Pronunciation: – Lughnasadh = Loo-na-sa or lug-na-sa
The name “Lughnassadh” comes from the Gaelic word “La Lughnassadh,” pronounced “Law LOO-nuh-suh,” and means “Marriage of Lugh.”
Other names: Lughnassadh is also called Lammas (Christianise), First Fruits, August eve, Feast of Bread, Bron Trograine
February 2nd in Southern Hemisphere (1st August Northern Hemisphere)
This is the 6th Sabbat in the Wicca calendar. Beginning of the Harvest Season at the height of summer; when Abundance is everywhere. It is also the beginning of autumn, as the light of the sun wanes. It has been said usually a celebration not the actual time to do a spell but to honour the God and The Goddess. When moving anti-clockwise we would see Lughnasadh in the cross-quarter of the North-West. The Alter can be placed to face this direction. This is the first harvest and a time when the light has only just begun to wane. It is the period between Midday and Sunset.
There are many stories to draw on- Lugh is the Celtic God of the Sun, vegetation and the cultivated fields. The “marriage” of Lugh refers to the Harvest. The symbolism of the dying sun is the dying God as Lugh is destined to do at the end of the harvest season.
Another God that can be associated is Tammuz (Tammuz is said to be the pagan god the christian church used to model some aspects of their church, thus getting the people in the door.) He is said to enter the underworld 6 months of the year and therefore nature ceases. The Greek God Adonis was ordered by Zeus to spend 6 months of every year with Persephone in the underworld. The grains Gods change to female- Norse Goddesses Fryja the Goddess of Grain, Bride the Celts Goddess of Grain.
So back to Lugh- He was the son of Cian of the Tuatha De Danann and Ethine daughter of the Balor King of Fomor. He is killed by his new wife’s lover on his wedding night. He is restored by his Uncle Gwion and is known to return as an Eagle. The story relates back to the Traditions of the Sacrificial King, he mates dies and is reborn. The thought to contemplate is When you give yourself totally to another, so we can be reborn as one. Others mention is John Barleycorn (the Irish want their malt whiskey) and the Welsh God Arianrhods golden haired son Lleu.
Lugh held celebrations on this day to honour his foster mother- as we do to celebrate the mother and the abundance she has bestowed on us all. Lughnasadh is a feminine celebration; it is honouring the Goddess Mother Earth as Lugh honoured his mother on this day. We are grateful for the bounties she has bestowed on us all. ( An interesting point is we all have something to be grateful – friends, family, a roof over our head a country if we don’t have anything will still give some support medical help our life.) It is also a birthing celebration as the fruits of the harvest are been provided in order for the earth’s children to live. It was a time to undertake “teltown marriages” or handfasting rituals. Fires were lit to give strength to the wanning sun, other traditions included in this celebration are craft festivals corn dolls and of course the making of bread. It is traditional to plant the seeds from any fruit you eat at this time. Some say Lughnassadh is the Pagan form of Thanksgiving; others say it is Mabon, where celebrations honouring the fertility and bounty of the Earth are performed. Baking bread and planting seeds is a simple way to celebrate Lughnassadh. You can make corn dollies and hang them in your home, or place them on the Altar. “Corn” in America is apparently another name for wheat, so when they talk about Corn Dollies would appear to mean dolls made from wheat. You can do onion braiding to be used as a decration or an activity for the kids. Garlic can replace the onions. Medicinal herbs are collected and dried. Lughnassadh is a time for justice, rights, wisdom, feasting and transformation.
We remember the summer passing, the food crops it provided us with and the nourishment it will continue to provide thru to the return of the sun god.
Correspondences for Lughnasadh
Goddesses: The Mother, Dana (Lugh’s wife & queen), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Demeter (Greek), the Barley Mother, Corn Mother, other agricultural Goddesses, the waxing Goddess
Gods: Johnny Barleycorn, Lugh, Arianrhods golden haired son Lleu (Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize), all sacrificial Gods who willingly shed blood/give their life that their people/lands may prosper, all vegetation Gods the waning God
Alter Decorations/symbols: The sun, Oak Fir Branches, sunflowers, lilies red/maize/yellow flowers, love amulets seashells summer fruits flowers feather/flower door wreath sun wheel fire circles of stone sun dials swords/blades bird feathers witches ladder corn dolls, dried Indian corn ears, sunflowers, wheat stalks cornucopias scythe sickle
Feast Foods: Homemade breads, barley cakes, nuts, crab apples, rice, lamb, elderberry wine, ale, cider, beer, meadowsweet tea, Grains, Berry Foods and any locally ripe produce.
Colours: Golden Yellow Orange Green and Light Brown
Herbs: acacia flowers, aloes, cornstalks, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, sunflower, wheat All the herbs coming into flower.
