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Lammas - The First Harvest

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While here in the Northern Hemisphere we celebrate Lughnasadh, or Lammas, on August 1, it is important to note that in the Southern Hemisphere it is the time for Imbolc and we want to wish our friends on the opposite side of the globe a very blessed holiday season!

Lughnasadh, or Lammas, Lughnasadh means the funeral games of Lugh (pronounced Loo), referring to Lugh, the Irish sun god. However, the funeral is not his own, but the funeral games he hosts in honor of his foster-mother Tailte. For that reason, the traditional Tailtean craft fairs and Tailtean marriages (which last for a year and a day) are celebrated at this time.

This day originally coincided with the first reapings of the harvest. It was known as the time when the plants of spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.

As autumn begins, the Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.

The Christian religion adopted this theme and called it 'Lammas ', meaning 'loaf-mass ', a time when newly baked loaves of bread are placed on the altar. An alternative date around August 5 (Old Lammas), when the sun reaches 15 degrees Leo, is sometimes employed by Covens.

Traditional Foods:
Apples, Grains, Breads and Berries.

Herbs and Flowers:
All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears.

Incense:
Aloeswood, Rose, Sandalwood


Sacred Gemstone:
Carnelian, Citrine, Tiger Eye.

Special Activities:
As summer passes, many Pagans celebrate this time to remember its warmth and bounty in a celebrated feast shared with family or Coven members. Save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during the feast or ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant or tree with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Lord and Lady. Walk through the fields and orchards or spend time along springs, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes reflecting on the bounty and love of the Lord and Lady.

To Celebrate Lammas Today

Oh Lady, your breast is the field. Inanna, your breast is your field.

Your broad field pours out plants, your broad field pours out grain.

Water flows from on high for your servant.

Bread flows from on high for your servant.

Pour it out for me Inanna. I will drink all you offer

Bake a loaf of bread being sure to honor the source of the flour as you work. Shape the loaf into the figure of a man or a woman and give your grain-person a name such as Lugh or Demeter. If you have a garden add something you've grown to the dough. Bread combines the elementals of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water to become a substance that has nourished and sustained people since the discovery of grain. Bread combines seeds from the Earth (flour and salt), with Water and Air (yeast the secret, airborne traveler, sacred changer of the Gods) add Fire to bake. Suddenly, from those four ancient, basic elements, you have bread. If you don't want to bake bread you can make corn bread, or popcorn or muffins, the important part of the baking process is to mindfully enter the sacred by being fully aware of your intention.

Make a corn dolly, as you work on her, think of what you've harvested this year.

Place an ash leaf under your pillow for prophetic dreams

Decorate sheaves of grain with flowers or ribbons

Eat and drink all in the name of the Goddess and God. Begin with a prayer of thanks for the bounty laid before you.

Leave offerings of bread to the Faerie Folk.

Honor the pregnant Goddess and the waning energy of the Sun God by offering them bread and wine.

Hang crystals, faceted glass and sun catchers in the windows of your house to deflect unwanted energy and to create dancing rainbow colors in your home

Sacrifice bad habits and unwanted things from your life by throwing symbols of them into the Sabbat fire. Prayer scrolls can contain written descriptions of offerings, or they can be doodled or drawn representations. They can be symbols or words, whatever is a more powerful association for you.

Lammas Correspondences

Goddesses - Anat, Blodeuwedd, Ceres, Cerridwen, Demeter, Isis, Sif

Gods - Adonis, Hercules, Tammuz, Lugh, Odin, Loki, Baal

Colors - Orange, gold, yellow, also citrine and gray

Candle Colors - Golden yellow, orange, green or light brown

Stones - Yellow diamonds, adventurine, sardonyx, peridot and citrine

Animals - roosters, calves, stags

Mythical Creatures - Phoenix, griffins. centaurs and speaking skulls

Plants - Corn, rice, wheat, rye and ginseng

Herbs - Acacia flowers, aloes, calendula, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, sunflower, vervain

Incense - Aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary,chamomile, passionflower, frankincense and sandalwood

Foods - Homemade breads, corn, potatoes, berry pies, barley cakes, nuts, wild berries, apples, rice, roasted lamb, acorns, crab apples, summer squash, turnips, oats, all grains and all First Harvest foods. Traditional drinks are elderberry wine, ale and meadowsweet tea.

RECIPES

Apricot Wine

1 pound Dried Apricots 4 quarts Warm Water 6 1/2 cups Sugar 2 1/4 cups Brown Sugar 1 1/2 cups Raisins 1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced 2 each Lemons, thinly sliced 2 each Oranges, thinly sliced 1/2 cup Yeast

Wash the apricots in several batches of water and then dry them and cut in halves. Place in a large crock and pour on the warm water, reserving 1/2 cup of it in which to dissolve the yeast cake. Stir in the sugars, fruit, raisins and ginger. Then add the dissolved yeast and mix well. Cover with top of the crock and let stand for thirty days, stirring the mixture every other day. After thirty days strain the mixture and bottle.

Lammas Incense

1 part oak bark 1/4 part pine resin A few drops oak moss oil 2 parts red sandalwood 1 part cedar wood A few drops cedar oil 3 parts frankincense 1/2 part sunflower petals

Summer Pudding

6 cups berries 1 cup sugar Loaf of white bread one or two days old Wash the fruit and leave in a bowl with the sugar overnight. The next day put the contents into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Gently simmer for 2 or 3 minutes., there should be lots of juice.

Cut the loaf into 1/4 " thick slices and remove the crusts.

Cute a circle from one slice of the bread slightly larger than the bottom of a 1 liter pudding dish and place in position. Cut wedges of bread to fit around the sides of the bowl. If there are any gaps push in small pieces of bread.

Pour half of the fruit and juice mixture, cover with bread cut to shape and add the remainder of fruit and juice.

Cover the top with a couple slices of bread, trimming off the excess to make a nice, neat finish to the pudding.

Put a plate on top and weight it down with two or three cans of food. Leave in the refrigerator for a day or two.

When pudding is taken out of the fridge, run a thin, flexible knife between the pudding and the bowl to loosen it. Place a serving dish upside down on top of the bowl Quickly turn it over and remove the bowl. Serve with lots of whipped cream.



Barley Mushroom Soup

5 C. vegetable broth 1 C. barley, uncooked 1/2 lb. mushrooms (use morels or enoki for a woodsy flavor) 1/2 C. onion, diced 1/2 C. fresh carrots, chopped 1/2 C. celery, chopped 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Bring the vegetable broth to a low rolling boil on the stove and then reduce heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery, and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Add the barley and garlic, cover and simmer for another hour.

Add salt and pepper, seasoning to taste.



Lammas Corn Fritters

1 can corn kernels 1 cup flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking powder 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp salad oil

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, eggs and salad oil in a bowl until the batter is smooth. Add the can (or 1 cup of fresh) corn kernels and mix well. Heat 1/4 " of salad oil in a frying pan and drop fritters by level tablespoon full into the hot oil. Fry until golden, turning once. Drain and serve.



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