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Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, marks the beginning of the harvest season for us Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere. The Summer is waning, the produce in the feilds and gardens are abundant now. Apples are ready and grain is beginning to ripen. . . .
Lammas/Lughnasadh is a day for honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. Traditionaly, the begining of August is the time for Arts, Crafts & Barter Faires. It was also the time when the people came to town to bring in their harvest, make trades & purchases for the upoming winter; and a time of renegotiating contracts. . . . .
This is the time to celebrate the first of the three Pagan harvest holidays, Lammas/Lughnasadh, Mabon/the Autumn Equinox, and Samahin/Halloween. . . .
~ Sabbat Correspondences & Celebration / Ritual Ideas ~
Lammas, or Lughnassadh, is the first of the Three Harvest Festivals of the Year, First Fruits, and a time to celebrate the bounty of the Harvest Mother; and a time to mourn the waning power of the God, as He is sacrificed along with the harvest. . . .
It is a time to pay homage to Lugh, the Craftsman God of Light, as well as the Sacrificial Oak King. Also, a time to honor his Foster Mother, Tailtiu with outdoor games of skill. She was origionally a Spirit of the Land, most likely, who died after clearing the forrests of Ireland to prepare for planting . . .
In many agrarian cultures, it was, and in some places still is common to bring the first harvest to be blessed at the Lughnassadh Celebration, or by the Parish Preist. In addition to honoring the Spirit of the Grain by keeping the last sheath of wheat, or ear of corn, it is common to craft a Corn Mother effigy, to be sown into the feilds at the start of the next planting season. . . .
Here are some of the correspondences of Lammas; followed by some ideas for celebrating the Sabbat, and this time of year in general. . . .
LAMMAS / LUGHNASSADH CORRESPONDENCES:
Activities & Rituals: Giving Thanks for the Harvest of both physical and spiritual gains; The time of reaping what one has sown; Giving thanks to the Mother for her bounty upon the Earth; Marking and mourning the 'death' of the God, and the Spirit of the grain; Rituals of Releasing and Sacrificing what one wants to get rid of; Harvesting & Baking Breads; Offerings of the Produce and Grain Harvest being blessed and/or thrown into the fire; Grains being woven and braided into Goddess symbols; Corn Dollys and Grain Mothers; Doing Rituals and Spell Workings for Prosperity, Protection and the continued Fruition of Goals. . . .
Gods> Lugh, The Sun God, Oak/Holly King, Adonis, Dionysus, Tammuz . . .
Goddesses> Demeter/Ceres, Persephone, Habadonia, Sif, Hathor, Cerridwen
FOODS: All Grains, Breads, Corn, Apples (Sacred to Lugh), Early Summer Fruits and Vegetables, Summer Squash, Ciders, Ales & Wines, Berries, Grapes, Plums, Pommegranites (Pesephone), Preserves, Jams, Tarts and Pies, Honey
COLORS: Red, Yellow, Orange, Gold, Copper, Bronze, Brown, Tan- the colors of the Sun, and of Grain . . .
SYMBOLS & DECORATIONS: Corn Dollys, Grain mothers, Braided Grains, Wheat Stalks, Corn, Threshing Tools, Scythe, Sickle, Summer Vegetables and Squashes, Dried Herbs and Flowers, Candles, Cornicopias . . .
TOOLS: The Athame
STONES: Carnelian, Amber, Citrine, Tourmaline, Tiger's Eye, Brown Agate, Desert Rose, Red, Brown, Rutilated and Lepordskin Jasper . . .
INCENSE: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Patchouli, Musk, Rose . . .
HERBS: Acacia, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Cumin, Curry, Fenugreek, Cinnamon, Myrrh . . .
FLOWERS: Sunflowers, Zinnias, Marigolds, Daisies, Heather, Rose, Chammomile, Passionflower, Hollyhock . . .
TREES: Oak, Mistletoe, Cedar, Mytle, Rosewood, Madrone . . .
IDEAS FOR CELEBRATING LAMMAS:
Celebrated August 1st ~
Lammas marks the middle of summer and beginning of the Harvest Season . . . Lammas is considered a time of thanksgiving and is the First of the Three Pagan Harvest Festivals . . .
The Sun's strength begins to wane and the plants of spring begin to wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops . . . At this time, we ecome conscious of the Sacrifice the Sun God is preparing to make . . .
