Since Lammas is fast approaching, I wanted to write about this wonderful holiday and its effect on myself and others. Those of you who follow the wheel of the year know that Lammas is celebrated on or near August first as the celebration of the first harvest. But to those of you who are not well versed in Wicca or Paganism, this holiday is one of eight that take place about every six weeks. Each holiday celebrates nature and the Gods for giving us the gifts of the season
The four main Sabbaths are during the changes of each season, Ostara is the celebration of the first day of spring. Then there is midsummer celebrating the first day of summer. This is followed by Mabon, the festival to celebrate fall. And lastly (using our modern calendars) Yule, the celebration of the first day of winter. Now in between these four celebrations are the holidays that commemorate the mid points of most seasons. There is Imbolc on February second where many Pagans hold candle lighting ceremonies. Then Beltane the original Mayday, is celebrated on May first with a May pole. Next there is Lammas, the first harvest. And last but definitely not least Samhein (also known as Halloween) to celebrate the dead.
Now that we’ve all had our little lesson, I’d like to talk about the fast approaching Lammas. This holiday is very special to me because it was the very first holiday that I celebrated as a fully dedicated solitary witch. Before then I had been dabbling with Wicca and was even part of a coven for a short time. But it was not until August first of 2002 that I had fully researched and developed my faith in Paganism. That was also the day that I performed my self-dedication rite, a ceremony binding myself to the Wiccan faith. It was also very fitting because I was born on August fourth. Maybe I wasn’t born into my beliefs, but just as I will raise my daughter of my faith, she will decide which path is truly right for her.
Being the first Harvest, Lammas is based on celebrating the abundance of food and resources that the Gods give us each season. Ritual often opens with a blessing and leds into meditations. Then any works of garden or plant magic are performed followed by a feast. Traditional Lammas foods are corn and plant based since this holiday is all about the harvest. My favorite activity to do after the feast is to make dolls out of the corn husks. It is customary to save them and allow the husks to dry out. Then it is said that if you burn your corn doll in the Mabon fire it will bring you luck. And I have to say that many people often consider me lucky.
However you celebrate whatever holidays that mean something to you, the most important ingredient is love. There is no greater celebration than those that I spend with my husband and daughter. Each celebration is different and exciting. Unlike a lot of other religions, Paganism does not have one book that is the guide for our beliefs. There is no Bible or Koran. Detailed accounts and storytelling is how we keep our religion alive. So this Monday I will be feasting on corn, apples, nuts, and other delicious products of the Earth while celebrating Lammas with my family. I hope that you will enjoy the beauty of nature and enjoy the sunshine. Sure the middle of summertime may get a bit hot, but every season has its place in time.