Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sabbat Lammas

Sabbat Lammas

Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, falls at the beginning of the harvest season.  Apples are ready and grain is beginning to ripen.  A day also for Ancestors.  The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-mas, which translates to loaf mass.  It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being the autumn equinox and Samhain.  In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.  The loaf was blessed and in England it might be employed afterwards to work magic: A book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the Lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.


Lammas in Norse is compared to Freyfaxi, or Freyr Fest, marking the beginning of the harvest.  As a fertility deity Freyr would be intimately tied to the land and the food grown upon it.  It was a time for celebration with horse races and a feast for God Freyr.  Thor was also honored as is his wife Sif, whose golden hair reminds us the wheat fields.  Traditionally, three stalks of the first grains are bound together into a sheaf and kept as an amulet of fortune.  Sometimes it was also left in the field for Odin’s horse Sleipnir.


Activities: Baking Bread, Gathering First Fruits and Herbs, Astrology, Picnic, Making Corn Dollies, Offering to Ancestors, Help Community Garden 

Animals: Roosters, Calves, Stag, Squirrel

Attunement Teas(Individually or Blended): Alfalfa, Cornsilk, Golden Seal

Colors: Red, Gold, Yellow, Green, Orange, Citrine

Deities: Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, Earth Goddess

Foods: Breads, Corn, Cider, Berry Pies, Potatoes, All First Harvest Foods

Goddesses: Alphito (Irish), Freya (Norse), Persephone (Greek), Selu (Cherokee), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Tuaret (Egyptian), Sif (Norse), Demeter (Greek), Libera (Roman), Mama Alpa (Incan), Pirua (South American), Qocha Mana (Hopi), Taillte (Irish), Zytniamatka (Teutonic)

Gods: Bes (Egyptian), Liber (Roman), Llew (Welsh),Thor (Norse), Athtar (Phoenician), Bran (Welsh), Ebisu (Japanese), Howtu (Chinese), Lono (Polynesian), Lugh (Irish), Odin (Norse)

Key Action: Receive, Harvest, Blessings

Meaning: Honoring the Parent Deities, Gratitude, Honoring the Sun Gods, Celebrating First Harvest, Abundance

Mythical Creatures: Phoenix, Griffins, Basilisk, Centaurs, Speaking Skull

Other Names: Lammas, Lughnasa, Festival of Green Corn, First Harvest, Ceresalia, August Eve, Feast of Cardenas

Plants: Corn, Rice, Wheat, Ginseng, Rye, Apple, Oak, Cornflower

Ritual Oils: Eucalyptus, Corn, Safflower

Stones: Yellow Diamond, Peridot, Carnelian, Citrine, Gold

Symbols: Corn, All Grains, Bread, Full Moon, Wheat

Taboos: Not Sharing Food


Hail to the Day

Hail to the Day,
hail the sons of Day,
hail to the night and daughter of night.
With eyes of kindness
look upon us all,
victory give to us who sit here.

Hail the Aesir,
hail the Asynjur,
hail to the Earth so fruitful and wide.
Fair speech and counsel
give to us glorious ones,
and healing hands as long as we live.

~ Michaela Macha


The Hungry Golden God

My hungry Golden God,
Delight of Gerda´s body,
Ever hard, ever desirous
of Your fierce and mighty bride,
You come with the pulsing, pounding rhythms
of the seed fighting for light
through the resistant body
of the rich and sultry earth.
Mighty and proud,
You wooed and won
The fiercest of Gymir´s get.
You filled Her with light, as She enveloped You with darkness.
You are fierce in Your love, courageous, the bravest of warriors.
Would Gerda have accepted anything less?

~ Galina Krasskova


Prayer to Frey, God of Fertility

Frey, God of fertility, I like to see the plants grow and thrive.
I enjoy animals being around – the blackbird in the garden,
the cat in the yard, the lion on TV.
I know all life procreates, and that for some privileged beings,
the act of procreating feels good –
and I know I can enjoy the good feeling even if I choose not to procreate.
This option is a free gift that came with my body. More so, it is a need you built in.

Perhaps, if I´d had a choice, I´d have built myself otherwise,

but that´s the way I am now.
Teach me to allow myself to feel at ease when I feel lust stirring within me.
Teach me to accept it as natural and a sign of good health,
neither being ashamed of it, nor making too big a fuss of it,
for it is a wonderful and ever-renewing gift from Freya and you.
In fact, enjoying my sexuality can bring me closer to you,
to understanding your ways and the mysteries of life.
Frey, God of body and mind, God of lust and love,
teach me to use your gift wisely.

~ Michaela Macha


Sif Golden-Hair

She sleeps, Thor’s wife Golden-Gleaming-Hair,
And Loki evil-heart creeps through the black night;
Sif’s hair spreads out glowing, and none more fair.

He steals her bright tresses glimmering there,
Thor raises his thunder, the white-headed light;
Beautiful was Sif Golden-Gleaming-Hair.

Dark elves live underground in jeweled lairs,
Loki begs them to forge tresses glittering bright;
Sif’s hair sunlight-shining, and none more fair.

Loki hides, and Thor searches everywhere;
Elf-spinning shines in the gods’ astonished sight,
Dark elves love Sif Golden-Gleaming-Hair.

Swiftly grows the gold on Sif’s head white and bare,
All Asgard praises from its silver height;
Skillful was that spinning, and none more fair.

Swart elves plucked and wove sun-fire from the air,
Raise up dark elves from their forges roaring white;
Sif again is Golden-Gleaming-Hair,
Gold-spreading in the skies, and none more fair.

~ Cameron La Follette


Ironically, today this is probably the least-honored Wiccan festival.  In our modern world, it's often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it's no big deal, we just go and get more.

When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one's crops meant the difference between life and death. 

As global food production teeters on its delicate framework of agribusiness, cheap oil, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, nuclear irradiation, and now genetically-engineered non-reproductive seeds - not to mention climate change - we would benefit by remembering just how crucial the farmers' harvests are to our continued well-being.

No comments:

Post a Comment