Lammas

Lammas, Lughnasadh, or Lughnasadh Day is a time of ripeness, a time of fruitfulness. The gardens are producing madly; the first grains have ripened and been harvested.

 

Like all harvest festivals, this is a time to give thanks for the gifts of the Divine. It’s also a time when we celebrate our skills. Today marks the halfway between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox.

 

In some Pagan traditions, Lammas is the time of year when the Goddess takes on the aspects of the Harvest Mother. The earth is fruitful and abundant, crops are bountiful, and livestock are fattening up for winter. However, the Harvest Mother knows that the cold months are coming, and so she encourages us to begin gathering up what we can. This is the season for harvesting corn and grain, so that we can bake bread to store and have seeds for next year’s planting.

 

As in Gaelic tradition, this is the day to gather for a great feast. Bake bread, eat apples, berries, grapes, crab, pears, and tomatoes…burn aloes, rose, and sandlewood. Today’s sacred gemstone is Carnelian.

 

Ritual: You’ll need a few stalks of wheat and an un-sliced loaf of bread (homemade is best, but if you can’t manage, a store-bought loaf will do). A goblet of ritual wine is optional.

 

Light a candle and say:

 

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature’s bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.

 

Hold stalks of wheat before you, and think about what they symbolize: the power of the earth, the coming winter, the necessity of planning ahead. What do you need help planning right now? Are there sacrifices you should be making in the present that will be reaped in the future?

 

Rub the stalks between your fingers so a few grains of wheat fall upon the altar. Scatter them on the ground as a gift to the earth. If you’re inside, leave them on the altar for now — you can always take them outside later. Say:

 

The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.

 

Tear off a piece of the bread. If you’re performing this ritual as a group, pass the loaf around the circle so that each person present can take off a small chunk of bread. As each person passes the bread, they should say:

 

I pass to you this gift of the first harvest. When everyone has a piece of bread, say:

 

Everyone eats their bread together. If you have ritual wine, pass it around the circle for people to wash the bread down. Once everyone has finished their bread, take a moment to meditate on the cycle of rebirth and how it applies to your own life – physically, emotionally, spiritually.

 

*Save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during the feast or ritual. If they sprout, grow it with love in honor of our Lord and Lady.

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