Witch's Broom


This holiday is the first of the three harvest holidays. The work of the spring and summer is finally paying off in the first harvest. It is known as the time when the plants of spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.

As autumn begins, the Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.

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.

Wheat weaving, such as the making of corn dollies, is traditional. Bread is baked and the altar is decorated with fruits and vegetables of the harvest.

Focus of Lughnasadh

Now is the time to teach what you have learned, to share the fruits of your achievements with the world.

Community Focus

Visit with the sacrificed grain god before he begins his journey to the Underwrold. What wisdom can he grant you for your own journey into death? As the God sacrificed himself on this day for the survival of the tribe, ask yourself what should you sacrifice for the good of your tribe?  What must you release or give for the highest good? What should you gather at this time?

Ravenna's Lughnasadh 2011

Well, I'd like to say that I did something amazing and meaningful this year... but I can't.  This year was spent with my family doing what families do best: Be together.  We had fish and rice for dinner. Not necessarily a "traditional" Lughnasadh feast, but it was still delicious.

No, this year was not spent in fancy ritual or anything like that.  Instead, it was simple meditation and contemplation on the meaning of the season... at least what the season means to me.  And this is what I came up with:

It’s that one moment in time, right before autumn sets in that the world pauses just briefly to reflect on the past few weeks and take note of what is ready for harvesting. And before you know it, time shifts, and you can almost feel the sense of urgency in the air as we spiral closer to the Autumnal Equinox. The seeds, both literally and figuratively, that we planted in the previous months have sprouted and are – or nearly so – ready to be harvested.

The God of Summer, He who, but a few short weeks ago reached the height of His power, knows that Summer has reached an end, and that a sacrifice must be made in order to ensure a successful harvest for the people.The nature of sacrifice is a sticky thing. The dictionary offers this as the definition of sacrifice:

sac·ri·fice Pronunciation[sak-ruh-fahys] verb, -ficed, -fic·ing.
1. the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.
2. the person, animal, or thing so offered.
3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
4. the thing so surrendered or devoted.
5. a loss incurred in selling something below its value.

–verb (used with object)
6. to make a sacrifice or offering of.
7. to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.
8. to dispose of (goods, property, etc.) regardless of profit.–verb (used without object)
9. to offer or make a sacrifice.

So the nature of sacrifice then, is to offer something up that is precious to us for the sake of another or for the greater good of another. The Sun King so then willing offers Himself as the Sacrificial King for the greater good of His people. His Body and Blood will nourish the fields of growing grain so that His people might harvest and live another year. At Lughnassadh though, He has not yet passed, but is instead Wounded, and begins to die as the Sun itself is seen to “die” in the weeks leading to the Autumnal Equinox.

The Earth Goddess also prepares for this sacrifice, knowing that even though She loses Her Consort for a time, He will return again with the birth of Her Child come Winter Solstice. This time of year is also – like Imbolc – the Quickening. For in Her belly, which is heavily pregnant with the new Sun God, She can feel the first stirrings of the new Life within, reminding Her that all is not lost, and even through the grief at losing Her Beloved Consort for a time, He will return again.

There is one last burst of Life in the land during this season, as the crops come to full maturity and are ripe for reaping. The same can be said for the things that we have planted within ourselves – ideas, plans and growth – are ready to begin to “harvest.”

So is the season of Lughnassadh, also called Lammas, linked with the Sun, the Earth, ourselves and other seasonal changes. The ever turning Wheel of the Year is connected to us all, whether we are conscious of this or not. Briefly pausing at each sabbat, we can take note of changes in the season, and see how they are ever flowing into each other.

Many Blessings in this season of Harvest and Sacrifice,

~ Ravenna Angelline

Ravenna's Lughnasadh 2006

Lughnassadh was wonderful this year. Very simple, which lately, I really am starting to love. I made a feast for my Sisters, and I am also pleased with how the food turned out. We had a great time! Lots of laughter and fun, and my oldest child really out did himself with entertaining everyone. He decided to become various animals and then was busy acting like said animals. Ahh he is such a wonderful child.

The menu for yesterday was:

  • Grilled Salmon
  • Sun-dried Tomato Basil Pesto (Cooking by the Seasons by Karri Ann Allrich pg 58)
  • Rosemary Focaccia (Cooking by the Seasons by Karri Ann Allrich pg 56-57)
  • Southwestern Polenta  (Cooking by the Seasons by Karri Ann Allrich pg 68-69)
  • Classic Greek Salad  (Cooking by the Seasons by Karri Ann Allrich pg 86)


Later on today, I will have a private ritual for myself, and maybe even my children as well. Something to mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn will be nice. The weather is still nice and warm, but I can feel the change... I can taste it in the air. Not to mention our garden is progressing nicely. Everything will be ready for full harvest by Mabon. Ohhh, I can hardly wait to start planning the menu for that!!

~ Ravenna

Ravenna's Lughnasadh 2005

This year's Lughnassadh was pretty nice. The group I hang out with had a rather informal ritual gathering, which considering the weather here lately, was a very nice bonus! I spent most of today in the kitchen, which is not an altogether rare event in and of itself... but today I spent the day baking. Taking advantage of the heat, actually. I baked three loaves of honey whole wheat bread (recipe to be added to the Lughnassadh recipes section later) I was so excited about my bread, because for the first time EVER my bread actually turned out right and wasn't a giant hockey puck. It was beautiful, and very, VERY tasty! I'm quite proud of myself for this feat of baking skill.

I also made a large cornbread man to be used during our ritual. Basically, little cornbread man became our "Sacrificial Corn King," and we lopped off his head. It was really amusing. After that, well, we feasted!! There were so many delicious foods to partake of, and I ate myself silly. All in all this year's Lughnassadh was a blast, and I really enjoyed myself.

Blessed Lughnassadh
~ Ravenna Angelline

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