Animals/Mythical Beings: butterflies, frogs, toads, wrens, roosters calves and Griffins centaurs phoenix
Incense: Wood aloes, Rose, rosehips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood
Crystals: aventurine citrne peridot sardonyx cats eye golden topaz obsidian moss agate rhodocrhrosite clear quartz lodestone carnelian
Tarot Card: Justice, the Wheel of Fortune
Rituals/Spells: At this time, witches cast spells for connectedness, career, health, and financial gain. Spells for abundance are completely appropriate now. As the sun is growing weaker, it is a good time to do grounding and sun meditations, then use the golden rays of the sun (gathered during meditation) in spellcasting. It is also said that the Sabbats are not a time for spells but I did find a number of spells to do on this day. Personally no spells for me.
Hocus Pocus: Titania’s Book of Spells
You will need a special piece of silver, charge it with the full moon light.
1st Feb take your Piece of silver and place on your forehead.
Saying “May my fortunes grow from this day” wear the silver or keep it close to you. Touch the talisman and look towards the moon ant time you need special help.
A solitary ritual followed by a coven ritual, l have a copy of Obsidian’s Grimoire and found the ritual for a Coven some time ago on the Yahoo/Pagans Australian Website or it may have been the group chat page.
Simple Lammas (Lughnassadh) Ritual (by Obsidian)
Set up a simple Altar. Place Salt in a small bowl upon the Altar. Have all the other items close to the Altar, so that you will have them on hand. Place the Elemental candles and mark out the circle. Take the bowl of salt, and walking deosil around the circle, sprinkle a little as you walk, saying:
“With Salt I purify this circle,
may no harm enter within.”
When you have finished, replace the salt on the Altar. Take your Athame or Wand (if you do not own one of these ritual tools, you may use your index finger), and walk around the circle, in a deosil direction, imagining white light streaming out from the Athame/Wand/Finger to create a circle of fire. As you walk around a second time, imagine the fire growing higher and higher, spreading out under the ground as well. As you walk around for the third and final time, imagine the fire closing up over the top of you, and joining up under the ground to create a sphere. When you have finished, stand in the centre of the circle with arms up and say:
“I cast this magick circle,
that it be a boundary between this world,
and that of the Spirit realm.
As above [point to the sky],
So below [point to the ground],
the circle is cast!”
Walk over to the Northern candle, light it. Stand with arms outstretched, feet slightly apart, saying:
“Hail Guardian of the Watchtower of the North,
Element of Fire.
I call upon thee to guard and protect,
to lend your power to mine.
So mote it be!”
Repeat for the other Elements. Return to the Altar. Stand before the Goddess candle (a Silver/white candle), and light it. Stand with arms outstretched, feet slightly apart, saying:
“Holy Mother of the Earth,
Shining lady of the moon,
I call upon thee to assist and protect,
to lend your power to mine.
Welcome, loving Goddess,
into my circle.”
Stand before the God candle (a Gold/yellow/red candle), and light it. Stand with arms crossed over your chest, feet together, saying:
“Holy Father of the Sky,
Blazing Lord of the Sun,
I call upon thee to assist and protect,
to lend your power to mine.
Welcome, loving God,
into my circle.”
Close your eyes and mediate on the past few months, and think of all the good things that have happened in that time. Lammas is a time for transformation, and any negative feelings you have been holding onto can be discarded now. Take a pen and paper, and write all the negative things you wish to banish. If possible, burn this paper, either in a cauldron, or in a large heatproof bowl, if this is not possible, then simply throw the paper into a stream or river to be carried away. As you discard of the paper say:
“I banish ……
I have no need for this anymore,
I banish it away in the Lughnassadh flame.
So mote it be!”
Stand before the altar and say:
“As the wheel turns from Summer into Autumn,
I give thanks for all the blessings I have received.
And look forward to those blessings that lay before me”
You can meditate on the positive things you wish to have in the coming months. You can now hold the simple feast, eat breads, seeds, nuts and the fruits of the season. Don’t forget to leave some as an offering to the Goddess and God which you should pour/crumble into the ground, to give back to Mother Earth. When you are ready to end the circle, stand before the Goddess candle and say:
“Farewell O’ loving Goddess,
I thank you for your assistance and protection,
Both within this circle, and in my life.
I now bid you farewell,
may you go in peace and love.
Blow or pinch out her candle. Repeat for the God candle. Return to the Western candle, say:
“Farewell Guardian of the Watchtower of the West,
I thank you for your assistance within this circle.
I bid you now farewell,
may you go in peace and love.
Blow/pinch out the West candle. Repeat the above for each of the remaining Elements. When you have said farewell to the Northern Guardian, walk around the circle widdershins, imagining the white fire that created the circle retracting back into your Athame/Wand/finger. Walk around doing this 3 times, and when you have returned to the northern point again, put down the Athame/Wand and say:
“May the circle be open,
It is done!
Lughnasadh 2008 by Bird
Altar to be decorated with apples, barley, wheat, rye (grain can be in bowls if sheaves not available), bread, cider, ale, mead, corn and fresh flowers.
