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Reapers Festival - Lammas - Lughnasad
Tags: Reaper Reap Festival Lammas Lughnasad Nature Harvest Parsifal

to celebrate Wheel Of The Year Festivals is an ancient Tradition in many Cultures.
Long before Christian thought gripped the world, lived and celebrated our Ancestors 8 Festivals during the Year.
These Festivals have their origin in the Cycle of Nature, the changing Seasons and the passage of the Sun and Moon.
So we celebrate the 4 Sun-Festivals, the Winter Solstice (longest Night of the Year, December 21), the Summer Solstice (the longest Day of the Year, June 21), but also the Equinoxes in Autumn and Spring.

In the old, Matriachal Cultures, even 4 Moon Festivals came to the particularly honored Feats the rising, the full, the waning and dark Moon.
These Festivals are known as the Festival of Lights (Brigid, February 2), the May Day (Beltane, May 1), the Reaper Festival (Lammas, August 1-2) and the Ancestors Festival (Samhain, the night to the first of November).
When we celebrate Wheel Of The Year Festivals today, we reconnect with the forces and energies of Nature.


The first of August is half way between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox.
This is when the agricultural Cycle moves from Growing to Ripening and Harvest.


parsifalrain, July 28                                                                                            

Blessed Harvest Time !

Lammas Song *)


harvesting and ordinations of Herbs
In early August begins Harvest Month.
Many Plants bear Fruit, the grain is ripe, medicinal Plants have particularly high impact.
Summer is felt, we experience heat and power.
However, it is the Time to place a strong cut.
The Time of the abundance of fruit will pass.
If we do not collect or harvest now, we lose everything.
We must therefore make the concrete section and cut the corn, so that we can well use it.

This chop is also symbolic of farewell to the Time of heat and fullness.
We carry the foreboding in us that it is getting dark again, that the death of the Nature is approaching.
We try to keep fullness, preserve by boiling fruit and vegetables, make durable, harvesting the Herbs and make teas and juices from them, and by processing the grain into flour and bread.

Wheel Of The Year Feast - Lughnasad
On August 1, the Celts celebrated a great Festival of Light, which they called Lughnasad (luu-na-sa).
Lughnasad means as much as the 'Wedding of Light'.
Lugh this was revered by the Celts Lord of Light.

image by Rolf Kohl  
At Lughnasad Harvest of our Fruits is celebrated, but also the work done, which was associated with it.
It is a kind of a Celtic Thanksgiving.
It is a Festival of wealth and abundance.
It is a Festival that symbolizes the Cycle of Life in a special way, because the Harvest also means the death of the Plants.
The Cycle goes but on forever.
The harvested Fruits allow us to survive in the Winter (so the time devoid of vegetation), the Seeds are formed and everyone knows that in the Spring new Life starts again.
It is an Eternal Cycle of sowing, growing, blooming, fruiting, harvesting and dying away.

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the Nature
The Days are already getting shorter since the Summer Solstice on June 21 - and yet we are now experiencing the Middle of Summer, with all its heat, thunderstorms, drought and abundance of Fruit.
After the Time of flowering, now is the Time of the Fruit.
The first Fruit trees bear apples, apricots and peaches.
Blueberries, Raspberries and Gooseberries are ripe and can be pot for Winter storage.
And also the vegetable garden is now bringing out all its fullness.
We can harvest and eat daily fresh salad and varied vegetable.

It's a torn time.
On one hand, we enjoy the heat and abundance, on the other hand precisely this heat sometimes becomes too tiring and utilizing the Fruit requires time and patience.
It is noticeable that the power of the Sun can also destroy.
If we have a garden, we need to spend a great deal of care at this time, so that the Plants thrive and not wither.
Without daily watering, care and harvesting much would be destroyed in August.
Lammas, as a celebration of Summer should be feasted outdoors to truly soak up the bountiful Harvest from the natural beings of the corn.

That is precisely the Quality of the Festival.
At the Time of greatest maturity, we must reap.
The grain must be cut and this cut is exactly the symbol of the Festival.
Celebrating the 'Reaper', who consciously and with all her strength reaps the Fruit.
With her crescent (equivalent to the waning crescent) she is severing Life - just to survive.

This Festival symbolizes the dual nature of the crop - the fullness and destruction, Life and death, dying and becoming.

The related issue is to find the right Time and make the necessary section (step) to harvest what needs to be harvested.
Sever, even if it sometimes hurts and is associated with death.
Say goodbye particular of all used, consumed, old, which strains your Life.
Provide, for the dark Time of the Year - harvest and process the Fruits, stock up so that you are well taken care of in the next half of the Year.

Lughnasadh Dance


the astrological perspective of the Feast
Astrologically we find ourselves in Leo.
The Lion is a classic fire sign, bringing us the heat and abundance of this Time.
The Lion stands for human warmth and cordiality.
He is very charismatic, proud and confident.
In the sign of Leo, we must be aware of our uniqueness.
We dare to show ourselves proudly and manifest in all our strength and power.
The Lion makes us majestic and confident, helps us to act confidently in the world.

the aspect of the Goddess
The loving Goddess of Summer Solstice turns gradually into the aging Goddess.
In anticipation of the dark period, she slowly turns towards the Underworld and begins with her preparations for the dark half of the Year.
She became older and is getting ready by the time of fullness, which emerged from the compound with her lover, to say goodbye.
She becomes the 'Reaper' who symbolically with her crescent-Moon cut through the ripe grain and harvest, thus making durable for a long Winter-half of the Year.
This cutting of the grain is also symbolic of the separation from her lover, with whom the earthly connection is coming to an end.
As the Fruits of Love can now be harvested, it is for both: the God and the Goddess time to retire.

The red-black Goddess teaches us that killing is part of Life.
She teaches us that cutting, cutting through, cutting off and breaking up are issues with which we are confronted again and again in the Course of Life and we have to face.
The Goddess of this Time is powerful, putting limits, destructive and very powerful.

'We plough the fields and scatter the seeds on the land, but growth and prosperity are alone in the Goddess hand'

Goddesses of the Feast
The Roman Goddess Diana - represents very well the Goddess of this Time.
She was the mistress of the wild and the night, and in her honor, Processions and Feasts were celebrated in August in the Woods or on a lake.
Diana is the protector of Women.
She protects the dignity and the sanctity of the Female.
Those who opposed her, or did violence to the Women, were killed instantly.
Diana supports Women to espouse confidently for themselves and for their rights.

History of the Festival
Lugh, a deity worshipped across many Cultures, and nearly universally recognized by the Celts:
Originally this Festival of Lugh, 'Lugh Lámhfada', 'Lugaid', 'Lugaidh', 'Lonnansclech', 'Luga', 'Lámfada', 'Long-Handed' 'Light' - a Sun God and God of Harvest, was celebrated in honor of his foster mother, the Earth Goddess.
It took place on her grave mound.
This Festival is therefore in its origin an ancient Festival (about 3500+ Years old) of the Great Mother, the protectress of agriculture and Harvest.
Great Mother gave humanity the gift of cultivation, she cleared the land and taught how to sow and reap the crops.
In antiquity, Lugh is equated the Roman God Mercury.

Of course, the Harvest Time in August (the Month Gaia) was very meaningful.
The Winter survival was dependent on a good Harvest - and so were and are always held in August Thank-Celebrations, but also Festivals that are to help to protect the crop.

Lughnasadh was one of the four major Fire Festivals of the Celtic people, and later it became known as Lammas by the Anglo-Saxons.
The Fire Festivals marked the midpoints between the main quarter holidays determined by the Sun's position.
They marked liminal times of transition between the Solstices and Equinoxes.

For the Celts, the men helped together in these Days, bring in the Harvest.
The function of Women was to make tea and bake fresh bread and bring it to the fields.
Children also participated in the work.
In the evening was celebrated.

