• Make bracelets from 2 strands of red, 2 strands of yellow and 1 strand of black and 1 strand of white braided together, it symbolizes the cycles of life.”
Article Author – Dawne Skeye
Email Spiritblogger at: email@example.com
Follow Spiritblogger on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelSoulStorms
Read Spiritblogger for Kids! Blog: http://spiritbloggerkids.wordpress.com/