Lughnasadh

Helpful Information

Date: July 31st - August 1st

Other Names: Lammas

Pronunciations: LOO-nah-sah, loo-nə-sə

At Lammas, sometimes called Lughnasadh, it's time to celebrate the first harvest of the year, and recognize that the hot summer days will soon come to an end. The plants of spring wither and drop seeds to ensure future crops. Grains are ready to be harvested and the fruits are ripe for picking. We can give thanks for the food on our tables.

Lughnasadh means the funeral games of Lugh (pronounced Loo), referring to Lugh, the sun god. However, the funeral is not his own, but the funeral games he hosts in honor of his foster-mother Tailte. For that reason, the traditional Tailtean craft fairs and Tailtean marriages (which last for a year and a day) are also celebrated at this time.

As autumn begins, the Celtic Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.

The Christian religion adopted this theme and called it 'Lammas ', meaning 'loaf-mass ', a time when newly baked loaves of bread are placed on the altar. An alternative date around August 5 (Old Lammas), when the sun reaches 15 degrees Leo, is sometimes employed by Covens.

Herbs: All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears

Traditional Foods: Apples, Grains, Breads and Berries

Incense: Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood

Stones: Carnelian

Ritual

Tools & Instruments

  • Golden Yellow Altar Cloth
  • 1 Gold Candle
  • 1 Silver Candle
  • Summer Blend Incense (Jasmine, Rose, Lotus, Wysteria, or combination)
  • 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 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. Take a shower or bath or purification. Sit quietly and meditate for a while, the ground and center. When ready, play some soothing music in correspondence with the ritual.

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.

Adapted by: Akasha Ap Emrys for all of her friends and those of like mind.

Recipes

Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. shortening, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Beat eggs, add buttermilk and melted shortening mix well. Mix dry ingredients add to egg mixture. Beat until smooth pour into greased pan\bake at 375 about 25 minutes; serve hot.

Beef Barley Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts water
  • soup bone with the meat on
  • 1/2 cup celery tops
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup uncooked barley
  • 3 cups coursely chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cups sliced parsnips
  • 2 cups thinly slice onions
  • 1 can 12 oz. tomato paste

Combine water, bone and celery tops. Bring to boil and cover lightly. Simmer for 2 hours. Remove bone and chop meat. Stir in barley and chopped meat. Cook 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Berry Parfait

Just layer strawberries then whipped cream, blueberries then whipped cream then raspberries and whip cream.