1st August marks the Pagan festival of Lammas (the Saxon name, meaning ‘loaf-mass’), or Lughnasadh (the Celtic name that means ‘mourning for Lugh).
This particular festival marks the waning of Summer (yep, the nights are drawing in once again) – the power of the sun is diminishing, so we use this time both to mourn his passing; but also to celebrate the first fruits of harvest.
One of my favourite witchy books is Hedge Witch by Rae Beth, which shares some important questions that we can ask ourselves at this time:
“A solitary witch might begin Lammas with a walk in the country. For those that don’t have access to this, there are parks, back gardens, canal paths and ‘waste’ land. Look for the first fruits of harvest. Are there blackberries on bushes? If you are in the countryside, how does the corn look? Is it golden and tall or still green and unripe? How do these things compare with your life? If you set yourself to learn something back at Candlemas, are you making progress? If you are a craftsperson, are you satisfied with your techniques? In your business or profession, are you making any headway? In the cycle of this year’s life, and in longer cycles, are there fruits?”
I don’t know about you, but I utterly love the energies as the cycle moves from Summer to Autumn. On various levels, I always seem to notice the first fruits manifesting in August, and often these lead to a sudden fabulous glut in September (which is my favourite month).
On a practical level, you can celebrate by something as simple as baking a loaf of bread; or why not try making a corn dollie? We had one in our house when I was little – I often pondered how something could be so strong yet so flexible at the same time..
Some do elaborate rituals for Lammas, but you can keep it simple by simply taking some time out to reflect and ask yourself some of the questions above. Thinking about the fruits of your labour now may begin to give you some pointers on what seeds to carry forward and plant in the coming Spring.