Lammas or Lughnasadh

Lammas or Lughnasadh

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The Wheel of the Year once again turns, and we come to the first harvest festival. Lammas is a cross-quarter day between summer and autumn, a time when the first fruits of the planting season can be harvested. We celebrate Lammas or Lughnasadh between the dates of July 31st - August 1st.

It also marks the day the Sun God's power begins to decline. For some Wiccans and pagans, this is the time the Celtic Sun God Lugh pours out his energy to the grain. For them, once the grain is gathered and made into bread, the circle of life has been completed.

How Lammas Originated

Lammas is a day to honor Lugh, the Celtic god of the Sun, kings, justice, and rulership. This many-skilled god is a master of all arts, and is also known as the Celtic craftsman god.

This day marks the beginning of the autumn season, when the Sun God starts to age and lose his power. The Sun wanes in vibrance each day, as it gives way to the long nights.

It is said that Lughnasadh refers to Lugh's funeral games in honor of his mother Tailte. Christian lore also points to "loaf mass", which is related to the pre-Christian Lughnasadh, and involves placing freshly baked loaves of bread on the altar.

Lammas Lore

In some parts of the British Isles, farmers waited until Lammas to start picking the fruits, or else bad luck would come to them and to the community. Farmers in Shetland only harvested grain during a waning moon, otherwise the yield would not be plentiful.

Then and now, warrior games and mock battles are held during Lammas. Games and competitions are organized for young men to display their strength and skill. Artisans and craftsmen also look forward to this festival, as they can show off their handiwork.

A known Lammas tradition is for people to give each other gloves. Of course, the practical reason is that winter is approaching. But it also comes from an old custom in which landowners gave their tenants a pair of gloves once the harvest is done. The gloves, they believed, symbolized both authority and generosity.

How You can Honor Lugh this Season

Lammas is all about looking forward to a bountiful harvest season. It is reflecting on the generosity of the Sun God, who has given his energy to the blooming fields. This time is a good time to reflect on what you have planted, and the corresponding fruits that you will gain very soon. Rituals relating to change, abundance, and "reaping what you have sown" are most powerful.

Deities: Lugh, Adonis, Attis, Ceres, Dagon, Demeter, Parvati, Osiris, Mercury, Pomona, Tammuz

Symbolism: Early harvest, abundance, generosity, wisdom, weakening of the Sun, old age

Decorations: Sickles, scythes, vines, grapes, dried grains, bread, corn dolls, vegetables that are in season during autumn, apples, berries

Colors: Gold, yellow, white, red, green

Food: Bread, grains, berries, fruits that are in season during autumn

Herbs: Dried or powdered grains, grapes, blackberries, pears, sloe, heather

Stones: Carnelian

Incense: Rose, sandalwood

1 Response

Thomas Goff
Thomas Goff

August 08, 2021

Great thanks for this blessed be

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