We experience a sense of abundance at the same time we begin to feel an urgency to prepare for the death of winter . . . First grains and fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for the dark winter months . . .
Lammas also represents the culmination of the Marriage between the Goddess and the God that took place on Beltane . . . The God now becomes the product of that blessed union - the bountiful fruits and grains - and must be sacrificed . . . He is the personification of the crops that must be harvested for the survival of the people . . .
Underneath the symbolism of Sacrifice is the theme of Rebirth . . .The Corn God must die, and He has to do so in order to return. Without the sacrifice, the cycle stops. Although His strength is waning, His essence is still palpable as His energies begin to merge with the harvested crops . . .
It is at this time that the Sun King has reached the autumn of His years, and His rival (or dark self) has just reached puberty . . . The Sun God has reigned supreme over the ripening grain during the hot summer months. His dedication, perseverance, and action in tending the seeds sown in spring brings a ripe and fruitful bounty . . .
Although Lammas is the first of the Harvest Festivals, fertility imagery may still be found, as there are still crops in the field continuing to grow and livestock and game that have yet to be killed. As the God is honored for His harvest, so the Goddess is honored for bringing forth the first fruits, much as a new Mother is honored . . .
Lammas is also known as Lughnasadh, Lammastide, and First Harvest Festival . . .
~ Correspondences ~
Symbolism: First harvest festival; aging of the Deities, honoring of Sun Gods . . .
Symbols: Corn dollies, cornucopia, grains, the Sun . . .
Foods: Breads, grains, potatoes, summer squash, cider, blackberry pies and jellies, berries, apples, roasted lamb, elderberry wine, meadowsweet tea . . .
Plants & Herbs: Ash, camphor, caraway, fern, geranium, juniper, mandrake, marjoram, thyme, sunflowers, wheat . . .
Incense and Oils: Allspice, carnation, rosemary, vanilla, sandalwood, aloe, rose . . .
Colors: Red, gold, yellow, orange . . .
Stones: Aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx . . .
Animals and Mythical Beasts: Roosters, calves, the Phoenix, griffins, basilisk, centaurs . . .
Some appropriate Goddesses: All grain, agriculture, and mother Goddesses; Alphito (Greek), Ashnan (Sumerian), Bast (Egyptian), Bau (Assyro-Babylonian), Ceres (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Gaia (Greek), Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh), Robigo (Roman), Tailtiu (Irish) . . .
Some appropriate Gods: All grain, agriculture, Sun, and father Gods; Cernunnos (Celtic), Dagon (Babylonian), Lahar (Sumerian), Liber (Roman), Llew (Welsh), Lugh (Irish), Neper (Egyptian), Ningirsu/Ninurta (Assyro-Babylonian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian) . . .
Decorations: Corn, hay, gourds, corn dollies, shafts of grain, sun wheels . . .
Activities: Games, country fairs, making corn dollies, baking bread, gathering fruits, visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells . . .
Spell/ritual Work: Offering thanks, honoring fathers, prosperity, abundance, generosity, continued success, connectedness . . .
Lammas: The First Harvest ~
by Mike Nichols
It was upon a Lammas Night
When corn rigs are bonny,
Beneath the Moon's unclouded light,
I held awhile to Annie . . .
Although in the heat of a Mid-western summer it might be difficult to discern, the festival of Lammas (Aug 1st) marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we've reached autumn's end (Oct 31st), we will have run the gammut of temperature from the heat of August to the cold and (sometimes) snow of November. And in the midst of it, a perfect Mid-western autumn . . .
The history of Lammas is as convoluted as all the rest of the old folk holidays. It is of course a cross-quarter day, one of the four High Holidays or Greater Sabbats of Witchcraft, occurring 1/4 of a year after Beltane. . . .
It's true astrological point is 15 degrees Leo, but tradition has set August 1st as the day Lammas is typically celebrated . . . The celebration proper would begin on sundown of the previous evening, our July 31st, since the Celts reckon their days from sundown to sundown. . . .
However, British Witches often refer to the astrological date of Aug 6th as Old Lammas, and folklorists call it Lammas O.S. ('Old Style'). . . .
