The festival of the Earth religion that marks the “first harvest”, falling half way between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon). The name Lughnasadh is roughly translated as the Festival of the Oath. Lammas as Loaf Mass. High summer and the abundance of crops, our preparation of these fruits of our labor into food for storage, and the recognition of how far we’ve come. It’s the full moon of the year, in a sense. You set out your goal for the year with seed catalogs, resolutions, summer travel plans, and hopes for what will be the best year yet! So now, we can take a look back and see how far we have come. Your Oath. Your Oats. Your Oughts. Be kind to yourself and your neighbors. Forgive that quarrel and look ahead to the time you have left in this year to utilize a bright relationship with the world around you. Taste your fruits and relish in the sweetness it has brought. There is still time to plant that fall crop, take a quick vacation, set out a plan for your goals, and manifest love. It’s quite nice that the New Moon is just around the corner. (For those of you who don’t get my references here – the New Moon is a time to set a goal, drop a bad habit, and grow with enlightenment. The Full Moon being your midway check-in point.)
You can scour the internet or real-life library for various Lammas rituals, ideas, crafts, corn husk dolls, quick and modern ways to give thanks, say prayers, light candles, eat bread, pick flowers, drink wine, and ultimately praise the spiritual humans who worked the Earth before us and knew the importance of taking a moment to say “thank-you” to the Earth and the plants and animals that keep the great Turtle Back we’re drifting on afloat. I encourage you to take some time to recognize where we are in the Great Wheel of the Year and smile, that Summer is half full, and there’s more to fill your cup.
I did read quite a bit today and found a few fun tidbits on Lammas that I thought I’d share.
- Women know their cycle. It’s monthly, and quite obvious. I have been thinking of the male cycle and how it works for them for years. The sun and the year’s seasons – there is a greater amount of time between each cycle for them. Lammas is the height of the sun and summer’s heat, so is a perfect time to honor the Men in your life. I do hope to someday hear my male friends reminding each other, “Hey Man, next week we’re having our seasonal male circle, tell your guy friends and bring your herbal treasures/animal bones/carving knife [insert woodsy male hobby tool here].”
- Flowers are abundant in the summer, of course, and incorporated into many Lammas rituals. I have noticed the height of June/July flowers has faded and I can feel the potential energy heightening as the next round of beauties are about to POP! Wondering what to call or refer to this little transition as, now I see, it’s known as Lammas.
- Being in and around water for cleansing. It’s Summer, it’s hot … time for swim club! Maybe swim with the flowers, or bring your worries and let them wash off of you, or swirl and create chaos & find yourself in the middle, feeling refreshed and stabilized while the world turns. Listen to the Ocean breathe, sing with the frogs, mimic a mermaid.
- Ah yes, and we come to my favorite part. Why celebrate just 1 day when you can celebrate for 15?! A mandated festival of 2 weeks, so the story goes, to honor Lugh’s Mother (or the many variations of men honoring women, and women honoring men). It’s like the yin and yang coiling serpents who climb their way up the Caduceus. We are mingling with our brothers and sisters, pollinating, fruiting, dancing, harmonizing – which couldn’t possibly happen overnight. A good 15 day woo, as we share stories from where the Sun has risen to his highest potential so that the Moon may hold the light as we transition into darkness. We honor the Sun so that he may find us mid-Winter on Yule and bring out his stored strength, waking us from our sleepy slumber. As I write, the Moon is drifting between the Earth and the Gemini constellation. Where two share as one.
I also found myself today tidying up the home & garden, watching Juniper Berries in their first year shimmer and ripen – begging me to wait a year to harvest, dusting off the broomstick, eating and sharing bread (which I happened to be gifted recently with timely appropriateness) and thinking of ways to honor the men in my life. Tomorrow the festivities continue with another Garden to tidy, and a harvest BBQ by the Bay.
I love a good pictorial wheel – so here’s a few images I borrowed from around the web (thank you image makers).
Happy Lammas – & best of luck ripening up