Lammas is the First Harvest Festival and therefore is a time of great rejoicing, of reeping what has been sown earlier in the year. This can be seen in our personal lives as well as in nature. This is also a time of sacrifice, of separating the wheat from the chaff, the body of the God is sacrificed to make bread and to sustain life in the coming of autumn. Therefore rituals at this time can also inclide 'sacrificing' or letting go of anything which is no longer useful to us. It is traditional to burn a part of the harvest so that the ash may return to the ground and fertilise it for next year, so that the cycle can continue, this can be done in ritual or in a symbolic sense to mark the season. This is a time of fruitfullness and pleanty, it is time to tap into that wealth the year has brought so far and celebrate!
This is also the festival of Lugh the Sun God and therefore colours for this festival are golds, oranges and yellows, including red for the Goddess as Mother.
"This is the time of year to make the most of the fruits which are in season, such as apples, blackberries, blackcurrants, cherries, damsons, elderberries, goosberries, green guages, mulberries (if you can find them), pears, plums, raspberries and strawberries. Slice them into salads, cook them in pies and pastries. If you're feeling adventurous, serve stewed fruit with meat, not just apples with pork but also lightly cooked plums or damsons, pears or cherries with chicken. Try crab apple jelly with pork or chicken or rowan jelly with stronger meats such as beef." The Real Witches' Kitchen - Kate West
In the garden "Continue general maintenance. Prune back anything which is threatening to take over, and give those roses which have finished flowering a realy good trim. Many herbs can be propagated from cuttings at this time; I have found that placing them in a container of water which is full of pebbles or even marbles really seems to encourage rapid root growth. If your garden is looking good take some photos to cheer you through the colder months. Visit your garden centre for end of season bargains." The Real Witches Garden - Kate West
"Solitary Celebration: Lughnassadh...Create a Corn Dolly
A common craft associated with Lughnassadh is the creation of a corn dolly. The corn dolly symbolizes the spirit of the grain in the fields, and can make a lovely focal point for your Lughnassadh ritual. Apart from an altar decoration, there are several ways to use the dolly in your ritual, all of which symbolize the perpetuation of fertility in some way. You may burn it and save the ashes to scatter in your garden to bless it the folowing spring; you can bury the entire dolly itself in the earth to slowly decompoise over the winter, thereby enriching the soil; or you may keep it and use it in your next Imbloc ritual. If you do the latter, burn or bury it once Imbloc is over, make a new dolly the following Lughnassadh.
Six husks from fresh cobs of corn
(you may use grass or raffia if you wish)
String (approximately 2 feet)
1. Take five husks and neaten them so that they all lie on top of one another lengthwise, with the ends roughly even.
2. Bend them in half and tie a short length of string just below the fold to create a head.
3. Take the sixth husk and fold it in half, then slide it crosswise into the open end of the husks and push them up to rest against the tied off portion to create arms.
4.Tie another piece of string just below the cross-piece to secure them. Tie off hands, if you wish. You may leave the body as it is for a female dolly, or divide the husks into two and tie off legs to create a male dolly." Solitary Wicca for Life - Arin Murphy-Hiscock
From The Real Witches' Garden - Kate West
"If you can, obtain nine stalks of corn or barley with their heads intact - many florists sell them for dried flower arrangements. Make sure they are completely dry; you may need to place them in the warm for a couple of days to dry out. If you cannot get corn then look for grass with seed heads on it. Bunch eight of the stalks together and use the ninth to tie them in the middle. You will also need a sharp knife, a small amount of red wine or red grape juice, and either a pot and soil or a small trowel with which to dig a hole. You will also need a fireproof container and some matches. As you will be burning a small amount of straw it really is best if you can do this outside.
Call upon the elements in turn:
'I call upon the Element of Air (Fire, Water, Earth), be upon all the land, bring a harvest of plenty, that all might share and none go hungry. Blessed Be.'
Visualize the Goddess and the God holding the Earth as a small blue-green sphere between them and say:
'I call upon the Goddess and God. Mighty Mother and Father of all life, bring a harvest of plenty to all the land, that none of your children need go hungry. Spread your blessings amoungst all peoples and guide us, each and every one, to share in your blessings. Blessed Be.'
Now take your mini-sheaf of corn and cut off the heads whilst saying:
'This corn is but a token of the harvest we seek. As it bears the seeds of life, let life be upon the land'
Put the heads to one side and place the stems in your fireproof dish and burn them, saying:
'As the stems burn they become ash which may fetrilize the land to bring forth new life in the next season.'
Once they have burned, place the ash in the bottom of your hole or pot and cover with a thin layer of soil. Place the heads into the hole and sprinkle another thin layer of soil over them saying:
'We give to the earth that the land may know of our love and care for it, and that new life may grow.'
Sprinkle a little of the wine into the hole and say:
'This wine is as the life-blood of the land. As the life of the land is given up for us, so this wine is given up, to bring forth new life once more'
Fill the hole in completely and pour any remaining wine on top. You might like to place a marker near the spot so that you know where to look for next year's growth.
Again visualize the Goddess and God saying:
'Lord and Lady, know that we seek your blessing, not only for ourselves but for all your children. We thank you for your care and protection and ask that you continue to walk with us, each and every one, for all our days. Blessed Be.'
Lastly, thank the Elements in the usual way."
Lammas is just a few days away!
Have a Blessed Lughnasadh, Lammas or Loaf Mass!!!