Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lughnasadh Blessings

via The Wild Hunt

Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas) is the first of three harvest festivals celebrated in many modern Pagan traditions. Lughnasadh originated as one of the four main Celtic fire festivals and was dedicated to the Celtic god Lugh/Lugus the many-skilled (or, in the case of Ireland, Lugh’s foster-mother Tailtiu). It is a time of thanksgiving, first-harvests, and the end of summer.

Lammas food altar (Photo: BBC)

Here are some quotes for the holiday.

“Lammas, or Lughnasad, has always been one of my favorite Sabbats. It is celebrated from July 31 to August 2, generally, and we are fortunate this year that all the dates are on the weekend. Lammas is the first and biggest of the harvest Sabbats, for it is at this time that in the temperate places in the northern hemisphere the earth’s bounty most fully opens. … Lammas celebrates the abundance that can come from our hard work and creativity. But to receive requires reciprocity if the gift is to be truly honored. We can give to the giver, or keep the circle flowing outwards by giving to another. Lammas is in this respect an echo of the old gift economy that once sustained so many of the world’s people and has to some extent been reinvigorated with the rise of the net.” - Gus diZerega, Beliefnet

“Celebrate a Happy Lammas with the family, and friends, then begin the work to stock the shelves for the long winter ahead. Make a toast to the passing of Summer. Lammas Harvest Feasts include: tomatoes, peaches, corn (popcorn), potatoes, cabbage (sauerkraut or cole slaw), onions, grains (breads and fest breads), berries (especially blackberry pies are traditionally eaten in honor of the Harvest), cider, cornbread sticks, and barley soup. Bake any of these breads on Lammas: wheat; corn; gingerbread; or just make popcorn! Feed a piece of the baked bread to someone, saying, ‘May you never go hungry.’” - Terry Smith, The Town Talk

“This is the season of Lughnasadh in my spiritual tradition. We also celebrate it as the Cross-quarter day that marks the beginning of Autumn on the modern Celtic calendar. Modern, of course, because the tribal Celts divided the year into only two seasons–Bealtinne and Samhain. It’s the time when we gather in the First Harvest–the harvest of grain–and we share the bounty of squash and tomatoes with our friends, neighbors and co-workers. In fact, we know that all car doors must be locked starting the first of August, lest you return to find a box of baseball-bat-sized zucchini waiting for you.”Byron Ballard, Asheville Citizen Times

“On the Pagan calendar, the summer began with Beltane on May 1, hit the midpoint at Pagan Midsummer (Litha Sabbat) on June 21, and ends August 1 with Lammas (Lughnasadh) Sabbat: the beginning of the harvest season. County fairs are traditionally held around this time in the UK to celebrate the early harvest, and county fairs are often held in the United States before children go back to school, too. The fertility and growth seasons have passed, and the earliest signs of autumn can be seen.”Dr. Deb Brown,

“The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 and call it Lughnasad after the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice. The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life. If all this sounds vaguely Christian, it is. In the sacrament of Communion, bread is blessed, becomes the body of God and is eaten to nourish the faithful. This Christian Mystery echoes the pagan Mystery of the Grain God.”Waverly Fitzgerald, School of the Seasons

May you have a fruitful holiday!