Lughnasadh – First Harvest

Wow, can’t believe it’s August 1 already. This year is flying by. Fall will be here sooner than we think.

August first is the beginning of Lughnasadh (or Lammas). This is the celebration of the first harvest. Depending on your traditions, Lughnasadh is celebrated from August 1 – August 15.

The name of this festival is Irish Gaelic for “Commemoration of Lugh”.  Lugh is associated with the power of sun and light, and so fires were burned in honor of him on this day. In addition to his associations with light, Lugh is a God of Skill and Craft, a master of all human skills.

Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest festivals, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.  The Earth offers up her first fruits to us … a blessing from the Mother and the product of our own hands.  It is a time to celebrate the fruitfulness of  Mother Earth and enjoy the fruits of our labors. 
The celebration of Lughnasadh included the ritual first cutting grain and making it into bread for the harvest feast.  Fruits and vegetables were ripe and ready preserving.  It was a time to celebrate and enjoy the fullness of the Earth while beginning to make provision for the cold months ahead. The people lit fires, sang and held uproarious sporting contests and races.

So, I invite you to join in the harvest celebrations. If you have your own garden, revel in the bounty that Mother Earth has provided and feast. No garden, find a you-pick and pick something decadent, like raspberries, and enjoy. Or offer up some time to a gleaning group to help with their harvests.

Take a hike in nature and the “difficult” trail.  Or do something that would push your boundaries. Challenge yourself in the nature of the God, Lugh. 

Or spend some quite time in the shade of a welcoming tree and take a shamanic journey. Have a meeting with your Guides and reflect on the inner meanings of your personal harvest of the seeds that you have sown in the spring. Which things or projects are ripe and waiting for us to harvest them? What needs more time to ripen?  What new projects would you like to start? And, what (if anything) do you need to do to prepare for completing your harvest? 

It is also a time to reflect on the many talents we have. Like Lugh, we are multi-talented. Unlike him, many of us are not so confident about these talents. So this is also a time to ask yourself:  “What are my talents and skills?  How do I express my creativity?  How do I use my abilities to craft my world … to add beauty …. color … richness?  Our skills may include woodworking, designing, creating, sewing and needlecraft, art, music, dance, sports or communication, organizing, healing, parenting, problem solving etc.  Whatever our talents or abilities, this is a time to recognize them and honor them, and to share our recognition of the talents and abilities of others around us.  If you have had an interest or urge to develop a particular skill or creative outlet, now might be the time to make commitment to yourself to pursue your interest.  By offering our skills back to the Universe we enrich both ourselves and our world.
And of course Lughnasadh is a very good time to express gratitude to the Goddess, God and the Earth Spirits for their blessings and gifts. 

Blessed Lughnasadh. Enjoy your harvest!

Until Next Time:

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),