Blessed Be

 

“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.
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.”

– Lammas Ritual

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8 Facts To Know About Lughnasadh, Pagan Harvest Festival

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
8 Facts To Know About Lughnasadh, Pagan Harvest Festival

The holiday honors Lugh, the Celtic god of light

In August many pagans and polytheists celebrate the summer festival of Lughnasadh. Here are eight things to know about the holiday:

1. Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, falls on August 1, roughly halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.

2. The name of the holiday derives from Old Gaelic and is a combination of Lugh, a Celtic god, and násad, or assembly.

3. The holiday honors Lugh, the Celtic god of light, but it also celebrates his mythical foster mother Tailtiu, who is said to have cleared the lands of Ireland to make way for the planting of crops.

4. Modern pagans celebrate Lughnasadh as a harvest festival, when the first crops of the year would traditionally have been reaped.

5. Lughnasadh’s alternate name, Lammas, derives from the Old English term for “loaf mass.” It originated from early English celebrations of harvest time, during which loaves of bread were consecrated.

6. One of the earliest references to the holiday is a 15th century version of a medieval Irish legend, Tochmarc Emire. The saga suggests that the holiday celebrated the god, Lugh’s, wedding feast. Other legends, though, attribute the origins of the holiday to a mythical funeral rite Lugh held in honor of his mother, Tailtiu.

7. Many pagans and polytheists celebrate the holiday with feasting, songs, and games. Some honor the harvest roots of the holiday by baking breads and cakes.

8. Lughnasadh is one of eight pagan holidays, along with the fall equinox, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, the spring equinox, Beltane, and Litha.

Source

Antonia Blumberg, Reporter
Published on HuffPost

 

Lammas Bounty Spell

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

Lammas Bounty Spell

Lamas is also called Lughnasadh; it is a celebration of plenty and optimism, and of nature’s infinite bounty. It is the time of the first harvests, and it marks midsummer’s joyous and fanciful energy. This spirit is celebrated, too, in Shakespeare’s A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream. To tap into this energy, gather a small bundle of long grass or reeds to braid, and light a white candle.

Braid the grass as you speak this verse:
Fairies prancing in the meadow,
Spirits in the corn;
Green Man is flourishing everywhere
On this Midsummer morn.
Grains begin to ripen,
All things bear fruit.
Summer glistens with
possibility,
Blossoms take root.
Fairies whisper secrets,
Powerful blessings to see.
Cycles move and all around,
they share their gifts with me.
Air to fire,
Fire to water,
Water to earth,
Earth to air.
Elements feed spirit,
And the circle glows.
At Lammas, day and night,
We witness Nature’s awesome might.
Growing full
And blessing all,
‘Tis Earth’s celebration Before the chill of fall.
Now braiding this grass,
I mark this day
Protect my hearth,
With the abundance of grain.
The blessings of the Goddess come again;
Place the braid above my door.
Hunger be banished now and then.
Blessings be drawn to this place,
Summer’s energy fill this space.
Air, fire, water, earth unite,
And bless us all this day.

By: Abby Willowroot

 

 

Blessing Ritual for Lammas for Solitaries

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
Blessing Ritual for Lammas for Solitaries

 

Material needed:

Incense
Chalice of water
Salt
Pentacle
Dagger
4 Elemental candles
Chalice of wine
Wand
Plate of bread
Cauldron with a orange candle in it
Fall flowers, ivy, and leaves for decorations

Cast the Circle

Light the cauldron candle and 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. ”

Set the plate of bread on the pentacle. Stand still and breathe deeply for a few moments.
Concentrate on the cleansing power of the breath of air, when you feel ready, say:

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

Lift the plate of bread high and set it back on the altar and say:

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

Eat a piece of bread, put the wine chalice on the pentacle , lift it high, and then set it on the altar, and 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 to the lower realms,
so do I realize that all humans rise or fall
according to their own strength and will. ”

Drink some wine and 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 waning light
and increasing darkness may not be heavy.
So Mote It Be! ”

The simple feast

Leave a libation for the nature spirits

Close the Circle

Lammas Charm for Gathering in Abundance

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

Lammas Charm for Gathering in Abundance

You will need:

A broom or beson

Ribbon (traditional Lammas colors, green(for abundance) or gold(for prosperity and gathering)

A Sprig of Mint

As far as the broom or beson goes, any broom/besom will do as it is always the intent of your actions that are important. If you don’t have a broom then collect a bundle of twigs and tie time at the top with your ribbon to make a hand shaped broom. The broom/besom is a potent symbo of hearth and home, found in some form in almost every home. It is a traditional magickal tool useful for everyday charms as it has the imprint of its owner firmly on it.

Next take your sprig of mint (ideally from your own garden, or dried mind – put in a pouch. The mint represents abundance and plenty and is easily accessible to obtain.

Take your broom and tie your ribbon around the top. Tie in your sprig of mint or securely fasten your pouch. Take your broom outside, place both hands on the stave and focus on your intention – gathering in the harvest for winter. Turn slowly three times in a clockwise direction then start to sweep towards your door saying:

“By one, two, three and four, sweep Lammas gifts to my door. May abundance be a constant friend by my hearth till Winter’s end.”

