Celebrated on the Eve of August or August 1st in most traditions, Lughnasadh is an Irish Gaelic name for the feast which signals the death games of Lugh, the Celtic god of light and child of the Sun.
Happy Lughnasadh or Lammas, whichever you wish to call it!
As the full sun rises on this beautiful Summer day, I can feel the heat around come to the crest in its pendulum swing. Things will start to cool after this burst of warmth and the harvest time will be upon us. To celebrate this wonderful Sabbat, I am getting in touch with my Kitchen Witch side (thanks very much to the amazing treasures contained in this month’s Sabbat Box).
::The Story of Lammas-Lughnasadh::
Celebrated on the Eve of August or August 1st in most traditions, Lughnasadh is an Irish Gaelic name for the feast which signals the death games of Lugh, the Celtic god of light and child of the Sun. The Sabbat is often called Lammas, or Loaf Mass, as well.
The Wheel of the Year;’s story tells of the Sun God transferring his power into the grain during this time. He is then sacrificed when the grain is harvested. A dying, self-sacrificing and then resurrecting god of the harvest. Who by doing so saves his people. This tale, as you can probably tell, influence later religions. It is also said that this funeral was not actually for him but for his Mother, Tailte.
As the grain grows and ripens, the power of the sun goes into them. The first bread of the season is made from what has been harvested. This is where the Saxon hlaef-masse, or loaf-mass, now Lammas, comes in. Seed grain was also typically saved for planting the following year’s crop. Allowing the Sun god to rise again in the Spring as the new green shoots are seen. There are many traditions and customs all over the world which celebrate this time and you can also see this in the tales of the Harvest Goddesses and a procession of the Maiden turned to Mother now becoming a Crone.
This is the time for bread-making and corn-dollies. Goddesses celebrated on this Sabbat commonly include: Demeter and Ceres, and any other harvest deity. Trees associated with Lammas are Hazel and Gorse, with the herbs Sage and Meadowsweet being associated with this Sabbat. Additional herbs associated with Lughnasadh include: All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears. Colors associated with Lughnasadh are gold, yellow, and orange for the God and red, brown, and also gold for the Goddess.
::My Altar and Ritual::
Today, I’m getting in touch with my love of cooking and home. The gifts I mentioned above came with a sweet, little cookie stamp in the shape of a pentacle and a recipe for Honey Almond cookies. I’m going to be making these for my celebration at the Sekhmet Goddess Temple tomorrow. Although, I will admit that I am a little hesitant to go into a hot kitchen while it’s in the 100’s outside and I’m pregnant and hot anyway. Oh well.
I’ve also decorated my altar with a beautiful corn dolly statue, which is a nice change from the real thing which can flake and breaks down. This dolly can hang out all the way through to September. The altar is also be covered in beautiful golden trinkets that remind me of the Sun and all it has given us to survive and flourish, and with it being Leo season one of them is a golden lion leaping up inside the round circle of the Sun.
A specially created Lughnasadh incense and candle is burning on the altar and filling my nose with spice and flowers and sunshine. Sashes of yellow and red and orange lay draped across the top of my altar and I’ve anointed myself with a custom Lughnasadh blessing oil. Sitting in the setting sun and soaking up all the goodness, I’m taking this time to thanks the Harvest Deities and the Sun for another prosperous year under their guidance.
This is the time to reap what we have sown and take stock for the coming Fall and Winter. I am feeling very connected to the cycles this year as my belly has grown with the sun and it will soon be time to harvest this little one and welcome Baby Moon into the world.
Bright Blessings All Around!
Aside from doing a ritual to recognize the changing season, here are a few other ways to celebrate this Sabbat.
- Create and/or decorate ritual items like a Stang, or if you’re feeling the Kitchen Witch vibe your cooking tools like a wooden spoon.
- Take a walk through the woods and spend time meditating on beautiful surroundings.
- Make bread and enjoy it with friends and family
- Make a wicker man and put all of your bad habits into him and then toss him in your ritual bonfire.
- Make a corn dolly.
- Harvest any plants you’ve been growing and use them to make something yummy or beautiful for the coming Fall.
- Drape yourself in yellow or the rays of the Sun and pull in the warmth and growth this Sabbat offers.
This Sabbat is a wonderful time to be grateful for all that is coming into begin because of the seeds you planted earlier in the Wheel of the Year. Take stock, enjoy, and as always enjoy the tiny, crazy ways the world is expressing its joy and beauty.
