Flashback 2002 Imbolc

Imbolc is an important day of purification and initiation; on the Sun’s day, February 2, the energies are very airy. This Sabbat is a good day for coven work, with an emotionally detached masculine Moon and Sun on the Sun’s day.

Dress yourself and your altar in white, while serving white beverages or any dairy food to honor the calving season. Spread the top of a one-pound round Camembert or Bire cheese with raspberry preserves. Cut a circle of puff pastry large enough to cover the cheese, wrap it, tucking the ends of the pastry under. Use scraps to decorate the top with goddess symbols. Brush with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 425 degrees until golden, and serve hot and melting on crackers. During this ritual, bless and dedicate all candles you will need for other ritual work throughout the year. A good way to start the ceremony is to light candles in the darkened room with chanting to encourage the lengthening days.

©️ By K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 41

IMPORTANT NOTE for the Southern Hemisphere Imbolc falls on August 1st.

Flashback 2002 Lammas

Lammas is the first of the harvest festivals and this year despite the fiery Sun, it has a strong, sensual feel of cardinal earth. Mars lends a masculine energy to the Sun this week to help with the organizing for this bread festival. Round cornbread as a solar disk is an apt and easy choice for the altar, but if you plan several days ahead, you can sprout a small amount (1/4 cup) of wheat or barely for kitchen witchery. Add this to your other grains to your own bread from scratch; or buy frozen bread dough, thaw, pat into a rectangle, and sprinkle the sprouted grains. Roll up your dough like a jelly roll and place in a greased bread pan into which you have sprinkled Irish oats. You can use a sharp knife to crave goddess symbols into the loaf before baking.

©️ By K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 93

Flashback 2000 Imbolc

Daylight hours are gradually lengthening, and the Earth is beginning to stir. Although she is still in the middle of her winter’s rest, our planet subtly begins to plan. It’s appropriate that this period is represented by Aquarius, an air sign, since all change begins first in the mind. Every new thought or idea is full of raw potential as the Earth is now,nailing for the touch of fire to ignite her new growth period. Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius, and the planet best known for its jurisdiction over the future. This electric energy only looks forward, never back. It is during Imbolc, in fact, as the Sun is passing through Aquarius, that many ideas are born. As we prepare for the upcoming Equinox, then, it’s important to be sure that we’re looking ahead, as Uranus does, with all the electric enthusiasm and genius of Aquarius. Honor the potential of the coming spring by uncovering your gift of prophecy. Whether you use a crystal ball, a dream journal, or another type of predictive tool, prepare for the Equinox in your heart, by understanding how much is possible now.

©️ By Kim Rogers-Gallagher Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000 Page 95

Flashback 2000 Lammas

At Lammas, the Sun is at the very peak of Leo, the sign this planet loves above all others. Our star’s warmth is at its most powerful now in the Northern Hemisphere, as it appears directly overhead. At this time, life too, ia at its peak—as are the crops. The ancients celebrated this festival by giving thanks for their first harvest, most especially the grain harvest, even as they accepted the beginning of the God’s descent into the underworld. The myth of the asteroid-Goddess Ceres (Demeter), giver of the grain, also relates to this season. It was now when she would bid her daughter Farwell, since Persephone was obligated to return to the Underworld to rejoin Hades (Pluto). So bereaved was Ceres to see her daughter leave her, she refused to all the Earth to produce grain until her return. At this time,nothing, modern practitioners should be remind of both astrological principles: the fullness of life the Sun brings, and the necessity for rest, as signified by the coming fall.

©️ By Kim Rogers-Gallagher Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000 Page 95

Beltane Sunset to Sunset. April 30th – May 1st

Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..

