Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Merry Meet and Lughnasadh Blessings to you all! Tonight is the first of the harvest festivals that we will celebrate over the next few months to include Mabon and Samhain in September and October. Tonight's Sabbat falls in between the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox, as we turn the wheel of the year once again. For those of you that garden you will recognize that most vegetable crops are ready now. I know we are having fresh veggies our gardens here almost every night here. Zucchini is amazing on the Panini Press and Summer Squash on the grill. I'm waiting for my tomatoes to come in though! I am getting a couple of little ones here and there. Once they get going though we are going to have an overabundance of tomatoes! Earl is actually in the kitchen right now canning homemade Garlic Bread and Butter Pickles and making Zucchini Relish. He was talking earlier about making cinnamon chips with watermelon rinds. I hadn't ever heard of that. It's suppose to be pretty easy though. If anyone is interested shoot me an email and I will send you over the recipe. We definitely are enjoying the expanded gardens this year. Oh I should show you my herb garden in my hoop house that he built me!
This is the herb garden this year. :))) The entire left side is basil. There are around 40 plants out there to give you an idea of the size of all different varieties. I absolutely love basil and drink tons of basil tea. There's cinnamon, cardinal, sweet, and large leaf out there. I think that's all of them! lol Oh! I have Box Basil too but it's in a different area of the yard.
On the right is everything else, sage, pineapple sage, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, lavender, lemon balm... I know I'm missing a lot. Behind the hoop house I have huge batches of chives, lemon balm, lavender, anise, and tons of mint between my yard and the field. Wow I have herbs everywhere this year! I didn't really realize how many until I started listing them off! I drink a ton of herbal tea and add fresh herbs to my water every day. :)))
Here's a closer shot of the basil. You can see the different types here a bit. There's the purple basil, the one with pretty purple flowers is Cinnamon basil, to the left a bit with Purple stems is Cardinal basil, the huge leaves are the large leaf and to the left in the back you can see a bit of the Sweet Basil with it's white flowers. :))
This is part of the main garden. There's a few smaller gardens behind this one. If you look towards the end of it you can see a little trellis that Earl strung with twine and the beans are climbing. :)) It's one of my favorite spots. I am so happy with the garden. We have a couple of smaller ones behind this one, one for lettuce, one for strawberry and rhubarb and the tomato garden. I absolutely adore them all.
The more I get into the gardening the more I really have come to appreciate our Wheel of the Year. They really do go hand in hand and have given me a different appreciation and perspective of the Wheel. If you have the means to garden, even if it's indoor gardens I definitely encourage you to.
Ok back to Lamas! :))))
Tonight is the night to celebrate the spirit of the harvest and give thanks for the abundance that Mother Earth is blessing us with at this time. In the Northern Hemisphere most traditions celebrate Lughnasadh on August 1st. In the Southern Hemisphere it is celebrated on February 1st. Our days are starting to get shorter, but we still have more light than darkness in our days.
You may also see tonight referred to as Lammas by most who are not Celtic. The Word Lammas means loaf mass, and you will find some Christian traditions have passed on this ancient pagan holiday and still practice it today. In ancient English customs, the people would bring a loaf of bread made from that first harvest to the church.
Lughnasadh gets it's name from the Celtic Sun God Lugh. It means the "marriage of Lugh." In Celtic traditions, tonight we honor the God Lugh, the celtic craftsman, and the God of skills and talents and light. In Celtic mythology, Lugh is associated with the grains and harvests as he once held a harvest fair in honor of his stepmother, Tailtiu. The name Lugnhasadh comes from his name and is in honor of his work, and the fair he held that day in tribute to his mother. The three days prior to this festival were considered sacred to ancient Celts, and they used them as a time of purification.
It is also an old Celtic custom to harvest billberries on this day. If the harvest was abundant it was considered a sign of how the next couple months of harvest would go. The closest thing I have to billberries in my area is blueberries.
If you are doing a ritual tonight, here are some ideas to prepare your alter. If you are choosing to honor the God Lugh tonight place a symbol of your craft or trade upon your alter. Other items that are appropriate to include for tonight'scelebration include baskets, grains, fruits and vegetables, other symbolic gardening items, and fresh flowers. Some symbols of Lughnasadh include grapes, corn dolls, iron tools or weapons and armor, fall flowers, straw braids, and onion garlands. Altar cloths should be in rich yellows, oranges or reds to represent the end of summer and upcoming fall harvest. Candles should be in rich fall colors as well, reds, oranges, and yellows.
Have a Magickal Day!
Much Love and Many Blessings,
**original graphic by Le-Regard-des-Elfes**