Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lammas Old Style: Sharing, Grace & Gratitude

Blessed Lammas/Lughnasa to you and yours. The video I post today includes a chant from the CD titled The Circle is Cast by Libana. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, Hecate has offered the perfect poem for this holiday season - check it out.

These are offered in the hope that they support your rituals and mediations during the season of harvest.

Some Pagans celebrate this holiday at the beginning of August. Some Circles, mine included, choose to celebrate Lughnasadh AKA Lughnasa Old Style AKA Lamas closer to the middle of the month and over a period of several days. Some celebrate around the dark or full moon or according to astrological charts. The choice is yours.

Bernadette Cahill wrote an excellent article on this holiday for the High Country News last year. It's worth quoting again.

....the July/August festival is now mostly forgotten. Called Lughnasadh (with several spellings) in Celtic lands, the festival became known as Lammas in the Christian churches. Today, pagan groups mark the event, usually calling it Lammas.

Lammas means "loaf-mass,” marking the day loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and offered at church altars. In Celtic lands, it was a feast associated – with conflicting details – with Lugh, the god of light, at the point when the amount of light reaching the northern hemisphere begins significantly to decline.

The four great fire festivals follow each other in the wheel of the year at fairly regular intervals – around 12 weeks or so and more or less midway between the solstices and the equinoxes. This timing, the role of the god of light, and the lighting of fires, all point to a connection with the solar year – and Lughnasadh is often described as part of the wheel of the solar year.

But some authorities say it’s actually one of four lunar festivals that alternate with the solar festivals. Fire lighting up the darkness of the night – like the full moon does – and the ancient Celtic name, which sounds like “lunacy” – indicate this may be correct.

This is one of my favorite holidays because so much of it centers on bounty, prosperity, abundance, sharing and gratitude. Every year around this time, I ask myself a question:

What is my harvest this year, and how am I sharing my gifts with others?

The answer changes year to year, depending on which seeds I sow. This year, in particular, I have much reason for gratitude. In such hard times, that may sound loony to some, but a Green Witch will gather grace (1) and gratitude as carefully as any herb. My list of blessings is a long one and it includes the love of friends and family, the chance to do the work I want and the health and strength I need to make my dreams come true. May it be so for you and yours,



Grace (from the ADR):
The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another; favor bestowed or privilege conferred.

Inherent excellence; any endowment or characteristic fitted to win favor or confer pleasure or benefit

Beauty, physical, intellectual, or moral; loveliness; commonly, easy elegance of manners; perfection of form.

Graceful and beautiful females, sister goddesses, represented by ancient writers as the attendants sometimes of Apollo but oftener of Venus. They were commonly mentioned as three in number; namely, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, and were regarded as the inspirers of the qualities which give attractiveness to wisdom, love, and social intercourse.

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