Archives

Lammas/Lughnasadh Lore

Lammas – The First Harvest

Also known as: Lammas, August Eve, The Festival of Bread, Elembiuos, Lunasa, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide (Teutonic), Lughnasadh

Lammas Lore

Lammas, the festival of the First Fruits of the Harvest, is the first festival of the Waning Year. It is celebrated on July 31 – August 2, while the climate (in the United States) is essentially still Summer. Never-the-less, technically, Lammas is the first day of Autumn.

This is the time of the first harvest, when the plants of spring wither and drop their fruits or seed for our use as well as to ensure future crops. Mystically, so too does the God lose His strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer. The Goddess watches in sorrow and joy as she realizes that the God is dying, and yet lives on inside Her as Her child.

Gods and Goddesses

Goddesses: all grain, agriculture, and mother Goddesses; Alphito (Greek), Ashnan (Sumerian), Bast (Egyptian), Bau (Assyro-Babylonian), Ceres (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Gaia (Greek), Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh), Robigo (Roman), Tailtiu (Irish)Gods: all grain, agriculture, Sun, and father Gods; Cernunnos (Celtic), Dagon (Babylonian), Lahar (Sumerian), Liber (Roman), Llew (Welsh), Lugh (Irish), Neper (Egyptian), Ningirsu/Ninurta (Assyro-Babylonian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian)

Herbs

Ash, camphor, caraway, fern, geranium, juniper, mandrake, marjoram, thyme, sunflowers, wheat

Stones

Aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx

Incense

Single blend incenses: Allspice, carnation, rosemary, vanilla, sandalwood, aloe, rose

Lammas Incense Recipe

2 Parts Frankincense,
1 part Heather,
1 Part Apple Blossoms,
1 pich Blackberry leaves,
few drops Ambergris oil

Recipes

The foods of Lughnasadh include bread, blackberries and all berries, acorns (leached of their poisons first), crab apples, all grains and locally ripe produce. A cake is sometimes baked, and cider is used in place of wine.

Corn Bread Sticks

You can find a cast-iron mold shaped like little ears of corn in kitchen supply shops. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening

Sift dry ingredients together, add eggs, milk, and shortening, and beat until smooth. Pour into molds and bake for 20-25 minutes

Activities

  • Make sand candles to honor the Goddes and the God of the sea. A great website with detailed instructions for this is located at: sand candle instructions
  • Create and bury a Witch’s Bottle. This is a glass jar with sharp pointy things inside to keep away harm. You can use needles, pins, thorns, thistles, nails, and bits of broken glass; it’s a good way to dispose of broken crockery, old sewing equipment, and the pins that come in new clothes. Bury it near the entry to the house (like next to the driveway or the front door), or inside a large planter.
  • Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc (good instructions with pictures here.  You can decorate the dolly with a dress and bonnet (the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you wish, or and cotton material is fine too).

Lammas Altar

Decorations: Corn, hay, gourds, corn dollies, shafts of grain, sun wheels
Candle Colors: Red, gold, yellow, orange

Spellwork

Spell/ritual work: Offering thanks, honoring fathers, prosperity, abundance, generosity, continued success, connectedness

spacer

Lammas/Lughnasadh Rituals

Lammas/Lughnasadh Basic Solitary Ritual

Decorate your Altar:

Place upon the altar sheaves of wheat, barley or oats, fruit and breads, perhaps a loaf fashioned in the figure of the Sun or a man to represent the God. Corn dollies, symbolic of the Goddess, can be present there as well.

1) Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast your circle.2) Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God.

3) Stand before the altar, holding aloft the sheaves of grain, saying these or similar words:

Now is the time of the First Harvest, when the bounties of nature give of themselves so that we may survive.
O God of the ripening fields, Lord of the Grain, grant me the understanding of
sacrifice as You prepare to deliver Yourself under the sickle of the Goddess and
journey to the lands of eternal summer.
O Goddess of the Dark Moon, teach me the secrets of rebirth as the Sun loses its
strength and the nights grow cold.
Rub the heads of the wheat with your fingers so that the grains fall onto the
altar.  Lift a piece of fruit and bite it, savoring its flavour, and say:
I partake of the first harvest,
mixing its energies with mine that I may continue my quest for the starry wisdom
of perfection.
O Lady of the Moon and Lord of the Sun,
gracious ones before Whom the stars halt their courses,
I offer my thanks for the continuing fertility of the Earth.
May the nodding grain loose its seeds to be buried in the
Mother’s breast, ensuring rebirth in the warmth of the coming Spring.
          

4) Consume the rest of the fruit.

5) Works of magick, if necessary, may follow.

6) The circle is released.


Lammas/Lughnasadh Celtic Solitary Ritual

Special Notes: the turning point in Mother Earth’s year; a harvest festival in the northen lands. The waning God and the waxing Goddess. Spellwork for good fortune and abundance is especially appropriate.

Altar Supplies: incense; burner; chalice of water; pentacle; dagger or sword; 4 Element candles; chalice of wine; plate of bread. Cauldron with an orange or yellow candle in it. Fall flowers, ivy and leaves for decoration

1) Cast your circle
2) Light the cauldron, say:

O Ancient Gods of the Celts,
I do ask your presence here.
For this is a time that is not a time,
In a place that is not a place,
On a day that is not a day,
And I await you.

3) Set the plate of bread on the pentacle. Stand still and breathe deeply for a few momenets. Concentrate upon the cleansing power of the breath and air. When you are ready, say:

I have purified myself by breathing
in the life force of the universe
and expelling all evil from me.

4) Lift the plate of bread high, then set it back on the altar. Say:

I know that every seed,
every grain is a record of ancient times,
and a promise to all of what shall be.
This bread respresents life eternal
through the cauldron of the Triple Goddess.

