Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lammas/Lughnasadh - activities and rituals

"Lammas/Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest Sabbats. Decorate the altar and house with grains such as barley, oats and wheat -- also fruits and veggies. Substitute bread for crescent cakes. The Sun God is waning, but the Goddess is full of abundance. Even as he wanes, he lives on inside her as her child. Begin gathering and drying herbs, flower, grains or seeds for spellworking in the next year. Make magickal oils now with fresh herbs.

Braid onion and garlic charms (same principle as Witches Ladders). Onion is sacred to the sun -- because of its shape, and its dye is a golden amber to burnt apricot (for egg dye at Imbolc or general purposes). When the onion is cut, it reveals the symbolism of the moon. Garlic, too, is sacred to the moon -- the crescent shape of the cloves. It exorcises evil and protects.

A good time for cat magick.

HERBS to use in your magic at Lughnasadh (there's a bunch): goldenrod, peony, nasturtium, clover blossom, yarrow, heliotrope, boneset, vervain, Queen Anne's lace, myrtle, rose, sunflower, poppy, milkweed, Irish moss, mushroom, wheat, corn, rye, oat, barley, rice, garlic, onion, basil, mint, aloe, acacia, meadowsweet, apple leaf, raspberry leaf, strawberry leaf, bilberry leaf, blueberry leaf, mugwort, hops, holly, comfrey, marigold, grape vine, ivy, hazelnut, blackthorn, elder, bee pollen.

STONES: Cat's-eye, citrine, aventurine, golden topaz, obsidian, moss agate, rhodochrosite, clear quartz, marble, slate, granite, lodestone.

ACTIVITIES:
Make Willo's Lammas Bread

Make sand candles to honor the Goddess and God of the sea.

Collect rain and storm water for use in spellwork or to empower objects, add dried mugwort and store in glass bottles.

Create and bury a Witches' Bottle.

Make a corn dolly to save for next Imbolc. I should note here that the definition of a corn dollie might be different among some witches. A corn husk doll is perfectly acceptable to some, but others won't use anything but winter wheat (which is harvested this time of year). A general consensus is that one must go with whatever the dominant grain is in your region. For wheat weaving info, go here.

Make a corn wheel.

Have a magickal picnic with libations to the earth of bread and wine.

At this time, witches cast spells for connectedness, career, health, and financial gain. Spells for abundance are completely appropriate now. As the sun is growing weaker, it is a good time to do grounding and sun meditations, then use the golden rays of the sun (gathered during meditation) in spellcasting.

Remember, the corn dolly you make now will be dressed and laid in the bride's bed at Imbolc.

FOOD: Fresh herbs, fruits and veggies. Bake corn bread sticks, collect blackberries and make a pie marked with a solar cross. Sprout wheat to add to homemade bread. Drink cider. Gather berries for use in recipes or wine-making. (Yum). Rose petal wine would be appropriate.

(Above taken from here).

Lammas Ritual

For the Lammas ritual contained here you will need your regular altar supplies. It is appropriate to have corn husks, corn dollies, wheat and grain decorating the altar and the quarters. In addition you will need:

Parchment paper (or regular paper) cut into squares, enough for each person
Pens or pencils
Large eyed needles
Heavy thread
Slightly dried sweet corn or indian corn with which to make corn necklaces prior to circle
A large cauldron, or some type of container resembling a cauldron in which a fire can be made to burn the parchment papers. Corn cakes and mead or ale is very appropriate, can use apple juice as a good non-alcoholic substitute.

Lammas Circle Notes:
Use a yellow or yellow-orange altar cloth, and green, yellow, or orange candles. Decorate with bunches of herbs, sheaves of grain, ears of corn, and small baskets of fruit and vegetables. Burn Lammas Incense (See our Lammas Incense Recipes). Cast the Circle using the athamé.

Lammas Circle Ideas:

Kindle a Lammas fire of herbs and wood to commemorate the Sun's passing. Say goodbye to the Sun by saying: "We thank You God of Sun and Light, for warming us from dawn 'til night. For fertilizing all on Earth, for bringing us Your cheer and mirth. For laughter, joy, and shining ray, for guiding us along our way. And as You go, we hold You dear, until the winter brings You near. And with the Yule You're born anew. Goodbye, dear Sun, we shall miss You." Thank the Mother for Her bountiful gifts by blessing the onions, garlic, and grain stables in your kitchen (flour, cornmeal, oatmeal, and so on). Line them up on the altar or counter, place your hands over them, and say: "We thank You, Mother, for these gifts, for meal and bulbs and that which sifts. Please bless these items with Your grace, and hold them dear within their space. So as we eat, Your blessings flow, within, without - from head to toe."

