On and around August 1st in the northern hemisphere we celebrate Lughnassagh (LOO-nas-ah). Another name for this celebration is Lammas. This is a festival centered around the first harvest and the start of the harvesting cycle. In my opinion, this Sabbat is one of the most discounted and one of the most important. It is a time to fill our hearts with gratitude and appreciate the abundance that is all around us. It is a time to rejoice in the current harvest and celebrate the future harvests.
At Lughnasadh, the warmth is still here, but we begin to realize that the bustling growth that peaks during the summer is about to slow down and the darker and colder days of fall and winter are coming.
Traditionally, this celebration marked the time when the sun god finished transferring his power into crops and will now lay down to rest throughout the winter. The Grain Mother allows the seeds of the crops to fall to the ground, she buries them and protects them until spring when they begin to grow again.
How can I celebrate?
Whatever you do to celebrate Lughnasadh be sure to rejoice in the fullness and fullfillment of harvest. positive celebration.
1. Get Outside
The most important thing you can do at any of the pagan holidays is to get outside. Each Sabbat is based around how the Earth changes throughout the years. Go for a walk and enjoy the last of the summer days, before the retreats to it's winter hideaway. If you can, try to visit a farmer's market or farm stand.
2. Meditate on Abundance
The earth has produced so much new life throughout the spring and summer. Think about what new things have come into your life and how much you have to be thankful for. Align your mind with your body and your heart with your soul, so that you can harvest the energy of this season and continue attracting prosperity of all kind into your life. As the Earth is constantly expanding and growing, so are you. And the more you honor nature, the more you open ourselves to the prosperity that is present within you and all around you.
3. Decorate you Altar
One of the best way to get into the spirit of the season is to decorate your altar. Use the colors of the coming transformative season like orange, yellow, gold and light brown. Drape a cloth in one of the colors, tie matching ribbons around to represent how the colors of the earth will change. Light candles the color of changing leaves. Try burning sandalwood, rose, or chamomile incense. ribbons and cloths in these colors as well. You may wish to include seasonal flowers: sunflowers, marigolds; herbs: mint and sage; grains: wheat, oat and rye; and late summer produce: corn squash, beans and apples. Crystals for your Lughnasadh altar may include citrine, aventurine, clear quartz and tigers eye.
4. Make a Corn Dolly or Grain Mother
Collect some pieces of straw. Use a piece of tough thread to tie four straws together slightly below the grain head. Braid the straw until you have about 4 inches of straw left. Loop the four straw ends up to meet the knot you made. Tie tightly at the top and bottom ends of the braided section. You should now have a braided loop at the top and the grains heads an tails sticking out the bottom of your tie. Spread out the heads an tails so they alternate and allow to dry flat, preferably under a weight. Once dry you can clip the straw ends, tie a pretty ribbon around the middle, or add some dried flowers
Traditionally, one would save their corn dolly until either Samhain or Imbolc and plant the seeds from it to return them to the earth.
5. Create your Besom
The besom is the traditional witch's broom. The besom is used for sweeping a ceremonial area to cleanse it both physically and energetically. Lughnasadh is a perfect opportunity to collect the fallen twigs, and dried straw and herbs to use for the bristles. Here is a tutorial for you to make your own Besom.
6. Bake Something
One of the major themes of this Sabbat is the harvest of grain crops. Whether you grew your own or bought flour from the store be sure to make some bread to celebrate. You might also want to bake a pie using all the seasonal fruits of this season.
7. Connect with Loved Ones
Each Sabbat is a wonderful opportunity for you to reach out to your friends and families. Invite them into any of your Lughnasadh celebrations. You may wish to host a potluck for everyone to bring something from their bountiful garden or take a trip to a farm.
8. Cast Spells
AS the sun begins its long rest, you may want to harness it's remaining power into spells and charms. Any magical working that focuses on success and abundance would work well at this time of year. Whether you wish to advance in your career, bring love into your life, or increase your health, be sure to cast these spells now.
Bonus: Acts of Service
- Sharing food and other necessities with those in need
- Sprucing up a neglected cemetery
- Offering time and energy to help ease the burdens of another
- Helping out at a community garden
- Doing yard work for an elderly neighbor
- Reaching out to lonely or isolated people
My top ten choices of stones that can be helpful dealing with the many emotions and themes of this season would be Citrine, Topaz, Carnelian, Onyx, Clear Quartz, Obsidian, Red Jasper, Aventurine, Ruby, and Tigers Eye
- SPIRITUAL FOCUS: gratitude, abundance, blessings, the necessity and inevitability of both life and death, celebration, harvest, reflection, introspection, discernment, sacrifice
- MAGICAL FOCUS: prosperity!, gratitude, abundance, strength, growth, protection, honoring ancestors, making offerings in exchange for blessings, personal transformation, communicating with the dead
- Yellow - solar energies, happiness, transformation
- Brown - earth energies, strength, protection, wealth, animals
- Gold - illuminations, success, divine power, harvest
- Green - abundance, prosperity, fertility, growth, wealth, life, health, vegetation
What are some of your Lughnasadh traditions? Tell me about them on the Mumbles & Things Facebook page or comment below.