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Lammas Sabbat

 Lammas is the first of the three harvest holidays.  The work of the summer and spring is finally paying off in the first harvest.  Offerings of bread can be offered to Faery folk, and left for wild animals.  During this time, you may wish to honour the pregnant Goddess, and the waning energy of the Sun God, as the sun begins to fade.  You can honour them by leaving libations of bread and cider.

 Lammas is the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest.  The Sun King, now Dark Lord, gives his energy to the crops to ensure life while the Mother prepares to give way to her aspect as the Crone.  Now is the time to teach what you have learned, to share the fruits of your achievements with the world.

 Lammas, or Lughnassadh, honours the Celtic God Lugh and may also have some association with the Roman Moon Goddess, Luna.  Lugh was a God of the harvest, fire, light and sun.  He was the King of the Tuatha De Danaan and the consort of Dana, the first Great Mother Goddess of Ireland.  Lugh’s sacrificial death and rebirth as a sheaf of grain at Lughnasadh symbolizes that even a God must eventually bow down to his Goddess, through whose benevolence he is reborn.

 Other rituals on this Sabbat contain enactments of growth, birth, honour, and thanks to the Goddess from whose womb they grew, and thanks to Lugh, in his aspect as Sun God, for blessing and impregnating the womb with heat and light.

 This festival has two aspects.  First, it is one of the Celtic fire festivals, honouring the Celtic culture-bringer and Solar God Lugh.  In Ireland, races and games were held in His name and that of His mother, Tailtiu.  The feast, or festival, of Lugh celebrates the triumph of Lugh over his arch-rival Balor.  In one legend, Balor was a Sun god and, after his defeat, he descended into the underworld to heal.  That is the reason why the days have begun to visibly wand at this time.

 Another part of that legend says that Balor was a great chieftain of a farming community and, when defeated, he was forced to give Lugh all his knowledge about agriculture, tiling and land management.

 The second aspect is the Saxon Feast of Bread, at which the first of the grain harvest is consumed in ritual loaves.

 One of the old traditions for Lughnassadh was that the King of Tara hosted a feast containing one product of the land from each province of his kingdom.  This not only showed that his reign was prosperous, but also his thanksgiving for the upcoming harvest.  This is a festival giving thanks for the goodness that we are about to receive.  As part of this thanksgiving process, the first sheaves of ripe grain were hand-ground and baked into a loaf of break and shared by all members of the community. The loaves were shaped into forms symbolizing things like the God of the Harvest, the Goddess, the wheel of the year, or simply left round with the shape of a stalk or sheaf of wheat etched into the top.

 On the festival of Lammas, the day that represents the first fruits of the harvest, we also celebrate and honour the fertility aspect of the union between the Goddess and the Horned God.  A centuries old custom, which is carried on today, is the making of Corn Dollies – small figures fashioned from braided straw.  The Dollies are placed on the altar to represent the Mother Goddess, who presides over the harvest.

 Lammastide was also the traditional time of the year for craft festivals.  The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colours and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers.

 A ceremonial highlight of such festivals was the “Catherine Wheel”, large wagon wheel which was taken to the top of a hill, covered with tar and set on fire, and then ceremoniously rolled down the hill – representing the end of summer and the decline of the Sun God.

 For Wiccans, the mystery of Lammas is that by fulfilling the vision of light in bringing to fruition the seed sown in the spring, we must face the vision of death.

 We know that the King bears the wound that he received at Midsummer and it is a wasting wound that will not heal.  He slowly weakens and His creative power is spent.  His powers are waning – a reflection of the failing light.  But Lammas is also a time of hope, for in the cutting of the corn the seed is gathered in – the hope for life to come.  We celebrate Lammas as a time of fulfillment;  it is a time of joy, when we reap all that we have sown.

 The celebration of Lammas is a time to pause, to relax and open ourselves to the changes of the seasons so that we may be one with its energies and accomplish what is intended.

 Colours Red, orange, gold, and yellow, green, citrine and gray. 

Candles - Golden yellow, orange, green, or light brown. 

Stones - Yellow diamonds, aventurine, sardonyx, peridot and citrine.

Animals - Roosters and calves.

Mythical Creatures - The phoenix, griffins, basilisks, centaurs and speaking skulls.

Plants - Corn, rice, wheat, rye and ginseng.

Traditional Herbs Acacia flowers, aloes, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, sunflower, and wheat.

Incense - Aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, passionflower, frankincense, and sandalwood.

Traditional Pagan Foods - Homemade breads, corn, potatoes, berry pies, barley cakes, nuts, wild berries, apples, rice, roasted lamb, acorns, crab apples, summer squash, turnips, oats, all grains and all First Harvest foods. 

Traditional Drinks - Elderberry wine, ale and meadowsweet tea.

It is also appropriate to plant the seeds from the fruit consumed in ritual.  If the seeds sprout, grow the plant with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Divine.

As Summer passes, Wiccans remember its warmth and bounty in the food we eat.  Every meal is an act of attunement with Nature, and we are reminded that nothing in the Universe is constant.

May the Lord and Lady bless you  with lots of love, and a plentiful First Harvest.

                                                                                    

 

Lammas Meditation

  

Lammas is the first of the summer harvests, the time of year that we honour the Corn Mother. It is a time to reflect on the harvest blessings in our lives.

