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Lughnassadh: (pronounced Loo-gnah-sahd)Also known as Lammas, Cornucopia[Strega], July 30 - August 1. This sabbat marks the sacred marriage of the Sun and the Land. The sun is at it's hottest, but his light is fading. This also marks the beginning of the harvest. Corn (or wheat in Ireland) was generally harvested at this time.
The festival of Lammas (Aug 1st) marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we've reached the end of Fall (Oct 31st), we will have experienced a range of temperature from the heat of August to the cold of late fall maybe even a snow fall depending on where you live.
It is of course a cross-quarter day, one of the four High Holidays or Greater Sabbats of Witchcraft, occurring 1/4 of a year after Beltane. It's true astrological point is 15 degrees Leo.
'Lammas' was the medieval Christian name for the holiday and it means 'loaf-mass', for this was the day on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on the church altars as offerings. It was a day representative of 'first fruits' and early harvest.
In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as 'Lugnasadh', a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish sun-god Lugh who do not actually die[mythically speaking]until fall equinox.As autumn begins, the Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.
Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh Customs and Practices|
August 1, is the beginning of the harvest cycle and rests on the early gain harvest as well as those fruits and vegetables that are ready to be picked. Canning of fruits and vegetables goes into full swing, jams and jellies made and cabinets are stocked with herbs before the onset of autumn.
As long as hand reaping lasted so the ceremonies of the "Last Sheaf" endured. In ancient times in Britain it varied from county to county; some preferred to throw their sickles at it until there was nothing left, others thought it held an evil spirit and trampled it into the ground. Many treated it with honour for they believed the corn spirit had retreated into it as a refuge when the rest of the crop was cut. On some farms the reapers took turns to throw their sickles at the last stand of corn, thus sharing the responsibility. In this the corn spirit was thought to sleep throughout the winter. In the spring it was taken to the fields when seed was being sown, so that the spirit could transfer to the sown seed and awaken it. This ritual re-enactment of the slaying and restoration of Lugh/John Barleycorn was associated with beer and cider drinking to follow.
The last sheaf was then plaited (braided) into a woman’s form, which represented the Harvest Spirit. These were known by various names, the Corn-Dolly, Nell Doll, and in Whalton in Northumberland, a member of the same family made the Kern-Babby each year, for the church Harvest Festival. The Corn Dolly was set in a place of honour at the harvest supper, it was preserved over winter and ploughed-in, in the following Spring; in other traditions, the corn dolly was fed and watered throughout the winter and then burned in the fire at Beltane. The vacant land was known as Lammas Lands, used for growing early crops or hay, were then thrown open for common grazing until the next Spring.
This was also the time for Lammas Fairs, where the custom for unmarried persons of both sexes, was to choose a companion according to their liking, with whom they were to live for a year and a day. After this period, if the couple were in agreement, a ritual "Handfasting" or hand in fist, ceremony was performed to seal the marriage.
Correspondence of Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh|
The plants & herbs associated with Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh are: All Grains, Apples, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears, hollyhocks. sunflower, oak, acacia, gingeng, beets, parsnips, carrots, onions, cabbage,Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood, frankincense,ash, camphor, caraway, fern, geranium, juniper, mandrake, marjoram, thyme
Colors associated with Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh are: red, orange, gold, yellow, brown, bronze.
Stones associated with Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh are:
Carnelian, Citrine, Amber, Tourmaline, Aventurine, Peridot, Sardonyx.
Incense and oils you can use any of the following scents, either blended together or alone: Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood, frankincense, Allspice, carnation, rosemary, vanilla.
