Wishing You & Yours A Very Prosperous Harvest This Year,
“Lammas celebrates the first wheat or barley harvest f the year and the skills of those who tend them. Baking and sharing bread, feasting with neighbor, and honoring the still-powerful forces of the summer sun’s light, and are key elements of this cooperative, community-based sabbat. Corn and wheat dollies made from the last sheaves and stalks of harvested grain are kept through winter to be planted with the first seeds of spring. These organic Goddess figures powerfully affirm the reverence for the Earth’s cycles of birth, death, and renewal. The celebrations, which feature a break from toil, contests of skill, laughter feasting, and dancing, are tempered by the knowledge that most crops are still growing in the fields with no guarantee of adequate abundance for the long winter. Lughnasadh’s energy of cautious optimism and feeling of well-being bring out the best in all people. The sabbat mingles the expansion of vibrant summer energy with the gathering energy of the upcoming season. The result is a unique time for solidly expanding toward focused goals, such as perfecting and challenging your skills.”
Calendar of the Sun
Oiche Lughnasadh: Lammas Eve
Colors: Golden and purple
Altar: The golden and purple cloth is laid for the Lammas altar, and a single purple candle is lit in the center, but nothing else is in place. This is a time of waiting.
Offering: Promise to work for the harvest.
Daily Meal: Fasting, till nightfall. The great feast will come on the next day.
Lammas Eve Invocation
That you fly through the air on the back of a crow
Fly back in time
See all our ancestors
Reaping the harvest
Reaping the grain
That will be their daily bread
Reaping the life
From the breast of the Earth
Who feeds us forever.
That you fly high in the air
Watching the fields stripped
Like a man combs his hair
Like the scythe reaps the row
Like the wings of the crow
Like golden Lugh shining bright
Like the wind bears your flight
Like the Sun that blinds your sight….
(Each approaches the altar and lays down an empty basket, which will be filled tomorrow.)
Summer is the season for cultivation and caring.
Flowers come forth, later to give way to fruit.
Now is the time for us to review all things –
That which is to remain, and that which must
Be pruned away, for the sake of growth.
Growth in all things; in the seeds of the Earth
And in ourselves.
Chant: We look forth to the grain,
We look back to the grave.
Lammas – Fulfillment of Promise
by Gemini Star Child
Lammas is a rare celebration for Seattle pagans. It is sometimes the only outdoor ritual we can perform without sweaters! The circle to which I belong tries to celebrate the Sabbats outdoors as often as possible, but even our tough little group enjoys the warm bliss of summer’s high sun at Lammas. While Litha is the longest day and the pride of the Sun Goddess, here, in Seattle, real warmth and sunny skies are often only an August thing.
So how do we celebrate Lammas – this “ripening in the sun”? We gather in a pleasant place where air and light can play and we bless the first fruits of harvest. In wheels past, we looked forward to the coming dark and the shortening of days. However, we decided that this year, having finally arrived at our one sunny Sabbat, we shouldn’t rain on the parade! Let’s live in the present and enjoy it.
Lammas is the fulfillment of the promise of light and seed. At Yule, we emptied ourselves completely to the void, embracing the fullness of fallowness and surrendering all to the Dark Mother. Light came from darkness and we recognized it at Candlemas. We presented our seeds to the light at Oestara and the Two were blessed in Beltane’s love. Light Mother gloried at Litha in the growing life of earth and ocean. Now, at Lammas, She shares with us the first fruits of the seeds we entrusted to Her.
Lammas has, sometimes, been depicted as a time of hope, for the full harvest could still fail. I prefer the optimistic “cup half full” view, however, that sees Lammas as the promise of harvest fulfilled. The vegetables are on the table, the cornbread is in the oven, and the apples are turning red. As deeply as we surrendered to the Dark Mother in the fallow time, so now we take joyful satisfaction with the Light Mother in the fruitful time. Lammas is the season to bask in bounty and acknowledge that “Life Is Good”.
Mabon will come and the full harvest, but then we will not bask, for there is much work to do. Later will come Samhain when we will store the seeds and release our bonds to this life and this cycle. That is then, but this is now. Be happy and rejoice! Dance, sing, and eat your fill! Life indeed is good! Happy Lammas and Blessed Be!