Traditions of Beltane

Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane

To read more interesting things about Northern Hemisphere Beltane click here

Category Samhain/Deep Autumn

WE ARE THE ANCESTORS: MAY WE BE INTERESTING FOOD

May 9, 2020 · by Glenys D. Livingstone · in Samhain/Deep Autumn · Leave a comment Our present lives are formed by all who came before us. We are in-formed by them, whether conscious or not. In PaGaian Samhain ceremony as it has been done traditionally, participants are invited to remember the ancestors in this way: Let us remember our ancestors, those who have gone before, whose lives have been harvested, […]

THREADS OF GOLD IN THE COMPOST

April 20, 2020 · by Glenys D. Livingstone · in Samhain/Deep Autumn · 2 Comments There are threads of gold in the compost, if one has the vision for it. And we may take the golden thread, exclaim the strongest natural fibre known – our creative selves, our imaginations – for the building of a new world made sacred, of our conceiving: yet beyond our knowings, across the vast Darkness between […] For more interesting article about Southern Hemisphere Samhain click here  

5 Simple Mabon Rituals

5 Simple Ostara Rituals

Lammas/Lughnasadh Blessings Sisters, Brothers, and Guests

May your harvest be plentiful growing from what you sowed on Imbolc.

Blessed be dear ones.

Imbolc Blessing

Imbolc and Lammas Gathering Sunday, February 2, 2020

Any Witch or Pagan is welcome to come celebrate Imbolc and Lammas with us. Everyone attending needs to stay until the rituals for both hemispheres are done. It is up to you if want to do both rituals. For these Sabbats we are doing something new the sacred circles and Watchtowers will be called and dismissed for each hemisphere. We ask that you do not print these rituals out but you are welcome to bookmark them for future use.

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE – RITUAL FOR THE SABBAT IMBOLC: IN HONOR OF THE GODDESS GAIA AND GOD AENGUS OG  Written and Led by our novice Melinda.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE – RITUAL FOR THE SABBAT LAMMAS: IN HONOR OF THE GODDESS HARVEST MOTHER AND GOD LUGH Written and Led by our adept Dawn of the Day

WHEN:

Northern Hemisphere –

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Chatroom opens at 3:00 PM CT

Circle will be cast at 4:00 PM CT

Southern Hemisphere –

Monday, February 3, 2020

Chatroom opens at 8:00 AM AEDT

Circle will be cast at 9:00 AM AEDT

WHERE:

Heart’s Spirit Coven Chatroom

If you have applied to be in the chatroom and have not received a reply yet, it will come to you at least 5 minutes before the circle is cast on Sunday. No approval for entering the chatroom when we are only 5 minutes away from casting the circle to begin the Imbolc and Lammas Rituals.

RITUALS:

EVERYONE: Set up your altar before the ritual starts. Placing an object represents .each of the elements so they form a pentagram.

In the upper right-hand point of the pentagram –

Air: Dream catcher, feather, incense, any object that you are drawn too

Lower right-hand point of the Pentagram

Fire: A symbol of the Sun, red or orange candle, a picture of a fire.

Lower left-hand point of the Pentagram

Earth: gnome, a bowl of salt or dirt, or object of your choice

Upper right-hand point of the Pentagram:

Water: Seashell, a bowl of water, any type of sea creature, object of your choosing

Top point of the Pentagram Spirit:

Angel Statue or whatever represents the element of Spirit to you.

Goddess: Goddess candle will be on the right side of altar decorate in color of green. You can also use green crystals in place of the candle which are green calcite, amber. Fragrances can be used such as honeysuckle or cypress, or any flower, or a picture of Gaia.

God: Gods candle will be on left side of altar decorate it in the colors of Green, pink, or red. You can also use crystals such as Rose Quartz, Peridot, Copper. Incense such as Sandal wood, Rose, or Lavender, Or a picture or statue of the God Aengus.

Casting the Circle:

Raven Spiritwalker: We walk this circle clockwise three times asking that all who are in it or outside of it be kept safe and no harm to no one.

EVERYONE: Face your altar and touch what is representing the Goddess and say:

“Gaia, our mother, You who nourishes all living things I honor and pray to thee, guide us and thank you for the promise of the return of Spring.”

Now touch what is representing the God and say:

Aegnus, God of love, youth, and poetic inspiration, guide us from this day forward and thank you for the promise of the return of Spring.”