This date has long been considered a 'power point' of the Zodiac, and is symbolized by the Lion, one of the 'tetramorph' figures found on the Tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune (the other three figures being the Bull, the Eagle, and the Spirit). . . . Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four 'fixed' signs of the Zodiac, and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft . . .Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four gospel-writers. . . .
'Lammas' was the medieval Christian name for the holiday and it means 'loaf-mass', for this was the day on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on the church altars as offerings. It was a day representative of 'first fruits' and early harvest. . . .
In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as 'Lugnasadh', a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish sun-god Lugh . . . However, there is some confusion on this point. Although at first glance, it may seem that we are celebrating the death of Lugh, the god of light does not really die (mythically) until the Autumnal Equinox . . . And indeed, if we read the Irish myths closer, we discover that it is not Lugh's death that is being celebrated, but the funeral games which Lugh hosted to commemorate the death of his foster-mother, Taillte . . . That is why the Lugnasadh celebrations in Ireland are often called the 'Tailltean Games' . . .
The time went by with careless heed
Between the late and early,
With small persuasion she agreed
To see me through the barley . . .
One common feature of the Games were the 'Tailltean marriages', a rather informal marriage that lasted for only 'a year and a day' or until next Lammas . . . At that time, the couple could decide to continue the arrangement if it pleased them, or to stand back to back and walk away from one another, thus bringing the Tailltean marriage to a formal close. Such trial marriages (obviously related to the Wiccan 'Handfasting') were quite common even into the 1500's, although it was something one 'didn't bother the parish priest about'. Indeed, such ceremonies were usually solemnized by a poet, bard, or shanachie (or, it may be guessed, by a priest or priestess of the Old Religion) . . .
Lammastide was also the traditional time of year for Craft Festivals . . . The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers. The atmosphere must have been quite similar to our modern-day Renaissance Festivals, such as the one celebrated in near-by Bonner Springs, Kansas, each fall . . .
A ceremonial highlight of such festivals was the 'Catherine Wheel' . . . Although the Roman Church moved St. Catherine's feast day all around the calender with bewildering frequency, it's most popular date was Lammas. (They also kept trying to expel this much-loved saint from the ranks of the blessed because she was mythical rather than historical, and because her worship gave rise to the heretical sect known as the Cathari.) . . . At any rate, a large wagon wheel was taken to the top of a near-by hill, covered with tar, set aflame, and ceremoniously rolled down the hill . . . Some mythologists see in this ritual the remnants of a Pagan rite symbolizing the end of summer, the flaming disk representing the sun-god in his decline. And just as the sun king has now reached the autumn of his years, his rival or dark self has just reached puberty . . .
Many commentators have bewailed the fact that traditional Gardnerian and Alexandrian Books of Shadows say very little about the holiday of Lammas, stating only that poles should be ridden and a circle dance performed. This seems strange, for Lammas is a holiday of rich mythic and cultural associations, providing endless resources for liturgical celebration . . .
Corn rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny!
I'll not forget that happy night
Among the rigs with Annie! . . .
[Verse quotations by Robert Burns, as handed down through several Books of Shadows.]
More Lammas / Lughnasadh Info ~
The year is 1100. The date is August 1. The monks in the abbey at Gloucester are celebrating the holy-day of St. Peter in Chains. One of the monks wakes from a strange dream in which God promises to strike down the wicked King who has abused the Holy Church. His superior, Abbot Serlo, on hearing of the dreams sends a warning to the King, William the Red, who has oppressed all of England with taxes and disgusted many with his licentiousness and blasphemy. Red, as he is called, receives the message the following day while preparing to indulge in one of his favorite sports, hunting, in the New Forest. Although there are no longer any people dwelling in the New Forest — they were all cleared out by Red's father, William the Conqueror — there are rumors that it's a hotbed of pagan activity. And August 2 is an important pagan holy-day. The Saxons call it Lammas, the Loaf-Mass. William the Red laughs at the warning from the monks and goes out hunting. A short time later, he is dead, struck in the chest by a stray arrow, and his brother, Henry, who was in the hunting party is riding hot-foot for Winchester and the crown. . . .
Now some people say that William the Red was a Lammas sacrifice, that having made a wasteland of his kingdom, he was killed by the people (or the Gods) as a sacrifice to bring new life to the land. And some people say his brother Henry has him assassinated. And some people say that both versions are true. . . .
