Lammas – The First Harvest
Also known as: Lammas, August Eve, The Festival of Bread, Elembiuos, Lunasa, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide (Teutonic), Lughnasadh
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)
Ash, camphor, caraway, fern, geranium, juniper, mandrake, marjoram, thyme, sunflowers, wheat
Aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx
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
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
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
- 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).
Decorations: Corn, hay, gourds, corn dollies, shafts of grain, sun wheels
Candle Colors: Red, gold, yellow, orange
Spell/ritual work: Offering thanks, honoring fathers, prosperity, abundance, generosity, continued success, connectedness