Bake magickal bread in celebration of the harvest. This doesn't have to be difficult or take all day. Just use frozen bread dough, and knead in a tablespoon or two of fresh herbs when it thaws (basil, oregano, dill, parsley, and chives are all good choices). As you eat the bread, say: "Cycle of Life contained herein, Birth and Death and Birth again. Help me to understand my role, in life, and help me cleanse my soul. So I may walk this path with ease, as I will so mote it be."

Make the corn dolly for next year's Imbolc. Just acquire three ears of corn and tie them together as directed in the Imbolc celebration ideas. Bless the dolly by saying: "Seeds of Life that burn and thrive, seeds of plenty come alive. By Sun and Earth this spell fulfill, become now Brigid, who melts the chill." Put the dolly in a safe place to await the Imbolc celebration.

Perform prosperity magick for the coming months by making a Witches' Bottle. Just gather together a small bottle with a tight-fitting cork, a fish hook, some clover, a bit of cinnamon, and a few coins. As you place the materials in the bottle, visualize money coming to you from all directions. Cork the bottle and seal it with a bit of wax from the altar candles, then enchant it by saying: "Money come alive and grow, pour down on me both high and low. By herb and hook and glass and coin, prosperity and I now join. Paper money and coins that shine, come to me, for you are mine." Bury the bottle near your front door. If that's not possible, set the bottle in a place where it won't be disturbed.

Harvest Spell author unknown

Set an orange candle on either side of the caldron. On a piece of small paper write the things you have harvested over the past year, light the paper from one of the candles and let it burn in the cauldron. After it is done put some corn or squash seeds in the cauldron. Stir" the seeds with your wand visualizing white light coming from the tip of the wand, filling the cauldron and entering the seeds. When you feel the seeds have absorbed their fill stop, put the seeds into another container to be kept on the altar until next years planting.

Solitary Lammas Ritual from: Secrets of a Witch

Materials:
chime
loaf of bread
candles
The Chime is rung three times. Say:
"I come to this space in celebration Within the Sacred Garden of the Gods.
The Sun God, He gives forth light and the energy of life to all.
Through the Goddess and from the Goddess All things grow and mature.
It is She who is the bearer of life and rebirth of the Harvest to come.
The land is full and must be tended. Let me now share Her bounty."

Break off a piece of bread and eat it. Prepare a candle for lighting, saying:
"I must open myself to change. To do so, I must abandon my faults, Refresh and vitalize the body and spirit, And embrace growth as I prepare for what is to become; For what the future holds, Yet for me to grow it is necessary for a part of me to die."

Light the candle, declare any faults you would like to be cleansed of, and stick the candle in the ground before you. The Energy Circle is raised and at its climax blow out the candle. After a moment of meditation, say:
"Out of the death of this small part of me, life begins anew."
The ritual is complete and the circle is released.

Lammas Bread Protection Spell

A book of Anglo-Saxon charms advised the crumbling of the Lammas loaf into four pieces and the burying of them in the four corners of the barn to make it safe for all the grain that would be stored there. You can use this old spellcraft in a protection spell for your home.

Bake a Lammas loaf, and when it is cool break it into four pieces don't cut it with a knifeand take one to each corner of your property with the words:

I call on the spirits Of north, and south, east and west
Protect this place, Now, at the time of the Blessing.

Leave the bread for the birds to eat or bury the pieces.

Lammas Bounty Spell

Lughnasadh; it is a celebration of plenty and optimism, and of nature's infinite bounty. It is the time of the first harvests, and it marks midsummer's joyous and fanciful energy. This spirit is celebrated, too, in Shakespeare's A Mid-Summer's Night Dream. To tap into this energy, gather a small bundle of long grass or reeds to braid, and light a white candle. Braid the grass as you speak this verse:

Fairies prancing in the meadow, Spirits in the corn;
Green Man is flourishing everywhere On this Midsummer morn.
Grains begin to ripen, All things bear fruit.
Summer glistens with possibility, Blossoms take root.
Fairies whisper secrets, Powerful blessings to see.
Cycles move and all around, they share their gifts with me.
Air to fire, Fire to water, Water to earth, Earth to air.
Elements feed spirit, And the circle glows.
At Lammas, day and night, We witness Nature's awesome might.
Growing full And blessing all,
'Tis Earth's celebration Before the chill of fall.
Now braiding this grass, I mark this day
Protect my hearth, With the abundance of grain.
The blessings of the Goddess come again;
Place the braid above my door. Hunger be banished now and then.
Blessings be drawn to this place, Summer's energy fill this space.
Air, fire, water, earth unite, And bless us all this day.

