LughnasadhBy LaVonne (LaVonne) on August 4, 2011
|This is about Lammas, aka Lughnasadh. It is the beginning of fall and I think you will enjoy this article.|
Lammas, also called Lughnasadh
The Beginning of the Harvest:
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, and corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.
This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.
Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures:
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.
In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.
A Feast of Bread:
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas -- it meant that the previous year's harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheaves of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.
The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.
Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God: He is the uncontested master of all arts. A god of war, smiths, poets, and bards; associated with the moon. He is a champion of the Tuatha, a historian, and a powerful sorcerer. He appears very handsome and clean shaven, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He has a very lusty appetite and is known for his generosity and prowess. His cult symbols are the cock, tortoise, goat, and a bag of coins.
In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh's influence appears in the names of several European towns.
Celebrating Lammas Today:
Honoring the Past
In our modern world, it's often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it's no big deal; we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one's crops meant the difference between life and death.
By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.
Symbols of the Season
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can't find too many items marked as "Lammas decor" in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.
Crafts, Song and Celebration
Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It's a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!
Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.
Lammas (Lughnasadh) Cooking
Why not celebrate with a big feast?
Lammas is all about the bounty of the early harvest. Nothing quite says Lammas Menu like bread and other grains, as well as early fall veggies like squash, or late summer fruits such as apples. Plan your Sabbat menu and have a delicious dinner to celebrate Lammas!
Bread is the ultimate symbol of the Lammas season. After all, once the grain is harvested, it is milled and baked into bread, which is then consumed. It is the cycle of the harvest come full circle. The spirit of the grain god lives on through us in the eating of the bread. In many traditions, a loaf of special bread is baked in the shape of a man, to symbolize the god of the harvest. You can easily make a loaf of Lammas bread by using a pre-made loaf of bread dough, found in the frozen food section in your grocery store. Certainly, you can make your own dough, but if you're not much of a baker, this is an easy alternative.
First, place the frozen dough on a greased cookie sheet. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil, and place it on top of the dough. Place the tray in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise for several hours until it has at least doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, cut five slits in it, as shown in Figure 1.
Shaping the Loaf
Shape the two lower sections into legs, the side sections into arms, and the top section into a head. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, at about 350 degrees, or until golden brown. After baking, remove from oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Brush the bread man with melted butter, sprinkle with herbs if you like, and use in your Lammas ritual.
At Lammas, blackberries are ripe and ready for picking. Go out and gather a bucketful and make a delicious blackberry cobbler for your summer celebrations!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, baking powder, milk and salt. Blend until creamy, and spread into a greased 12 x 8" baking pan.
Pour blackberries over batter, and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Pour boiling water over the top, and then bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with fresh cream.
Blackberry Cobbler, Member Skyefiare
The recipe called for 1 C fresh blackberries, that is so not enough. I just added until it looked right, closer to 4 C
The early harvest and the threshing of grain has been celebrated for thousands of years. Here are just a few of the customs and legends surrounding the Lammas season.
In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Lammas (Lughnasadh). Here are a few of the stories about this magical harvest celebration from around the world.
Deities of the Fields
Gods and Goddesses of the Early Harvest
By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
When Lammastide rolls around, the fields are full and fertile. Crops are abundant, and the late summer harvest is ripe for the picking. This is the time when the first grains are threshed, apples are plump in the trees, and gardens are overflowing with summer bounty. In nearly every ancient culture, this was a time of celebration of the agricultural significance of the season. Because of this, it was also a time when many gods and goddesses were honored. These are some of the many deities who are connected with this earliest harvest holiday:
The full moon in August on the 13th begins at 18:57 (6:57 p.m.) Saturday.
This meeting of coven, college and other circles carries forth the celebration of the Harvest season. Altars are decorated with colors of Fall. Flowers might be sun flowers, mums, or dried cattails with an assortment of tall grasses. The cloth would be a hunter green, rust, or muted yellow. The participants may choose new robes of hunter green, rust, robes of floral patterns for fall, etc. Their feast may comprise of squashes, root vegetables, salad greens, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes and fish (all kinds, esp. Salmon, trout, perch, halibut), fresh apples from the tree (if you can get them.) Their choice of wine for the feast would be a nice red or a chardonnay, and homemade Meade for the Altar ritual.
Whichever way you celebrate this holiday may you reap the positive energies that abound around you.
|John Barleycorn, Lammas, Lughnasadh|
|I am still learning who LaVonne/Dorothy is.|
Statistically I am a 65 y/young mother of 3, grandmother of 9, and great-grandmother of 3. I am a High Priestess and founder of the College of the Boundless Truth, am an Ordained Minister and perform Handfastings, marriages during the Spring and Summer season. I am enjoying my Crone years.
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|Harvest!||dahlianut||Aug 11, 2011 12:59 PM||2|