The longest day of the cosmic year, Summer Solstice 2017 is your time to strip it down and swim back to your roots.
Connect with Summer Solstice energy through these fun celebratory ideas. Then, read on for three in depth looks at the Solstice energy building around us.
- Ignite a Fantasy Life with a Movie: The Sun is now entering the sign of Cancer for this Solstice. This mermaid’s energy is focused all around the creative power of our fantasies. Whether you’re dying to be Wonder Woman or want to enjoy a steamy, romantic read, take joy in the free flowing potential of your inner visions by allowing yourself to be swept off your feet by fantastically real stories of love and adventure.
- Go Skinny Dipping: This Solstice is definitely about stripped bare and diving into our private lives. Take the plunge at noon with friends or go solo at midnight. It’s all about celebrating begin wholly in your own skin and connecting with your internal world. If you’re like me and swimming isn’t your strong suit, get naked and enjoy a bath with your favorite aromatherapy and allow your mind to drift inward.
- Host a Slumber Party: Stay up all night on this the longest day of the year . Pamper yourself with at home spa treatments and channel the nostalgic Cancer Season feelings with Old Hollywood classics, high school yearbooks, or photo albums.
- Relax with your Deities: Ruled by the Moon, the Solstice says to connect to our feminine ancestors and those who came before, whomever this means to you. Those you’ve held dear, who’ve made a place in your heart, who you’ve admired and bowed to at the altar their force of nature. Honor them, however you can, whether it’s a full blown ritual or a simple moment of reflection enjoying your favorite tea.
- Love Thyself: Light the candles, let the mood music ring out, and dress yourself to the nines in your most sensual attire. Get intimate with yourself and determine just what turns you on in your most private moments. Romance yourself.
- Let the Music Play: Put on your favorite upbeat, summer mix and dance till you fall down. Rejoice in the fulfillment of this time. I’m personally quite fond of this one.
::Let’s Get Deep::
~Increased light means increased consciousness.
When we have times in the year that change the flow of the seasons they offer the chance to help us to define time and get in touch with the Universe’s sacred rhythm. We transition from one phase of time to another. This is the longest day of the year, and increased light means increased consciousness.
Since the Winter Solstice, we’ll been in a yin state, filled with rejuvenation, six months of inward processing, and clearing away that which doesn’t service. Now, we open ourselves to the Universe and push forward into a yang state.
On the shortest day of the year we planted a seed. After it had been fertilization by our new ideas and spirit, it grew into a beautiful flower now ready to open its petals. A sweet release of a held breath that welcomes this new growth into the world.
Find something you can get your hands on and honor the fullness and richness of life available right now. As you take joy in this splendor, you’ll move move into your heart space, attracting your desires.
~Grounded, Connected, Clear
August brings with in Eclipse Season. So, the Solstice and Cancer season is a great time to get grounded, connected, and clear. The New Moon in Cancer follows the Solstice by two days, and it’s time to create new intentions, have a blast, and enjoy summertime vibes.
At the precise moment when the Sun enters Cancer, the Waning Crescent Balsamic Moon in Taurus joins with Venus in Taurus. This auspicious alignment in the Solstice chart shows us that this seasonal change will grant gifts of bounty. The Moon rules Cancer, and is in Taurus, and Venus, Taurus’ ruler, is dignified in here. What’s more, the Moon forms an perfect trine, a supportive angle of manifestation, to Pluto and all its glory.
This luxurious and poignant alignment grounds us as the Sun hits his peak and we ready ourselves for the season of Cancer. Cancer, who loves to connect immensely with loved ones, opens a doorway to nurturing our connection to lovers, friends, and family as we reach down to our roots for increased safety and abundance.
~Skinny dip into your heart
Deep in your soul, how does midnight shine? This Summer Solstice, dim the lights, strip down to beautiful skin, and take the plunge into your heart’s most intimate places.
With Neptune, the Sun, and Mercury entering our mermaid friend Cancer on the same day, the Summer Solstice is a water goddess’s dream. This ocean breeze Solstice is a homecoming to wash delicately, yet fiercely, back into our own shores, to take stock of where we’ve been, and to let everything which has grown in our inner treasure troves give us the strength to sail on strong winds into Tomorrow.
Dance in the waves and swim back to your home. And remember that home is inside you because you belong everywhere, and always, to yourself.
