The Astrological Importance of Lughnasadh

The Fire Festival of Summer

The festival of Lughnasadh, later known as Lammas, is one of the four grand sabbats of witchcraft traditions, and one of the four sacred fire festivals of the Celtic peoples also celebrated by modern Pagans.  The four festivals all have fire playing a central role in some way.  Beltane and Samhain, the high holy days of modern witchcraft were traditionally centered around large bonfires or balefires of a sacrificial or celebratory nature.  During Imbolc, or Candlemas one of the only festivals frequently celebrated indoors we see the great fire and coming sun represented by candle flame.  Lughnasadh is directly across the wheel from Imbolc and during the hot-dry summer the fire of the Sun is already manifest in the sky above.  Sun disks or fire wheels were also used to symbolize the solar rays of the sun, often rolled downhill in representation of the Sun’s descent over the horizon.

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The Festival Sabbat of Lammas – Lughnassadh, Lugnasad August 1st/2nd

It is now high summer and the union of Sun and Earth, of God and Goddess, has produced the First Harvest. Lammas is the celebration of this first, Grain Harvest, a time for gathering in and giving thanks for abundance. We work with the cycle that Mabon or the Autumn Equinox is the Second Harvest of Fruit, and Samhain is the third and Final Harvest of Nuts and Berries.

The word ‘Lammas’ is derived from ‘loaf mass’ and is indicative of how central and honoured is the first grain and the first loaf of the harvesting cycle.

It is also the great festival of Lugh, or Lug, the great Celtic Sun King and God of Light. August is His sacred month when He initiated great festivities in honour of His mother, Tailtiu. Feasting, market fairs, games and bonfire celebrations were the order of the day. Circle dancing, reflecting the movement of the sun in sympathetic magic, was popular, as were all community gatherings. August was considered an auspicious month for handfastings and weddings.

But underlying this is the knowledge that the bounty and energy of Lugh, of the Sun, is now beginning to wane. It is a time of change and shift. Active growth is slowing down and the darker days of winter and reflection are beckoning…

The Grain Mother.

At Lammas the Goddess is in Her aspect as Grain Mother, Harvest Mother, Harvest Queen, Earth Mother, Ceres and Demeter. Demeter, as Corn Mother, represents the ripe corn of this year’s harvest and Her daughter Kore/Persephone represents the grain – the seed which drops back deep into the dark earth, hidden throughout the winter, and re-appears in the spring as new growth. This is the deep core meaning of Lammas and comes in different guises. The fullness and fulfillment of the present harvest already holds at its very heart the seed of all future harvest. (It is a fact that a pregnant woman carrying her as yet unborn daughter is also already carrying the ovary containing all the eggs her daughter will ever release – she is already both mother, grandmother and beyond, embodying the great Motherline – pure magic and mystery.)

So as the grain harvest is gathered in, there is food to feed the community through the winter and within that harvest is the seed of next year’s rebirth, regeneration and harvest. The Grain Mother is ripe and full, heavily pregnant she carries the seed of the new year’s Sun God within her. There is tension here. For the Sun God, the God of the Harvest, the Green Man, or John Barleycorn, surrenders his life with the cutting of the corn.

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link: Lammas

Millennial Witch: The ‘First Fruits’ of a Modern Lughnasadh

Autumn Sabbats have always been special to me. Not just because of Halloween/Samhain, but also because of Mabon, and most importantly, Lughnasadh.

The First Harvest Festival of the Year, Lughnasadh (also commonly called Lammas) is most often celebrated around August 1st. (Though in some Druid and Celtic Pagan circles, it is the full moon closest to that date.) It marks the time when the grain was harvested, lammas bread was given to the barn corners, and in some Pagan circles, The Harvest God dies. In certain cases, this holiday is overlooked for it’s two successors, but I firmly believe we shouldn’t bypass this first harvest time.

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Lammas/ Imbolc Gathering

Lammas (Lughnasadh) – Northern Hemisphere

Imbolc- Southern Hemisphere

WHEN:

Wednesday August 1st, 2018

Socialization starts at 6:00 PM CT

Circle cast at 7:00 PM CT

Please DO NOT enter chat room once circle is cast.

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chat Room

Time Zone Converter

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Northern Hemisphere- Lammas

Basket of grain heads

Fruits and seeds of choice

Corn dolly if you choose

1 X orange candle

Bread and cider to feast

Southern Hemisphere- Imbolc

3 X white candles

Milk

Bread

 

 

Let us begin:

While we are invoking the seasons in each Hemisphere, regardless of where you are in the world, please still stay in respect while waiting.

 

Imbolc in the S.H-

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Bright Imbolc Blessings and may we now begin to look forward to warmer days and brightly coloured gardens.  May we bless and burn the candles of inspiration, love and communion with the Great God and Goddess.

This is the time for the beginning of the beginning and a wonderful time to consider what you will do in the year ahead. It is also a time of purification, therefore taking a bath or even a shower and visualising all the heavy energy leaving your body and bright light filling your body.

