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 Lammas/Lugnassad

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Morwen
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PostSubject: Lammas/Lugnassad   Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:38 pm

Lammas/Lugnassad

Lammas: August 2, July 31st/Aug 1st

Frey Fest/Lughnasa/Lugnasad/Lammas

This is an Irish Gaelic name for the feast which commemorates the funeral games of Lugh, Celtic god of light, and son of the Sun.  In the mythological story of the Wheel of the Year, the Sun God transfers his power into the grain, and is sacrificed when the grain is harvested.  So we have a dying, self-sacrificing and resurrecting god of the harvest, who dies for his people so that they may live.  Sound familiar?

The power of the sun goes into the grain as it ripens. It is then harvested and made into the first new bread of the season.  This is the Saxon hlaef-masse or loaf-mass, now lammas.  Seed grain is also saved for planting for next year's crop, so the sun god may be seen to rise again in Spring with the new green shoots, as the sun also rises in the sky.  There are many traditions and customs all over the country that are still carried on at harvest-time today.

Lammas is a festival celebrating the first fruits of harvest, the fruits of our labours, and seeing the desires that we had at the start of the year unfold so rituals will be centred around this.  Lammas is an early Christian festival, "lammas" means loaf mass and represented the first loaves baked from that years crop. These were taken to church and laid on the altar.

It's a time for bread-making and corn-dollies. Goddesses celebrated around this time include Demeter and Ceres. Trees associated with lammas are Hazel and Gorse and herbs are Sage and Meadowsweet. Colours associated with lammas are golds, yellows and orange for the God and red for the Goddess as mother.

LammasLammas is traditionally first harvest. Look around you and you will see various trees namely Rowan yeilding bright red berries and brambles showing ripening fruits alongwith apple and pear trees. In this day and age when food is mass produced and imported so we get fruits and veg and corn no matter what time of year it is, it is easy to loose touch with the natural cycle of things.

Suggested Activities:

Creating and or decorating ritual items such as a Stang.  Walk through the woods to spend some time meditating in beautiful surroundings.  Making bread, make a wicker man and put all of your bad habits that you want to be rid of inside him and throw him in the bonfire. Making corn dollies.
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LadyMoonPanther
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PostSubject: Re: Lammas/Lugnassad   Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:06 am

*Another view of the Autumn Harvest*

Back to Basics: Lesson 2: Lammas History: Welcoming the Autumn Harvest

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, 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 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.

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!

Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
Grapes and vines
Dried grains -- sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
Corn dolls -- you can make these easily using dried husks
Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

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.
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Valkyera

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PostSubject: Re: Lammas/Lugnassad   Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:06 am

For those of you who have Norse/Viking influences, I have seen Lammas called both Lithasblot and Lunasa, and it's also a festival of harvest in the northern lands that celebrates the waning God and the waxing Goddess. It is an appropriate time for spellworking for abundance and good fortune, and, as it is mentioned above in a previous comment, it honors the ancestors as each seed planted is a reminder of the ancient times and trials they went through in order to survive.
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