or Lammas, between July 31 and August 2, the festival of the first grain harvest. This is a time for reaping the results of what you have worked so hard to achieve and discarding or leaving for a while longer what has not yet come to fruition.
A time for seeking justice or accepting natural justice or karma will follow though too often seeming a long time coming, for fighting abuse or inequality of any kind; for partnerships, both personal and legal or business, for signing contracts or property matters; promotion and career advancement and the regularizing of personal finances; for holidays and journeys to see friends and family and the renewal of promises, loyalty and fidelity; also willing sacrifice for a long term gain or one made in love, trusting the cosmos without seeking immediate return.
Ways of Marking the Festival in the Modern world
- Bake your own bread on Lughnassadh Eve or early on one of the days of the festival ,either with yeast or from a mix in the shape of a figure who can either represent the Grain\Corn Spirit or the Grain Mother. As you stir the mix in turn with friends and family or alone, make wishes for abundance and the harvest you wish to reap during the coming months.
- When your bread is cooked eat or share it and name the transformations you seek in your life/the world..
- Bake extra bread or fruit pies to give to neighbours and colleagues who maybe live alone and do not cook for themselves often.
- Tidy up neglected or unlovely parts of your garden or yard, remembering if possible to leave a wildlife area for plants, birds, bees and butterflies to flourish , allowing your life and relationships freedom also to regenerate in unique ways.
- Light an orange candle every evening, if possible for a week around the festival. Sprinkle a pinch of salt in the flame to let go of any injustice that cannot be put right but which needs to be released from your mind to set you free.,
- Then add a small pinch of dried sage to the flame and name a blessing however small or an unexpected kindness you have received in the previous few months. At the end of the week, make a practical gesture or spoken small blessing to someone who does not merit it.
- Use grain stalks or dried grasses to create corn knots and corn mother figures (with featureless head, arms, body and legs) tied with red and blue threads. Hang them in the home through the winter to bring protection and burn them on the first Monday after Twelfth Night or on next year’s Spring Equinox fires.
- If you want to make a Corn spirit figure, make an abstract shape with ears of corn tied together. Burn him /her on the last day of Lughnassadh; just before dusk and scatter the ashes in your garden or on indoor plants to bring abundance to the home during the winter.
- If you feel you have been unjustly treated and cannot put matters right, knot dried grasses or pluck the petals of a dying flower, one for each injustice and cast them into running water or bury them, planting late flowering seeds or autumn flowers.
- Arrange journeys to see friends and relations or write or telephone making definite plans to meet, as this is a time when tribes would get together before the long winter.
- Sit in the candlelight, allowing ideas to come of whatever form of creativity inspires you, interior design, music, sewing, gardening, book writing, having a baby, making a beautiful home of love, healing, singing, learning to create a website or launching a business of any kind. The creativity can be one that gives you pleasure and does not have to be commercial, rekindling the joyous way you danced or sang at the top of your voice, missing the odd octave of tunefulness as a child or told the most amazing stories to your own children.
- Make a final effort to resolve an unfair official or neighbourhood dispute or a dispute over an inheritance or property matter, if necessary, by changing tactic or the person representing you and considering what really matters
May you experience the joy of the season, acceptance for what cannot be changed and the determination to go forward and build on what you rightly have pride in achieving.