This story comes to my mind when I think of Lammas because I spent ten years researching a medieval novel set in the time of William the Red and Henry. But this tale of sacrifice and hunting, a dying King and a wasted land, embodies many of the dominant themes of Lammas, one of the four seasonal quarter-days, and perhaps the least well-known. . . .
The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 and call it Lughnasad after the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice. The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life. If all this sounds vaguely Christian, it is. In the sacrament of Communion, bread is blessed, becomes the body of God and is eaten to nourish the faithful. This Christian Mystery echoes the pagan Mystery of the Grain God. . . .
Grain has always been associated with Gods who are killed and dismembered and then resurrected from the Underworld by the Goddess-Gods like Tammuz, Osiris and Adonis. The story of Demeter and Persephone is a story about the cycle of death and rebirth associated with grain. Demeter, the fertility Goddess, will not allow anything to grow until she finds her daughter who has been carried off to the Underworld. The Eleusinian Mysteries, celebrated around the Autumn Equinox, culminated in the revelation of a single ear of corn, a symbol to the initiate of the cyclical nature of life, for the corn is both seed and fruit, promise and fulfillment.
You can adapt the themes of Lughnasad and Lammas to create your own ceremony for honoring the passing of the light and the reaping of the grain. . . .
Honoring the Grain God or Goddess
Bake a loaf of bread on Lammas. If you've never made bread before, this is a good time to start. Honor the source of the flour as you work with it: remember it was once a plant growing on the mother Earth. If you have a garden, add something you've harvested--herbs or onion or corn--to your bread. If you don't feel up to making wheat bread, make corn bread. Or gingerbread people. Or popcorn. What's most important is intention. All that is necessary to enter sacred time is an awareness of the meaning of your actions. . . .
Shape the dough in the figure of a man or a woman and give your grain-person a name. If he's a man, you could call him Lugh, the Sun-King, or John Barleycorn, or the Pillsbury Dough Boy, or Adonis or Osiris or Tammuz. Pauline Campanelli in The Wheel of the Year suggests names for female figures: She of the Corn, She of the Threshing Floor, She of the Seed, She of the Great Loaf (these come from the Cyclades where they are the names of fertility figures), Freya (the Anglo-Saxon and Norse fertility Goddess who is, also called the Lady and the Giver of the Loaf), the Bride (Celtic) and Ziva or Siva (the Grain Goddess of, the Ukraine, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia).
Feast . . .
Like all holidays, Lammas calls for a feast. When your dough figure is baked and ready to eat, tear him or her apart with your fingers. You might want to start the feast with the Lord's Prayer, emphasizing the words "Give us this day our daily bread." The next part of the ceremony is best done with others. Feed each other hunks of bread (or gingerbread people or popcorn), putting the food in the other person's mouth with words like "May you never go hungry," "May you always be nourished," "Eat of the bread of life" or "May you live forever." Offer each other drinks of water or wine with similar words. As if you were at a wake, make toasts to the passing summer, recalling the best moments of the year so far. . . .
Another way to honor the Grain Goddess is to make a corn doll. This is a fun project to do with kids. Take dried-out corn husks and tie them together in the shape of a woman. She's your visual representation of the harvest. As you work on her, think about what you harvested this year. Give your corn dolly a name, perhaps one of the names of the Grain Goddess or one that symbolizes your personal harvest. Dress her in a skirt, apron and bonnet and give her a special place in your house. She is all yours till the spring when you will plant her with the new corn, returning to the Earth that which She has given to you. . . .
Food for Thought:
Lammas is a f estival of regrets and farewells, of harvest and preserves . . . Reflect on these topics alone in the privacy of your journal or share them with others around a fire . . .
Lughnasad is one of the great Celtic fire-festivals, so if at all possible, have your feast around a bonfire . . . While you're sitting around the fire, you might want to tell stories. Look up the myths of any of the grain Gods and Goddesses mentioned above and try re-telling them in your own words.
Regrets: Think of the things you meant to do this summer or this year that are not coming to fruition. You can project your regrets onto natural objects like pine cones and throw them into the fire, releasing them. Or you can write them on dried corn husks (as suggested by Nancy Brady Cunningham in Feeding the Spirit) or on a piece of paper and burn them. . . .
