2016’s Lammas/Laughnasdh Ritual for Online Coven Gathering

This year ritual is borrowed from Patti Wigniigton on About com. To read all the information for this please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/lammas/ht/LammasSacrifice.htm

I am sorry for taking an easy way out but because of pain from a medical problem, I have been unable to write one for us this time. There will be only a circle cast this time and no Watchtowers. Some traditions of The Craft do not call the Watchtowers.

Remember ALL Pagans are welcome to attend.

How To Hold a Lammas Harvest Ritual”

In some Pagan traditions, Lammas is the time of year when the Goddess takes on the aspects of the Harvest Mother. The earth is fruitful and abundant, crops are bountiful, and livestock are fattening up for winter. However, the Harvest Mother knows that the cold months are coming, and so she encourages us to begin gathering up what we can. This is the season for harvesting corn and grain, so that we can bake bread to store and have seeds for next year’s planting.

This ritual celebrates the beginning of the harvest season and the cycle of rebirth, and can be done by a solitary practitioner or adapted for a group or coven setting. Decorate your altar with symbols of the season — sickles and scythes, garden goodies like ivy and grapes and corn, poppies, dried grains, and early autumn foods like apples. If you like, light some Lammas Rebirth incense.

Have a candle on your altar to represent the Harvest Mother — choose something in orange, red or yellow.

These colors not only represent the blaze of the summer sun, but also the coming changes of autumn. You’ll also need a few stalks of wheat and an un-sliced loaf of bread (homemade is best, but if you can’t manage, a store-bought loaf will do). A goblet of ritual wine is optional. Also, if you have celiac disease or are otherwise sensitive to gluten, be sure to readCelebrating Lammas When You Eat Gluten-Free.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Light the candle, and say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature’s bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.

Hold the stalks of wheat before you, [You can print a pictur of wheat stalks from an online picture] and think about what they symbolize: the power of the earth, the coming winter, the necessity of planning ahead. What do you need help planning right now? Are there sacrifices you should be making in the present that will be reaped in the future?

Rub the stalks between your fingers so a few grains of wheat fall upon the altar [Cut the picture into small pieces]. Scatter them on the ground as a gift to the earth. If you’re inside, leave them on the altar for now — you can always take them outside later. Say:

The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.

Tear off a piece of the bread [From your own loaf or slice of whole wheat, if you eat it or feed the rest to the wildlife,]. If you’re performing this ritual as a group, pass the loaf around the circle so that each person present can take off a small chunk of bread. As each person passes the bread, they should say:

I pass to you this gift of the first harvest [Type this in after you have tore off your own piece of bread]. When everyone has a piece of bread [Has typed in the above sentence], say:

Everyone eats their bread together. If you have ritual wine [or your chosen beverage take a drink symbolic of passing it around] pass it around the circle for people to wash the bread down. Once everyone has finished their bread], take a moment to meditate on the cycle of rebirth and how it applies to your own life – physically, emotionally, spiritually. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, close it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Otherwise, simply end the ritual in the manner of your tradition.

About Lammas

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

About Lammas

a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: August 1 or 2.

Alternative names: Lughnassadh, Lammastide, August Eve, Harvest Home, Ceresalia (Roman, in honor of the grain goddess Ceres), First Fruits, Festival of Green Corn (Native American), Feast of Cardenas, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide and Elembiuos. Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon word, means “loaf mass.” Lughnassadh is named for the Irish sun god Lugh (pronounced Loo), and variant spellings are Lughnasadh, Lughnasad, Lughnassad, Lughnasa and Lunasa.

Primary meanings: This festival has two aspects. First, it is one of the Celtic fire festivals, honoring the Celtic culture-bringer Lugh (Lleu to the Welsh, Lugus to the Gauls). In Ireland, races and games were held in his name and that of his mother, Tailtiu (these may have been funeral games). Second, the holiday is the Saxon Feast of Bread, at which the first of the grain harvest is consumed in ritual loaves. These aspects are not too dissimilar, as the shamanic death and transformation of Lleu can be compared to that of the Barley God, known from the folksong “John Barleycorn.”

Lammas celebrates the first of three harvest celebrations in the Craft. It marks the beginning of autumn, the start of the harvest cycle, and relies on the early crops of ripening grain and any fruits and vegetables ready to be harvested. It is associated with bread because grain is one of the first crops harvested. Those in the Craft often give thanks and honor now to gods and goddesses of the harvest, as well as those who represent death and resurrection.

Symbols: All grains, especially corn and wheat, corn dollies, sun wheels, bread, harvesting and threshing tools and the harvest full moon. Altar decorations might include corn dollies or kirn babies (corncob dolls) to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the Harvest. Other appropriate decorations include summer flowers and grains. You might also wish to have a loaf of whole cracked wheat or multigrain bread upon the altar, baked in the shape of the sun.

Colors: Red, orange, gold, yellow, citrine, green, grey and light brown.

Gemstones: Yellow diamonds, aventurine, sardonyx, peridot and citrine.

Herbs: Acacia flowers, aloes, chamomile, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, passionflower, rose, rose hips, rosemary, sandalwood, sunflowers and wheat.

Gods and goddesses: Lugh, Thor, John Barleycorn (the personification of malt liquor), Demeter, Danu, Ceres, sun gods, corn mothers, all grain and agriculture deities, mother goddesses and father gods.

Customs and myths: Spellwork for prosperity, abundance and good fortune are especially appropriate now, as well as spells for connectedness, career, health and financial gain. Sacrifice is often associated with this holiday. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others now.

Activities appropriate for this time of the year are baking bread, wheat weaving and making corn dollies or other god and goddess symbols. You may want to string Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace, or bake cornbread sticks shaped like little ears of corn for your Sabbat cakes. The corn dolly may be used both as a fertility amulet and as an altar centerpiece.

Some pagans bake Lammas bread in the form of a god-figure or sun wheel — if you do this, be sure to use this bread in your Lammas ritual’s cakes and ale ceremony, if you have one. During the Lammas ritual, some consume bread or something from the first harvest. Some gather first fruits; others symbolically throw pieces of bread into a fire