Mystickal Realms Wishes all Members, Staff and Friends who celebrate the Sabbats A Blessed and Happy Lughnasadh!
History of Lughnasadh (Lammas)
Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, is the Celebration of Harvest and begins what is called "the chase of Lugh". Lugh is the Celtic Sun God and He rains down upon the crops, living within the golden fields. This is the time of the first harvests. At this celebration we give thanks to the Earth for its bounty and beauty. It is from these harvests that we eat through the upcoming winter. Honoring the God Lugh, games and sports are played to celebrate strength and good health. The grain Goddesses Demeter and Ceres are also honored. This is a time to harvest the dreams planted earlier in the year.
In Ireland in 1169, under the jurisdiction of the last High King, Ruraidh O'Conchobhar, the last Lughnasadh games, feast and fair were held. Lughnasadh or 'Festival of Lugh' was a time of thanksgiving and reverence to the Land for it's sacrifices to us. This was a time to test and give thanks for the skills and talents that we had been given and had achieved.
It is said that Lugh (Llew, Lugos, Lugus), Master of All the Arts and Crafts, dedicated this festival to his foster-mother, Tailtiu, the last queen of the Fir Bolg, who died from exhaustion after clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated. When the men of Ireland gathered at her death-bed, she told them to hold funeral games in her honor. As long as they were held, she prophesied Ireland would not be without song. Tailtiu’s name is from Old Celtic Talantiu, "The Great One of the Earth," suggesting she may originally have been a personification of the land itself, like so many Irish goddesses. In fact, Lughnasadh has an older name, Brón Trogain, which refers to the painful labor of childbirth. For at this time of year, the earth gives birth to her first fruits so that her children might live....
The Lughnassadh Sabbat is a time to celebrate the first of three harvest celebrations (Mabon and Samhain being the other two) in the Craft. It marks the middle of Summer represents the start of the harvest cycle and relies on the early crops of ripening grain, and also any fruits and vegetables that are ready to be harvested. It is therefore greatly associated with bread as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested. Wiccans give thanks and honor to all Gods and Goddesses of the Harvest, as well as those who represent Death and Resurrection.
Lughnasadh was also the traditional time of year for craft festivals. The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers. The atmosphere must have been quite similar to our modern-day Renaissance Festivals.
One traditional Lughnasadh custom was the construction of the kern-baby, corn dolly, or corn maiden. This figure, braided into a woman's form from the last harvested sheaf of grain, represented the Harvest Spirit. (In America, the tradition is continued in the making of corn husk dolls.) The doll would be saved until Spring, when it was ploughed into the field to consecrate the new planting and insure a good harvest. In other traditions, the corn dolly was fed and watered throughout the Winter, then burned in the fires at Beltane to insure a continuation of good growth.
Another custom drawn from Lughnasadh relates to fire. Lughnasadh was, to the Celts, one of four Great Fire Festivals, held on the cross-quarter days. During Lughnasadh, the custom of lighting bonfires was intended to add strength to the powers of the waning sun. Afterward, the fire brands were kept in the home through the Winter as protection against storms, lightning and fires caused by lightning....
It is customary to consume bread or something from the First Harvest during the Lughnassadh Ritual. Other actions include the gathering of first fruits and the study of Astrology. Some Pagans symbolically throw pieces of bread into a fire during the Lammas ritual. The celebration of Lammas is a pause to relax and open yourself to the change of the Season so that you may be one with its energies and accomplish what is intended. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others. Spellwork for prosperity, abundance and good fortune are especially appropriate now, as well as spells for connectedness, career, health and financial gain.
Activities appropriate for this time of the year are the baking of bread and wheat weaving - such as the making of Corn Dollies, or other God & Goddess symbols. Sand candles can be made to honor the Goddess and God of the sea. You may want to string Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace, and bake corn bread sticks shaped like little ears of corn for your Sabbat cakes. The Corn Dolly may be used both as a fertility amulet and as an altar centerpiece. Some bake bread in the form of a God-figure or a Sun Wheel - if you do this, be sure to use this bread in the Cakes and Ale Ceremony.
As Summer passes, Wiccans remember its warmth and bounty in the food we eat. Every meal is an act of attunement with Nature, and we are reminded that nothing in the Universe is constant. May the Lord and Lady bless you all with lots of love, and a plentiful First Harvest!
Tools, Symbols & Decorations
The sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, red/maize/yellow or gold flower, love amulets, seashells, summer fruits & flowers, feather/flower door wreath, sun wheel, fire, circles of stone, sun dials and swords/blades, bird feathers, Witches' ladder.
Gods & Goddesses
(Celtic, one of the Tuatha De Danaan)
The Mother, Dana
(Lugh’s wife & queen)
(Roman grain goddess..honored at Ceresalia)
Arianrhod’s golden haired son Lleu
(Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize)
Other agricultural Goddesses
The Waxing Goddess
The Waning God
Red, Orange, Golden Yellow, Green, Light Brown, Gold, Bronze, Gray
Bonfires, processions, all night vigil, singing, feasting, celebrating with others, cutting divining rods, dowsing rods & wands, herb gathering, handfastings, weddings, Druidic gathering of mistletoe in oak groves, needfires, leaping between two fires, mistletoe(without berries, use as a protection amulet), women walking naked through gardens to ensure continued fertility, enjoying the seasonal fruits & vegetables, honor the Mother's fullness, richness and abundance, put garlands of St. John’s Wort placed over doors/ windows & a sprig in the car for protection.
Griffins, basilisks, roosters, calves, centaurs, phoenix
Aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, yellow diamondsand citrine
Grain, acacia, heather, ginseng, sloe, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, aloes, frankincense, sunflower, hollyhock, oak leaf, wheat,myrtle
Wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood
Astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance,magickal picnic, meditate & visualize yourself completing a project you’ve started.
Loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer
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