Animals and mythical beasts: Roosters, calves, the Phoenix, griffins, basilisk, centaurs
Gods and Goddess Associated with Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh are:all grain, agriculture, and mother Goddesses; Alphito (Greek), Ashnan (Sumerian), Bast (Egyptian), Bau (Assyro-Babylonian), Ceres (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Gaia (Greek), Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh), Robigo (Roman), Tailtiu (Irish)
all grain, agriculture, Sun, and father Gods; Cernunnos (Celtic), Dagon (Babylonian), Lahar (Sumerian), Liber (Roman), Llew (Welsh), Lugh (Irish), Neper (Egyptian), Ningirsu/Ninurta (Assyro-Babylonian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian)
Symbols for Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh are: Corn dollies, cornucopia, grains, the Sun.
Foods of Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh are:Breads, grains, potatoes, summer squash, cider, blackberry pies and jellies, berries, apples, roasted lamb, elderberry wine, meadowsweet tea.
Notions Potions and Spells|
Botanical: Santalum album (LINN.) Family: N.O. Santalaceae.
A small tree 20 to 30 feet high, with many opposite slender drooping branches, bark smooth grey-brown. Young twigs glabrous; leaves opposite, without stipules, petiole slender, about 1/2 inch long, blade 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, oval, ovate-oval or lanceolate, acute or obtuse at apex, tapering at base into petiole entire, smooth on both sides, glaucous beneath. Flowers small, numerous, shortly stalked in small pyramidal erect terminal and axillary, trichotomus paniculate, cymes panicle, branches smooth, bracts small passing into leaves below.
Sandalwood trees grow in India and Asia. The wood is renowned for being excellent for carving and also yields the medicinal oil.
When used externally, Sandalwood oil or Sandalwood paste (made from mixing water with Sandalwood powder) has a calming, cooling effect on body and mind. It helps relieve fever and burns, and stops excessive sweating. In general it relieves Pitta dosha and helps balance the body after overexposure to the sun. The oil or the paste can help heal skin diseases such as infectious sores, ulcers, acne and rashes. Sandalwood powder helps smooth and cool the skin, and can be made into a paste, lotion or soap for cleansing, calming and hydrating sensitive or aging skin. Sandalwood acts as a disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant and sedative. It is bitter, sweet, astringent and cooling. Sandalwood balances the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems.
On the skin, sandalwood essential oil helps to moisturize and hydrate ageing, dry or flaky skin, relieving itching and inflammation and its astringent action balances oily skin conditions.
Sandalwood incense is made from rolling the paste of the sapwood on bamboo skewers by hand. The scent of Sandalwood essential oil or Sandalwood incense clarifies the mind and helps to awaken intelligence, and is often used as an aid for meditation. It calms the mind, soothes stress and nervous tension, and uplifts the mood. It is said to enliven courage, purpose, strength and happiness.
Magickal Properties: Sandaleood Water, Moon, Sun Venus
POWERS: Spirituality, protection, wishes, healing, exorcism,Heightens Perception, purification.
Amber has always been a favourite stone used for adornment especially in Europe. It has its own inner light and beauty, some believe, mystical powers. From the 17th Century the fashion of amber bead necklaces began. These necklaces were worn as status symbols and thus became increasingly large. As society became materialistically richer during the 19th century Amber was carved into differing shapes like cups and sauces, cigarette and cigar holders etc...
Amber today is an increasingly popular stone. Most of the world's Amber jewellery is made in Poland. Recently there has been an increase in popularity of Amber jewellery. This trend is due to a combination of factors. The first being that the Polish people are incredibly skilled at working Amber and accentuating it's beauty. They are highly skilled jewellery craftsmen. They are also very creative people with artistic influences coming from Western and Eastern Europe as well as Asia. In the communist era in Poland (1945-1989) this creativity was repressed and only recently allowed to blossom again. Lastly, some people believe Amber has mystical properties.
