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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Lughnasadh

Posted by on in Signs & Portents
The First Harvest of the Year

Welcome brethren, to the annual celebration of the growing season’s end and the harvest season’s beginning! Although perhaps not as widely known or celebrated as Samhain or Beltaine, Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas), remains an important component of the wheel of the year and an integral part of the annual sabbats, commemorating the point at which summer begins to transition to autumn.

As always, we’ve brought out a collection of content we thought would be of interest to all of you who follow us, some from Witches&Pagans, some from elsewhere. We hope you’ll enjoy!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Finding Meaning

Sometimes we encounter challenging situations or obstacles and we want to give them meaning or significance. Take my current situation. My family has struggled on and off since February dealing with septic and pluming issues without an obvious cause.  While we think we're finally honing in on the source and remedying each obstacle as we come to it, it's created a great deal of stress for everyone in my household.

As a water-worshiping witch, I wanted to apply meaning to this event. I wanted there to be a supernatural or metaphysical reason behind this unpleasantness. Even more so because of my close ties with water and earth. But after a lot of avoidance of the matter, and a steep depressive chasm for a few days, I came to realize through calming meditation and talks with my guides that this is just one of those awful, mundane bits of life that have no more significance than the house is old and the septic system was poorly built or maintained by previous owners.

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Drinking Cider on a Steeleye Span Night

I have been writing like a maniac and have much writing ahead of me tonight and tomorrow.  But tonight I have kissed the final sunset of July good-bye, I have facilitated a Full Moon ritual at Mother Grove Goddess Temple and I am now listening to Steeleye Span.

Lured thither by a search for John Barleycorn, I have settled onto "Now We are Six" and am drinking hard cider from last season's harvest.  I have considered my options for the evening--finishing two pieces that are due tomorrow, washing the dishes, tidying up and printing tomorrow's ceremony for our public ritual or drinking cider and singing Steeleye Span.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
GET RURAL WITH IT

This may be ambitious for your next Sabbat party, however I must decree it – get out to the country, already! Get rural with it for Lammas. Know someone who lives on a farm, or of one that is open for visits? That is where we should all be this Lughnasadh. Anywhere that offers dining on fresh produce and home-cooking is ideal. Remember, bread and corn are key, in whatever form you enjoy them.

Round-up a group of pals and make a pilgrimage. Bring a big red and white plaid vintage tablecloth to spread out on a picnic bench or the grass. Enjoy barley wine, hard cider, mead, or a local craft ale together. Stroll the grounds and eat outside. For the meat-eaters, it could not get more ritualistic than a sacrificial pig roast. If someone has access to a small tractor (and knows how to drive it), take turns giving each other rides perched atop some hay bales. It is near impossible not to get into the spirit of this day when partaking in these activities. Pick a picturesque spot to watch the sunset together. Listen for the resounding alien hum of the cicadas, and don't forget to take a pause and be thankful for what you have.

If you are not fortunate enough to be friendly with someone who has their own barn and facilities, here are some midwestern farm-themed options for getting away from it all. Take a gander at their websites and/or call first to plan your day trip:

Apple Holler
(Halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee)
A homestyle country restaurant, live entertainment, hay rides and family-friendly fare abound at this Sturtevant staple. A word to the wise: If you don't mind crowds, by all means, go. If not...
http://www.appleholler.com/

Bridge-Between Retreat Center
(Denmark, WI)
Up toward Green Bay in the little town of Denmark, lies this peaceful retreat. They tend a small organic farm with meals available. Llamas, cats, hens, and geese roam the grounds. This is definitely for those looking for little quiet.
http://www.bridge-between.com/

Brown Deer Farm
(IL/WI border)
West of Beloit is where you can escape here. A retreat facility, organic farming, and a nature-rich surrounding await.
http://www.browndeerfarm.com/

Country Corner
(Alpha, IL)
President Obama paid a visit here, and this place is hopping all-year round. Look ahead to Halloween-themed fun with their Zombie Quest event. Rentals are available for groups.
http://www.country-corner.com/index.htm

Red Barn Farm of Northfield
(MN)
How much more romantic can you get? Make your own brick oven pizza from their farm fresh, pesticide-free produce. Hand-made vegan-friendly dough and and a fun environment are offered.
http://www.redbarnfarmofnorthfield.com/

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Oak Moon, Holly Moon

At the Summer Solstice it is said that the Oak King and Holly King do battle, and the God of the Waxing Year must give way to the King of the Waning Year. This is a Hinge, a moment of transition that drives the Wheel of the Year. At the Solstice, the Sun is at its peak, the fruitful earth is coming into its most delicious bounty. After this, we cross a tipping point, as the days grow shorter, and we move forward towards the harvest festivals.

For me it feels more intuitive that this transition comes as the solar transit of Cancer turns into Leo. The lunar month attending Cancer is the Oak Moon, hearkening to the Oak King of the growing, fertile, waxing season of the Year. The Oak King evokes the solar qualities of the divine masculine: strength, forthrightness, generosity; he holds the energy of divine kingship and warrior-ship. A sacred animal often associated with this lunation is the Horse, embodying the power and dignity of the Solar God. An animal fit best for open, sunlit plains, the horse has been associated with solar gods since the Greeks wrote of Phoebus driving a chariot of fiery stallions across the sky each day.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Harvest-Time

Every day at this time of year, either morning or evening, I do some gardening, keeping back the riotous growth that excels in this season. If I didn't, many plants would simply take over the garden, crowding out some other favourite plants. Though these crowders may be near the end of their cycle, in their death they will still smother those that have great potential, as their time is arriving.  It's a hard time of year to keep on top of things, as the sun is so hot in our south-facing garden, and time is limited to mornings and evenings when we won't burn to a crisp or keel over from heat exhaustion. Jack in the Green is running riot, uncaring, reaching for the sun, drinking in the rain.

Yet if I want my irises and lilies to survive, I must release them from the choking hold of ground creepers/covers that threatens their existence.  I must carefully weed out and try to keep under control those plants whose vigorous growth would otherwise overwhelm others. In this, I feel a kinship to my ancestors, not only my recent ancestors whose work with plants runs in my blood, but also ancestors of this land who depended upon agriculture to survive. Both physically and metaphorically, this is the ideal time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Even as I hear the tractors and combine harvesters rumbling in the fields on the other side of the street, so too do I look both within and without to see what needs harvesting, and if the harvest has been good.  Getting out in the garden brings it all home, showing that if you take on the responsibility of growing things, of nourishing them, then you must do your job well in order for your harvest to be good.  Walking out in the fields after supper, running my hands over the tops of the wheat and barley that grow around here, I make my prayers for the harvest to go well, for the people to be nourished and for the land to be treated well. The time nears for when we give back in great gratitude as Lammas, Lughnasadh, Harvest-Time arrives.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
High Summer: The Reflection

For the 8 Sabbats that are a part of the Pagans Down Under blog project, I've decided to share my fledgling '8 Spoked Wheel' system as I work through them properly for the first time myself in my own practice. This is a work in progress that follows a practice for a number of years that did follow the traditional neo-pagan sabbats but after serious reflection I've decided to give an adjusted practice a go that reflects a system I have created that suits.

I don't imagine this could be directly adopted by anyone else and see it as a personal weaving of my own creation. This series of festivals incorporates colour magic and is adapted to suit my local climate and so we begin with Red and an observation I have termed The Reflection. The energy of this thrums throughout late January and early February and could be shifted to suit astrological or lunar correspondences. For this year that would suit the 3rd of February, when a Full Moon in Leo is experienced. The Full Moon in this sign lends a shining, fabulous quality to the season.

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