How to celebrate Lammas?
Lammas is the sixth Sabbats in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year that happens every August 1st of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and February 1 in the South part of the Equator. It is also known as Lughnasadh, which means the season of ripeness and the harvest season. This celebration is about the gratitude for the first harvest of the year and the worship of Celtic god Lugh, the master of skills.
According to Patti Wigington, this sabbat is all about honoring the hardships of our ancestors. Back then, it would take them a lot of time to procure bread and grains since technology was not yet present. Farmers worked hard to plant and cultivate the grains, however nowadays, it is more accessible to just drop by the grocery and buy anything you need.
Because of industrialization, Lammas is no longer practiced by most Wiccans and there is little to no Modern Day celebrations compared to sabbats such as Yule, the equivalent of Christmas, and Imbolc, the equivalent of Easter for Christians.
There are many ways to celebrate Lammas that show respect to the two primary focuses in this season: the early harvest and to honor the Celtic god Lugh. Here are some simple rituals that you can perform alone or with a group:
- Set up a Lammas altar
Kick-off the celebration by designing your altar with the rich and vibrant colors of fall such as orange, yellow, and red. You may add deep colors that symbolize the earth and nature such as brown and green as well to honor fertility and show gratitude for the first harvest of the year. Since this is the season of harvest, add items that represent harvest such as sickles, baskets, grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Since this is also the season to honor godLugh, you may add symbols of craft and skills on your altar such as pens, paintbrush, notebooks, and other things that represent craftsmanship and creativity.
2. Lammas Harvest Ritual
According to Patti Wigington, some pagan traditions also worship the Harvest Mother during this season. To perform a harvest ritual, you will be needing the following items: an orange, red or yellow candle to represent Harvest Mother; stalks of wheat; and an unsliced loaf of bread.
To begin the ritual, light the candle and say:
“The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have 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 what and reflect the power of the earth, the coming winter, and express the need to give you strength so you could prepare for the cold nights ahead. Let some grains fall on your altar and rub the stalks between your fingers. Then say:
“The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.”
Get a piece of bread from the loaf and pass the loaf to the others, if you are performing with a group and say:
“I pass to you this gift of the first harvest.”
When everyone got a piece of bread from the loaf, say this together:
“The bounty is here for all of us, and we are so blessed.”
Once done, eat the piece of bread at take a moment to breathe and reflect on the turning of the Wheel of the Year this season. Meditate on how it would affect you spiritually and emotionally.
3. Worship the Celtic godLugh
Other than putting items that symbolize craftsmanship and creativity on your altar, you can show your respect and worship to the Celtic god Lugh by learning new things. In modern days, you can learn a new course online; learn the dance steps of your favorite song; or even as simple as writing a poem!
There are many things that you can do this season, as long as you put your heart and passion to it. Show your commitment and honor the Celtic god Lugh so he can provide you with more strength and talent to sharpen your craft.
A Wiccan sabbat is not complete without a prayer. To show your gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings that you received for this season and for the upcoming days, recite the following prayers:
Prayer for the Grain
“Fields of gold,
waves of grain,
the summer comes to a close.
The harvest is ready,
ripe for threshing,
as the sun fades into autumn.
Flour will be milled,
bread will be baked,
and we shall eat for another winter.”
Prayer for the Warrior Soul
“The warrior soul, fighting in spirit,
follows a code of honor and wisdom.
Strength is found not in the arms,
not in the knife, the gun or the sword,
but in the mind and soul.
I call upon the warriors of the past,
those who would stand up and fight,
those who would do what is needed,
those who would make sacrifices on behalf of others,
those who would die that others may live.
I call upon them this night,
to give me strength of heart, soul and spirit.”
These days, we no longer really see the value of hard labor because many of the agricultural processes now are done by machines. Other than the advancement of technology, we fail to recognize the hard work of farmers because we do not see them doing the work with our eyes – but only the manufactured products ready for consumption that we buy in the stores.
Lammas is the season to also show support and appreciation to our farmers, who are working hard to put food on our table. Let us thank them as we celebrate with abundant food that will feed us in the coming days. To find the right tools that could help us in having a more effective ritual, visit www.wiccanonlineshop.com.