Lughnasadh - part 2
#311 (In Topic #153)
from various sources
There are many ways we can celebrate this Sabbat. Potlucks, picnics and other forms of feasting are quite popular and appropriate, as well as the gathering of wild herbs (though I suggest that you be very knowledgeable of the herbs that you wish to harvest in the wild as there are many look-alike plants of the ones that are safe but are actually poisonous). And never take more than one quarter of a plant. Of course, most magic and rituals usually focus on abundance, protection and fertility, though some will use the theme of death and the shedding away of the old. Offerings are also common to the various Deities and nature spirits as well as to the dead. It all boils down to saying thanks.
The rural Pagan will many times have their own gardens and so will be especially thankful for that first harvest. For them they can see right there before their eyes the magic of growing their own food and harvesting it. Cooking and feasting on the food you have grown yourself is quite enjoyable. Most rural Pagans will make offerings from the first and best of their harvest as an expression of thanks to the Deities that they worship and the spirits that abound in their area. This is also a favorite time for county fairs. The rural Pagan can also celebrate the season.
The urban Pagan has both advantages and disadvantages to being in the city. In the city, there are no woods to search through for wild berries or an area to have a bonfire. On the other hand, there are a lot more Pagans in which to celebrate with. Large cities tend to have a more open Pagan community. The gatherings that city Pagans can enjoy can have attendances from a few to hundreds. Feasting, dancing, drumming and ritual are quite common at such events. It is very usual to be at these celebrations with family, friends and neighbors. However, many urban Pagans will seek out celebrations in the nearby rural areas. Or they will simply acknowledge what beauty of nature that they can find within their city, in parks and such.
The altar is often decorated with the best of the first of the harvest as your offering. Seasonal flowers are used as well as ivy and leaves. This is a time to bake the Sacred Bread and harvest herbs for the coming months. If you do make a figure of the God from bread, it may be used for the "Simple Feast" or Offering. Other traditional foods are: berries, crab apples, all grains, acorns (leached first of their poisons), and locally grown produce. A cake is sometimes baked and cider or other fruit juices can be used in place of wine or ale. You may want to plant the seeds from the fruit consumed in ritual. If they sprout, grow the plants with love and as a symbol of your connection to the Goddess and God.
Lughnasadh is a time for reflection, introspection and reconnection with the earth, us and the other inhabitants of our planet. Hold get-togethers to help you to reconnect with family and friends. Do volunteer work or just get out and about among people to reconnect with humanity. Socialize and have fun. Don't forget your loved ones that have passed on. Hold rituals and meditations that are focused on honoring them. Also, hold rituals to celebrate the harvest. Another great ritual honoring the harvest is one where you do the Ritual of the Bread Sacrifice. Of course, you can also do a ritual that honors Lugh and his many skills. A warrior meditation is also appropriate.
Spellwork for good fortune and abundance is especially appropriate. So are spells for prosperity, generosity and continued success, as well as protection spells and divination. This is a good time to practice magic that you normally wouldn't do as a challenge to your limitations, so suspend any doubts long enough to give it a try; though of course you wouldn't want to do any magic that would be harmful.
Wheat weaving, making corn dollies, etc…, are appropriate activities. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. There are many pick-it-yourself farms where you can pick your own beans or berries. This can be a lot of fun for the family to pick their food then take it home and prepare it for a feast. Of course, bread is a major part of this Sabbat. However, if you are on a gluten free diet then you can still celebrate this sabbat with gluten free breads or other products that are harvested at this time. This is also a great time to go into the woods and hunt for things of nature that can become a magical tool. Just remember that there are places where you cannot collect so much as a pebble from, so know the laws of your area.
Any of these crafts can be very appropriate with children. Include them also in your rituals and celebrations so that they can learn a deeper meaning for this sabbat.
Herbs and fruits of the Sabbat: grapes, heather, blackberries, sloe, crab apples, grains and pears. Colors are: orange, yellow, brown and green.
A Lughnasadh Incense you can use is:
2 parts Frankincense
2 parts Benzoin or Gum of Arabic
3 drops of Pine Essential Oil or 1 part Juniper Berries or Pine Needles
1 part Oak Wood or Poppy Seed
1/2 part Borage or Thyme
1/2 part Gorse Flower or Bladderwack
1/2 part Basil
Another incense you can use is:
2 parts Frankincense
1 part Heather or Rose or Lavender
1 part Apple Blossoms or Rose
1 pinch Blackberry leaves
1 few drops of Ambergris Bouquet Oil
Ambergris Bouquet Oil
Cypress Oil or Juniper or Pine Oils
a few drops Patchouli Oil
Use for Lughnasadh Rituals, or at that time to attune with the coming harvest.
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