Triodíti's Journal

A Resource for Seekers and Students of Magic, Esoterica & Philosophy

Lughnasadh -- Lammas

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Tuesday August 1, 2017 All Day
Annually on August 1

This is widely considered one of the four Greater Sabbats.  Sometimes celebrated on August 2nd, Lugh-nasadh ("The Birth of Lugh") is an agriculturally-based holiday which celebrates the appearance of the "first fruits" of the harvest season; indeed, it is also sometimes referred to as the First Harvest.  Corn, wheat, bread, berries, flowers and whatever is just beginning to ripen are offered on the altar and to guests.  Oftentimes, corn dollies are made to represent the Male aspect of the Divine made manifest in our food, the power that sustains life; sacrificing his earthly existence to nourish us, His essence descends into darkness to rule the planes of the dead, until the Goddess conceives him again.  With this in mind, this Sabbat is both happy and sad, for there is gain and loss, as there is in everything.

In Christian traditions, this holiday is called Lammas -- "Lamb Mass" -- when some of the lambs which were born at Imbolc are killed for their meat and skin.  (If the shepherds waited much longer, the lambs would be too old.)  This, too, represents the sacrifice of life to death that life may go on.  Nowadays, though, that sacrifice is often represented symbolically by a special cake or loaf baked in the shape of a lamb, or a man.

In this season, we see the days grow noticeably shorter, although they're still hot; the "dog days" of summer occur just after Lughnasadh.  Ironically, the Celtic god Lugh, whose birthday this is, is associated with the sun, which begins to wane at this time of year!  However, when He goes indoors, He still shines through His prowess in games of skill, music, composition, recital and love, all of which are done indoors during the cold winter months.  Thus, His power remains an integral part of the cycle of the seasons, even when His symbol is weak in the sky.

I wish you all a blessed Lughnasadh and a fruitful harvest!

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