 

Relax and close your eyes.....count down  13...12....11...10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...   

or use which ever method works for you

to totally relax and clear your mind

 

Think of the corn .....from seed.... buried in the moist soil of the Mother Gaia ....to green sprout...to stalk....reaching toward the sun and taking in the energy of the Sun God Lugh..... producing the ears of corn....ripening .....turning from green to gold.....swaying in the breeze...dropping it's seed into the Mother once again.

Now think of your life....since the last harvest...how have you progressed and grown.....what aspects of self ...projects ... or ideas have flourished in your life.  How have you harvested these or are they still in the process of growth.  What bounty and blessings have come to you in the past year.  Think in terms of Wealth( having enough food, shelter, warmth) Health, Opportunities, Things that have been given freely to you, Emotional support of friends and/or family, New people who have come into your life.

How would you summarize these blessings. Try to encapsulate these blessings in one word or a short phrase. Remember this for later.

when you are ready count back up   1...2....3...4...5...6...7...8...9..10...11.12...13.....

and when you are ready open your eyes.

 

`~~~~~~~     ~~~~~~~``~~~~~~~     ~~~~~~~`

Write the word or phrase on a rock, on piece of wood or in your journal. What ever works to help you remember your harvest blessings

adapted from "The Wicca Bible"

By Ann-Marie Gallagher

Submitted by Hazel

 

 

Lammas Corn Mother Spell

As you gather the corn husks, grass and grains for your Corn Mother, you may wish to thank the Spirits of the plant using this chant or a  of your choosing:

With gratitude I harvest this grain
from seed to ripening, and back again

As you use the corn, grass or grains to form your Corn Mother you may use this chant or one of your choosing:

I sing to the Mother Gaia
I sing to the Father Sun
I sing to living in the garden where
the Mother and Father are One.

When your Corn Mother is finished; Bless Her using this prayer or one of your own choosing:

Great Mother
Bless this symbol of the abundance of Your life.
Great Father
Bless this symbol of the vitality of Your life.
May it remind me of the ever turning Wheel
and the cycles of birth, death and rebirth

Submitted by Hazel

 

The Corn Dolly Cartoon

Submitted by Rowan Morgana

 

 


 
 

Sacred Haven Coven

SACRED HAVEN COVEN


Raising Children in Goddess Traditions

 

Circle round, and I’ll tell you a story about time….

Long, long ago, when the world was still new, all the people who lived on the earth knew that they were children of the Goddess.  They loved their Mother, for she was very beautiful, with her high, snow-capped mountains, her deep, blue oceans, her wide plains of grass, her broad deserts, and her forest of great trees.  She gave them everything they needed to live, and they delighted her with their songs, their dances, and the curious things they invented.

More and more people were born, and they spread out over the earth.  As they traveled, they began to live differently from one another.  The forest dwellers learned to live among the great trees; the people of the plains learned how to follow the herds on the great prairies.  Some people became sailors and fisher people; others learned to plant crops along the great rivers.  They called the Goddess by different names and made new songs and stories.  And the Mother was happy, for she was never bored.  People were always thinking up something new that delighted her.  Although she was their Mother, she left them free to grow and change – because only when people are free can they invent new things.  And the Goddess loves surprises.

But time passed.  As people grew more different from one another, some of them began to become afraid.  In fortunate lands life was easy and right;  in other places it was harsh and difficult, and some people became jealous of others.  They began to fight with each other, to try to take away what other people had.  They turned their imaginations to making better and better weapons of war.  They forgot that they were children of the Mother.  Instead, they invented new Gods and tried to make people forget the names of the Goddesses and Gods that reminded them of the Circle of Life.

The Mother became very sad.  She loved surprises – but not bad ones!  She hated to see her precious children hurt each other.  She cried when they suffered and died.

But the Mother was also wise.  She knew that if her children were to be free, they would make mistakes.  And if they were to grow up, she would have to let them learn from their mistakes – even if it took them thousands of years.  And maybe, even from their mistakes, good things might yet grow.  So she kept quiet, even when people forgot her and did things that hurt the earth herself.

Not all the people forgot her.  In every land, among every race of people, many remembered the old ways.  They were teachers and elders, wise priestesses and priests, or powerful magicians, and there were also ordinary people who never stopped loving the earth, the trees, the animals and the birds.  They knew that thousands of years might go by before human beings learned from their mistakes and began to love the Mother again, but they found ways to keep her memory from disappearing.  Many taught their children the ways of healing, or buried images of her for people to find in later times.  They continued to do their rituals in secret.  And when they died, many of them pledged to be reborn in the time when the memory of the Goddess would reawaken, and to bring back the knowledge that people would need.

Now that time has come.  Now more and more children are born into this world who remember the Circle of Life, and who bring with them the knowledge that we need to help heal the Mother and teach people how to live happily with each other again.

So right now is a wonderful time, because all of us who are alive right now can help to heal the hurtful things that have been done to the earth and to people.  That may seem like a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun.  For the things that heal the Goddess are often the things we love to do best – dancing and singing, doing kind things for people, planting gardens, and cleaning up our garbage.  Whenever you think of something new, or draw a picture or make up a story, the Goddess laughs with delight.  And the more she laughs, the stronger she gets, and the more people will hear her voice and remember that we are the children of the Mother.  So once again human beings, in all our different lands and with all our different ways, can live in the same circle, stretching around the earth like a rainbow.

From:  Circle Round – Raising Children in Goddess Traditions.

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