Offerings for the Corn King
Circlets of flowers and leaves for Maiden, Mother and Crone
Crown of grain for Corn King
Cloak for Corn King
Shroud for Corn King
Gifts for Corn King/Paper to write on
Cup of ale
Barley for offerings
Oil for anointing
Air Guardian, Fire Guardian, Water Guardian, Earth Guardian
Maiden, Mother, Crone
Corn God – To be chosen by the men
Before the Ritual
Everyone either brings something they have made as a gift for the Corn God that represents the harvest in their lives, or they can write something on paper before the circle starts.
Corn King is chosen by the men before the ritual starts – they are taken aside as a group and the HP will help the men choose the Corn King.
While the men choose the Corn King, the women will prepare the circlets for the Maiden, Mother and Crone and dress the circle with flowers.
As each person enters the circle, they are given a handful of barley to place on the altar as an offering by the Earth Guardian and anointed with oil by the Water Guardian and welcomed into the circle.
Circle Cast By the blade a circle born
Between the worlds a boundary formed
By the power raised herein
To guard without and hold within
Be this circle cast
Elementals I call upon the winds of the world…
I call upon the flames of the fire…
I call upon the waves of the ocean…
I call upon the stones of the earth…
HPS: Welcome to the Sabbat of Lughnasadh! At this time on the wheel, we celebrate the harvest, we celebrate that which has come into our lives and the earth, that which we have planted, we now reap.
But as we celebrate, we also acknowledge the mystery of the season contained within the grain.
HP: We call forth the Guardians of the mystery of this time, we call forth those who have raised the grain high, helped it to grow, nurtured its future. We call forth the triple Goddess, we call forth the Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Maiden, mother and crone step forward and they are crowned with the circlets of flowers and leaves and welcomed with a kiss.
HP: Invokes triple Goddess
We call to thee O Maiden of the starlit plain
Virgin of the crescent moon
Whose light kisses the field unfarrowed
Whose beauty shapes the world unformed
We call to thee O Mother of the ripened grain
Queen of the fertile earth
Within whom the seed is planted
And the bounty of the fields is born
We call to thee O Crone of blackest night
Dark Lady of the sickle and scythe
Before whom the field lies fallow
Awaiting the blood-red dawn
Maiden, Mother, Crone of Old
Thee we invoke by the harvest gold
Three in one and one in three
Light and bright and dark are thee!
They stand beside the altar.
HP: Who amongst us will accept thanks for the bounty of our year and the responsibility that goes with that?
Who will give our thanks to the earth?
Corn King comes forward and is crowned and dressed in the cloak.
HPS: We call to thee O Father of the sunlit plains
Lover of the crescent moon
Whose golden light lives within the seed
Planted in the field
We call to thee O Father of the maturing corn
King in the fertile soil
Wrapped in the womb of the mother
Where the bounty of the wheel is born
We call to thee O Father of the setting sun
Whose head bows in the summer breeze
Full of the love of the earth
Awaiting rebirth from the earth
O King of the Golden Corn
We invoke thee
King of the Golden Corn
We welcome thee
The maiden and mother step forward, and welcome him to the circle:
Maiden: We who have loved you and nurtured you, we who have helped you to grow, will now celebrate that which you return to us.
Mother: We here have prepared offerings to you to thank you for that which you have bought into our lives.
Maiden and mother take him around the circle for everyone to thank him and to offer him a gift, which is attached to his cloak, or placed around his neck. As they thank him, they say:
Thank you for the good things you have given to me. Thank you for
the food in my belly, the water which gives me life, the fire which gives me warmth and light, the air which I breathe, and the Earth which is my home. I give you in return a small gift; a symbol of my love for all the things which you have given to me.
When he has finished going around the circle, he is taken to the altar. The Maiden and mother kiss him and thank him once more. They then stand him behind the altar and say to the Crone:
Maiden: O Great mother of us all, Receiver of Sacrifice, bridger of worlds
Mother: You who holds the mystery of our season
Maiden: Accept our sacrifice of thanks to you, so the wheel may spin once more
Crone( to Corn King): You who have grown so tall and free, you who have had the run of the fields, now must you return to the earth once more.
The crone kisses the Corn King as she cuts his throat and he falls behind the altar.
The Maiden and Mother cover him in a shroud.
The Crone keens for his loss.
The maiden and mother take the ale from the altar, and take it to the Crone and say:
Maiden: Do not mourn for long grandmother, as it was his time to die. The sun that warned our summer days, no longer is so high.
Mother: We have thanked him for the corn, we have gathered in his harvest now, and he leaves the fields forlorn. But, now do we celebrate life as it moves ever on, for we cannot stay here forever.
Maiden and Mother: all things grow all things die all shall be reborn
Maiden: Here, drink him in, as his sacrifice is transformed once more into life.
The Maiden gives the crone a drink, the Crone then takes the cup around the circle to everyone to drink from. As she gives the cup to each person, she says:
Crone: drink deep of the life of my lord, born from the earth, crushed in the mill, reborn in the waters of life.
The cup is placed back on the altar. The Maiden, mother and crone stand again beside the altar.
Cakes and ale
As the ale goes around the circle, the Maiden, Mother and Crone remove their crowns and place them in front of the altar, they also remove the shroud from the King and fold it and place it in the altar, and he re-joins the circle. Close circle