Kate Braun :
Rejoice in Mother Earth’s bounty during Lammas

Give thanks for the harvest, symbolized by the bread you serve your guests.

indian corn n'lace

Indian corn necklace. Image from 365 do-overs.

By Kate Braun | The Rag Blog | July 28, 2014

“’Harvest moon’ / a change in the weather / I love this time of year”

Thursday, July 31, Friday, August 1, and Saturday, August 2, are all days you may choose to use to celebrate Lammas, a fire festival also known as First Harvest, Harvest Home, and Lughnasadh. This is a time to rejoice in the bounty of Mother Earth and celebrate her fruitfulness with good food and good friends.

Choose among the colors red, gold, orange, yellow, bronze, citrine, gray, and green for your decorations and dress. Decorate your table and/or altar with depictions of sickles, scythes, fresh veggies & fruits, corn dollies, bread, and/or sun-wheels. Honor Freya, Demeter, Ceres, other goddesses of fruitfulness, and the formation of the seasons.

String Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace to wear at the feast. Make a lot and give them as party favors if you are so inclined.

Give thanks for the harvest, symbolized by the bread you serve your guests. Traditionally, this is the bread baked from the first sheaf of wheat harvested on the first day of harvesting. You may create your own symbolism by baking bread in the shape of a man (arms, legs, and head extending from a torso is all you need) which you and your guests may tear apart and feed to each other while saying things such as “may you never go hungry,” “may food be always on your table,” “may many blessings come to you.”

Be sure to save part of the Breadman to throw into your ceremonial fire; this symbolizes your sacrifice of your First Harvest, which will enrich the land and lead to a more productive harvest in the future. Your harvest need not be actual produce; it can also be strength of purpose, more focused intent, better implementation of future plans. If you make a ceremony of the Breadman sacrifice, so much the better.

Tell or retell tales of grain goddesses. This will keep the image of growth, fruitfulness, and a well-stocked pantry in mind. Be sure to bless the tools of your trade (yes, that can mean your computer if that is the tool you use most to do your work) to ensure prosperity in the coming year.

Save the seeds from foods eaten this day, if there are any, and plant them. If the seeds germinate be sure to honor that plant.

Write regrets or draw symbols of them on a piece of paper and burn the paper in the ceremonial fire. This releases unnecessary energy otherwise spent in regretting. Let the past go; move forward to the future.

Share food. Leftovers may be divided among guests, but it is important that each guest takes home someone else’s leftovers. This, also, ensures prosperity among all. If no one wants to take home any leftovers, this ritual may be observed by giving leftovers to the homeless.

[Kate Braun was a contributor to the original Rag. Her website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at kate_braun2000@yahoo.com. Read more of Kate Braun’s writing on The Rag Blog.]

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