T-minus three days until July is over AND the first of Harvest Festivals is upon us! Do you know how you are celebrating Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sah) this year?
Unfortunately, since it is not Beltaine, Samhain, or Yule… I have always felt the cross-quarter day of Lughnasadh (aka Lammas or Loaf-mas) is an often overlooked festival. Everyone knows it’s name, but no body really seems to get into the honoring of it. So let’s remedy that, shall we? If you are in a coven, talk to your fellow members about having a harvest themed potluck and bonfire! That is of course, if you don’t already have a ritual planned. Or do both! This festival is all about the earthy foods! But what if I’m not in a coven… How do I celebrate? Well, have no fear my darling, Auntie Iona is here to help you!
Lughnasadh is named for the Celtic (Irish) sun God, Lugh (rhymes with Hugh) whose name means “the shining one.” Lugh is a fantastic God, and gained admittance into Tara (home of the High Kings) because he was skilled in many areas, whereas most inhabitants of Tara were only skilled in one. Though he is divine, Lugh is believed to have a mortal father, and able to act as a bridge between worlds. (Information from Celtic Myth & Magick by Edain McCoy). Lugh is said to take the form of a human to worship among the Druids. He is the God of Harvests, Light, Metallurgy, and Fire; though most magickal needs can be assissted greatly by asking Lugh for help! #1 Tip: Lugh LOVES Himself some whiskey, so if you want to ask for His assistance, offering Him some is a good opener! He is an Irish God afterall!
At Lughnasadh (August 1 or 2 depending on the year), we celebrate this grain harvest. This is the time of year that corn, wheat, barely, and grain are all about ready to be harvested for the coming fall and winter. Lugh, as a God of the Harvest and protector/defender of the ill and weak (who might not otherwise survive the impending cold weather), is honored at this Sabbat through various means.
Some ideas of solitary ways to honor this First of the Harvest Festivals come from Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practioner:
***Arrange a harvest alter with wheat, barely, oats, fruit, or bread – perform a ritual to honor the God and Goddess of the Harvest, thanking them for their blessings this time of year. Lugh’s wife and Queen is Dana, just FYI.
***If any fruit is consumed in honor of the Sabbat, plant the seeds and see what grows! Imagine that the plant growing is a symbol of your connection to the Divine 🙂
***Make corn dollies
***Spend time in nature – visit an orchard, a field, a lake, or a well (please no trespassing in the name of the God or Goddess!)
*** One year SidheSidhe and I made Amish Friendship Bread, and spread the love around by giving some of the mix to our friends, and families. Since SidheSidhe had already started the process, we were able to bake some of the loaves on the day!
Some foods associated with the Lughnasadh Festival include: bread, berries of all kinds, apples, and corn. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are very easy to find this time of year. Maybe check out a local farmer’s market to get what you need for your own celebration!
So there you have it – a quick and not-so-dirty run down on the upcoming Sabbat, and some easy ways to honor it. May Lugh’s light shine brightly on us all.
With Love, Light, and Blessings for Lughnasadh,