Today August 1 is the pagan sabbat Lammas also called Lughnasadh named after the Celtic Sun God Lugh whose name means "bright shining one". This is the first of three pagan harvest celebrations of the year and one of the cross quarter sabbats on the Wheel of the Year.
Lammas celebrates the first harvest of grains, fruits and vegetables of the year. This sabbat was celebrated in the ancient agricultural pagan cultures of Ireland, Great Britain, and Europe. The rituals included prayer for future success of the crops harvest and gratitude and blessings for the first crops that were grown and harvested from the seeds sown.
Today especially if we live in cities we can be very removed from the farming and harvesting of our own food. We also have food grown year round and transported to us during Winter months. There is no fear that there will be no food to last all Winter.
For ancient agricultural people this was a serious matter. An abundant harvest would sustain them or they could face the possibility starvation as they headed into the Winter season. Having an abundant harvest was something to feel very blessed and thankful to the Gods and Goddesses that they worshipped. It meant being able to eat and sustain life from the food grown. Some years the harvest was more abundant than others. The leaner harvest times must have been very difficult years.
This is a great time to slow down and feel gratitude for what Mother Earth has grown for us to eat. If you live in a city you can even go to your local Farmer's Market and eat the locally grown farmed food as you support your local farmer's and their livelihood. You can do this in the country to. Make yourself a celebratory Lammas meal for the First Harvest and invite family and friends to share. Reconnect to earth and how she sustains us and nourishes us. Remember to give a meal blessing and gratitude to the Goddess for her harvest.
This is a also great time to eat corn and blackberries that are abundant right now. You can bake bread or conbread to celebrate or a blackberry pie. You can also make preserves from fruit that is abundant now.
This year I am spending some time during Lammas visiting family where I grew up in the Fingerlakes region of New York State. It has been lovely to see the abundant corn crops and enjoy sweet locally grown corn. I also enjoyed some time at a nearby pristine lake and picked a few abundant blackberries. Later I will light a candle in simple reflection and ritual of this First Havest and say a blessing of gratitude to the Goddess on this Lammas.
Lammas is also a time for reflection on what seeds we have sown and reaped this year. It is also a time to reflect on regrets of what has not come to fruition this year that we had hoped for. We can say farewell to that which we are also letting go for the year that no longer serves us or what we have lost. We can also renew goals and dreams in new ways to harvest at Mabon the Autumn Equinox September 23. So revise and revamp those goals, dreams, and wishes that do not seem to be harvesting an abundant crop for you metaphorically this year now. What can you do such as water them more or replant them or are there other seeds to plant?
If there is something you have enjoyed this year and would like to preserve in a memory write it down in a journal, make a piece of art to honor it, print a photo of the event to hang on your wall, or anything that preserves the sweet memory of the experience for you.
Remember also what you have to be thankful for and express your gratitude to the Goddess and the Earth
The days are starting to be shorter and less light. They begin now to hint of Autumn to come in September. This is a great time of year to enjoy the last month of the calendar year of Summer and prepare for Autumn and the Back to School and Work season after Labor Day. Lammas starts August off with a good time for reflection, gratitude, farewell, and renewal.
Have an abundant, bright, and blessed Lammas!