There were fresh apples eaten from the trees and typical Lugh-bread from freshly ground grain.
There were Stories told, dancing and singing.
The fullness of Life was celebrated.


customs to the Feast
Herb Harrier
In catholic regions, to the Assumption of Mary on August 15 the herb sanctification is celebrated.
These old, Germanic herbs harvesting practices are also known as 'Our Women Würzwei' or 'High Women' or 'Assumption Day'.
To Feast of the Herb consecration, a lively Tradition has survived to this Day.
In Austria, as well as in Bavaria, this Day has remained a public Holiday.

To Mary Assumption, Herbalist Women have always tied Magic Herb Bushes.
It is still associated with a lot of Magic to create such a Herbal Bush.
The collected Herbs are tied to a thick Bush where in the middle sits the Mullein.
The finished Herbal Bush was dedicated in the church and hung at home with downward hanging Flowers for drying (in the old farmhouse parlors the Herb Bush hung in the domestic shrine, Herrgottswinkel).
Throughout the Year, the Herbs of Herbs Bush could be used for fumigations; often ritually smoked in the Twelve Nights After Christmas (the Raunächte).
Particularly curative they were when they were additionally mixed with incense.

The sacred Herbs to help against all sorts of enchantments and forms of disease, but also for marital happiness, blessing of children, and more.

The Traditional Herb Bushes are bound from 9 Herbs.

The Herbs of the Niner-Bunch 'Neunerbuschen' are St. John's Wort [Hypericum], Yarrow [Achillea millefolium], Valerian [genus Valeriana], Arnica [Arnica montana], Mullein [genus Verbascum] (always bind in the middle), Camomile [Matricaria chamomilla], Wormwood [Artemisia absinthium], Peppermint [Mentha piperita] and Centaury [Centaurium erythraea].

Lammas or Lughnasadh refers back to the ancient rite of offering the first Fruits of the Harvest to the Gods to ensure a safe and bountiful Harvest Time.
Lammas- Tide, and the sacrifice of the first Harvest ensure that the rest of the Harvest Season will also go smoothly.
The period of the agricultural Cycle lasts from the beginning of August to the Autumn Equinox in late September.

The Woman Thirties
The whole August is an important Womens-Month.
There are many different Marie Holidays, with of course the Assumption leading the way on August 15.
August was for the Herb-Women the Time of the magical Herb collection and also the Time of valorization of collected Herbs.
The Time between August 15 (Assumption) and September 8 (Nativity of Mary) was called 'The Woman Thirties' and has always been considered the best available and blessed Time for collecting Herbs and digging Roots.
Previously it was thought that the Herbs had the triple effect at this Time.


mix a teaspoon each of untreated dried yeast and real Bee honey in 200ml of lukewarm Water and leave the mix in a warm place until it froths.
Put 500g of (fresh ground) organic flour into a bowl with a teaspoon of whole (unrefined) salt, add the frothy Water, three tablespoons native olive oil virgine extra and 50-200ml warm Water.
Stir the tough for 10 Minutes and placed on a greased backing tray.
Pat into shape by scoring a pattern with a knife.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise for 20 Minutes.
Then pop into a hot oven, heated up to 180°C, 370°F for approx 40 Minutes.
When cooked, the underside of the loaf will sound hollow when tapped.
Use a nice towel to wrap your Lammas Loaf.
Enjoy best with organic Butter.


Omnia - Lughnasadh

Gold, Light-yellow, green, brown, orange

Sunflower [Helianthus annuus], Heather [Calluna vulgaris, Ericoides], Hollyhock [Alcea rosea], Grapes, Pears, Myrtle [Myrica gale], Acacia [Francolinus].

*) Note, in the Southern Hemisphere is celebrated the Festival of Imbolc at August 01 - 02, whereas Lughnassad is on February 1 - 2.
This is why the Lammas Song video by Lisa Thiel (above) shown Wheel Of The Year is quasi back-to-front.

I hope everybody will enjoy a great Lughnasadh -  Blessed Be !


Pagan Feasts

Plants in the Wheel of the Year - July and August


Elderberry: Tree of the Goddess Holla

Summer Solstice - Litha - June 21

The Linden Tree

Jethro Tull - Jack In The Green )O(


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