(Now light the incense or candle if you are using one)

Mediate for 1 minute to allow the rise of power from the Goddess and God

When you have meditated for a minute with the God and/or Goddess please type “DONE”

Opening the Circle:

To the Guardians of the West, Archangel Gabriel:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us.

To the Guardians of the South, Archangel Michael:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us..

To the Guardians of the East, Archangel Raphael:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us..

To the Guardians of the North, Uriel:

We dismiss you from our Watchtower and thank you for protecting us.

Raven Spiritwalker: We walk this circle counter-clockwise three times asking that all who are in it or outside of it be kept safe and no harm to no one.

(You can go back and commune with the Gods and/or Goddesses from one or both rituals after the Southern Hemisphere circle is opened)

Remember to offer a bite to the God and Goddess of your favorite snack and drink to give thanks to the God and Goddess. 

Lammas ritual

Lammas is known as the 1st of the 3 harvest festivals, it is still a time of hot intense sun but the days are starting to get shorter.  The grain is starting to ripen in the fields along with some of the fruits on the apple trees.

The goddess is pregnant and the god is still very strong but slowly weakening as we move into fall.  The animals are fattening for the winter slaughter and there is a push to start the process of storing food away for the lean months but at this time the days are still easy

Items needed for the ritual:

Apples, grapes, bread

gold or yellow cloth

sunflowers or raw wheat

Incense sandalwood and frankincense

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

Corn husk or two

Place symbols of your craft or skill on the altar—a notebook, your special paints for artists, a pen for writers, other tools of your creativity. To represent the god Lugh

Please decorate your altar properly with a yellow or gold cloth, a nice sunflower and or a sheath of wheat, maybe an apple or a few grapes and/or a loaf of bread. This is to represent the sun  in the yellow or orange cloth.   A goblet of ritual wine is optional.

EVERYONE IN SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: We open the ritual with the walking around the circle 3 times in a counter clockwise direction.  We first point at the ground with our dominate hand asking the earth for its power to make this circle secure for the work we are to do here.  We walk a second time with our dominate hand outstretched at shoulder level asking water to secure our circle and finally we walk a third time with our hand pointed to the ceiling asking  air to help secure our circle and the work that we do here.  We finally say what is above is below and what is below is above we have created a circle to protect ourselves while we do our work may we harm no one and may no one harm.

Starting in the west and while touching the item that represents the west say watchtower of the west please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Next is the south and while touching the item that represents the south say watchtower of the south please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Next the east and while touching the item that represents the east say watchtower of the east please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Finally in the north and while touching the item that represents the north say watchtower of the north please help us with our circle today and protect us as we do our work

Light the candle, and say:

The wheel of the year is upon use

The food is plentiful and soil fertile

With this ritual we ask for the blessings

Of the Mother of the harvest

In honor of the Harvest we now will make a representation of the goddess using your corn husk and once the ritual is over please leave it on your altar to honor the goddess.

PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE THE GATHERING AND PRINT THEM OUT OR TAKE NOTES SO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT.

Here is an example of how to make a corn husk doll

When you are done please type the word “DONE”

 

Now we will finish our ritual.  Point to the ceiling with your dominate hand and walk in a counter clockwise direction and say thank you air for your protection of our circle.  Now at shoulder level walk around the circle in a counter clock wise manner and thank water for the protection of our circle.  Finally point to the ground and walk in a counter clockwise manner thanking earth for protecting our circle.  Finally raise your hands above your head bring them down and point your palms at the ground and send any extra energy into the earth to help and heal our Mother.  End with the comment our circle is now open but it is never broken our work is done now may everyone go in peace.

