What are the colors of Lunasa?
Green and gold, one might think: the unripe grain, and the ripe.
And so it is. But these are the Lunasa of the fields, the Lunasa of Earth.
And there are other Lunasas.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Most people are familiar with the Celtic name for August 1st, Lughnasadh. Across the water it's known as Lammas Day.
From Leechdom, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early England, a compendium of wonderful folk knowledge of early Anglo-Saxon England, here's a fragment of a charm using bread [hláf] hallowed on 'hláfmæsse-dæg' the traditional grain harvest day:
Lughnasadh, the first of the harvest festivals is traditionally held on the 1st of August. Lughnasadh/ Lúnasa, now the modern Irish name for the month of August means 'the commemoration of Lugh'. Lugh, or Lugus, is a god of law and skill, who in the Irish tales gained the knowledge of agriculture from the tyrant Bres. Lugh is commonly associated with the sun and Lugh is often thought to mean 'bright' in Proto-Indo-European, although it may also be related to 'leug' meaning 'to swear an oath' and even 'leug' meaning black. There are none the less other pointers to his solar nature, at least in Britain and Ireland, such as in his Welsh version Lleu Llaw Gyffes, meaning 'bright one with the strong hand' and the fact that his most famous possession in the Irish lore is a fiery solar spear. That said, connections may also be made between Lugh and the often forgotten Irish god Crom Cruach / Crom Dubh, whose name 'crooked head ' or 'dark crooked one' is also connected to the bowing grain and is remembered at this time on Crom Dubh Sunday, the first Sunday in August. Lugh has traces across Britain and Europe, with several inscriptions to him found in the Iberian peninsula. Depictions of him in Europe are often tripartite, or triple headed, suggesting a triple nature, so this is a god that is hard to get to grips with if we take the original evidence into account, and it may be that this dichotomy between the light and the dark is part of his nature.
In the Irish tales Lughnasadh marks the funerary games of Lugh's foster- mother, Tailtiu, who died clearing the land for fields. It is said that so long as she is remembered, 'there would be milk and grain in every house.'- that is, the land would be fertile so long as we honour her. Another name for this time, 'Brón Trogain' refers to the pains or sorrowing of the earth and reminds us that this time of abundance is due to sacrifice, of the wild earth and also of our own labours, so at this time of summery celebration there are traces of something more sober afoot. After all, solstice is passed, and the days will be darkening all too soon. It's later name, Lammas from the Anglo-Saxon 'hlaef mass', or loaf mass, shifts the focus from the wild earth to the gifts of agriculture, and the sacrifice of the grain spirit....
It is a beautifully cool, misty-rainy day for the last day of Beltane. Not a day to be out celebrating Tailtiu with games, but still perfect. We've been starved for rain this month, and today's rain feels like a benediction on the ripening tomatoes, squash and herbs.
Later I will mix up bread dough and measure out rice for risotto. A touch of saffron will make the dish golden as the absent sun, and later this evening we will sit done to a simple,festive dinner....
Long treated as a source of shame and impurity, menstruation is once again coming to be regarded as a sacred process and state of being. Rituals and celebrations for menarche and menopause aren't quite as rare as they were a generation ago, and those of us who menstruate are finding that we can talk more openly about the process.
However, although it's increasingly easy to find rituals for menarche and menopause, and although practices like ritual baths mark the end of each month's cycle, it's harder to find rituals that mark the beginning. The moment when the cervix opens and the first blood emerges is significant--for example, the first day of a pregnant person's last period is used to calculate their due date--yet most of us mark it with little more than a hurriedly placed tampon or pad....
Courage. Generosity. Love. Creativity. Leadership. These are all attributes of Leo, and this month we have an opportunity to express these qualities ourselves and use them to change our lives, and — to whatever extent we can — to change our world.
The Leo New Moon falls on August 2nd at 4:46 PM. and gives us a blueprint for the month ahead. Leo epitomizes the drive for self-expression and creativity, yet the sign is not as self-centered as many think. An artist must have an audience, and an awakened Leo deeply appreciates each member of that audience as a unique and treasured expression of the human spirit....
Tips on how to take care of yourself if you're a religious activist. A look at the role of "dynamic harmony" in Confucianism. And a Muslim father mourns the loss of his son on a national stage. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!