Farewells: What is passing from your life? What is over? Say good-bye to it . . . As with regrets, you can find visual symbols and throw them into the fire, the lake or the ocean. You can also bury them in the ground, perhaps in the form of bulbs which will manifest in a new form in spring . . .
Harvest: What have you harvested this year? What seeds have your planted that are sprouting? . . . Find a visual way to represent these, perhaps creating a decoration in your house or altar which represents the harvest to you. Or you could make a corn dolly or learn to weave wheat. Look for classes in your area which can teach you how to weave wheat into wall pieces, which were made by early grain farmers as a resting place for the harvest spirits . . .
Preserves: This is also a good time for making preserves, either literally or symbolically. As you turn the summer's fruit into jams, jellies and chutneys for winter, think about the fruits that you have gathered this year and how you can hold onto them. How can you keep them sweet in the store of your memory?
~ Lughnasadh Incense ~
Recipe by Scott Cunningham
Burn Lughnasadh Incense during Wiccan rituals on August 1st or 2nd, or at that time to attune with the coming harvest . . .
(The above recipe for "Lughnasadh Incense" is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham's book "The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews", page 76, Llewellyn Publications, 1989/1992)
~Lammas Ritual Potpourri ~
Recipe by Gerina Dunwich
Mix the clove bud and sandalwood oils with the oak moss and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container . . .
(The above recipe for "Lammas Ritual Potpourri" is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich's book "The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch's Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes", page 163, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995)
~ Invocation to Sun and Moon ~
by Olwen Fferyllt
Lord Sun, life of day!
In your fire-boat gliding through golden rays!
Extend yourself, with hands of light,
To us who worship in your sight,
And in your ancient names rejoice,
And hear the mystery of your voice.
Lady Moon, cloud bound,
Of liquid light and pale hounds,
Course among us --- Your light diffuse!
Shed your blessings on us who choose
The evening worship by silver flame,
Singing your thousand living names.
~ Sabbat Poetry & Prose ~
Lammas, by Rhiannon Cotter
The young God reigns supreme over the ripening of the grain. Action, dedication, and perseverance in the tending of the seeds sown during the Spring brings ripeness. However the God must sacrifice Himself in order for the crop to further develop. During Lammas, the Self is burned away, as was the Wicker Man in ages past, giving new material to fertilize the growing crop.
Branch and Bone, by Arwen Evenstar
I am the wise man; I am the fool;
I am the hunter and I am the kill.
I am the root that shatters stone.
And though I wane, I am with you still.
Of branch and bone I build the world.
With steady fire, I give the Moon Her light.
With passion proud, I fill your heart.
I am the Lord of Nature's might.
Of standing stones on sacred hill
They built a ring to mark my flight.
With priest and priestess they did dance
To celebrate the Lord of Light!
In forest dark and secret grove,
In antlered dance I take my delight.
With cloven hooves I mark the earth.
With wild song I pierce the night!
I am the wise man; I am the fool;
I am the hunter and I am the kill.
I am the root that shatters stone.
And though I wane, I am with you still.
Lammas Night, Author Unknown
I stood before my altar at Lammastide, and asked the Lord and Lady to be my guides...
"Please show to me a vision that I may see... what sacrifice is worthy to give to Thee."
They showed to me an apple without a core... They showed to me a dwelling without a door... They showed to me a palace where They may be, and unlock it without a key...
How can there be an apple without a core? How can there be a dwelling without a door? How can there be a palace where They may be, and They may unlock it without a key?
...My spirit is an apple without a core... ...My mind is a dwelling without a door... My heart is a palace where They may be, and unlock it without a key...
I stood before my altar on Lammas night... and gave my Lord and Lady bright... the sacrifice They asked for - with spirit free... Upon that Lammas evening, I gave Them me...
August 1: The Festival of Green Corn, by Edain McCoy
While European-oriented Pagans are celebrating August 1 as Lammas, a festival of the first harvest, Native North Americans are observing a similar holiday of their own. Like Lammas, the Festival of Green Corn is a communal event, largely honoring the newly-cut grains. The Native peoples enact ancient, sacred rituals to thank the Corn Grandmother for her bounty, and make mock sacrifices of the grain in her honor. Rough competitive games are played while the feast is being prepared, then the tribe dines on rich foods and breads made from the newly-harvested corn. After everyone is full, the community gathers for traditional storytelling
~ Sabbat Recipes ~
Corn Bread Ear Sticks, Recipe by StormWing
Purchase an iron mold shaped like little ears of corn in flea markets or kitchen supply shops, or look in grandma's kitchen wherever she keeps her bakeware - there just might be one there already! Grease lightly and preheat in a 425 degree oven . . .