Its a time of the life force stirring again, where nature shows its beginning of its glory and the recycle of life through buds and shoots.

It marks the Goddess giving birth to the newborn God, where He grows and spreads his light. We are gathered here to honour the feminine and get ready for spring.

If you are in a part of the Southern Hemisphere where Wattle grows, this may be the time to pick some with reverence and decorate your alter.

 

Lammas in the N.H-

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As the day marking the first harvest of early grain, this is a good time to bake your own bread. The loaf that is broken and shared in the name of the Goddess.

This is a time of great change that needs to take place in one’s life.

The Great God gives his energy to the crops to ensure life, while the Great Goddess prepares to enter Her Crone aspect, the Great God slowly loses his strength and it’s a time for the days to grow shorter.

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere you may want to decorate your alter with grains and wheat, husks and freshly baked breads, corn dollies and fruit.

 

RITUAL:

So let’s begin our Imbolc/Lammas Ritual

Hypatia Casting the circle-

To the Guardians of the East:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the South:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the West:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the North:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

I cast this circle three times three with the assistance of the Great Mother and the Great God.

I call Upon the Guardians of spirit to protect us from above and below. As is above so is below, as is below so is above. May the power of The Great God and The great Goddess join us within this circle now, to protect us and to work with us and allow us to see beyond the veil.

 

Protect us Great Mother and Great God for all gathered here and those afar who are unable to be with us. Allow no negative energy to touch us, to harm us and that nothing we call upon will harm us and others. We come together in perfect love and perfect trust.

GREETING

Hypatia – Merry meet brothers and sisters and honored guests.

Everyone Respond Merry Greet. Please tell us your first name and state or country you are from.

 

CEREMONY & INVOCATIONS

Let’s start in the Southern Hemisphere

Imbolc in the S.H-

  • Light your first candle

And Say:

“In this holy day of Imbolc, in this time and place, we come together and the Lady Brighid we commune”

Spirits of this place and of this land, you who have been long before me, I invite you to join this celebration of Imbolc.  Accept this offering of food and drink, I ask, given in hospitality and in love.”

Everyone-

Raise the bread and milk in offering, take a small sip of the milk, break and bite a small piece of the bread

 

  • Light your second candle

And say:

Land spirits – hail and welcome!

“Ancestors of blood and spirit, because of you I have life, I am your child that builds on your foundations. You who marked this night as the promise of Spring and the renewal it brings, join me in this celebration of Imbolc.  Accept this offering of food and drink, I ask, given in hospitality and in love.”

Everyone-

Raise the bread and milk in offering, take small a sip of the milk, break and bite a small piece of the bread

 

  • Light the third candle

And say:

“Bless me on this night Great Brighid with your presence, you who are inspirer of poets, I Invite you to join in this celebration. As I look forward to the coming Spring, I honour You and I listen for your holy wisdom.  Lady of Healing, please join us in this celebration of Imbolc.  Accept this offering of food and drink, we ask, given in hospitality and in love.”

Everyone-

Raise the bread and milk in offering, take small a sip of the milk, break and bite a small piece of the bread

 

2 Minute Meditation

For those in the Southern Hemisphere please begin to meditate for 2 minutes on how you will refresh your mind and energy for the coming of spring and summer. Imagine new beginnings for yourself and your loved ones. Bring in the light and the love into your life. Allow the light of love to wash over you.

 

Now to the Northern hemisphere

Lammas in the N.H-

  • Now is the time to light your orange candle

Take a handful of grain and face the East, the land of the rising Sun God.

And Say

Now let us honour the Goddess in all of her fullness. Because of her nurturing we are blessed with the fruitfulness and the Divine Gods energy wanes. As the mother of all nature, we love and adore her with fullest honour and are in reverence that she chooses to share her power of beneficence.

 

Now:

Rub the grains in your hands and allow them to fall on the ground or on your alter cloth.

Take a piece of fruit, taste it and appreciate and saviour its flavour.

And Say:

“As the energies of the Goddess become ours, we are one with the fruits of the harvest. Hail Great and Divine Goddess of the Moon, Great Mother of all creation, and Hail to the Sun Lord and light our path with your pure light of goodness. May all your harvests be bountiful.”

 

Everyone-

Feast on the fruit and seeds.

 

2 Minute Meditation

Spend some time meditating on the sense of community bought about in the sharing of the fruits of the land.

For those in the Northern hemisphere think about the bounty that fills your life. What are you getting ready to harvest? Have you taken time over the summer to enjoy the fruits of your labor? How are you preparing to shift into the darkness of the coming months?