Starting in the north and while touching the item that represents the north say Thank you to the watchtower of the north for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Next is the east and while touching the item that represents the east say Thank you to the watchtower of the east for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Now the South and while touching the item that represents the south say Thank you to the watchtower of the south for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Finally is the west and while touching the item that represents the west say Thank you to the watchtower of the west for helping us with our circle and you may leave if you must but stay if you like

Blessed Be

Please enjoy some of the gifts from your altar, take a sip of the wine some of the bread etc.  Make sure you have enough, to enjoy the treats, also that you can leave some on the altar but also make sure you share some with the creatures of nature.  As you eat of your sacrifices remember and meditate on how the cycle of life goes from the seed to the plant and then back to seed to start all over again just like the wheel of the year continues to cycle through birth, adolescents, maturity, age, death and then of course rebirth.

References for Lammas ritual:

https://witchesofthecraft.com/tag/lammas-ritual/

Wicca Wheel of the Year Lisa Chamberlain pgs 88-95

https://www.learnreligions.com/setting-up-your-lammas-lughnasadh-altar-2562171

https://www.almanac.com/content/seasonal-crafts-cornhusk-doll

 

Lughnasadh


Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
Lughnasadh

 

The Celtic harvest festival on August 1st takes its name from the Irish god Lugh, one of the chief gods of the Tuatha De Danann, giving us Lughnasadh in Ireland, Lunasdál in Scotland, and Laa Luanys in the Isle of Man. (In Wales, this time is known simply as Gwl Awst, the August Feast.)

Lugh dedicated this festival to his foster-mother, Tailtiu, the last queen of the Fir Bolg, who died from exhaustion after clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated. When the men of Ireland gathered at her death-bed, she told them to hold funeral games in her honor. As long as they were held, she prophesied Ireland would not be without song. Tailtiu’s name is from Old Celtic Talantiu, “The Great One of the Earth,” suggesting she may originally have been a personification of the land itself, like so many Irish goddesses. In fact, Lughnasadh has an older name, Brón Trogain, which refers to the painful labor of childbirth. For at this time of year, the earth gives birth to her first fruits so that her children might live.
Tailtiu gives her name to Teltown in County Meath, where the festival was traditionally held in early Ireland. It evolved into a great tribal assembly, attended by the High King, where legal agreements were made, political problems discussed, and huge sporting contests were held on the scale of an early Olympic Games. Artists and entertainers displayed their talents, traders came from far and wide to sell food, farm animals, fine crafts and clothing, and there was much storytelling, music, and high-spirited revelry, according to a medieval eye-witness account:

“Trumpets, harps, hollow-throated horns, pipers, timpanists, unwearied…fiddlers, gleemen, bone-players and bag-pipers, a rude crowd, noisy, profane, roaring and shouting.”
This was also an occasion for handfasting, or trial marriages. Young men and women lined up on either side of a wooden gate in a high wall, in which a hole was carved, large enough for a hand. One by one, girl and boy would grasp a hand in the hole, without being able to see who was on the other side. They were now married, and could live together for year and day to see if it worked out. If not, the couple returned to next year’s gathering and officially separated by standing back to back and walking away from each other.
Throughout the centuries, the grandeur of Teltown dwindled away, but all over Ireland, right up to the middle of this century, country-people have celebrated the harvest at revels, wakes, and fairs – and some still continue today in the liveliest manner. It was usually celebrated on the nearest Sunday to August 1st, so that a whole day could be set aside from work. In later times, the festival of Lughnasadh was christianized as Lammas, from the Anglo-Saxon, hlaf-mas, “Loaf-Mass,” but in rural areas, it was often remembered as “Bilberry Sunday,” for this was the day to climb the nearest “Lughnasadh Hill” and gather the earth’s freely-given gifts of the little black berries, which they might wear as special garlands or gather in baskets to take home for jam.
As of old, people sang and danced jigs and reels to the music of melodeons, fiddles and flutes, and held uproarious sporting contests and races. In some places, a woman-or an effigy of one-was crowned with summer flowers and seated on a throne, with garlands strewn at her feet. Dancers whirled around her, touching her garlands or pulling off a ribbon for good luck. In this way, perhaps, the ancient goddess of the harvest was still remembered with honor.

