As the sun burns high in the sky at the height of summer, we now make our way to the Greater Sabbat of Lammas, inching ever closer to the Autumn Equinox and the turn of the seasons.
At this stage in the Wheel of the Year, the Sun and Earth – represented by the God and Goddess – have joined together in sacred union to produce the first of three major harvests. Lammas, also known as Lugnasdah (Loo-NAS-ah) in the Celtic tradition, is the celebration of this first harvest and the fecundity of nature all around us.
With festivities typically taking place on August 1 in the Northern Hemisphere, pagans and witches gather to give thanks for the life-giving sun, abundant grain, and new life that bursts forth during these ripe summer days.
The Sun King Lugh, God of Light, and the Goddess in the face of the Grain Mother and Harvest Queen, who go by the names of Ceres, Tailtiu, and Demeter, are the deities often worshipped for their association with the themes of the season.
It is through the myth of Demeter as Corn Mother and her daughter Persephone as the sacred seed of grain that we can understand Lammas’ deeper meaning. Demeter represents the ripe and plentiful corn that will feed the masses through the winter. Persephone is the grain that returns to the underworld, planting the seed for future harvests that keep the wheel turning.
Here we can see that the present harvest already contains the seed of promise for future abundance.
This is why we gather in gratitude for the bounty of Mother Earth and celebrate the sun’s role in bringing the crops to life. Although most of us don’t have a deep connection to the agricultural cycle the way our ancestors did, Lammas gives us the opportunity to give thanks for their hard work and sacrifices so that we could be standing here today.
Ways to Celebrate Lammas
- Get out into nature. Feel the warm sun on your face and the ground beneath your feet. Anchor here in pure presence and give thanks. Notice what creatures are out to play. Make note of any signs of new life in the fauna and flora around you. If you choose to collect flowers, herbs, or grains for your altar, thank them for the bounty they provide.
- Create a gratitude list. We often focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do. Use this time as a sacred pause to count your many blessings. When we plant the seed of gratitude, we ensure a future harvest of blessings.
- Light candles. As Lammas is a festival of light, lighting a candle is a beautiful way to celebrate! Bonus points if it’s green, gold, or yellow.
- Bake bread and gather with loved ones. Lammas is also known as Loaf Mass Day, so what better way to celebrate than to bake a loaf of bread and share it with your fellow witches?!
- Work with mint for abundance. One of the most revered herbs of the Druids and witches alike, mint is a wonderful herb to work with this time of year. Harvesting mint from your herb garden would make a great Lammas ritual. Check out our latest article for more ideas on how to call in abundance and prosperity with mint.