Updated April 29, 2019
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.
This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.
Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.
In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.
A Feast of Bread…
From the Greek Magical Papyrus- 2nd Century BC
“Taking Sulfur and Seed of Nile Rushes, burn as Incense to the Moon and say, “I call on You, Lady Isis, whom Agathos Daimon permitted to rule in the entire Black Land [i.e., Egypt]. Your name is LOU LOULOU BATHARTHAR THARE’SIBATH ATHERNEKLE’SICH ATHERNEBOUNI E’ICHOMO’ CHOMO’THI Isis Sothis, SOUE’RI, Boubastis, EURELIBAT CHAMARI NEBOUTOS OUE’RI AIE’ E’OA O’AI. Protect me, Great and Marvelous Names of the God (add the usual [i.e., the protection you seek]); for I am the One Established in Pelusium, SERPHOUTH MOUISRO’ STROMMO’ MOLO’TH MOLONTHE’R PHON Thoth. Protect me, Great and Marvelous Names of the Great God! (add the usual) “ASO’ EIO’ NISAO’TH. Lady Isis, Nemesis, Adrasteia, Many-named, Many-formed, glorify me, as I have glorified the Name of Your Son Horus! (add the usual)” [PGM VII.490-504][Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]
Many people in the Neopagan movements use an interesting metaphor (or “clever” putdown) to describe people who are newer to Wicca and Paganism than they are, or who seem to have more sensitive ethical constraints on their magical (or even mundane) behavior than their critics claim to have. These critics call their targets, “Fluffy Bunny Pagans.” Sometimes the term used is “Bambi™ and Barbie™-Goddess Pagans,” implying a sickeningly sweet attitude about life in general and the Craft in particular. If someone’s image of the Horned God is Bambi™ and of the Goddess is Barbie™, others could reasonably assume that person is naive and shallow. Of course, I know several Pagans who are proud owners of the (very expensive) Sun Goddess Barbie™ and Moon Priestess Barbie™ dolls
Inhabitants of the Buffyverse know the overly enthusiastic, naive, and yet often dogmatic “newbie” Wiccans as “Blessed Wanna-Bes” and seem to believe that the character of Willow is a good example of what a Witch is supposed to be–although I’ve never met a Wiccan or any other kind of witch who could pull off the sorts of spells that Willow did on a regular basis.
To read the rest of this informative article please copy and paste this link into your browser http://www.neopagan.net/Making-Fauna-Pagans.html
Copyright © 2005 c.e., Isaac Bonewits. A shorter version of this was originally published by The Pagan Fluffy Rehabilitation Center at GaiaOnline.com, then posted at Witchvox.com. This text file may be freely distributed on the Net, provided that no editing is done, the version number is retained, and everything in this notice box is included. If you would like to be on one or more of Isaac Bonewits’ emailing lists, click here to get subscription information.
|Is having access to this material worth a few dollars, punts, pounds, or euros to you? Click the button to make a fast and secure donation to Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits, so they can afford to keep this website going and growing! Or you can suggest to your local Occult/New Age bookstore that they bring him and/or her out for one of his or her colorful presentations, or you could visit their Blatant Hucksterism Page, or you could just send money to them at PO Box 1010, Nyack, NY, USA 10960-8010.|
Most people do not believe in elves. The little people, along with fairies, banshees, and werewolves, are often thrown into the category of ‘fantasy’ and left to molder unless some video game or children’s book decides to make use of them for commercial purposes. Whatever you believe to be true, stories of fantastic creatures are present in most ancient cultures, particularly in European regions such as Germany, Scandinavia, and Ireland.
Widespread disbelief and discrediting of the mystical folk have rendered serious research into the origins of elves almost nonexistent. However, recent scientific and historical analyses of the folklore of Ireland reveal that elves are not wholly fictional, but actually based on real life beings.
The Etymology of ‘Elf’
First, for clarity, it should be noted that the word ‘elf’ is not indigenous to Ireland. This word derives from a term used in Common Germanic, the ancestor language of modern German, English, and several Scandinavian languages. ‘Elf’ became a label for the Irish fairies when the English began to write about and record Irish folklore.
To read the rest of this article from Ancient Origins copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/tuatha-d-dannan-enchanting-predecessors-irish-fairies-and-elves-007657
Follow, Your Roots
Not only is it important to acknowledge the patterns of the land where you live, but you may also find exploring your roots very inspiring. Where are your ancestors from? What traditions and celebrations did they observe historically? You probably won’t find books on these subjects in the New Age section of the library or bookstore — instead you’ll want to wander over to anthropology and folklore sections. If a particular tradition or day really resonates, consider how you can sincerely explore it. Are the people who live in that area today still observing it? Can you find videos online of the festivities? It might be worth a trip to immerse yourself more and see what you can discover about your roots.
Copyright by Laura Tempst Zakroof Llewellyn;s Witches’ Datebook 2020 Pages 20 to 23