If you don’t have an outside space, you can sweep from your front door inwards to either you kitchen or hearth.

Repeat this three times, take your besom back into your house and put it in its usual place. You can leave the ribbon on for as long as you want to. If you have made your own broom you can place it where you consider the heart of your home to be. You can return the mint to the earth and be sure to say thank you for the use and gift of it.

Make a Corn Husk Herb Sachet

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
Make a Corn Husk Herb Sachet

Corn Husk Sachet
During the late summer, particularly around the Lammas season, corn is in abundance. It’s everywhere, and if you’ve ever picked fresh corn straight from the fields, you know how delicious it tastes! When you pick your own corn – or even if you buy it from your local farmer’s market – you typically have to figure out what to do with all those leftover husks. You can use them to make a corn dolly or a husk chain if you like. Another great way to use them is by making corn husk herb sachets.

You’ll need:

Several corn husks
Dried herbs of your choice
A hot glue gun
Not sure which herbs to use? Check out our list of Herbal Correspondences.

WEAVE THE HUSKS
Corn Husk Sachet

Trim the ends off the husks, and cut them into strips – I find that about 1/2” – 3/4” in width is the most manageable size. Weave several strips together as shown in the photo (I used five going in each direction, for a total of ten). Once you’ve created a square, use your hot glue gun to anchor the stray edges into place, so you have a nice even edge.

ADD YOUR HERBS
Corn Husk Sachet
Fill your pouch with dried herbs of your choice. Image by Patti Wigington 2012
Fold the square in half and glue the short sides together, creating a small pocket. Fill the pouch with herbs of your choice, and then hot glue the long open edge closed.

To give your sachet some magical mojo, select herbs based upon purpose and intent:

Healing: Apple blossom, lavender, fennel, chamomile, sandalwood, wintergreen, peppermint
Money/prosperity: Bay leaf, basil, chamomile, Buckeye, myrtle, apple, sunflower, pennyroyal
Love: Allspice, apple blossom, catnip, lavender, clove, yarrow, marjoram, basil.
Strength: Oak, acorns, bay leaf, thistle, yarrow.

Once your glue has dried you can place these sachets around your house or in your drawers. The corn husks will dry naturally, and you’ll be left with scented woven packets. If you like, decorate them with a pretty ribbon, some berries, or other seasonal items.

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo

The Final Sheaf

The Final Sheaf

In many societies, the cutting of the final sheaf of grain was indeed cause for celebration. People celebrated by making corn dolls, which represented the spirit of the grain. Sometimes these dolls were full-sized, made of the last stalks of corn to be harvested, and decorated with ribbons, streamers and even articles of clothing. Ivy was a symbol of rebirth, and so it wasn’t uncommon to dress the corn doll with a headdress of ivy.

In some rural areas, the corn doll was kept in a place of honor at a farmhouse in the village, until it was time to make one the following year. At that time, the old one was ceremonially burned.

Elizabeth W. Barber writes of harvest customs in Russia and eastern Europe in The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance. Barber says, “The reapers carefully cut and bind the first sheaf and give it as an offering of “first fruits” to God or the gods… then the teams cut, bind, and store the remaining grain, until they approach the end of the last field. But this again requires care, for now the reapers feel they have driven the “spirit of the grain” into a corner, and if they anger her, there will be no harvest next year. What to do? All over Europe, from Russia and the Balkans to Ireland, the last sheaf has traditionally been made into some sort of corn dolly.”

The creation of corn dolls was just one of many customs surrounding the final sheaf of the grain harvest. In Ireland, the final sheaf was gathered with great ceremony, celebrating the living things that might be living within it. If you think about it, that makes sense — a cornfield is a perfect nesting place for small animals, such as rabbits, mice, birds, or frogs.

As the reapers harvested the crop, the animals within fled, until there was only one sheaf left. Since the animal was more often than not a small, very frightened hare, the phrase “putting the hare out of the corn” came to mean the end of the reaping.

In some parts of the British Isles, young maidens were invited to cut down the final sheaf. The one who was able to do so in a single stroke of the scythe was guaranteed to be married within the year — probably because she had just proved herself as an able and strong farmwife. In other areas, it was believed that the person to cut the final sheaf would have good luck for a year, but in some communities, it was a sign of ill fortune to come.

Courtney Weber says in her book Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess, “At Lughnasadh, [Brighid] produces the harvest… when sowing time comes again, the grain from the final sheaf was mixed with the new seed, to nurture the earth again, encouraging the next harvest, and ensuring a cycle of life and rebirth.”

An odd tradition in some areas was the use of the final sheaf to find the corpse of a drowning victim. The sheaf was placed in the water with a lit candle upon it, near where the person was believed to have fallen in.

The sheaf drifted, and it was believed that it would come to rest where the body was submerged. It was thought that only the final sheaf had the magical ability to find these lost souls.

Regardless of how it was used, the cutting of the final sheaf meant that the grain harvest was over. Now bread baking could begin, and food stored away for the coming winter months.

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo