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: