Or Lammas, Loafmas or whatever your chosen name is to use.
This year Lughnasadh falls on a New moon, adding extra opportunity for your workings and Rites. I’ve not come across the term much in relation to this, but allagedly a ‘Black Moon’ (second new moon in a month) is also today – I know a Black Moon as something different, and related to the Dark Moon, but in the spirit of sharing knowledge….
Lughnasadh, a bittersweet time, for while we rejoice in the First Harvest of grain, it’s the beginning of the end of summer. From now there is a slow turn towards seeding and harvest, dying off and ‘going over’ as the land, warmed still by the sun, begins the long preparation for Winter. We humans, making the most of the long days and warm weather, gather the harvest, either literal or metaphorical, and assess how this year has panned out. Making our plans for the remainder of the year as well as the following one. An aspect often forgotten, Sacrifice, is a big part, traditionally within Wicca Lughnasadh is the time of the sacrifice of the God represented in the harvest of the crops, and held within the kernels which protect life in the form of seed, or are given for food to sustain us. year’s seeds. Known as the Corn King, the last sheaf in a field is ceremoniously cut, and metaphorically cut down by his Goddess, the Corn King’s Sacrifice given willingly so all can live. He descends to the Underworld to await his Goddess. We honour his spirit in the bread and foods made from the crops, in the careful saving of seeds for the garden or vegetable patch, and in our taking stock and contemplation for the future. This particular Lughnasadh falls on a New moon, making any workings and rites more powerful if you utilize that energy.
The following passage is poignant to me, I’m aware of the Sacrifice of the male aspect at this time of year, but this swings it around to the fememine, and it’s a powerful piece of writing.
I weep, I grieve for my Foster Mother,
Let my tears water the precious earth she gave her last breath to cultivate
so that we may live.
She gave her very life so that we may gain the knowledge of growth,
Growth within the soil her bare hands touched,
Growth within Spirit and the meaning of sacrifice.
When in the darkest of Winter we have food to feed our children and elders,
Let us think of Tailtiu and give her thanks.
Written by Barbara Ney Ni Saomhair 2016.