Lammas - Lughnasadh (1st of August)

Lammas or also known as Lughnasadh or Lughnasa is a time of the First harvest in the Year, baking the first Year's bread, usually celebrated on August 1st.

Summer is high, it is a time of gathering and giving thanks for abundance given us by Mother Earth. Lammas means "loaf mass" honoring the first grain and the first loaf of bread. It should be celebrated outdoors, but if that is not possible, you can decorate your altar with wheat, barley or oats and also with the first fruits of the season where you live. Lammas is represented by Harvest Corn Goddesses throughout many cultures in different parts of world as by a Greek Goddess Demeter, Roman Goddess Ceres and Corn Woman among many others. Goddesses represent fullness of the present harvest, but also a fulfillment of the promise for the future harvest. As a pregnant mother carrying a daughter in her belly, the same daughter is carrying a seed of the her future daughter as well. It is also a time of Father Sun warmth and light.

Lughnasadh (pronounced as "lu-na-sa") is named after a great Celtic Sun and Light god Lugh, and August is a time to honor his mother Tailtiu, the Queen of the Fir Bolg, with great festivities including fairs, games and bonfires. Tailtiu worked until she died from exhaustion to make the land ready for the planting of wheat and corn for the humans under her care. As she lay dying, she promised the people that as long as they honored her memory by celebrating, they would always have food in body and mind. But Lughnasadh is also a time of waning solar energy and time of change and slowing down growth. It is said that Lugh was killed by his wife Blodeuwedd's lover, but has risen again to revenge his own death by killing his killer and turning his wife into an owl. Blodeuwedd represents Earth's hunger for fertilizing her soils.

Lamas or Lughnasadh is a time of a great grain gathering for winter time and the harvest itself is a promise for the next year's rebirth and regeneration. Cutting of the corn represents slow death for Sun God, preparing him for Winter. Remember to give thanks to Sun God for all the blessings. Even if you do not pray before meals, giving thanks for is very appropriate on this day as a way of honor, gratitude and blessing for what has been given so far and for what will be given in years to come. You may use this prayer:

"For what we are about o receive, may the Lord and Lady make us truly thankful!"

You may add some personal thanks for all the good things you have been blessed so far this year, but also for a particular food you are about to eat as well. After your meal you may perform an additional Earth ritual are by sowing the seeds of fruits that you ate back in the earth in thanks and also to add symbolically to the circle of life and rebirth.

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