Merry Lammas Days!

From: Si (SIFAN) 1 Aug 2017 03:04
To: ALL1 of 1

'Tis the First Harvest ~ Merry Lammas Days!



We are well past Midsummer in the northern hemisphere and days are beginning to become noticeably shorter. As the sun moves South, shadows lengthen: the gateway to Fall opens and we arrive at the First Harvest! (South of the equator, the situation is reversed as Candlemas is celebrated in anticipation of Spring.)

"Lammas" comes from the Old English for "loaf-mass". The Saxons would ceremonially thresh and mill the first sheaf of wheat. Then the grain was baked into a loaf and consumed. The grain dies so that the people might live. In a similar vein Lammas was the medieval Christian holiday on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on church altars as offerings. 

At Lammas many grains, seeds, herbs and fruits can be harvested and dried for use through the remainder of the year and into winter. We celebrate these early fruits and also bless our still green crops in the fields for an abundant Fall gathering.  

"Lammas" and "Lughnasadh" are the most popular names for this feast. Others are "Nos Gwyl Awst", "Festival of Green Corn", "First Harvest", "Ceresalia", "August Eve", "The Southwind Sabbat", "Elembiuos", "Feast of Cardenas", "Feast of St. Catherine".

Celebrations may run from late July through the early days of August. Some traditions may start with August 1st. Some may prefer the astrological date, when the sun is 15 degrees into Leo, typically around August 6th or 7th. Sometimes called "Old Lammas", this date has long been considered a power point of the Zodiac.

Celts celebrate this time as "Lughnasad" (pronounced "Loo'-nah-sod" with a hint of the "g"), named after Lugh, a mythic/legendary Celtic leader whose name seems to have become attached to a god-- the God of Light, the Sun King. As his light dwindles, this first harvest looks toward the death of the Sun King in Fall. The feasting, which often takes on the trappings of a boisterous (if premature) wake for Lugh, may have originated as the funeral games which Lugh himself once hosted to commemorate the death of his foster- mother, Taillte. The "Tailltean Games" of Ireland featured contests and revelry as well as year-and-a-day trial marriages of willing couples.

Lammas is for looking back over our actions and experiences as we reflect upon our personal 'first harvest'. Even as we gather and preserve, it is a good time to consider and then discard regrets.

Be blessed these days!



Baking Bread
Gathering and preserving first fruits of gardens
Making a corn doll
Making gingerbread people
Visiting fields, orchards, lakes and wells
Having a magical picnic and breaking bread with friends
Participating in a harvest festival
Making jams, jellies, and chutneys for winter
Taking a walk and gathering seeds and other first fruits
Writing regrets on a corn husk or paper and tossing it into a fire to relase them



Corn bread, Popcorn, Barley cakes, Wheat bread, all Berries, Berry pies, Summer squash, Turnips, Acorns (Leached of their poisons first), Crabapples, All locally ripe produce

Elderberry wine, ale; Teas of Alfalfa, Corn silk, Golden seal, Meadowsweet



Sheaves of wheat, Bread loaves, Ears of corn, Full moon, Corn dollies, John Barleycorn



Gold-Yellow, Red-Orange, Red, Lighter Browns, Dark Green



Yellow Diamond, Aventurine, Peridot, Sardonyx, Citrine


From ...

The Goddess & the Green Man
School of the Seasons
Wiccan Garden
Citadel of Dragons
The White Goddess
Spring Wolf's Pagan Path
Witches' Voice