Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blessed Lammas Day August 1 (usually)

Lammas Day

Wheat in the wind Sway.
In the Lord and Lady's Honor.
We gather once again.
Light your candles, cast your spell's
and wish to those all around you
love, light and fare the well.

Lughnassadh -
Also known as: Lammas, August Eve, The Festival of Bread, Elembiuos,
Lunasa, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide (Teutonic)
Date: August 1 or 2, or the first Full Moon of Leo
Symbols: All Grains, Breads, Threshing Tools, Berries (especially
Deities: Harvest and Grain Deities, New Mother Goddesses
Colors: Gray, Yellow, Gold, Green
Herbs: cornstalks, heather, frankincense, and wheat may be burned;
acacia flowers, corn ears, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, and wheat
may be decorations.
Lughnassadh (Loo-NAHS-ah) is named for the Irish sun God, Lugh, and
is usually looked upon as the first of the three Pagan harvest
Lughnasadh is primarily a grain harvest, one in which corn, wheat,
barley and grain products such as bread are prominently featured.
Fruits and vegetables which ripen in late summer are also a part of
the traditional feast. The Goddess, in her guise as the Queen of
Abundance, is honored as the new mother who has given birth to the
bounty, and the God is honored as the Father of Prosperity.
The threshing of precious grain was once seen as a sacred act, and
threshing houses had small wooden panels under the door so that no
loose grain could escape. This is the original meaning of our modern
word "threshold".
From "Celtic Myth and Magick" by Edain McCoy
The following are a few suggestions for activities that may be
incorporated into the Sabbat ritual or engaged in during the day.
Make sand candles to honor the Goddes and the God of the sea.
If you don't live near a beach, you can achieve the same effect by
putting sand in a large box, adding water, and working from there.
This is definitely a porch or kitchen job, and newspapers are
recommended under your work area for easy clean-up.
Melt wax form old candles (save the stubs from altar candles) in a
coffee can set in a pot of boiling water.
Add any essential oil you want for scent (or scent blocks from a
candle supply store).
Scoop out a candle mold in wet sand (you can make a cauldron by
scooping out the sand and using a finger to poke three "feet"in the
Hold the wick (you can get these ready-made in arts and crafts
stores) in the center and gently pour in the melted wax.
Wait until it hardens, then slip your fingers under the candle and
carefully lift it out and brush off the excess sand.
String indian corn on black thread for a necklace.
If the Sabbat falls on a rainy day, you could collect rainwater in a
glass or earthenware container, add dried mugwort, and use to
Create and bury a Witch's Bottle. This is a glass jar with sharp
pointy things inside to keep away harm. You can use needles, pins,
thorns, thistles, nails, and bits of broken glass; it's a good way
dispose of broken crockery, old sewing equipment, and the pins that
come in new clothes. Bury it near the entry to the house (like next
to the driveway or the front door), or inside a large planter.
Do a Harvest Chant when serving the corn bread at dinner:
The Earth Mother grants the grain,
The horned God goes to his domain.
By giving life into her grain,
The God dies then is born again.
Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc. Double over a bundle of
wheat and tie it near the top to form a head. Take a bit of the
from either side of the main portion and twist into arms that you
together in fromnt of the dolly. Add a small bouquet of flowers to
the "hands," and then you can decorate the dolly with a dress and
bonnet (the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you
wish, or and cotton material is fine too).
Bake corn bread sticks. You can find a cast-iron mold shaped like
little ears of corn in kitchen supply shops. Preheat the oven to 425
1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
Sift dry ingredients together, add eggs, milk, and shortening, and
beat until smooth. Pour into molds and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Collect blackberries and make a fresh pie marked with the Solar
Have a magickal picnic with libations to the earth of bread and
Sprout wheat germ in a terra cotta saucer (these can be found in
nurseries for use under terra cotta flower pots). The sprouts can be
added to homemade bread or used as an offering. Children enjoy
planting the seeds and watching them grow, too.
God the grain,
Lord of rebirth.
Return in spring,
Renew the Earth.
Make a Solar Wheel or Corn Man Wheel:
Turn a wire hanger into a circle (standard circle material for
wreaths too), keeping the hook to hang it by.
Make a small cardboard disk to glue the corn tips onto. You can
decorate it with any design, for example, a pentagram or sun.
Place ears of Indian "squaw" corn (it is smaller than regualr corn
and fits easily on a coat hanger) with the tips inthe center of the
circle and secure with hot glue to the cardboard disk. Use eight
for a Solar Wheel, or five ears for a Corn Man. If all the ears of
corn meet just right you won't need the disk, but if they are uneven
the disk is helpful.
Wrap a bit of the husks of each ear around the wire on either side
the ear of corn, leaving some to stand out free from the corn.
Let dry overnight and hang on the front door.
Activities taken from "Green Witchcraft" by Anne Moura (Aoumiel)

Lammas, The Summer Harvest
Lammas is another of the Major Sabbats, occurring a quarter of a year after Beltane. Tradition has set this holiday on August 1st, although some people observe it at it’s astrological point of 15 degrees Leo. Primarily a Celtic holiday, the celebrations begins at sundown the evening of July 31st. Although the middle of summer, at this time of the year, the gradually shortening days are noticeable and the wheel is turning towards autumn.
Lammas is the first of three harvest festivals, which happen now through the autumn, as different crops were gathered and the nature gods moved through their recurring cycles of birth, growth, and death. The ripening of grains (barley, oats and wheat) and corn was one of the main focuses of Lammas. The Green Man was primary to these rites, sometimes called the Corn or Wicker Man. His death is necessary for the rebirth of the next season of crops, with his rebirth at Yule, and coming of age at Beltane.
There are many stories about the origins of these rites. The old Irish Gaelic name for this holiday was “Lugnasadh” and some say the celebrations were to commemorate the sun-god Lugh. Many think the celebrations were about the death of Lugh, but the actual holiday is from celebrations organized by Lugh to commemorate the death of his foster mother Taillte. Literally translated, “nasadh” is related to the Gaelic “to give in marriage.” This may be why this was another popular time for couples to be handfasted, sometimes called “Tailltean marriages,” which lasted for a year and a day. The more commonly used name “Lammas” is based on Old English, where “hlaf” is “loaf” and “maesse” is “feast.” The first grains were harvested at this time and offered to the gods or on church altars.
Moving into the waning year, all night bonfires were often held, with dancing and games held alongside the harvesting and ritual food offerings. Festivities could include making corn dollies, harvesting herbs, races and games of skill, similar to events you find at modern Renaissance Faires. The Oak King, born at Yule and of age at Beltane, must die at this time of year, to allow the cycle to renew again, however this is not a solemn holiday. Sacrifices of crops and animals were sometimes made, and occasionally in some cultures, the king or a stand-in was offered. The burning of a wicker man was sometimes associated with these rites, an ancient precursor to festivals like the modern Burning Man festival held in Black Rock, Nevada at the end of August. Another ceremony performed at Lammas was the Catherine Wheel. A large wagon wheel would be taken to a hilltop, covered in tar, set afire and sent rolling down the hill. Some feel this symbolizes the waning sunlight and the sun-god having reached the autumn of his years.

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