August 1, 2
WHAT IT IS:
Lughnasadh means 'the commemoration
of Lugh'. Who was Lugh?
Lugh is also a type of the god who undergoes death
and rebirth in a sacrificial mating with the Goddess.
On this Sabbat (which marks the start of the harvest season and is dedicated to bread), Witches give thanks to the gods for the harvest (often with various offerings to the deities to ensure the continued fertility of the land) and honor the fertility aspect of the sacred union of the Goddess and Her consort, the Horned God.
In the ancient times, the gathering of the harvest was a time filled with anxiety. Will the weather hold? Will the harvest be good? It is, after all, the culmination of the year's work on the farm. In former times, the entire community would take part in the harvest. The cutting of the final sheaf was particular...ly dangerous because it contained the life spirit of the corn, which had retreated into the final stook. Sometimes the harvesters would approach it reverently, and cut it in a single stroke with the cry, "I have the neck." This was carefully woven into a corn-dolly or kern-baby, which would preserve the corn spirit safely until the next year. It would be kept in a place of honor until the spring, when it would be plowed into the fields to bring them life. The ribbons that bind it are significant in their colors-yellow for the sun, red for sacrifice, blue for love, green for wisdom, and white for strength. The sacrifice of the corn spirit is necessary in order that humankind has enough food to eat for the coming year. It is the law of Nature that one thing must die for another to live. To eat we must take the lives of plants and animals, or their potential lives in seeds, fruits, and eggs. The ancient people reverenced these lives as they were taken, appreciated, and made ritual restitution for the sacrifice made. For farming communities the Autumn harvest was the culmination of the work of the year, but involved the sacrifice of the vegetation spirit, which had returned with the spring to thrive with the summer-a sacrifice necessary for the greater good..
The first of three harvest celebrations in the Craft.
Lammas was originally celebrated by the ancient Druid
priests as the festival of Lughnasadh.
HOW IT IS CELEBRATED:
The making of corn dollies (small figures fashioned from braided straw) is an old Pagan custom which is carried on by many modern-day Witches as part of the Lammas Sabbat rite. The corn dollies are placed on the Sabbat altar to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the harvest. It is customary on each Lugnasadh to make (or buy) a new corn dolly and then burn the old one from the past year for good luck.
Decorate your altar with the first fruits of garden
labor; as well as grain, poppies, and bilberries (if available), with other
Baking bread is traditional for this holiday, and canning is done as well.
Magickal cabinets are stocked with herbs before the
onset of fall.
This is a good time to prepare your house for the fall
Homemade breads (wheat, oat, and especially corn
Page constructed 26 July 2000