I love holding space for Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sa). This is the mid season sabbat between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Fall Equinox (Mabon). If you notice, it is 6 months after Imbolc, which is the mid point between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox (Ostara). I feel somehow slightly less obligated to these mid points and therefore find it less stressful to honor them.
Lughnasadh provides a moment to check in. Summer goes by quickly and we want to soak up each ray of sunshine and moment of pleasure. Often self check-ins don't seem necessary during times of momentum. The Wheel of the Year keeps us on course by reminding us to pause, look up, and determine if the direction we are thundering towards is indeed the most resonant path. The vibration of this sabat is to decide if the commitments we made are still in alignment or if it is wiser to gracefully move on to something else.
Lughnasadh is named for the Celtic God Lugh, who legend says was King of Ireland for some time. Lugh is known as the Sun God (like Apollo or Ra) and obtained secret knowledge of when to plough, sow and reap the land. Lugh's energy aligns with this 1st harvest because he embodies mastery of skills, accuracy and ultimate success. One benefits greatly from these attributes when moving towards a goal. Grains and fruit are the majority of the first harvest, so we could visualize a tall golden haired skillful person adorned with the golden wheat and grains that our master farmers nurture. One can bring this energy into the home by making corn husk dolls!
Figuratively, this moment aligns with the direction of the West, which emphasizes the essence of Autumn and the Element of Water. When plans have been implemented and set in motion, the West comes into play when we near the "fruits" of our labor. When we can see things shifting and happening because of our initial intentions and actions.
The intentions we set at the beginning of the Calendar year will begin to take shape. How do they look? Is this aligned with your intentions? Your highest good? Were there unexpected curveballs? (In 2020 and Covid life I can't imagine there haven't been.) What are the blessings you can harvest from these shifts?
With the first harvest comes clear space. Now that we can count the blessings, we can also shed the waste. Truthfully notice what has been serving you and what has not. Honor the abundance of this harvest and bask in gratitude that there will be more harvests to come! That with each one, we can be more confident in our safety and security during the shadow months. The harvest may represent the beginning of the end of the active cycle, but it also holds space for our ability to prepare and provide our own comforts when Mother Nature takes a rest and more changes occur.
I offer a ceremony you can do to hold space for yourself during this moment. You will need a journal, sunflower seeds, a small bag, bread (or seeds for gluten free) and beer or tea, and oracle or tarot cards if you are into that.
Begin by setting up your altar. Lughnasadh items include anything that associates with the West, orange or yellow candles and crystals, grains, corn, beer, tea, and image of Lugh and ANYTHING else that you would like to put. Even having one item brings in powerful energy.
Sit facing North. Take mindful deep breaths to center into your body. Cast your circle. Attune to your guides and any entities you would like to call in. Don't forget Lugh!
Light your candles.
Journal! Which intentions did you set in Winter or Spring? Have any made promising progress, transformations or led to unexpected outcomes? Make a list of blessings that have arisen from the intentions you set.
How would you like to move forward? What energies would you like to invite? Visualize yourself as if your intentions are reality. Write a description in the present tense or draw an image as if these energies are already manifest.
Pick up a seed and give the message of your gratitude per blessing you wrote down and/or infuse your vision into the seed. You can hold the seed at your heart or third eye to attune to it.
Place them in the bag. Do so with care!
Bury seeds after your ceremony when the time feels right.
Consume the harvest with gratitude - Eat a piece of bread and drink Sun tea or ale. Mindfully experience this consumption. You can give thanks directly to the food for nourishing you, hold it close or show love to it however resonates with you. Allow yourself to enjoy the simple pleasure of nourishing yourself with the earth's pure offerings. This embodiment of consuming our blessings with gratitude instills the vibration deep within our psyche and reprograms subconscious thought patterns. Break free of fear based, scarcity and lack mindsets with gratitude practices like this!
This is a great time to pull an oracle card or do your own tarot spread.
Journal more if you feel called! By now the energy is flowing!
Close your circle with gratitude.
I hope this resonates with you and gives you something to reflect on. If you miss the timing don't fret, Lugh will always be there for you! This energy is available for the rest of the summer and whenever else you find yourself in the West. Let me know if you pull anything from the ceremony described or how you would modify it for your craft!
You are powerful. The energies of now are working for your highest good! And so it is.