Lammas, Lughnasadh, Summer Feast, First Harvest Celebration

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

Lammas, Lughnasadh, Summer Feast, First Harvest Celebration

 

1. Collect corn husks, dry and store in shade. “Corn” was a generic term for cereal crops (i.e., wheat, barley, oats), and New World corn was added after 1520. Our non-irrigated winter wheat is harvested in June and July where I live. We can collect wild wheat stalks and seeds, tie, and hang in shade. Make a corn dolly and keep until the Yule Celebration. We can pick fruit (apricots, berries, figs and plums) and dry them. Many kinds for fruit are ripe in late July, so place some of these on your home altar. Many garden herbs are at their peak and ready for harvesting to make herbal remedies, air fresheners, use in herbal magic, and for decoration. There are hundreds of good books and websites on the magical, sacramental, and health uses of herbs.

2. Read about and make a loaf of bread. Loaves of bread are a traditional part of the First Harvest Feast. Break bread into four pieces and place at each of the Four Corners altars. Lammas means “Loaf Mass” in the Welsh language. Sharing bread is a common feature of a Lammas celebration. What is the role of baking bread in human culture? Find a really good bakery in your area.

3. This is a good month for celebrating. We, in America, celebrate the Fourth of July, and many counties have their annual Fairs. Be try to be very thankful for our peaceful and bountiful life in America. We are thankful for our religious freedom and the 1st Amendment. Americanism and patriotism are forms of a popular religion – we should reflect on our symbols and heritage. Take a look at Ceisiwr Serith’s website and links on Americanism. Hang up the flags, sing, play, smile, celebrate. Remember our fallen heroes, brave soldiers, and hardworking Ancestors.

4. Prepare for the “Games” of the First Harvest Feast. The Greek Olympics and Roman Heracleia games were held at this time. What games might you play? Horseshoes, boche ball, races, swimmng races, croquet, volleyball, badminton, frisbee, baseball, wrestling, spear throwing, arrow shooting, weight tossing …. Get your equipment and playing court ready, and practice.

5. Renew supplies of your favorite ritual-recreational drug: coffee, tobacco, alcohol (whiskey, beer, wine), fuzzy herbs, etc.. Beer and whiskey, made from barley, are often part of joyful summer harvest feast celebrations. Read about the song John Barleycorn.

6. Think about the power of the sun. How can we use solar power? Dry your clothes in the sun. Build a simple box with screen so you can use the power of the summer sun to dry your fresh fruit.

7. Do some thinking, reflection, or discursive meditation on various themes. Here are some themes to reflect upon: What are the relations between Chaos, Gaia, and Eros? What role does more sunlight play in bringing forth the bountiful harvest? What does summertime mean to you?

8. Implement new ways to stay cool that use less electrical energy. Switch to an evaporative cooler in areas with low humidity. Keep all windows covered. Carefully place fans to circulate air indoors. Work early in the morning and rest in the hot afternoon. Drink plenty of water. If your nights are cooler, under 80, draw the cool air indoors at night. A gable fan can really help reduce heat indoors.

9. Check out astronomical details about the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, in late July, and the beginning of the “Dog Days of Summer.”

10. The Celtic God, Luga (Lugh, Long Hand), is noted for his high level skills in many arts and crafts: smith, carpenter, bard, healer, herbalist, magician, gamesman, spear throwing, military leadership, etc. Get out your paintbrush. Fix something in the yard or garden or home. Tidy up the garden. Create something, make something. Start learning a new practical skill or craft. Clean your weapons and practice with the weapons.

11. Working and meditating in the garden is an important facet of my spiritual path. I need to regularly reconnect with the earth and the autumn season outdoors. I live in Red Bluff, California, USDA Zone 9, Northern Hemisphere. My late September gardening chores might be quite different from yours, depending upon where you live. Tend your garden daily. Water your garden each day. Weed your vegetable garden. Harvest squash, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables from your garden each day. Review your own lists of chores for July and August, and act accordingly.

12. Read about Lammas, Lughnasadh, and summer festivals around the world. Add notes and links to books, magazines, and webpages on the subject. See my bibliography and links above. Visit your local public library or college library to obtain access to books, media and magazines on the subject. Study about ancient Indo-European religions. I update my Months webpages on July and September.

13. Add some appropriate Lammas, Lughnasadh, or Mid-Summer songs, chants, prayers, reflections, invocations, or poems to your Neo-Pagan Craft Journal, Book of Shadows, blog, website, or Ritual Handbook. Write in your personal journal. Most spiritual seekers keep a notebook, journal or log as part of their experimental, creative, magical and experiential work.

14. Stay at home. Improve your home, backyard, or garden. Eliminate long driving trips. Do you really need to “Go” anywhere? Do you really need to fly by airplane to another country? Explore your backyard, neighborhood, local community, nearby city, county wide area, regional area within 100 miles. Visit a local “sacred site.” For us, for example, this could be Mt. Shasta, the headwaters spring of the Sacramento River in Mt. Shasta City, the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge Park, a long walk in the forest below nearby Mt. Lassen, sitting on the shore of Whiskeytown Lake, sitting in my backyard in the moonlight, or visiting a beautiful church or college or park that is nearby. Watch a DVD on a spiritual subject, sacred place, or inspirational topic. Learn more about your local environment.

15. Read solitary or group rites for Lughnasadh available in books and webpages (see above). Create your own ritual for Lughnasadh. Practice the ritual. Conduct the ritual at a convenient time for you, or your family and/or friends, as close to the day of the autumnal equinox as possible. Attend a public Mabon ritual of a local NeoPagan group.

16. A large fire is often lit in your safe outdoor fireplace as part of celebrating Lughnasadh. Take special care because many areas are quite dry in early August. Maybe use a few fireworks left over from the Fourth of July in America.

17. Thoroughly clean, dust, tidy up, refreshen, improve, and add appropriate seasonal decorations to your home altar. This should normally be clean and tidy, however an extra cleaning before the Lughnasadh celebration is a way to express your reverence, create a visible reminder of your thoughts and devotional practices, and to offer hospitality to the nature spirits, ancestors, and Shining Ones. If you don’t have a home altar, read some books and webpages about setting one up in your home or garden, and then establish one this holiday season.

Lughnasadh Celebrations

 

Legends and Lore of Lammas (Lughnasadh)

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

Legends and Lore of Lammas

(Lughnasadh)

In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Lammas (Lughnasadh). Here are a few of the stories about this magical harvest celebration from around the world.

In Israel, the festival of Shavout commemorates the beginning of the harvest, as well as honoring the date that Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The final sheaf of wheat is brought to the rabbi for a blessing, synagogues and homes are decorated with flower, and a great feast is prepared for all to enjoy.

The festival of Onam is celebrated in India, and people dress up in their finest clothes and give food to the poor. Onam is celebrated in honor of King Mahabali, who was a ruler of Kerala. In one story, the god Vishnu approached Mahabali dressed as a beggar, and asked for land, which Mahabali gave him. Mahabli ended up buried under the earth by Vishnu, but was allowed to return once a year, symbolizing the planting of the seed and the subsequent harvest.

Thor’s wife, Sif, had beautiful golden hair, until Loki the prankster cut it off. Thor was so upset he wanted to kill Loki, but some dwarves spun new hair for Sif, which grew magically as soon as it touched her head. The hair of Sif is associated with the harvest, and the golden grain that grows every year.

In the Shetland Islands, farmers believed that grain harvesting should only take place during a waning moon. They also believed this about the fall potato crop, and the cutting of peat.

At Lughnasadh, calves are weaned, and the first fruits are ripe, such as apples and grapes. In some Irish counties, it was believed farmers had to wait until Lughnasadh to start picking these fruits, or bad luck would befall the community.

In some countries, Lammas is a time for warrior games and mock battles. This may hearken back to the days when a harvest festival was held, and people would come from miles around to get together. What better way for young men to show off their strength and impress the girls than by whacking away at all the competition? Games and contests are also held in honor of Lugh, the mighty Celtic craftsman god, in which artisans offer up their finest work.

