When Maiden Becomes Mother

When Maiden Becomes Mother

Lammas Traditions from Nebraska to Wales

by Brighid

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!

the daily humorscopes for tuesday, june 12

     the daily humorscope     

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aries              (March 21 – April 19)
Today you will realize that it seems quite impossible to make any sense out of life, especially when you consider what life must be like in Nebraska.
Taurus              (April 20 – May 20)
Today someone will accuse you of spending too much time with your computer.  The way to handle that is to say you’ve got “lots of work to do.” (And don’t let them spot you fondly caressing it.)
Gemini              (May 21 – June 20)
Excellent day to do something new with bean curd.   
Cancer              (June 21 – July 22)
While poring over some old historical documents, you will discover that the Norman invasion was actually supposed to be the “Bob” invasion, but Norman stole the credit for it.  Sadly, it will turn out to be too late to change it now.
Leo              (July 23 – August 22)
You will soon accidentally discover why it is that so many things “taste like chicken.” It’s because they ARE chickens, in clever disguises.   
Virgo              (August 23 – September 22)
Excellent day to shuffle your feet.  Remember: it’s OK to shuffle your feet or to shuffle your cards, but you should never shuffle your nose.
Libra              (September 23 – October 22)
Between now and the vernal equinox, trust anyone with freckles.  After that, trust no one.   
Scorpio              (October 23 – November 21)
The world will be dim and grey, and cold.  Carrion crows will caw at you from the edges of the world, and deep cold water will rush by in rivers without names.  Ahead, on the peak of a mountain, is a glimmering golden light.  Either that, or you’ll get gum stuck to your shoe.  (Sometimes these things are hard to read.)
Sagittarius              (November 22 – December 21)
People are starting to take you a bit too seriously.  Try wearing your bunny slippers to work.
Capricorn              (December 22 – January 20)
Excellent time to start a new company, making software to help people with mental problems.  You will call it SchizoSoft.  Your motto: “Who Do You Want To Be Today?”
Aquarius              (January 21 – February 18)
Someone who you really dislike, who is arrogance personified…will be nice to you.  This is a good time to be afraid.   
Pisces              (February 19 – March 20)
Your requests are being ignored.  Often you can get people to pay attention by simply adding a few words to the end of your request, such as “Pick up your socks, dear, or die screaming.”

the daily humorscopes for sunday, august 21, 2011

the daily humorscope 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

 
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Your butler will return to work today, and pretend as if nothing had happened. It’s time for you to compromise, and give up those new argyles. It’s for the best, in the long run.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
I see you making a special trip to the store today, to get something. It’s in a sort of yellow-ish little box, about the size of a toothpaste box, I think. It’s “prep-something”? Ah! “Preparation”-something, I think. Oh. Ahem. Anyway, if it’s any consolation, I hear that Jet Fighter pilots have that problem much worse than most people. All that acceleration, you know. Don’t worry — your secret is safe with me!
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Today you will realize that it seems quite impossible to make any sense out of life, especially when you consider what life must be like in Nebraska.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
You have exactly as much chance of having a decent day as you have of developing amazing telekinetic abilities that let you secretly give innocent passers-by a wedgie. Stay home. Breathe normally.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
You will make people squirm, today. Surprisingly, some of them will show remarkable talent at squirming.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Excellent day to fidget.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Today you will begin to have nagging doubts about your feet.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Try to avoid things that are squooshy today. Especially giant green squooshy things that probably came from outer space. (Hint: most giant green squooshy things are, in fact, from outer space.)
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Hide.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
Good time to be logical and willing to admit error. This will amaze and confuse everyone, and some of them will be so flustered that they’ll try it themselves. Just don’t keep it up for too long – you might get “stuck” like that, and go through the rest of your life like some kind of freak!
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
Bad news: people think you’re becoming paranoid. Isn’t that just typical, though? I mean, they don’t even HAVE invisible malevolent air-squids spying on THEM, do they?
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
You will write some office email soon that positively sparkles with comic irony. You’ll be asked to knock it off.

the daily humorscopes for tuesday, june 14

the daily humorscope

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

 
 
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Your feet will continue to trouble you today, although you won’t be quite able to put your finger on what’s wrong. You haven’t been that flexible in years.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Once you’re that far behind, there’s really no way to get caught up. You might as well do something fun instead. You can tell them I told you it was ok.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
You will go on a potato binge today. Baked, fried, scalloped, stuffed, mashed, whipped, and hash-browned. Just stay away from the tater tots, for your own good.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Today you will realize that it seems quite impossible to make any sense out of life, especially when you consider what life must be like in Nebraska.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Good day to make a face like a rodent, and hold your paws up in front of your chest. When someone asks what you are doing, chitter at them and scurry away.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Today you will get very dirty. Actually, though, it will be rather fun.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Good day for political intrigue and underhanded sneakiness. Try to wear something appropriate to the occasion.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
At the same moment you read this, someone will be thinking about you and smiling. In a moment, they’ll be laughing outright.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
You will finally get the television exposure you’ve been wanting, by organizing a group of protesters to block the entrance to a physics lab, holding crudely-lettered signs saying “Down With Gravity!.”
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
You will be misidentified, on national TV, as a renowned ichthyologist. Several people will call you, long distance, to ask about the mating habits of Tilapia.
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
If you’re not already a vegetarian, you will be. Someone with the initial “E.” will make sure of that. Ed? Ernest? Dunno. Someone like that. E. Coli, is what I see. Odd name, huh? Sounds Italian.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The currency crisis in Russia will continue to trouble you. The next time you have a dream in which you are told by your old Uncle Max to invest all your money in a canned borsht factory in Leningrad, you might stop to consider the alternatives. I hear that mutual funds can be nice, for example.