On August the first I honoured this special day in Crete during the first day of a much needed holiday. To mark the start of the harvest we certainly dined well & agreed to release of fears & move towards the blue moon of the 21st with renewed energy, contemplating exactly where we were going to direct our energies for the next few months.
There are many & varied ways of respecting this tradition, here are just a few of the traditions & rituals to give thanks …
How to Do a Lammas or a Lughnasadh on Your Own
When the summer solstice comes to an end to welcome the autumn equinox, Lammas (or Lughnasadh/Lughnasad to others) marks a day of contemplation for witches, wiccans and pagans. Often celebrated on the first day of August, this momentous event also represents the very first harvest and the festival in honour of the Celtic Sun God, Lugh. This is also the best time for pagans to face their worries or fears and find means to protect their homes, their loved ones and themselves. Even when living in a modern world, there is a ritual that you can do to venerate gods and goddesses.
Know the Purpose of Your Lammas Ritual
Before you embark on a Lammas or Lughnasadh ritual, it is imperative that you carefully recognise the purpose of your endeavour. I like to focus my attention, either with a guided meditation or by performing a special New Age Tarot reading. On a piece of paper, write down your specific worries, fears, and doubts eating up your system. On another separate piece, indicate how you will tackle these issues and on how you will carry out your protection responsibilities. Always be specific what you write to affirm your intentions.
You will need a broom, candles, salt water and a bell or a drum to cleanse your space. Sweep away all residual energy in your area of worship. Wipe it clean, too. Before casting a circle, sprinkle salt water on the intended area. Fire up your drum or ring a bell as you begin your chant or hum. This will help eliminate negative energy in your space. Candles should be in yellow, orange or brown in colour to represent Lammas harvest goods. Have two white candles, too, for the ritual itself. After placing your “lists” on an altar, clean yourself through a short bath.
Welcome each “guardian” coming in from the North, East, West and South direction as you cast a circle on your sacred space. Always invoke each of these guardians’ protection for your worship circle done in a clockwise manner. Let the circles powerful energy course into your being to make your body one with the Earth.
Summoning Lugh into Your Circle
One important aspect in your Lammas or Lughnasadh ritual is to invoke Lugh and a Mother Goddess into your circle. Light two white candles to welcome their presence. When it is time to read or chant your fears and worries asking Goddess Mother and Lugh for help, burn another white candle. Meditate and focus on what answers you get. Release your fear thereafter by burning the paper using any of the coloured candles. It is important that you burn your list on a container without letting any ash or residue falling on the floor, your circle and, especially, on your altar. End this by giving thanks to both deities.
Break Free of Negative Energies
Do a “widdershins” or counter-clockwise motion when breaking the circle casted. Begin by releasing each guardian in the manner you welcomed them – one by one and according to the same order. Remember the ash from your “negative” list? Do not forget to bury them away from your home. Again, end your “devoking” by expressing gratitude on the guardians.
Important Considerations on a Lughnasadh or Lammas
For those who want to celebrate a Lammas, preparing food and fun activities after the ritual can be done in a garden. This will be a perfect time to cook organic food, share gifts and spend time with loved ones.