LUGHNASADH - OF GRAINS, DOGS AND LIONS
We are approaching the first harvest in the year of the wheel cycle – Lughnasadh or Lammas. This feast day might be less prominent than other high holy days, however the energetics of the time hold an equally strong power.
Lughnasadh is commonly celebrated on 01 August, marking the exact midway between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox. However, the portal runs all the way through 11 August.
Named after the sun god Lugh, it is a feast in honor of the first harvest. Fruits and crop are now ripe to be reaped. The great goddess is in her representation of the heavily pregnant Grain Mother carrying within her core the very seed of the new sun god in her belly.
This is not only a beautiful symbolism, but did you know that all female ovaries are being fully established already in the belly of our grandmother when she is pregnant with our mother?
Lughnasadh is the celebration of Mother Earth’s abundance, fertility and generosity. I invite you to reflect on your accomplishments and gifts of the last six months - what are you harvesting these days?
Grain Goddesses that were worshipped among various cultures were Isis (Auset), Demeter (the crop) and her daughter Persephone (the grain), Ceres, Innanna. You may turn to the one that calls you and hold a ritual celebration in gratitude and reverence.
The legend of this high holy feast day tells that the sun god, aka John Barleycorn surrenders his life to provide food for the community for the upcoming fall and winter season. So he is decapitated with the analogy of the corn being cut. He is both – eaten as the grain and bread and being reborn as the seed, carried in the grains bringing forth the next cycle. This tale reminds us that death and rebirth are closely intertwined with our lifes.
As everywhere, there is always two polarities that want to be looked at. Just as Lammas is the time of year to celebrate abundance and prosperity, the predominance of the fire element can manifest as searing heat, draught or raging fires in nature. These days are also known as the “Dog days of Summer”, bear this in mind as we are looking at the sky in the coming paragraph.
This other perspective invites us to take a look at the parts in our life where we are burning too much of our energy that literally fires back.
Astronomically we are in the sign of leo, ruled by the planet sun and the element of fire. Within the portal, we also wander through the alignment of the earth, sun and the star Sirius. Sirius prevails in the stellar constellation of the Canis Major – the Greater Dog – and becomes visible in the sky during these days before the sun rises.
On the one hand, this alignment with our sun intensifies the heat being transmitted to earth, causing the "Dog days of Summer", so this Lughnasadh portal truly is reigned by fiery energy.
On the other hand, Sirius is known to be the sun behind the sun or also our spiritual sun. This alignment is culminating on 08/08 – 08 August – known as the Lion´s Gate portal. You may observe greater insights, awakening to truths or other high energetic vibes during these days. I invite you to spend a few minutes in meditation each day throughout this portal and just observe.
Sirius and this time of year was very important to the Ancient Egyptians as the heliacal rise of Sirius signified the flooding of the Nile river and thus, a period of lush bounty and sustaining of the people.
A beautiful way to connect with the energies is to work with colours or plants/ flowers. For example you can wear them or you can decorate your home or your altar etc. with them.
Colours of the Lughnasadh portal: green, every shade of gold, yellow, orange and red, amber
Plants of the Lughnasadh portal: grains, corn, calendula, sunflower, mint, meadowsweet
Questions for reflection:
What are you harvesting these days?
What seeds did you plant at the beginning of the year? Which ones did actually come to bloom and flourish?
Is there seeds that you still want to put your energy into or rather shift your focus on others?
What are you thankful for?
What are you burning for? What is burning you out?
What or who is warming you?
Some ideas for your Lughnasadh ritual celebration:
Bake some bread
Make a grain mother
Give offerings to your favorite place in nature (mind that you only use natural items, e.g. flower petals, corn, grain etc.)
Gather with friends and family to celebrate
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