Happy Lughnassadh, the first harvest in the Northern hemisphere, often celebrated between July 31 at sunset and August 2 sunset. It is mirrored in the southern world at the same time by the festival Imbolc, the first stirrings of new life as the land awakes after winter.
At the wheel of the year’s annual return, it is still for many a hard Lughnassadh. The early Imbolc growth too pushes against the frozen ground of fear. Food shortages, high fuel prices, a worldwide energy crisis, war, travel disruptions and reminders the pandemic has not gone away. Climate change is reflected all too starkly in extreme weather conditions.
But still the Wheel turns. The first harvest demands to be reaped even as half a world away, the new seeds are jostling for their place in the newly softening soil. The seasons will not be halted.
Time then to give thanks for the reminder of plans to be put into action now, to celebrate a personal harvest of what we have achieved in the previous year sometimes despite seemingly impossible odds and what we wish to plant in faith of better times.
No wasted moments regretting what we cannot do right now, but within constraints and constrictions, working diligently towards August 2023 re- awakening our lives in ever more ingenious ways. Then 2022 will be a tribute to the unconquerable human spirit at the turning of the year.
This is a joint seasonal ritual for the harvest and the planting.
- Light a yellow candle for Lughnassadh and a white one for Imbolc saying, I will succeed. I spread also my abundance great or small to others in need, not clutch it to me in fear or greed.
- Take a pot of dried rosemary or sage and sprinkle a few grains of dried sage or rosemary in each flame, leaving the candles to burn, in a safe place.
- When the candles are burned through, scatter a quarter of the remaining herbs outdoors to be blown by the wind or lie fallow, bury a quarter in the earth, cast a quarter in flowing water and use the final quarter in cooking making a wish for yourself and another wish for someone who deserves a lucky break or helping hand saying, I take in hope and plant my dreams that they may come true, I seek not ease but blossoming life anew.
- Plant some rosemary or sage seedlings, if necessary, indoors.
- Now do something fun and creative and as the grains of your gifts grow in the six months ahead. You may find you can make an income from what you enjoy most, find or restore true love or rejoice in being alone, conceive a healthy child when you had given up hope, move to the place you most want to be. Experience the pleasure of small harvest treasures, rejoicing as you help others also to fulfil their dreams. Then you can value maybe for the first time in ages, who you are as you are, where you are and with whom you are sharing your world and laugh with joy at the freedom to define your own unique path through life alone. May your harvest and planting be joyous.