A fresh lull in a cool whisper, the first harvest licks your toes as your footsteps slow. It is time to drink the celebratory wine, brewed dandelions which have sat in purposeful acquiescence. Now protruding from the fiery spinning disc in the belly of your soul. Pause, sister, take a moment to lavish in the taste of ruffled icing, to sway in the soft glaze of new life which you birthed. It is now ready to take its timely walk out into the world. Stumbling or stomping, the ripening storm, onward and upward hoof and horn. Your flowering crown is ready to be adorned, and you know without a doubt, that all that dies shall be reborn. Yours is the great seeded symphony moaning beneath the Earth, the pregnant belly of the crisp red apple, now ready to be picked and indulged in. Sister, it is ready to fulfill its destiny as nourishment for those hungry souls. The tantalizing tincture has been infused by the forbidden fruit, slow brewed in the golden months, under a watchful eye, and it always was alive within you. Those with sharp teeth and wild eyes, howling and starving for truth, they are ready sister. To be nourished by the love of your inner marriage. You have accomplished so much. Don’t ever forget to acknowledge that. Take a long look at that reflection, and make sure you meet eyes in the stone laden red mud. In the croney knots of crinkled bark. In the impeccable seed spiral of the sunflower. In the spacious, sideways glare of the toad. In the swell of the volcanic anthill. In the restless murmur of the mosquito. In the mossy spread of natures luxurious layering. In the escalating evidence of unity splayed out in tufts of grass and blanketing skies. In the lapping wings of cedar and the warming embrace of the rowan. In the weightless drop of the inch worm. In the saintly stature of the mushroom. In the nurturing wobble of the hen. In the mirror, your mother, your friend…
Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas! This is the time that marks the first of the harvests, empowering hope that the gifts on the way from Mother Earth are abundant. The first crops are yielded while the majority are nearly ready but still uncertain. It warns that summer is nearing its end and autumn is arriving. There is a tickling mystery of nature’s ebbs and flows, the dry heat of summer, rain dances and snuggles. This is the time to contemplate what it is that we would like to harvest in the upcoming months. We reflect on the year and the seeds planted at spring time, the growth that has come through the dance of co-creation with all life. What do we fear? What do we hope for? These are important questions to ask through this transition. We attune to the intuitive guidance of our highest truth and learn to discern between the driving forces behind what we long for.
At the time we also acknowledge our power to connect with the God/dess and embody the same wisdom that wakes with her maturation. It is an excellent time to celebrate all of the efforts we have made, dreams woven, seeds planted, visions painted on the Earth’s great canvas. Integration is so vital in truly understanding the cycles of our individual lives and moving the new energies in a way that is healthy and expansive. To witness the growth of something we have been aspiring towards, why it has or hasn’t resulted as we may have imagined, and still the potential ahead for the incredible harvest of our heart’s truest desire. We are all weaving our destinies in cocreation with the divine, on some level always making precisely the right choice for the heart to swell into an even greater sense of love and gratitude. Whether the growth process of the seedlings has been swift and smooth, blossoming into a perfect rose… or it has been inconsistent, a struggle, the thin sprout pushing out of the earth weak at first glance but infinitely stronger by the second, pushing against the downpour of rain and the fierce wind until eventually with patience and persistence growing into an unshakable tree so tall it touches the sky. There is something unique and beautiful for each and every one of us to harvest. We gaze upon the unfolding path before us, through the window of our soul, leading to the destiny that dwells eternally in the seat of our highest heart.
The altar is decorated with corn, apples, wheat, and barley as offerings to the God/dess in deep gratitude for the commencement of the harvest and all that is to come. It is known also as the feast of the bread and so one of the best ways to celebrate is to bake a special bread as part of the ritual! The apples can be cut in half to reveal the star/pentagram as well.
We celebrate the Celtic Sun God Lugh who is a master of skills. As we honor the progress in all we have created so far, so we can too celebrate our unique skills and gifts as offerings throughout the ritual. John Barleycorn, according to English folklore, was the sacred personification of the crops who sacrificed himself for the Earth Goddess and the life of others. For this and other reasons, sacrifice is a primary theme of Lammas/Lughnasadh. We consider the sacrifices we’ve made to accomplish our goals, to be there for others, and what we would give up so as to have a full and abundant harvest for everyone. Gratitude and generosity are also highlighted at this time. We honor the Goddess as the Corn Mother, Demeter, Ceres, and the different expressions of agricultural Goddess'.
“This is a time of turning inward toward the darkness, of inner and individual work, a time of maturing and aging, of experience, growing wisdom, fulfillments past and to come. Lammas is change, the transformation of grapes into wine, of grain into baked bread, of summer into winter, the Mother into Crone, of life into death and back again. ‘She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches changes.’” (Stein, Diane. The Women’s Spirituality Book. P. 93/94)