Countdown to Lughnasadh……….

Merry Meet my friends!  Hope you all are well and enjoying your Summer (or Winter depending where you live 🙂 .  We have been having an amazing couple of weeks of cool, breezy, gorgeous weather.  I am not a fan of HOT weather so I am loving this so much.  We have had a nice amount of rain here too..enough to keep everything green and lush, growing and blooming.  I love sitting out on the porch in the evenings with a glass of wine and watching the fireflies flitting, hearing the frogs croaking and crickets chirping, the windchimes softly chiming.  The nights feel soft and gentle to me and all seems right with the world in that moment. 

 

“The summer air is hot and still, the afternoon hazy; crickets call relentlessly from among the brown grasses, and ears of corn are the same heavy, burnished gold as the late-day sun. Hawks circle in the blue-white sky overhead, and seedpods ripen where flowers bloomed just a month before. But shadows begin to lengthen along the garden wall, and the nights come, just a bit cooler, perhaps; a settling begins in the Earth, a gathering, a slow, quiet turning toward the coming darkness.”

From Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

Believe it or not, the days are getting shorter and Autumn is on it’s way.  Soon, on  August 1, we will be celebrating the first Harvest festival of the Wheel of the Year.   It is Lughnasadh (prounounced loo-na-sa), known also as Lammas, or Lammastide, the first of three Harvest Festivals.   This Sabbat marks the ending of summer and the first harvest of the grain. It was known as the time when the plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.

Lughnasadh is named for Lugh, the Celtic deity who presides over the arts and sciences. According to Celtic legend, Lugh decreed that a commemorative feast be held each year at the beginning of the harvest season to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu. Tailtiu was the royal Lady of the Fir Bolg..an older race that was defeated by the Tuatha De Dannan.  After the defeat, she was forced by them to clear a vast forest for the purpose of planting grain. She died of exhaustion after it was completed.  She was buried beneath a great mound named for her,  the hill of Tailtiu.   The very first feast of Lughnasadh was held in there.  At this gathering there were  games and contests of skill as well as a great feast made up of the first fruits of the summer harvest.

When Christianity arrived in  the Celtic lands, the old pagan  festival of Lughnasadh took on Christian symbolism. Loaves of bread were baked from the first of the harvested grain and placed on the church altar on the first Sunday of August. The Christians called this feast Lammas or “loaf mass”.   

With the coming of Autumn, the Sun God is aging and he loses strength as the nights grow longer.  This  is a  time for giving thanks for summer’s bounty. Harvesting the fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs and feasting on them, thanking the Sun God for his transformation into the soul of the harvest.  This is the time of year that so many women are in the kitchen preserving and canning the produce from their gardens..putting it away for the long winter.  My daughter and I have just in the last couple of years tried our hand at canning and we are loving it 🙂 

Lughnasadh Correspondences

 *Element/Gender-Fire/female

 *Threshold-Noon

 *Symbolism- Celtic grain  Festival,  first harvest festival,  The aging of the Sun God,  Autumn’s arrival. 

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations- Corn, cornucopias, red & yellow flowers, sheaves of grain,  First fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, cauldron,  Sickle, scythe, harvested herbs, bonfires, sacred loaf of bread.

 *Herbs- All grains, heather, apples, pears,  cornstalks, frankincense, sunflower, wheat,  oak leaf, hollyhock, myrtle.

 *Incense/Oils- Wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn,  passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood.

 *Colors- Red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray.

 *Crystals/Stones- Aventurine, citrine, peridot, yellow diamonds and citrine, carnelian.

 *Customs/Activities- Breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for  charms/rituals, feasting, gathering flowers, handfastings, games,

 *Foods- Loaves of homemade wheat, oat & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, nuts, acorns,  summer squash, wild berries, apples, pears, elderberry wine, crab, grapes, cider, beer.

 *Gods-Lugh, John Barley Corn, Dionysus, Lieu, Dagon, Vegetation Gods

 *Goddesses-The Mother, Dana, Demeter, Ceres, The Barley Mother, Isis, Luna

 *Spellwork/Ritual- Astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, finishing projects

There is so many ways to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.  Have a feast with your family and friends..outside while the weather is still nice.  Fix lots of fresh veggies and fruits, they are great grilled on the grill 🙂  Have a bonfire, drink wine!  Go to a medieval fair or craft show..this time of year they are everywhere.  Go on a picnic and enjoy the warm weather.   Lay on a blanket under the stars and find the constellations, watch for shooting stars.  Catch fireflys and let them go. 

