Merry Meet my friends. Today, August 1 is the first Harvest festival on the wheel of the Year…Lughnasadh or Lammas…it is a celebration of the coming harvest season, the days getting shorter, the crops at their full bounty and the cooling weather. In the southern hemisphere it is Imbolc (for my aussie friends !). In ancient times the God of Grain, or John Barleycorn as legend knows him, sacrificed himself so that the people would have plenty of food for the coming winter. In some Traditions, the Goddess becomes the Reaper, and presides over the passing of the God, who willingly gives his life to bless the harvest.
Lughnasadh is a time of giving thanks for summer’s bounty, and of completion, and of finishing projects begun in the spring. It is also a time of ritual housecleaning in preparation for the nesting energies of fall and winter. Symbols of the Sabbat include sheaves of grain, garlic braids, sunflowers and corn. The colors of Lughnasadh are the golds and dusky hues of the turning Earth.
Celebrate this time by feasting on fresh corn, vegetables, and berries, thanking the God for his transformation into the soul of the harvest. Lammas is a time to rid yourself of negative thoughts, emotions, or behaviors. Go to a farmers’ market and enjoy the abundant harvest of the local artists and growers.
Harvest herbs from the garden, and make flavored oils and vinegars to keep a taste of summer in your pantry all winter long. Ritually bake and bless a special loaf of bread, using grains native to your home, and share the bounty of the first harvest with family and loved ones. Be outside!! Play in nature, feel the breeze, hear the wind, feel the warmth of the sun, smell the grass, spend time with your loved one. Honor the God for his sacrifice and the Goddess as she ages into her Crone stage. Be One with Nature!!
Yesterday I baked a loaf of Herb and Crunch Wheat bread…using my own dried herbs that I grew myself..and yes, I did use my bread machine as I was very busy yesterday and couldn’t attend to making bread from scratch..that is fine. If you have to go buy a good bakery bread..that is also fine!
Herb and Crunch Wheat Bread
2 lb loaf recipe
1 1/2 cup water
2 cups bread flour
2 cups wheat flour
2 tb sugar
2 tb dry milk
2 tb butter, softened
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp quick active yeast or bread machine yeast
2/3 cup dry-roasted sunflower seeds
This is a really good flavorful bread, great as a grilled sandwich! Try it!!
My altar is done and decorated in red, green, gold, rust..the colors of late summer. I have an offering of blackberries, blueberries, apples, bread and honey. I am using a green candle for the Goddess and a red candle for God. Sandalwood incense, sunflowers and dried wheat. You may use any bounty of late summer such as squash and corn to decorate too. Make it beautiful!
My family and I will have a feast tonight and partake of the bread. A bonfire will be had and I will offer the bounty to the God and Goddess as an offering and thanks for the season and harvest to come. May the Lord and Lady bless you with a bountiful season of abundance, love, light, family and joy. Blessings to you all.