~Activity for Solstice
Think on these words, “I bow to worship my most tender, nocturnal aspects.”
Eat foods like your favorite nighttime snacks and home-cooked classics. Try out some nightshade fruits and veggies, like tomatoes, sip some yummy cardamom-infused milks, and enjoy robust, family-made pastas.
And remember, if you’re like me and can’t get to the ocean or water source near you, you can always enjoy a loving, long soak in your tub with your favorite aromatherapy or bath salts that spark images of the sea. And if that’s not doable, simply enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of water and reflect on how it connects us to everything and our emotions.
Between job loss, pregnancy, and finding a new job, I’ve completely lost track of time. For my first long post in a loooong time, I thought I’d tell you about some of the trials and tribulations, and of course joys, of being on the nest. It’s my Friday Feel, I feel damn pregnant.
Yes, pregnancy. A glorious time of growth and developing life, and… and…
I’m sorry I can’t do. Pregnancy kinda sucks. Sure, you get a baby out of it which is totally amazing but this is hard fucking work. If it’s not for you that’s awesome and no it isn’t the most important job a woman can have or the only thing that makes you a woman. I did want this and I definitely still do, but like a five minute break would be cool.
Pregnancy comes with a host of “fun” symptoms I’m sure we’ve all heard about- nausea, fatigue, constipation, stretch marks, sore back, etc.- but it also comes with some rather surprising changes that frankly I could have lived without. One such symptom is “pregnancy brain.” Yes, apparently that really is a thing. Who knew?
The production killer that is pregnancy brain has hit me hard during these five months. I actually had to count that on my hand because everything in pregnancy is measured in weeks. In the beginning, when I though I was dying, the pregnancy brain I experienced I assumed was a result of being exhausted and nauseated and tired and nauseated. Yeah, it was a blast. Now that I’m in the “honeymoon” phase of pregnancy, it’s much more obvious that my brain just isn’t working like it did.
Now, the science behind this is baffling to me. Some studies say it is totally real and probably the result of hormones (as everything is when you’re pregnant) and others say it is probably all in our heads. Well, in my head or not, my brain no worky.
Quite often the anomaly presents itself in me like this: We have a doctor’s appointment in the morning so I go to remind my husband and say, “We’ve got a doctor’s appointment this weekend. No. Not weekend. In the morning. Why did I say that?”
It happens all the time. I’m certain I’m about to say one thing and other thing comes out of my mouth. Weirdness. Also, mildly frustrating. What my brain has no trouble at all focusing on is baby stuff. Not things related to baby, I mean all the stuff there is to buy. The nesting instinct you hear so much about got real in the past few weeks. All I want to do is buy stuff for the nursery.
Another interesting thing about being pregnant is the amount of goo your body now produces. Now, avert your eyes for the next few lines if you just ate or something. When pregnant, you make a mucus plug to seal up the cervix. Those two words are probably the most foul things I could ever say to my husband but that’s what happens. Mucus plugs up stuff. It’s actually a good thing.
A side effect of needing to do this is that your body increases the mucus production everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I’ve never blown my nose so much in my life. Plus, there’s a bit of a post-nasal thing going on and I’m not going to get into the stuff downstairs. The moral of this part of the story is that there is a lot of goo that happens during pregnancy not to mention birth itself. Yum.
And to round things out a bit, you also get to enjoy backaches, bloody noses and gums, amazing if weird sex dreams, skin issues that run the gamut, sleepless nights (even though preggers should really get to rest), and just so much more that depends on your precise chemistry and make up.
However, as I type away, Baby Moon is kicking up a storm. And that’s pretty cool, if also occasionally painful. It also sometimes feels like a fish swimming in you which is a bit unsettling. But seriously, there’s a life growing in there. A real human!
And that right there has a way of making up for some of the unpleasantness.
It’s also quite fun to eat something cold and sugary and feel ’em dance!
So, it’s tough. Always has been, always will be. It’s also pretty cool. Mostly.
And to my little one, I don’t know you and I love you. Sometimes I feel like I do understand a bit of who you are, you move around when I’m happy and really like kicking me in the bladder. So, you sound just like your mom.
Your mom. That’s me. How wonderfully strange.
And now I’m off to go ugly cry thanks to hormones, the joy, and a fitting end to this Friday’s feel fest.
Momma loves you little Moon.