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Monday, August 16, 2010

Harvest Moon... Feeling the Effects?

Cerclage... I still cannot bring myself to bore you with the details of a boring cervical stitch... so forget it! Let's talk about fun and interesting stuff that will make you forget about the mundane, boring cervical stitches we call life stuff. There is always tomorrow.

In this event... can I interest you in something much more interesting? It is harvest time, the moon is bright and halved... and there is a wonderful, Celtic, neo-pagan ritual holiday called Lughnassad (Lammas, Grain Festival, SportsFest). The pagan calendar says it is August 1st... but like the summer solstice or any other holiday based on seasons, growth, and crops... why not celebrate throughout the "dog days" of summer, to bridge the gap between summer and autumn? I tend to find this idea refreshing, as the onset of autumn has historically been synonymous with a serious case of the blues ...for me, anyway.

According to (
Lughnassad (one pronunciation of this Sabbat loo-na-sa) is the fourth and final fire festival of the Pagan year. The God and Goddess have entered into later adulthood (ages 30-50). The child of the union is grown and independent. This is the time that the God and Goddess enjoy their time together. Each are growing older and beginning to prepare for the decent into old age. The God's powers are waning greatly as winter approaches and the sun dies out.

Agriculturally, Lughnassad is the time of the first harvest of the season. Each day's work is backbreaking, as ancient farmers did not have technological equipment such as tractors. When the last of the first harvest is reaped and stored for the winter months, the men spent Lughnassad in sport and leisure. The threshold time was noon, when a magnificent feast was prepared by the womenfolk while the men relaxed.

In modern traditions, the day is spent playing games such as soccer, rugby, softball, or volleyball. The woman traditionally cook meals with wine, breads, fruits, and vegetables that are enjoyed by all. Tables are decorated with corn stalks, fall flowers, red, blue, and orange candles, Corn dollies are another traditional favorite. Dolls representing the God and the Goddess were often crafted from dried corn stocks. This can be a creative activity for children. Lughnassad is also a wonderful time to can some fresh fruits for the coming winter months.

Strangely, during this period trial marriages were arranged. Trial marriages lasted from a day to a year and reflected partnership, not sexuality. Trial marriages were excellent for male and female friends who were otherwise not attached in a relationship.

Traditionally, it also represents the period in life when the children have grown and a husband and wife can enjoy the remainder of their marriage together without distraction of young children. Although children are always revered above all, this is the time that mother and father cut the proverbial umbilical cord and allow their adult children to seek independence. For the first time since the conception of their children, husband and wife share each other's company as partners as opposed to parents.

In addition, Lughnassad is also a time that marriages can be dissolved. (Divorce is not a bad word to Pagans)The pagan tradition believes that all humans grow and change, and respect the free will to move on and support divorce decisions. Most handfasts include a section that states if both parties wish, they simply go their seperate ways. If the handfast was legal, legal divorce procedures must be met in the accordance of the law if one of the divorees wishes to remarry.

To harbor the good energy of Lughnassad, burning incense is recommended:
Marigold, sunflower, golden pipes, rye, garlic, onion, marigold, mugwort.

Want to read more about this and other really great traditions? I highly recommend purchasing and reading this:

Happy Harvesting...
Amanda xo

p.s don't forget to check out what's happening in Ana's World...

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