The Wheel Of The Year- Lughnasadh

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Lughnasadh

Feast, celebrate- and give thanks to the Sun God

Blessed Lughnasadh

On the 1st of August in the northern hemisphere, we arrive at the time of Lughnasadh on The Wheel Of The Year.

At Lughnasadh, it’s time to celebrate the first harvest of the year, but this is also tinged with the sadness of knowing that the long, hot days of Summer will soon end.

Lughnasadh is a time to honour the Sun God -but also to mark and to mourn his death.

Lugh

Lughnasadh is named for the Celtic god Lugh, a god of light, fire and sun. The ancient ones also passed down the traditional tale of the self sacrifice  or sacrifice by others of a king- whose bloodshed would bless the Lughnasadh harvest, ensure that the land would continue to be fertile and that his people would have plenty for the Winter to come and beyond.

Lugh12

Origins and Legends

Many of the more ancient traditions of Lughnasadh reference sacrifice- but it has become a more modern conception that this was necessarily a literal sacrifice.

There exists archeological evidence of possible ritual sacrifice or execution- as in the discovery of the amazingly preserved Bog Bodies. There is the Tollund Man in Denmark or Lindow Man in Cheshire, England. An interesting synchronicity is that The Lindow Man’s preserved body – that of a man who may have been ritually killed- was found on August 1st!

However, we have no hard evidence that tribal kings or young males from their communities were selected to literally shed blood over the land to protect it and bless it.

Although……..I did once have a somewhat chilling and very memorable discussion. The theory was proposed that a well known medieval English King was killed on an equally famous 15th century English battlefield – as an August/Lughnasadh ‘King Sacrifi

Celebration

Lammas Food and Flowers

Lughnasadh is also the time for feasting on the bounty of the land. Grains are ready to be harvested and fruits are ripe and ready for picking. At this time, we should and do give thanks for this bounty as the wheat, corn and fruits are cut and gathered for our tables and stores.

Traditional foods at this time include bread, corn, all berries, grapes, blackberries, sloe, crab apples, pears. Many of us give thanks today by decorating our altars with this colourful seasonal produce and then sitting down to break bread and share a delicious Lughnasadh harvest feast with our nearest and dearest. It’s a lovely idea to save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during a feast or ritual

Lammas

LAMMAS
As with all the festivals of the Wheel of the Year and the Old Religion, Christianity also adopted and incorporated this time into their calendar and re named it as their ‘Lammas’ which means ‘loaf-mass’. Newly baked loaves of bread were placed on Christian church altars to mark the festival.

Special activities and rituals for Lughnasadh

Firstly- eat, drink and be merry! It’s a wonderful time for being in the kitchen and making lovely things to share. If you can eat outside in the garden or somewhere natural, then all the better. It’s because of nature that we’re enjoying this food.
The feasting part of Lughnasadh is very important – so enjoy planning it! Typical ingredients and dishes would be things like pumpkin soup, or any soups made with seasonal vegetables like spring onions and potatoes. Blackberry pie is a great dessert ( pick your own blackberries if you can) and gorgeous served with fresh or clotted cream. There are plenty of harvest recipes out there- there’s lots of choice..

Creative Cooking

Bake your own bread- it represents the first loaf of harvest and you can use it in ritual or have it as part of your meal. Get creative with ingredient and shapes. Whilst I can’t personally produce a stunning looking wheat sheaf loaf like the one shown above, I do love to make bread and often try out new things to add to the loaves of bread that I make.  At last year’s Lughnasadh it was sultana and cinnamon bread -hot, fragrant and ready to have for breakfast at dawn on August 1st! If you have children, it’s also lovely to let them help you make it along with their own ‘little loaves’
Take time to meditate and pray. Encourage everyone you break bread with to pray or meditate too. We need to give thanks for the abundance and generosity of nature. If you choose to sit in a circle while you eat, you can share this lovely spiritual energy of gratitude with each another.

A Lughnasadh Prayer

On this first day we light a candle to celebrate the harvest.

As the wheel of the year turns we honour the God  and Goddess

We say thanks for the blessings and prosperity they have brought us this year.

We honour our ancestors and we honour all things living on this earth.”

A Lughnasadh Gratitude and Payback Ritual

This is more of a festival for saying thank you and being grateful rather than of trying to manifest things like love or financial abundance. Lughnasadh is about being glad for what we’re already lucky to have!
However- there are ways I like to mark this time and rituals I like to perform. I’m very grateful to the fabulous Kate West for the origin of this ritual.This is a very modern, quite pragmatic ritual that anyone can perform. It doesn’t require you to have lots of magical knowledge or specialist magical tools, except some paper, a pen and two candles!
* Take two candles- you can choose a white candle for the Goddess and black for the God if you like or you can choose to have candles to reflect the more vibrant colours of Lughnasadh/August. Respectfully invite the God and Goddess to be present with you as you light each candle and carry out your ritual

Candle Collage
* Take 3 small pieces of paper. On one side of each piece make a note of something you’re grateful for or have been happy to receive since the last Lughnasadh
* As you go through your ‘blessings’ list, try to focus on the most significant in which you feel that you may have been especially helped by the God and Goddess. Literally ‘counting your blessings’ will also help you to focus on all the positives you actually have in your life and even doing this will greatly raise your own energy and level of positivity
* On the other side of each piece of paper, write an intent or resolution of something you can do to ‘repay’ the energy for the good thing that happened for you
* They can be directly related. For example- you passed an exam with flying colours, so now you’re going to help some else with their studies or revision. But the things don’t have to be directly related. For example you could be so grateful for finding a new home that you in turn cook someone a lovely meal or make them something pretty to have in their own home.
*As you turn to focus on each deed you’ve chosen to pay back your blessings- dedicate the performance of your kind ‘payback’ actions to the God and Goddess. You can do this out loud or in your mind. Put your ‘intentions’ in a place where you can see them and remember to perform them!
* Extinguish your candles. Bid farewell and say a final thanks to the God and Goddess
Remember- thanks and kindness will beget more thanks and kindness!

