The Festival of Lammas

One of my intentions this year is to live more aligned with Nature and her cycles.  I have slowly been moving more and more into this type of lifestyle by following the lunar calendar over the last couple of years. 

We are currently in the New Moon phase a perfect time to set your intentions and goals for this lunar month.

As a part of this I have also decided to observe the equinox's, solstices and sabbaths.  Aligning more with nature and the seasons.

As such the Festival of Lammas is coming up on 01 February in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is the Festival of the Harvest.  It is a celebration of the wheat harvest, a time of gathering and giving thanks for what you have received. 

Lammas also known as Lughor, Lug and Lughnasadh, derives from the word loaf mass.

This is the festival of the Earth Goddess and is an integral celebration for the Goddesses Ceres, Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

The rites of ritual see Demeter as the representation of the ripe corn ready for harvest and Persephone as the grain.

Lammas is the mid-way point between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox, elementally it is about the sun and water, both elements needed to grow your harvest.

This is the fulfillment of the present harvest  which holds the seeds to the future harvest.

The festival is about gathering and feasting with your tribe and family.  It is the celebration of abundance and fullness of life.  It is the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy your own accomplishments from the last year, and to get into sync with your own creative cycles.

There are a few different ways to celebrate Lammas and easily adapted for the home.

Here are some of the ways you can celebrate:

Create a Lammas Alter

  • Include different kinds of grains, bread, and other agricultural symbols.
  • Have a representation of the Goddess. Typically depicted as a pregnant woman.
  • Decorate the alter with the colours of Summer and the upcoming Autumn, as the festival marks the beginning of the end of Summer.

Hold a Lammas Harvest Ritual. 

 Once you have your alter set up you can hold a ritual to honour the Goddess and the Harvest.

Place a candle on your alter in either orange, red or yellow. These colours represent the summer sun, but also the coming autumn colours.

If you can find a few stalks of wheat and an unsliced loaf of bread, and a glass of ritual wine.

To begin the ritual quote an invocation something similar to:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest is now upon us.
There is food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature's bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.

Hold the stalks of wheat up in front of you and visualise what they represent.  The power of the earth,  the coming winter with the need to plan ahead.  Think about what you need help planning right now.

Rub the stalks of wheat together and allow the grains to scatter around the alter as a sacrifice for the plans you have asked help with.

Then recite:

The power of the Harvest is within me.Th
As the seed falls to the earth and are reborn each year,
As the seasons change I too grow.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I will bloom where I've landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I will also set aside that which I can use later.

Then tear off a piece of bread and pass the loaf around in the circle of each person to take their piece and say.

I pass you this gift of the first harvest.

And when everyone has their piece of bread.

The bounty is here us all, and we are so blessed.

Then together eat your bread and have a sip of the ritual wine and pass the glass around in the circle.

Once everyone has eaten their bread and drunk the wine, take a moment together and consider you own rebirth and harvest.

For those who are in Melbourne I'll be holding a bread sacrifice ritual at the Reg Harris Reserve in Oakleigh East on the 1st of February at 12pm.  Look to the Facebook page for full details.