Amber gives a soothing, light energy that is both calming and energizing at the same time. It can help manifest desires and heighten intellectual abilities, clarity of thought, and wisdom. It is said to cleanse its environment by drawing out negativity, and is said to relieve physical pain the same way. It brings the energies of patience, protection, psychic shielding, romantic love, sensuality, purification, balance, healing and calmness to those who wear or carry it. It is considered a good luck charm for marriage. Amber is excellent for inner child work and past life work. Amber is associated with the solar plexus chakra and sometimes the sacral chakra. Mystical lore says that amber is beneficial for purifying the body, headaches, bone problems, heart problems, circulation, ears, hearing problems, endocrine system, fibromyalgia, intestinal/digestive disorders, kidney, bladder, lungs, and general healing purposes.
Color: orange, yellow, green, brown
Associated Element: Fire/Akasha
Magickal Properties: Amber is a powerful substance that is the fossilized resin of ancient coniferous trees. It is a fossil, not a stone, and was once part of a living organism. As a result, it is organic and has special energy and powers and is associated with longevity, life cycles, and time. Amber can be used for just about any purpose and is also combined with other stones to strengthen magickal workings. In some covens, the High Priestess wears a necklace of amber and jet (jet is fossilized wood, and is also organic). It is sometimes referred to as a Witches Stone, as it was used extensively by Witches in ancient times. Amber is sacred to many Native American nations. It may include the remnants of small creatures or plants that were trapped within the sap while it was still viscous and sticky. Genuine amber can be difficult to find.When rubbed against wool or silk, amber will create an electric charge. It will also float in salt water, as it has a low specific gravity.
Color: Brown=Special Favors To Influence Friendships, Animals, Home, locate lost objects and improve powers of concentration and telepathy,protection of familiars and household pets, earth and faerie magick.
Cunningham's Lughnasadh Incense
1 Apple blossoms
1 pinch blackberry leaves
a few drops of Ambergris
Sun God Incense
1 part Frankincense,
1 part Benzoin,
1 part Cinnamon,
1/2 part Coriander
Financial Increase Incense
1/4 part Cucumber
3/4 part Allspice
1 part Sunflower,
1/4 part Saw Palmetto
1/2 part Marigold
2 parts lime oil
2 parts cinnamon oil
2 parts sandalwood oil
1 part clove oil
1 part frankincense oil
For this spell gather a silver coin (real silver, if possible), some dried basil, a pinch dried sage, one green candle, any combination of malachite, tiger’s-eye, pyrite, peridot, or aventurine. Carve a dollar sign into the candle while visualizing your wallet bulging and your bills marked “paid.” Place the coin in a heat-proof container beneath the candle. Lay the stones either inside the container or around it, and light the candle. Sprinkle the herbs at the base of the candle, and chant:
Money comes and money grows
money is mine
to me it flows.
Let the candle burn all the way down put the coin in your pocket or purse.
Creating your own Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh Customs|
This is a time of fairs and the last month before school starts so reate some customs to remember... Enjoy a country fair, enter the baking contest or just go to remember what it was like for our anccestors. Fairs for them was a time to get together have some fun before the real hard work of the next 2 months of harvesting had to be completed.
Learn to bake fresh bread if you have never done it check out the recipes in the Newsletter they are easy to follow.
Visit a Farm that allows you to pick your vegetables fresh or visit your local farmers market. Even thought we can get our food out of season try your hand at canning or making jelly, it can be a very rewarding experience. Imagine opening a jar of jelly with no artifical perservative or a jar of fruit that you prepared for your family with only natural ingredients.
If that sounds like too much work try your hand at decorating your space with sun symbols and gourds or create an original game that you can enjoy with family and friends as you enjoy the final day of summer.
Foods of Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh|
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
Sift flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in cornmeal. Add eggs, milk, and shortening. Beat with rotary or electric beater till just smooth. (Do not overbeat.) Pour into greased 9x9x2 inch pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Honey Wheat Bread
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.
Title: Zucchini Muffins
Yield: 12 Servings
2 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 tb Baking Powder
1/2 ts Salt
1 ts Ground Cinnamon
3/4 c Skim Milk
2 Egg Whites -- Slightly
1/4 c Oil
1/4 c Honey
1 c Zucchini -- Shredded
1. Preheat oven to 375 F and grease muffin tins lightly with oil. 2. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly. Mix remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are barely moistened. Batter will be lumpy.
3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake until lightly browned (about 20 minutes).
Yield: 4 Servings
1 lb White fish fillets
1/4 c Flour
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Lemon-pepper seasoning
1 Egg white
1/4 c Fine bread crumbs
1/4 c Cornmeal
1 1/2 t Lemon peel
1/2 t Basil dried
Thaw fish, if frozen. It should be about 1/2-inch thick. Cut in
serving strips. Combine flour, salt, and lemon-pepper in a shallow dish.
Beat egg white till frothy. Combine bread crumbs, cornmeal, lemon peel, and basil. Dip top of fillets into flour mixture, shake off excess. Dip into egg white, coat with bread crumb mixture.
Spray an unheated shallow baking pan with nonstick coating. PLace fillets in baking pan, coating side up, tucking under any thin edges of fish.
Bake in 450 oven for 6-12 minutes, or until done.
Yield: 6 Servings
1/4 c Sugar
1 T Cornstarch
1/4 t Lemon peel
6 T Water
3 c Blueberries
1 c Flour
4 t Sugar
1 1/2 t Baking powder
1/4 t Cinnamon
6 T Skim milk
1 T Cooking oil
Filling: combine the 1/4 c sugar, cornstarch and lemon peel in a
medium saucepan. Stir in water and blueberries. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Keep filling hot.
Combine flour, 4 T sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 t cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add milk and cooking oil. stir just until moistened.
Spoon hot filling into a 9-inch pie pan. Immediately drop topping in six mounds on filling. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon.
Bake in 400 oven 15 minutes, or til wooden toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean.
Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberries
1 1/4 c Cornmeal
1/2 c Whole grain pastry flour
1/2 c Unbleached all purpose flour
1 t Baking powder
1 t Baking soda
1 t Salt
2 c Buttermilk
3 T Butter, melted
3 large eggs, separated
2 T Honey
6 T (about) butter
2 c (about) fresh blueberries, or frozen, unsweetened, thawed, drained
Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix 1 1/4 c cornmeal, 1/2 c pastry flour, 1/2 c all purpose flour, 1 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda and 1 t salt in large bowl. Whisk 2 c buttermilk, 3 T melted butter, egg yolks and honey in medium bowl to blend. Add to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions.
Melt 2 T butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Sprinkle each pancake with 2 T
Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. Turn pancakes over. Cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer pancakes to large baking sheet. Place pancakes in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter and blueberries, adding more butter to skillet as necessary.
Serve hot with maple syrup.
Makes about 18
Crafts for Lughnassadh/Lammas/Lugnasadh|
Rosemary & Roses Candle
miniature roses, or large rose petals
lots of springs of fresh rosemary, cut to different lengths
Cut wick to desired length (length of candle mold plus 3 inches).
Tie wick to pencil and lie pencil over candle mold with the wick inside the mold.
Gently heat paraffin wax in an old tin in a pan of hot water.
Drop a few petals/flowers and rosemary in mold.
Carefully pour some wax into the mold.
Add some more petals/flowers and rosemary, then more wax, and so on until the mold is full.
Remove pencil and remove candle from mold.
A Corn/Sun Wheel
Is made from eight ears of miniature or squaw corn. The husk of the corn are attached to a circle (could be made with a clothes hanger) and the eight ears come together in the middle of the circle and can be attached to a small wooden disk.
