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Wheel of the year / Lammas (Lughnasadh)

June 30, 2022

The July Sabbot box is dedicated to Lughnasadh / Lammas, usually celebrated August 1 to honor the first harvest of the season. This is the halfway point between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox.

Lughnasadh is the Gaelic name for this celebration and means 'Lugh's Gathering'. Lughnasadh sources from a combination of the Irish god Lugh, wise warrior hero/God of light/sun, and 'nasad' which means 'gathering or assembly'. Lammas is the Anglo-Saxon name for the festival and is a contraction of the phrase 'loaf mass' celebrating the first harvest of grains.

Before the Wheel turns to the darker months, we can take time to appreciate the warmth and sunlight and how they support this season of growth. By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they had to do to survive and secure our lineage.

 

Colors of the Season

Green for growth, fertility, health, abundance.

Every shade of sun and harvest, from yellow to gold to deep orange for solar energies, happiness, communication.

 

Plants of the Season

Flowers, fruits, grains, vegetables represent the fulfilment and potential of the harvest.

All Grains wheat, barley, oats, rye, all representing both fulfillment and potential.

Meadowsweet, Queen-Of-The-Meadow, Bridewort and Bride of the Meadow. Sacred herb of the Druids, often worn as a garland for Lammas celebrations and a traditional herb for wedding circlets and bouquets at this time of year.

Mint, another revered herb of the Druids, magical properties are both protective and healing at this time in the year. Also represents abundance and prosperity.

 

Traditions and Symbols

Lugh Celtic Sun King and God of Light. Feasting, market fairs, games and bonfire celebrations were held in honor of his mother Tailtiu with Circle dancing and community gatherings.

Grain Mother, Harvest Mother, Harvest Queen. Demeter, as Corn Mother, representing the ripe corn of the harvest and Her daughter Kore/Persephone representing the grain - the seed which drops into earth, is hidden through the winter, and re-appears in the spring as new growth.

 

Suggestions of ways to celebrate.

Going outside to enjoy some sun and green magic. Breathe in the scents of the season with mindfulness of the beginning of the harvest season.

Gather flowers and food from your garden. If you do not have a garden visit one or your local farmer’s market.

Collect seeds for next year.

A traditional Lammas activity is baking bread and can be a fun activity for the entire family. An alternative is to buy a whole loaf from a local bakery. (See Recipe for a simple Irish Soda Bread)

Create an altar with the items in your Sabbat Box.

Use the Lammas oil and anoint each item and then yourself with a dab on your wrists and middle of forehead. As you prepare the altar, think about the bounty that fills your life. What are you getting ready to harvest? What have your intentions grown into? How are you preparing to shift into the darkness of the coming months? Do you need to let go of something that just did not make it? Every plant does not survive. Letting go allows you to be fully present in the now and ready to take the next turn of the wheel.

Place a piece of bread and a cup of Lughnasadh tea on your altar as an offering. Burn Lughnasadh incense. Eat a piece of the bread yourself (add honey and butter if you wish) and wash it down with your tea. Offer your thanks for the abundance of the coming harvest. You may want to handwrite a blessing for continued prosperity and abundance.

When you are ready go outside and give your offering of bread and tea to the woods, garden, balcony, potted plant or even a safe street corner. Share with the land the harvest it has given to you, thanking the light for the bounty, and welcoming the cooler, shorter days knowing you have abundance in your life. Bury or burn your handwritten blessing. Offer thanks to the gods and goddesses associated with the sabbat or those you work with through you own practice.

Have a Happy Lammas! Blessed Be.

Blessed Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ cups buttermilk

  • Combine flour and baking soda thinking of the harvest, sun, and land as your stir them together.
  • Gently stir the buttermilk into the mixture until you have a soft and lumpy ball of dough.
  • Form the dough into about a 6 in circle rounded at the top and about 2” thick in the middle.
  • Place the loaf on a slightly greased and floured baking sheet.
  • Take a knife and mark an X into the top of the loaf thinking of the protective forces that sustain the earth and yourself.
  •  Say a short prayer for blessing using your own words.
  • Bake in a 400-degree preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  •  Loaf is done when the top is lightly browned.

 Cool the loaf and enjoy.





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