Dear ones, the Wheel of the Year is about turn once again. This time we are honouring the festival of Lammas. Lammas takes place on August 1st and is the first of the Harvest festivals.
If you're new to working with the wheel of the year, it may well be that you haven't come across Lammas before. Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, is one of the cross quarter festivals - the others being Imbolc, Beltane and Samhain. Lugh is the Celtic God of Sun and August is his month. Lammas is the first of the three harvest festivals and like the other 3 cross quarter festivals, it's a fire festival. This time of the year is late summer and we can still have glorious sunshine at this time of the year even though the days have begun to shorten in their length. I like to view Lammas much like the morning after a great party when it's not quite time to start tidying up and you can sit contented, covered in glitter and still wearing last night's party clothes and enjoy replaying the events of the previous night in your head. As we soak up the late summer sun it's a time to bathe in all that you have achieved so far this year as the energy will begin to wane now as we make our way to the Autumn Equinox. Just like not being in a hurry to tidy up after a party - Lammas is about enjoying the last moments of Summer and focusing on a sense of both achievement and gratitude. One of the things we tend to miss out on in our busy modern life is giving ourself permission to enjoy the things that we've worked so hard for - the beauty of working with the Wheel of the Year is it provides us with the opportunity to stop, pause and connect - it invites us to slow down and really see what is going on around us and within us.
LAMMAS THEMES: gathering, harvest, abundance, gratitude, maturity, fullness, accomplishment, celebration, late summer, holiday, slow living.
A lovely practice at this time of year is to write a letter either to yourself or to a friend detailing the events of your year so far, what have been the highlights? What are you most proud of? As you write your accounts of the year, particularly focussing on the summer months allow a feeling of joy and gratitude to take hold within your heart.
August is typically the month when most people go away on holiday so much like with the Summer Solstice, it's time to really kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labour knowing that these days of late summer are so precious as the wheel of the year will be turning again soon. I like to dedicate a lot of time in my garden at this time of year, really savouring it as I know I can't spend as much time in it during Autumn. Lammas is the time to begin gently gathering seeds to plant for next year, you might also be cutting things back in the garden and harvesting your herbs. It's a wonderful time to dry lavender which can then be used to make gifts for Yule such as lavender dream pillows or sachets to go inside the wardrobe. You can also infuse oil with herbs such as making your own Comfrey oil or Chamomile infused body oil. This is also a fantastic time of year for gathering berries which will now have ripened on the hedgerows - head out with a basket and look for elderberries which will come in very handy for making Elderberry syrup for Autumn colds. Blackberries should also be ripe for the picking and you could try your hand at making your own jam :)
"I'm learning to live at a different pace,
I'm learning to live from a different place,
A place that is gentle, connected & strong,
Like the roots of this Oak tree, singing it's song.
No rush, no fuss, I am solid and here,
Grounded, unbounded. No room for fear.
This is the new way, the Warrior's tune,
Give - love - but strong & true.
I slow myself down, there is no shame,
in taking time to tend to myself.
I garden my soul - like I garden the soil...
Softly, but surely - with my own bare hands."
- extract from: Soul Gardening by Bob Hillary
As with the other cross quarter festivals - Lammas is a time of community and celebration. At this time we can gather together with friends and family to give thanks to mother earth and to enjoy each other's harvest. You might like to host a Lammas party and invite all of your guests to bring dishes they've made with seasonal fruits and vegetables and herbs from their gardens. People will often bake bread at this time of the year to share too. Really savour all the foods that will soon be going out of season soon. Lay the table with an abundance of flowers and colours of Gold and yellow.
HERBS: marjoram, thyme, lavender, sunflower, calendula
ESSENTIAL OILS: sweet marjoram, lavender, lemongrass, sweet orange
CRYSTALS: carnelian, citrine, sunstone, moss agate.
GODDESSES OF LAMMAS
Demeter, Tailtiu, Danu, Gaia, Eire, Lakshmi
We really hope you find a way to honour Lammas in your heart and in your home this year, even though it's been a super tough year so far for us all, we hope you're able to find an abundance of things to give thanks for. If you're looking for more inspiration, here's our Lammas pinterest board:
Dear ones we are heading into yet another eclipse! This Sunday we will have a Lunar Eclipse in the sign of Capricorn. The Sun will be in the watery, emotional and nurturing sign of Cancer and the Moon will be in the earthy, wise and masterful sign of Capricorn. Eclipses always offer us an opportunity to work even deeper with our shadows and bravely look at the aspects of ourselves that are holding us back from stepping into our power.
Capricorn is a feminine Earth sign, ruled by the planet Saturn. It's a cardinal sign so has those qualities of initiation and the sense of energies shifting. Saturn rules organization, structure, time, boundaries and practicality. For the New Moon in Cancer we looked at our relationship to our emotions and we discussed themes such as allowing ourselves to be nurtured and supported and being a good mother to ourselves as well as those around us. Under the influence of the Capricorn Full Moon, we can ask ourselves what boundaries do we need to put in place to help honour our emotional needs? You can ask yourself, where are you leaking energy? Sometimes, it's unavoidable when we need to be there for others and offer support but sometimes it's due to a lack of boundaries and taking on other people's emotional baggage. As we shift into the second half of the year, how can you establish better boundaries? What would they look like? One of the difficulties for Cancerians is that they feel IT ALL, so much sometimes that it can cripple them, boundaries in this context is so helpful, making sure that we are tending to our own emotional needs as well as those of others. The shadow side of the Cancer's Mother archetype can be it shifting into the Martyr. When we shift into this state, we deny others the opportunity to show their love and support for us. Showing loving kindness to others isn't always about us doing things for them, its about opening up to receive their gift of love too. In your journal, ask yourself, are you open to receive?