You will need:
. . . Sift dry ingredients together. Add milk, eggs, shortening, and beat until smooth. Pour into preheated and greased molds and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Whole Grain Bread, Recipe by Dan & Pauline Campanelli
In a large mixing bowl combine:
. . . Cover this mixture and set aside in a warm place until it has doubled (about half an hour) . . .
Add to this mixture:
. . . With floured hands, turn this dough out onto a floured board and gradually knead in more unbleached white flour until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your fingers. Place this dough in a greased bowl, turning it so that the dough is greased. Then cover it with a clean cloth and keep it in a warm place to rise until it is doubled (about an hour).Then punch it down and divide it into two or more elongated loaves, roughly sculpted into mummiform shapes, and placed on greased cookie sheets. Cover these and return them to a warm place until they double again. Bake the loaves in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until they are done and sound hollow when tapped . . .
(The above recipe for "Whole Grain Bread" is quoted directly from Pauline & Dan Campanelli's book "Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions", page 132-133, Llewellyn Publications, 1991/1992)
Brigid's Blackberry Pie, Recipe by Edain McCoy
(Makes one nine-inch pie)
. . . Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a deep pie dish with the pie crust, or purchase a commercially-made one. Set aside. Mix all other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. If it appears too "wet", mix in a little more flour (about 2 tablespoons). Turn the fruit into the pie shell and dot with butter or margarine. You can bake the pie as is, or cover it with another pie crust. If you do this, pinch down the ends to hold it to the other crust. Then score the top several times with a sharp knife. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top crust is a golden brown. (Note: A sugar-free version can be made by substituting appropriate amounts of artificial sweetener.) . . .
(The above recipe for "Brigid's Blackberry Pie" is quoted directly from Edain McCoy's book "The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways", page 179, Llewellyn Publications, 1994)
~ A Meal Blessing ~
by Kristen Madden (Ofelas)
We thank you for the gift of this food.
We send blessings of peace, love, and
release to all
whose bodies and energies went into
bringing us this nourishment.
We honor you in our enjoyment and
utilization of this meal.
May it bring us health and joy,
reminding us of our interconnections with
All That Is.
As we receive, so do we give back
And give thanks for this gift in the
Cycle of Life.
Summer & Autumn Holidays
by Patricia Telesco
On or about June 22nd, Summer begins with a flurry of activities. But, other than the 4th of July and Lammas, many people are unaware of some of the other holidays which have been (or are) observed around the world during these months . . .
Here are a few:
July 6th, Festival of the Tooth (Ceylon):
A holiday which commemorates a holy relic of Buddha, his eye tooth. Crowds gather in the streets to glimpse the elephant which carries the sacred item, while spinning prayer wheels en route to the temple rejoice in Buddha's tranquil teachings. This is a good day for personal introspection and prayers for peace. . . .
July 15th, Swithin Day (England):
St. Swithin was a bishop who was virtuous and most beloved by the people. When he died he asked to be buried near Winchester Church in an area where workmen passed regularly. At some point, the Church felt that such a man deserved better accommodations and tried to move the body only to be discouraged by 40 days of rain. Taking this as a sign from God, this day has ever since been a good time to divine or observe omens pertaining to weather signs. Now if it rains on St. Swithin's Day, 40 days of rain are thought to follow. . . .
1st Sunday in August, Blessing of the Sea (Brittany, France):
A beautiful city was once believed to have risen gracefully off the shores of this French village, only to have been washed away in a high tide. Every year the priests go to this fabled spot and bless the waters while observers lean over the sides of boats hoping to glimpse remnants of the city. This might be a good day to consider any spells or rituals pertaining to water and hidden truths. . . .
(The above "Summer Holidays" is quoted directly from Llewellyn's 1994 Magical Almanac, page 185, Llewellyn Worldwide Publications, 1993)
As always, please feel free to ADD to this - or ANY - thread.
As always, please feel free to ADD to this - or ANY - thread.
Every Teacher is a Student, every Student a Teacher ~
~ Azhdaya Ravenwolf