Have a lovely Lughnasadh and I send you lots of love and blessings of my own.

Lughnasadh Blessings

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The Wheel Of The Year-Ostara

This is my WordPress blog. To contact me or book your reading please go to my website https://martinealexisclairvoyance.com

Celebrating Ostara and Rebirth

The Wheel of the Year now turns to Ostara- the celebration of rebirth, where we honour the Goddess Eostre. This is also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox

Ostara

 Tradition

As we turn to this time  in the Western Hemisphere, we joyfully embrace the return of life to the Earth after the long darkness of the Winter months. There is, of course, the connection of the name  Ostara and the Goddess Eostre to the Christian festival of Easter.

We can also trace the European name of the Goddess Eostre back to her names of Ishtar and Astarte, in earlier cultures.

All the times on the Wheel of the Year have their profound connection to the eternal life cycle and to the progression of our own soul journey. For me, Ostara is always the one that lifts my soul and my spirits the most.

 Renewal….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It uplifts us all to see the bursting forth of new life. Glowing daffodils suddenly appear and the birds begin to sing as dawn arrives earlier. The trees bring forth their buds and blossom.

Ostara is that wonderful reminder that rebirth will always happen, even after the darkest of times.

 Rebirth….

Spring

The traditional symbols and images of The Goddess and fertility are visible everywhere at the moment –  in nature and in wider culture. Eggs, new born chicks, March hares and rabbits being the most obvious and visible examples.

Remembrance…..

Shop Display

If this reads as too Pagan or arcane, then pay a visit to any supermarket or shopping mall at this time on the Wheel of the Year.

See for yourselves the abundance of Ostara and Goddess symbols on display in the ‘Easter’ section of all the stores.

Our ancient roots in the Old Religion are far more deeply planted in our modern world than we realise

Ways we can embrace the energy of Ostara

One of the most traditional of course, is the Spring Cleanse. At this time I love to de-clutter my home and to give a thorough cleanse with water steeped in fresh rosemary and lemon.

Rosemary is one of the most powerful natural plants used for psychic protection for yourself and your home. It’s traditionally placed in and around doorways to dispel or ward off bad energy. Lemon oil is one of the best aromatherapy scents for lifting your mood and your spirits.

The use of natural beeswax on furniture will also add the most delicious scent, along with the gorgeous natural sheen it will give. We can bring the energy of nature right into our homes with these ways to Spring Cleanse.

Refresh….

Smudging

I always like to make an energetic ritual of the Spring Cleanse by completing it with a thorough smudging of all the rooms with white sage, to dispel any old, stale energy that is no longer needed in my home or my life.

Open your windows after you’ve smudged each room and focus your thoughts on old patterns of behaviour, circumstance or any situations you wish to release. As you then invite in the Spring energy to assist you in birthing the new, you can speak or chant your wishes and affirmations

Revitalize….

yellow candles

It’s a lovely energetic touch to light yellow or orange candles around your home. These help to embed the energy of Spring into your newly revitalized surroundings and will also connect to the energy of the solar plexus and sacral chakras of the physical body.

Do remember to make sure that sage sticks and candles are extinguished when you’ve finished your Spring Cleanse

 Reactivate….

If being a domestic Goddess or God isn’t your thing, then there many other ways we can embrace the Spring equinox

It’s a great time to ‘birth’ new ideas. For example, if you’re in business, try out new approaches, maybe in your advertising or with your business image. In your job, consider asking for that feedback- or even the pay rise-  you wish to manifest from a boss or colleague.

This is a very powerful energetic time to focus on creating more abundance around you. We can also make this a time to clean up our health and bodies as well as our homes. A far more appealing prospect than in the cold dark January days! Simply getting out into nature and walking is great for you, or maybe going even further and finally getting back to the gym or the pool.

 Embrace….

Couple

In love, we only have to observe the behaviour of the birds and animals around us to know that this is the most fertile time! If you’re single, maybe it’s time to think about getting out there and meeting potential partners, perhaps in ways you haven’t tried before

If you’re partnered up, it’s the perfect time to rediscover things about each other or to try new things together that make you see your partner in a different light.Rebirth your relationship!

Whichever way you choose to embrace the energy of Ostara, remember to look around you on these lighter mornings and observe~ even for just a few minutes. The world is waking up again, reminding us that life is a cycle and there is always the opportunity to embrace rebirth in some aspect of our lives.

Happy Ostara/Spring Equinox. Have a wonderful and blessed time, wherever you are and may the arrival of Spring bring you

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