Once I was a minister. Now I am a Witch. I am free and out of the broom closet. But if I had gotten out of the box of patriarchy's religion sooner, things would've been different.
But more on that another time. Today is July 31st, Lammas Eve and I want to talk about that.
Lammas and Lughnasadh
Lammas is a Greater Sabbat halfway between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox.
It's celebrated on August 1st, but folk customs had it on the first Sunday in August because that's the day the priests said God rested after making Creation, so everybody (conveniently) had the day off already.
Lammas is the Christianized version of Lughnasadh aka Lady's Day Eve. The Lady is the Goddess and Lughnasadh is the ancient celebration of the "first harvest" or "first fruits."
Lughnasadh was originally a wheat harvest which is why the Christianized holiday is called Lammas or Loaf-Mass. The priest would bless the bread the people brought from their early crop. One Wiccan ritual for the celebration of Lammas/Lughnasadh includes the words: "...give us to eat the Bread of Life." Sound familiar?
Around here it's not time for grain harvest. Besides, I don't grow wheat (gluten intolerant!) So, my altar will have this rush (see the pic) and this ugly tomato. Because the first fruits of those are definitely coming in!
The Goddess Leaves Clues
It's not just Lammas. Google the roots of any holiday or any season of the year and you'll find ancient celebrations connected to the cycles of nature and worship of the Mother Earth/Queen of Heaven. She's been covered over but she's still around.
So, for example, Easter swallows up the day of Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon Goddess otherwise known as Astarte. If you ever read the Bible, Astarte is one name of the Goddess Asherah who God warned the Hebrews (of the Old Testament ) not to follow.
Since my birthday is August 2, I am attached to Lughnasagh and it is an auspicious Sabbat to start the Belly Witch blog. So, I'm going to think of this as my first fruits harvest. Not the best or most abundant, but a start. A sign to the Universe to keep the wheat, heirloom tomatoes and blessings coming.
Thanks for being here. And now my son wants to watch a movie and I have him waiting. I am going to stand in my field tonight and pray the Goddess doesn't let the ticks and mosquitoes eat me alive. And here is an idea for you...
Wicca Ritual for Lughnasadh/Lammas
If you're starting a pagan or Wicca practice, observing the Sabbats is easy and practical. For Lughasadh, start simple. Arrange a loaf of bread, or something from your garden (or something the grocery story has in abundance right now) on your table or altar. Light a candle and give thanks for the abundance in your life. Even if you don't feel abundant this year, find something that is showing up in profusion (weeds?) (time on your hands?) and just appreciate.