Celebrating the Harvest
The ancient Celts celebrated August First as the feast of Lughnasad, named for the god Lugh. It was a time to bake breads, make offerings of food to the Great Ones, and give thanks for the bounty of the earth.
This is essentially a time of tension, when the dark days of winter are looming and the harvest is not quite safely in. The earth-honoring Celts used a variety of activities to find hope and a sense of safety in transitional times like this one. Learn how you can connect with this special season and find your own sense of inner harvest and hope, here:
Activities that remind us of the cycles of the earthís turning, the circular nature of the seasons, help to soothe and ground us. Through them, we can reconnect to a sense of the earthís sacredness and regain a sense of being safely rooted in our own place in the nature of things.
Today is the perfect day to honor the harvested grain that fed and sustained your ancestors. Bake a loaf of bread using whole wheat, or make oatcakes, or chapattis, or corn tortillas–whatever bread reflects your own particular heritage–and then share it with your family and friends. Few things are as grounding and soothing to the soul as the act of stirring, kneading, and baking bread. As you follow the ancient steps of bread-making, remind yourself of the steps it takes to grow grain from seed, nurture it, harvest it, turn it into flour, and bake it. Remind yourself of your own hopes for harvests in the future. You might want to offer the first bite of your bread to the earth in thanks.
Activities that remind us of the power of community are also perfect now. The ancient Celts held dances and contests to strengthen the bonds of community. We can throw a potluck, or invite friends over for storytelling, or have an impromptu drum jam or song-fest. These are heart-warming reminders that we are not alone, and that we can create a joyful sense of kinship with others even in dark times.
Adapted from A Druidís Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, by Ellen Evert Hopman (Inner Traditions, 1995). Coptright (c) 1995 by Ellen Evert Hopman. Reprinted by permsission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from A Druidís Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, by Ellen Evert Hopman (Inner Traditions, 1995).