Activities that may be incorporated into the Sabbat ritual or engaged in during the day.

From: Green Witchcraft, Ann Moura

Make sand candles to honor the Goddes and the God of the sea. If you don't live near a beach, you can achieve the same effect by putting sand in a large box, adding water, and working from there. This is definitely a porch or kitchen job, and newspapers are recommended under your work area for easy clean-up. Melt wax form old candles(save the stubs from altar candles) in a coffee can set in a pot of boiling water. Add any essential oil you want for scent(or scent blocks from a candle supply store). Scoop out a candle mold in wet sand(you can make a cauldron by scooping out the sand and using a finger to poke three "feet" in the sand). Hold the wick(you can get these ready-made in arts and crafts stores)in the center and gently pour in the melted wax. Wait until it hardens, then slip your fingers under the candle and carefully lift it out and brush off the excess sand.

String indian corn on black thread for a necklace.

If the Sabbat falls on a rainy day, you could collect rainwater in a glass or earthenware container, add dried mugwort, and use to empower objects.

Create and bury a Witch's Bottle. This is a glass jar with sharp pointy things inside to keep away harm. You can use needles, pins, thorns, thistles, nails, and bits of broken glass; it's a good way to dispose of broken crockery, old sewing equipment, and the pins that come in new clothes. Bury it near the entry to the house(like next to the driveway or the front door), or inside a large planter.

Do a Harvest Chant when serving the corn bread at dinner: The Earth Mother grants the grain, The orned God goes to his domain. By giving life into her grain, The God dies then is born again.

Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc. Double over a bundle of wheat and tie it near the top to form a head. Take a bit of the fiber from either side of the main portion and twist into arms that you tie together in fromnt of the dolly. Add a small bouquet of flowers to the "hands," and then you can decorate the dolly with a dress and bonnet(the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you wish, or and cotton material is fine too).

Collect blackberries and make a fresh pie marked with the Solar Cross.

Have a magickal picnic with libations to the earth of bread and wine.

Sprout whear germ in a terra cotta saucer(these can be found in nureries for use under terra cotta flower pots). The sprouts can be added to homemade bread or used as an offering. Children enjoy planting the seeds and watching them grow, too.

God the grain, Lord of rebirth. Return in spring, Renew the Earth.

Make a Solar Wheel or Corn Man Wheel:

Turn a wire hanger into a circle(standard circle material for wreaths too), keeping the hook to hang it by. Make a small cardboard disk to glue the corn tips onto. You can decorate it with any design, for example, a pentagram or sun.

Place ears of Indian "squaw" corn(it is smaller than regualr corn and fits easily on a coat hanger)with the tips inthe center of the circle and secure with hot glue to the cardboard disk. Use eight ears for a Solar Wheel, or five ears for a Corn Man. If all the ears of corn meet just right you won't need the disk, but if they are uneven the disk is helpful. Wrap a bit of the husks of each ear around the wire on either side of the ear of corn, leaving some to stand out free from the corn. Let dry overnight and hang on the front door.

Other activities:

bake breads, make preserves, canning
make corn dollies (burn previous years, and bury)
bless tools
make corn necklaces
spells for money
prepare house for fall
corn husking contests

Corn Husk Dolls

Corn dollys bring health, wealth and general prosperity to the land or property owner. A simple ritual could include writing a special wish with a marker onto the dolly (good health for a friend?) and burn the dolly.

Items Needed:
Corn husks
Large bowl of water
Twine or string
Scissors
Old pieces of fabric
Watercolors or markers
Glue

Soak the cornhusks in warm water for an hour, until they become pliable. Gather several of the damp husks and then tie them together with a piece of twine about ½ inch from one end. To make the head, hold the knotted end in one fist, then fold the husks down (as though you were peeling a banana) so that they cover the knotted end. Smooth out the husks to make a face, then secure them with a piece of twine around the doll's neck. To make the arms, roll up a single husk and tie it off at both ends. Position the arms up between the husks, under the doll's neck. Smooth the husks over the arms to form the chest and back then cinch in the waist with twine. For a skirt or legs, arrange several husks, inverted (like a skirt that has blown up over the doll's head) around the waist. Secure with twine, then fold the skirt down. For legs, divide the husks into two parts, tying each bunch at the knees and ankles To make clothes, hair, hats or other headpieces, glue on little pieces of fabric You can use markers and watercolors to give the illusion of facial features. Glitter can be added as well as any other decorations to the Corn Husk Doll.

(Above taken from here).

2 comments:

Rita said...

Too many choices! I would have no idea what to pick, if I were you. ;)

Toriz said...

LOL @ Rita!

At least it means we can do diffferent things each year. ;)