As I write this blogpost, we’re in the energy of the new Leo Moon. In my tradition, this is a time for setting intentions for what we need, or would like, to bring into our lives. In a few days, it a time is set aside in the Northern Hemisphere to offer gratitude for the abundance of what we are harvesting in our lives this year.
As I write, the Wheel of the Year spins onward, and on August 1 we celebrate, in the northern hemisphere the Celtic holiday of Lughnasadh, called Lammas in the Christian tradition. We celebrate sluggishly in the heat of summer where I live. Leaves are dusty, grass is brown, even the ocean water is warm. The first harvest of vegetables and fruit is long past. It’s too early to think of autumn harvest, of golden wheat and abundant gardens, but there was a time, right after the last ice age, when August was the time of the first grain harvest near my home. In more northern climes, it still is.
To celebrate the August harvest, the ancient Celts honored the Sun God Lugh, (also thought to be a king adopted into the Celtic pantheon of the Tuatha De Danann) who was skilled in many crafts, including smithery, poetry, and sword-making. They named the holiday Lughnasadh. Another legend says Lugh himself created the holiday in honor of his foster mother. Later, the Catholic church renamed the holiday Lammas, or “loaf mass.”
In the Southern Hemisphere now in the cold of winter, the holiday of Imbolc is celebrated, honoring Brigit, goddess of smithery, fire, poetry, sacred wells and lambing. I love the balance, the yin/yang of the cycle of the seasons between the hemispheres.
Lughnasadh teaches me, again and again, to be mindful that what I sow, I shall reap. Not only is there a continuity, a flow, to the rhythm of the seasons, the planting and the harvesting in our lives, but a challenge to us to grow, to be aware of our thoughts and actions, and the ripple effects both have on the world around us.
The harvest festivals remind us to offer gratitude for the gifts of abundance in our lives. I have so much for which I am grateful. Even as I write this, I am in air-conditioning, drinking iced tea, eating a tomato sandwich on really good bread, and watching gulls and pelicans soar over the electric blue water of the sound I see from my window. It’s the little things.
Lughnasadh and Imbolc blessings,