You will need:
dried corn husks
twine or string
Soak your husks in warm water until they become pliable (1 hour). Bunch together several damp husks and tie a piece of twine around them about 1/2 inch from one end. To make the head, hold a bunch by the tied end and, one at a time, fold the husks down over the twine as if you were peeling a banana. Smooth the husks to create a face, then tie another piece of twine around the doll's neck. For the arms, tightly roll up a single husk, starting at one long edge. Use twine to tie it off at both ends where the doll's wrists should be. Now fit the arms between the husks below the head and then tie off the doll's waist. To fashion a skirt, arrange several more corn husks so that they are inverted around the doll's waist. It will look as if a skirt has blown up over the doll's head. Tie the husks in place around the waist, then fold the skirt down and smooth the husks. For pants, divide the husks below the waist into two groups and tie each one at the ankle with twine. Now draw on facial features and other details. Then glue on a braided twine hairdo and clothes made from construction paper or pieces of fabric.
20 drops clove bud oil
25 drops sandalwood oil
1 cup oak moss
2 cups dried pink rosebuds
2 cups dried red peony petals
1 cup dried amaranth flowers
1 cup dried heather flowers
Mix the clove bud and sandalwood oils with the oak moss and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.
Author: Gerina Dunwich
Parent may need to assist child under 10.
Obtain an ear of fresh corn (I would probably use the one with the big and tough kernels, in fact the larger and tougher the better but not completely dried.)
Break the ear in half after the husk has been removed and then begin popping off the kernels, beginning at the broken end of each half and going around and around. Try not to break the kernels in half, but to leave the white points on them.
Then, with about two or three feet of heavy thread on a large needle, begin stringing the kernels by putting the needle through the very center of each one. When the strand is long enough to make a necklace (one ear is usually more than enough) tie the ends of the thread together and hang the necklace in a warm, dry place for a few weeks.
The kernels will dry, shrivel and shrink, and it may be necessary to tighten the knot.
You can also use Indian corn that has been field died as it has beautiful colors.
Buy wheat at the craft store, soak for 10 minutes. Tie three together just bellow the seed end, and braid. Tie at end into a circle. Make another braid, and link it to the first circle. Repeat again. Tie a red bow on each and hang up in your house. ( "Spell Crafts, Creating Magical Objects" by Scott Cunningham and David Harrington p.168.)
Turtle Bread Dough
This simple recipe produces a bread dough that young sculptors will simply eat up--after it's baked, of course.
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. sugar or honey
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Whisk in the sugar or honey, salt and oil.
Slowly stir in the flour and, as it becomes harder to stir, turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and dust the dough with flour. Knead the dough by folding it in half and pressing it with the palm of your hand. Continue to knead until the dough springs back when you lightly poke it with your finger.
Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Dust dough with flour, cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. (It's risen enough if it doesn't spring back when you poke it gently with your finger.)
After the Turtle Bread Dough has risen once, punch it down and form balls for the shell (about 6 inches in diameter), the head (3 inches) and the legs (2 inches), and assemble on a greased baking sheet, adding a dough tail. Texturize the shell's top by etching a crisscross pattern with the knife. Use 2 raisins for eyes. Let rise again for 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush lightly with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water) and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
TIPS: For more reptilian realism, add a couple of drops of green food coloring to the egg wash.
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
- Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden
Once upon a Lammas Night
When corn rigs are bonny,
Beneath the Moon's unclouded light,
I held awhile to Annie...
The time went by with careless heed
Between the late and early,
With small persuasion she agreed
To see me through the barley...
Corn rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny!
I'll not forget that happy night
Among the rigs with Annie!
- Robert Burns
Blessed be the Harvest,
Blessed be the Corn Mother,
Blessed be the Grain God,
For together they nourish both body and soul.
Many blessings I have been given,
I count them now by this bread.
Guardian of the East, I pray for your indulgence.
Hear me now as I request your aid in the cycle of life.
As your winds blow through fields of ripened grain,
Carry loosened seeds upon your back
That they may fall amidst the soil
That is our Mother Earth.
- Lammas Ritual
When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend
all day among the high
my ripped arms, thinking
of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body
accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among
the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.
- Mary Oliver, August
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