Don’t have a garden of your own, visit a farmer’s market or produce stand!  Make a big bouquet of flowers and bring it in or better yet, give it to an elderly neighbor to enjoy.   Harvest herbs from the garden, and make flavored oils and vinegars to keep a taste of summer in your pantry all winter long.  They would make great Yule gifts as well.  Have a bread baking day with your family.  Put  grains, fruits and nuts in the bread  and send a loaf home with everyone.  Make corn dollys.  Make fresh fruit jams, jellies or preserves, or can veggies.  Plan a “tournament” of corn hole for the kids, or croquet, or kickball…playing games is just what the Celts did! 

 

 

 

Lughnasadh is a good time to start your Fall House cleaning, to finish projects you wanted to do over the Summer. Get your carpets cleaned, windows cleaned, take down and wash your curtains and linens.  Get your fireplace checked so it’s ready for the wonderful fires you’ll have soon.  I actually LOVE Fall cleaning…I call it nesting 🙂  Getting ready to be in, be home, be cozy, be more lazy 🙂

I will be posting recipes, rituals etc over the next few weeks for this Blessed Sabbat!  For now, Summer is in full swing so enjoy every minute of it….I hope your gardens are blooming, that you are active, outside, feeling energized, enjoying the Sun every chance you get!  Remember that time flies, so savor every moment 🙂  Grab onto that Sun and don’t let go!!

Blessings and Light, Autumn

*Sources  Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan, my BOS, the internet.  Pics from the internet..Jam jar picture is my own.

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9 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, Garden, God, Herbs, History, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Quote, Summer

9 responses to “Countdown to Lughnasadh……….

  1. (((autumn)) this is just beautiful..makes one look forward to the next step on the wheel! thanks for sharing your heart! d <*)

  2. irish claddagh

    ah, you made my morning dear friend, I just love the history behind the sabbats and you make it so wonderful to enjoy….most of all it just makes me more home sick to feeling the excitement of autumn coming and the changing of nature all around me right before my very eyes…. :’) I can smell the changes in the air already….wishing I was back home in a most severe way….thanks for the memories my sweet sister, luv u lots ❤

  3. Wonderful post.. at first I was thinking what? we are counting down to the first harvest Sabbath really already? Then I thought yep she is right, the wheel is always slowly turning. Not quite canning time here.. but soon and even with the hard work, I love canning my own food stuffs… the way all the jars sitting on the shelf. Knowing I have that food in my cupboards.. part of my Mormon background :)..

  4. Debra

    Thank you for this beautiful blog! Maluna was right that I’d love you! I don’t want to rush the seasons, but Autumn is my favorite time of the year- the smells especially. The colors in the air…BB )0(

  5. Cheryl Hill

    Another wonderful Blog post! Thank you for the timely reminders and for sharing a bit of your life with us. I can feel the Wheel turning too; the subtle changes in the air and the shift of energies toward Harvest. I love Summer and while the upcoming Sabbat of Lammas is beautiful, it’s always bittersweet for me. Knowing the days are shortening makes them all the more precious!

  6. Great Post 😀
    Thought you might like my machinima film,
    The Lammas Wickerman

    Bright Blessings
    Elf
    /|\

  7. Merry Meet, dear new friend! I thank you with gratitude for bringing the Sabbats back into play again. I’m usually the one for celebrating silently as what comes naturally and/or doing things that I have done in the past Fall seasons, but years back I’d been taken in by the Celtic Goddess Brigid, and loving the Celts and their histories and mythologies and stories, I had wanted to start working once again with a companion God to the Goddess, and Lugh has always been of great interest of mine!

    One of my favorite things to do in the Fall though is saving fresh corn stalks. I leave the silky parts out in the woods hoping for birds to come find them and maybe use them for their nesting areas (I live back in the woods of Michigan!) and leaving the cornstalks to ‘dry’ and at the last Harvest season, when they have dried, weave them ‘magickally’ into whatever shape or figure comes to mind, and put a ‘Good Luck Charm’ (like one year, I put an old lucky Indian Head Penny I had found in it) — hidden with a ‘blessing/wish’ so that only I knew it was there.

    I look forward to reading more of your work and writing here! Many blessings, and I think I’ll have to get out my favorite Sabbats book by Edain McCoy, and one I have by Ellen Dugan (can’t think of the name of it at the moment) — and get back to my ‘Witchy’ ways; they usually come back more after the Summer has passed and things start dying and getting dark once again, resting.

    Blessings xo

  8. Riva

    Your homemade jams are beautiful. What kind are they? Enjoyable post as well. Happy Crafting ;3

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