Welcome and Merry Meet To The Witches Of The Craft’s
2012 Lammas Edition
We are pleased and honored that you have decided to visit us today. Yes, our edition is early but we believe every good Witch should be prepared. And you can’t wait to the last minute to be prepared.
This year we are going to pack this Edition full of everything you could possibly need. Everything from graphics to use when you send greetings, to rituals and recipes. I hope you enjoy this edition as much as we did putting it together.
May You Have A Very Happy & Prosperous First Harvest,
When Maiden Becomes Mother
Lammas Traditions from Nebraska to Wales
Once again, we approach the fall rituals of harvest and riches of the Earth Goddess, thankful for Her bounty She bestows on us. Lammas, August 1 (its celebration typically held the night before, July 31), is the time of the first grain harvest, with objects made of grains (wheat, barley, corn and so on – for example, a bundle of corn stalks) being considered very magickal, for they represent the generosity of the Mother.
Lammas is directly contrasted in the wheel of the year to Imbolc. The two holidays represent opposite aspects of the Goddess. At Imbolc She is the Corn Maiden, fresh and new after her winter rest, and at Lammas She is the Corn Mother, the crone with all development and fruitfulness coming to an end. Lammas also involves the Sun King becoming the Dark Lord, giving of his energy to the crops to ensure life. It is the time of the death of summer and the start of fall, with the days growing shorter and the foliage ending its growth and fruit-bearing cycles. It is the time to share the fruits of the earth, of your own accomplishments with others.
Almost every culture has a celebration in thankfulness for the reaping of the crops in this time of year.
The Celts knew this holiday as Lughnasadn (pronounced loo-na-sa), celebrating the harvest of the grains, marking the last days of the sun god, Lugh. However, races and games that were held in Lugh’s name were more the funeral games for Lugh’s mother, the goddess Tailtiu, in her time of being crone. The Celts believed that the grain held the spirit of the harvest; as each sheaf was cut, the next would absorb the spirit energy of the cut sheaf. Thus, when reapers came to the last sheaf, it contained the whole spirit of the field. A corn doll was made of it in the image and honor of the Mother. In some groups, the person gathering the last grain, often in some special feat of sickle-wielding, was honored by receiving the magick of the grain. Lammas was also a time for Tailltean marriages, informal marriages that lasted a year and a day, similar to handfastings.
In the Bronze Age, there was a Lughnasadn tradition that a High King or God King was chosen then to serve a year and a day, after which his reign ended and so did his life in honor of the Goddess. He was a symbol of the grain, which has to die before its seeds are sown. As by request of Lugh himself, this ritual was put to an end and a great feast was instituted in its place.
The English (Saxons) called this holiday Lammas, “loaf mass,” the mass after the loaves are made from the new grain. At Lammas, couples would run hand-in-hand over bonfires to purify their relationships, a tradition perhaps connected to the Celtic Tailltean marriages.
The Welsh also had a Lammas holiday, and using the muscles gained from the summer work, they held games to test their strength. These games are still held today, alternating between North and South Wales.
The Italian streghe (witches) associated this holiday with the symbol of the cornucopia overflowing with fruit and the harvest grains.
When I was a young girl, we in Nebraska had our own ritual when the big combines would roll into our small farming town. My girlfriends and I would spread out on lawn chairs in my front yard – my house was closest to the road – and watch the hired Texan and Oklahoman farmhands steer those massive machines into our area. Watching the men work, their young muscles bronze and sweaty, over the corn harvest, we would place bets – betting our tip money (very vital since it also was our party money) on which boy we could charm with our wiles and snatch a few intimate moments with. Ah, the harvest we had!
Whatever your celebration ritual may be, let us all remember this is a time for appreciating all that She has given us and for sharing that bounty with others. Enjoy your Lammas!
*Blessing for Lammas Feast*
Now is the Time if 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…
(Crumble grains of wheat and let them fall on your altar or table.
Take a bite of the ritual fruit and continue…)
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,
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 next Spring…
(Consume the rest of the ritual fruit and merry meet!)
It is appropriate to plant the seeds from the fruit consumed in Ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant with love and as a symbol of
Your connection with the Goddess and God.