 

FAREWELLS

 

Lammas in the N.H-

Now say-

Brighid, Goddess of Healing, Goddess of Smithcraft, Goddess of Inspiration, I thank You for Your presence and Your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

At the end of the ceremony please feel free to feast on your cider and bread.
Imbolc in the S.H-

Now say-

Brighid, Goddess of Healing, Goddess of Smithcraft, Goddess of Inspiration, I thank You for Your presence and Your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

At the end of the ceremony please continue to feast

 

CLOSING

Dismiss the circle:

  • To the Guardians of the East:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the South:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the West:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the North:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

As you leave here tonight may the Lady and Lord bless you with all that you need and want.

 

I bid you Blessings and great Joy Brothers and sisters of the Craft

 After the ceremony:

If you wish to burn your candle in safety please do so, or snuff out and light over the next few days enjoying this transition of seasons.

Continue to feast on the bounties that have been gifted by the Great Mother and Father, and finally please dispose of anything sacred or not finished in an appropriate way, with a blessing and back to the great Mother with respect. Honour her with the greatest respect and show your gratitude! The Great Goddess is here for everyone!

Thank you and Farewell

 

 

 

Celebrating Lammas

The year is 1100. The date is August 1. The monks in the abbey at Gloucester are celebrating the holy-day of St. Peter in Chains. One of the monks wakes from a strange dream in which God promises to strike down the wicked King who has abused the Holy Church. His superior, Abbot Serlo, on hearing of the dreams sends a warning to the King, William the Red, who has oppressed all of England with taxes and disgusted many with his licentiousness and blasphemy. Red, as he is called, receives the message the following day while preparing to indulge in one of his favorite sports, hunting, in the New Forest. Although there are no longer any people dwelling in the New Forest — they were all cleared out by Red’s father, William the Conqueror — there are rumors that it’s a hotbed of pagan activity. And August 2 is an important pagan holy-day. The Saxons call it Lammas, the Loaf-Mass. William the Red laughs at the warning from the monks and goes out hunting. A short time later, he is dead, struck in the chest by a stray arrow, and his brother, Henry, who was in the hunting party is riding hot-foot for Winchester and the crown.

Now some people say that William the Red was a Lammas sacrifice, …

Please continue reading by clicking this link: Celebrating Lammas

Lammas History: Welcoming the Harvest

The Beginning of the Harvest:

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:

In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheaves of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.

The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God:

In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Honoring the Past:

In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Symbols of the Season

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

Crafts, Song and Celebration

Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.

From: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/LammasFolklore/a/Legends-And-Folklore-Of-Bread.htm

Lammas/Lughnasadh Rites & Rituals

Set Up Your Lammas Altar

August 1 is known as Lammas, or Lughnasadh (it’s February 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). This is a day to celebrate the beginnings of the harvest, when the grain and corn is gathered. It’s also a time, in some traditions, of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. Here are some ideas for dressing up your altar for your Lammas (Lughnasadh) celebration! Setting Up Your Lammas Altar More »

Lammas Ritual

Lughnasadh Altar outside 2016

I had two different Lammas rituals that I could have gone to and both got cancelled!  So what to do?  I didn’t have time to write something so luckily I found a nice opening that a friend had posted and I used that.  I have no idea where he found it from so if you know let me know and I will give proper credit.

I set up what I call my Easy Altar outside.  I have a glass container with glass votives in elemental colors with candles and they are sitting in earth.  I had a couple of pieces of corn husks with corn kernels in them.

I spoke the following and then added my own words that came from my heart. Then I buried the corn husks as an offering in my garden.

“Oh Spirit of the East, Land of the rising Sun, Of Air, the winds that blow across the lands, of new beginnings each day and of open horizons. We bless you and ask for your wisdom and blessing here with us today. Please join us, Spirit of the East.

Oh Spirit of the South, Place of Passion, Fire and Creation and Inspiration, whose warm breath reminds us of summer days. Ignite our hearts with love. We bless you and ask for your wisdom and blessing here with us today. Please join us, Spirit of the South.

Oh Spirit of the West, the land of the setting Sun, of water and Autumn’s whisper. Bless us with the knowledge of peace which follows the harvest of a fruitful life. We bless you and ask for your wisdom and blessing here today. Please join us, Spirit of the West.

Oh Spirit of the North, place of quiet, stillness, of cave and deep earth. Place of thankfulness for the knowledge and blessings that have come to us with time. We bless you and ask your wisdom and blessing here today. Please join us, Spirit of the North.

Oh Spirit of Mother Earth, you support us each day, welcoming our roots deep into your heart. You nurture and guide us finding sustenance and support. Help us to give thanks Always for Your bounty. We bless you and ask for your wisdom and blessing here today. Please join us Spirit of Mother Earth.

Oh Spirit of Father Sky, of the angelic realms, the countless stars of the night remind us that you are vast beautiful and majestic beyond all of our knowing or understanding. Your light shines upon the earth both day and night guiding our steps. We bless you and ask for your wisdom and blessing here today. Please join us, Father Sky.

Oh Spirit of our souls within, Place of union, love and reverence. We are grateful for this gift of life and for the love that guides our way. We open our hearts and join with all in love. It is begun.”

©08012016 Wolf Woman Ways