It’s become a custom to give people the gift of a pair of gloves at Lammastide. In part, it’s because winter is just around the corner, but it’s also related to an old tradition in which landowners gave their tenants a pair of gloves after the harvest. The glove is a symbol of authority and benevolence.
Source:
By Patti Wigington, Pagan and Wicca Expert
Article found on & owned by About.com

Lammas/Lughnasadh Ritual for Online Coven Gathering

Anyone attending our online coven gathering on Saturday, August 1, 2015 this will be the ritual we are following. Nothing is needed to participate in this ritual.  For more information on where and when the gathering will take place please scroll down and click on the banner for Coven Life’s “Home” page. Any questions please email me at ladybeltane@aol.com

LAMMAS GATHERING

I will be closing the circle around us:

With my Sword pointed at the ground: I call upon Fire to guard this circle from all things negative outside of it.

With my Sword pointed at shoulder level: I call upon Water to keep this circle safe from all things negative.

With my Sword above head: I call upon Air to keep this circle safe from all things negative.

We enter this circle in perfect love and perfect trust. We stand in a place that is not a place. In a time that is not a time.

Calling the Watchtowers:

Lay sword on altar.

Facing East: Power of ancient dreams, ancestors of the mighty east

Come forth, O guardians of Air.

Let your wings of intelligence my protection be

Hear this call, let my words draw you near.

Lock the gate that none may pass unless

They come in love and trust. Blessed Be!

Facing South: Power of ancient dreams, ancestors of the mighty south

Come forth, O guardians of Fire.

May your firey breath cleanse my work.

Hear this call, let my words draw you near.

Lock the gate that none may pass unless

They come in love and trust. Blessed Be!

Facing West: Power of ancient dreams, ancestors of the mighty west

Come forth, O guardians of Water.

May your sweeping waters bring protection all around.

Hear this call, let my words draw you near.

Lock the gate that none may pass unless

They come in love and trust. Blessed Be!

Facing North: Power of ancient dreams, ancestors of the mighty north

Come forth, O guardians of Earth.

Let the North Star crown your brow.

Hear this call, let my words draw you near.

Lock the gate that none may pass unless

They come in love and trust. Blessed Be!

This circle is now closed around us and I say: We stand in a place that is not a place, in a time that is outside of time. I welcome you in perfect love and perfect trust. Merry Meet and Merry greet.

I invoke Mother Earth, her of bounty and beauty to come into our circle. I invoke the Lugh, he of craftsmanship in beauty and toil to come into our circle.

Waiting for the power to rise and the deities to enter.

Sitting before me is a loaf of bread made in the shape of a sickle. With it cradled in my hands:

“We thank Mother Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Earth for the grain and other things that made it possible to make this loaf.” (I tear a bite off to save for an offering, that I will place outside for all attending after we are through. Then put the loaf down)

I pick up my chalice: “Lugh we thank you for all the know how you have given us to make instruments for many purposes in our lives.” (I set the chalice back down so the first sip maybe poured on the ground as an offering to Lugh for all attending after we are done.)

Before dismissing the Watchtowers and opening the circle I say: May no harm come to those within or without as we honor this goddess, god, and the elements of Air, Water, Fire and Earth.

I dismiss the Watchtowers starting in the North and walking counter clockwise/witthershins.

Earth I now send you back for where you came with thanks for your protection and power you have given this circle.

Water I now send you back for where you came with thanks for your protection and power you have given this circle.

Fire I now send you back for where you came with thanks for your protection and power you have given this circle.

Air I now send you back for where you came with thanks for your protection and power you have given this circle.

Walking counter clockwise/witthershins

Holding my sword above my head Air I send you back from where you came with heartfelt thanks for your protection.

Holding my sword at should height Water I send you back from where you came with heartfelt thanks for your protection

Holding my sword towards the ground Fire I send you back from where you came with heartfelt thanks for your protection

The circle is now closed. May you go from it with peace and love. Merry part until we Merry meet again.