Due to Capricorn's placement in the Zodiac and it initiating winter in the Northern hemisphere, one of it's archetypes is the Crone, or the Elder. When asserting boundaries it can be really helpful to step into the power of the Crone and assert yourself. Think of all the wisdom that you have gathered over the years about yourself and what you need. You know what you're about, you know who you are and you know what you need, sometimes we just get too easily swayed by others. The Crone does not, her days of dedicating an ounce of energy to what other people think are behind her. How much does what others think of you affect the choices and decisions you make? How could you listen to your inner elder more and the noise of the outside world less? Connect to the wisdom of winter and the archetype of the crone, trust your deep inner knowing and guidance. Channel your inner Baba Yaga :)
Capricorn is represented by the constellation of the Sea-goat. As always, we can draw powerful messages from astrological imagery. The Sea-goat represents the combination of the earthly, practical life (the goat) with the soul life (fish tale). This provides us with the wonderful opportunity to reflect on the balance between our work/worldly life and our soul life. Is our soul life something that we just squeeze in as and when we can? Or is it with us all day? What's our soul purpose and soul calling? Are we dedicated to it? Capricorns integrate their spirituality and soul purpose into their daily life. This is a beautiful quality and gives them this wise, grounded and magical energy. They also have the dedication and focus of the mountain goat and therefore are hard working and able to carry out their goals. Are we lacking in determination and focus?
One of the shadow sides of Cancer due to it's attachment to home and nurturance is that it can get stuck, not wanting to move out of it's comfort zone in order to pursue a dream, a goal or an ambition. Is this relevant for you? If so, how could you tune into that Mountain Goat energy and climb your way out of that place of feeling stuck?
The Dark Mother
Capricorn moon, and particularly an eclipse, is a wonderful time to connect to the dark Goddesses and the idea of learning to love the dark and all the wisdom it contains. What wisdom is waiting for you in the shadows of this eclipse and how can you slow down enough to hear it? For the Cancer New Moon we connected to Mother Goddesses, for this Capricorn Lunar Eclipse we can connect with the Dark Mother Goddesses - the Crone Goddesses. Dark Mother Goddesses are there for those times when we need to make a shift, they will give us what we need but not necessarily what we want. They won't sugar coat things for us and they'll hold up a mirror so we can see what is left that needs to be healed. Think of Hekate guiding Persephone through the Underworld with the torch of her wisdom.
DARK MOTHER GODDESSES
Cailleach, Hekate, Kali, Vajrayogini, Baba Yaga, The Morrigan, La Loba.
My body, my teacher
For both Cancer and Capricorn, intuition is a massive theme. During moon in Cancer we explore our intuition via our emotions, during moon in capricorn we can explore our intuition via our body, our body wisdom. Our body is often communicating to us, giving us signs about certain situations, we say things like I feel it in my gut, I felt it in my bones, I felt weak at the knees. Capricorn rules the bones of the body as well as the knees, so this is a really wonderful time to dive into the deep inner knowing of your body. What messages does your body have for you at the moment? How does this link in with the previous section on nurturing your soul life. Do you have a decision to make at the moment? Ask questions with your eyes closed and notice how your body responds to them? Journal about your experience.
Eclipse self care
It's more than likely that as we get closer to the Eclipse our emotions have been coming up to the surface and we might also be picking up on other people's energy too. It's really important to keep on top of energetically clearing your space on the lead up to a full moon and in particular an Eclipse. Use sacred smoke or essential oils to cleanse the energy of your home and take a cleansing Full Moon Salt bath - salts are also great for energetic cleansing:
FULL MOON BATH
Combine dead sea, Epsom and Himalayan pink salts and mix together well. Add in fresh Lavender from the garden and a few drops of Clary Sage, Juniper and Lavender essential oil (not suitable in pregnancy). Surround your bath with candles and crystals and enjoy a good soak.
Again, focus on crystals that will help you navigate the intense energies of the Eclipse but also to connect with shadow work and the Earth element of Capricorn - Onyx, Obsidian, Hematite, Pyrite, Clear Quartz and Smoky Quartz.
Creating an at home Cacao Ceremony is a beautiful way to honour the Full Moon and will also help you to drop from head into heart. Cacao also helps us to ground and become present to our body. Sipping on Cacao whilst choosing oracle cards, meditating and journaling is a really powerful practice and then when the energy of the Cacao builds you might like to take yourself into a movement practice such as the Moon Salutations or have a good old dance to our playlist below :)
Here's a Lunar Eclipse playlist we made for you to enjoy!
Really hope you've enjoyed our blog. wishing you a powerful and magical Lunar Eclipse xx
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