5) Eat a piece of bread. Put the chalice of wine on the pentacle. Hold high the wine chalice, then set it back on the altar. Say:

As the grape undergoes change to become wine,
So by the sacred cauldron of life shall I undergo change.
And as this wine can give man enchantment of the divine
Or sink him into the lower realms, so I do realize
That all humans rise or fall according to their strength and will.

6) Drink some of the wine. Say:

As in the bread and wine, so it is with me.
Within all forms is locked a record of the past
And a promise of the future.
I ask that you lay your blessings upon me,
Ancient Ones, that this season of wanting not be so heavy.
So mote it be!

7) Close your circle, thank the Gods for attending.


Lammas/Lughnadsadh Solitary Ritual
By AkashaTools:

In addition to your magic tools, you will need:

* Golden Yellow Center Cloth
* 1 Gold Candle
* 1 Silver Candle
* Summer Blend Incense (recipe from Litha Ritual)
* Harvest Vegetables
* Golden Stones or other Sun Symbols
* Cornbread Cupcakes
* Cauldron
* Apple Cider
* Any other personal items of choice

Preparation:
* Sweep area moving in a deosil manner. Outline the perimeter of your Circle with cornmeal or yellow sand.* Place Gold Center cloth on the alter and garnish with Harvest Vegetables, (Corn, Squash, etc), Grains, (Oats, Rice, Wheat, Rye, etc), and Fruits ( Apples, Berries, Cherries, Plums, etc), on the alter.

* Set the Gold God Candle to the top right of center, and surround with Gold Stones or Sun Symbols.

* Place the Silver Goddess Candle to the top left of center. Place your (cauldron, if coven) chalice full of Cider in the center and surround with Cornbread Cupcakes.

* Cast the circle and call Quarters… Pick up your wand with your right hand, face the North with arms stretched out above head, and say:

What will be is. What was will be.
The Wheel of the Year forever turns.
Dark to light, light to dark,
each season passes with lessons learned.
We plant with love, tend with respect,
and at Harvest time our yields reflect The bounty of our Mother Earth,
ripened by our Father Sun.
Now upon our humble hearth, gifts we offer the Two that are One.
As each day passes, shorter than the last.
May we each be reminded of the seasons that have passed.
The marriage and the seeding of the Goddess back in May,
Her womb swollen with life anew at Summer Solstice Day,
All this time the Father Sun has shone with so much pride.
Rising early, setting late,
and now that he’s supplied The warmth and light to bring to bear,
the Goddess and the lands He knows that his death is drawing near,
but this secret he understands,
that with the turning of the wheel, his rebirth has been planned.”

* Place you wand upon the alter and with both hands gesture to the Harvest Vegetables, Grains, and Fruits you have adorned the alter with.

 

“Truly blessed are we that receive the bounty of the Harvest,
Blessed be our Mother Earth,
Blessed be our Father Sun,
As he teaches us of life, death, and rebirth.
I honor Thee, The Two that are One.”

* Pick up one of the Cornbread Cupcakes, and offer up to the God/dess, saying:

“Blessed be the Harvest,
Blessed be the Corn Mother,
Blessed be the Grain God,
For together they nourish both body and soul.
Many blessings I have been given,
I count them now by this bread.”

* Now name all the things that you are currently grateful for. With each item that you name, break off a piece of the Cornbread Cupcake and eat it.

* Sip from the chalice filled with Apple Cider as well. When finished with list of blessings, take the a small handful of the Grain from you alter and hold it in you open hand at face level, saying:

“Guardian of the East, I pray for your indulgence.
Hear me now as I request your aid in the cycle of life.
As your winds blow through fields of ripened grain,
Carry loosened seeds upon your back That they may fall amidst the soil
that is our Mother Earth.

She will cover them in times of storm, protecting and nourishing Them

until they sprout next Spring, beginning life anew.”

* Blow gently across your hand as if imitating the wind taking the seeds air-born. Continue:

“I give thanks to the Great Mother,
Goddess of fertile land.
And to the Great Father,
Consort and Provider.

For as their bounty sustains my life,
so does their bounty sustain my brethren;
All living creatures of wood and field,
Of lake and stream, and of air.

Of these blessings I partake And share.
Blessed be this Harvest Night, The Givers and the gift.”
* Face the alter and assume the Goddess position, saying:
“All things have their season.
Again the wheel has turned and brought us To the season of the First Harvest.
A time when we think about sacrifices and reborn hope,
A time when we reflect on what we have sown by what we reap,
A time when we gather our memories,
And from those lessons that we have learned,
We plan for the future.

Blessed Be our Mother, whose womb contains and bears all life.
Blessed Be our Father, whose seed plants all life.
Blessed Be the Two that are One,
From Them life flows and flows back again.”

* Now is the time for meditation and spellworkings. If no spellworkings are to be done, proceed with the Cakes and Ale ceremony, followed by releasing the Circle.

* Place you wand upon the alter and with both hands gesture to the Harvest Vegetables, Grains, and Fruits you have adorned the alter with.

* Pick up one of the Cornbread Cupcakes, and offer up to the God/dess, saying:

* Now name all the things that you are currently grateful for. With each item that you name, break off a piece of the Cornbread Cupcake and eat it.

* Sip from the chalice filled with Apple Cider as well. When finished with list of blessings, take the a small handful of the Grain from you alter and hold it in you open hand at face level, saying:

* Blow gently across your hand as if imitating the wind taking the seeds air-born. Continue:

* Now is the time for meditation and spellworkings. If no spellworkings are to be done, proceed with the Cakes and Ale ceremony, followed by releasing the Circle.

spacer