Celebrating Lammas

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Across the spectrum of Wiccan and other modern Pagan traditions, celebrations at Lammas can vary widely. Those inspired by the ancient Celts may choose to focus on honoring Lugh, and many call this holiday Lughnasa rather than Lammas. Others might be more rooted in Anglo-Saxon traditions, while still others incorporate a blend of ancient sources into their practice. Among all this diversity, however, the central theme is almost always the first harvest and the beginning of the transition into the darker, colder months.

Feasts are part of every Sabbat, but the significance of the feast is a particular focus during the harvest holidays, as we give thanks to the God and Goddess for the bounty of the Earth. Wiccans deliberately choose to prepare and savor the first “fruits” of the harvest season, whether it be apples and grapes, wheat and corn, or anything else that has come into season where they live. This feast is a physical participation in the turning of the Wheel of the Year, as we recognize that this time of newly-reaped abundance, like all other moments in time, will soon pass. Coven rituals at Lammas often honor the waxing energy of the pregnant Goddess and the waning energy of the fading God. They give thanks for the manifestations of the year thus far, whether material, spiritual, or both. In some traditions, goals for the next two harvest Sabbats are stated, as well as intentions for the bounty of the Earth to be shared by all beings.

For solitary practitioners, a full-scale feast may be somewhat impractical, especially for those who live alone. If this is the case, you can still make a point of enjoying some fresh baked bread and late-summer fruits and vegetables as part of your Lammas celebration. Save any seeds from the fruits for planting, or use them in your spellwork.

Another way to mark this Sabbat is to make a corn dolly from corn stalks or straw. This is a manifestation of the ancient “Corn Mother” archetype found around the world. She can be placed on your altar and even used in magic. Since crafting is a way of honoring the Celtic god Lugh at this time, consider making and/or decorating other ritual items, such as a wand or pentacle.

You could also choose to practice any of your skills and talents, whether that means writing, playing an instrument, playing in a soccer or basketball game, or simply going for a nice long run. If there’s a new skill you’d like to learn, now is a great time to get started.

Whatever you do, be sure to spend some time outdoors drinking in the sights, sounds, and smells of summer because they will be fading away before you know it!

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