26 July 2010

Kate Braun : Lammas Celebrates the First Harvest

Celebrating Lammas. Image © flaming crones.

Thanksgiving, sacrifice, and celebration...
Lammas is a fire festival of the First Harvest

By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / July 26, 2010
“If a body meet a body comin’ through the rye...”
Saturday, July 31, 2010, is a good day to celebrate Lammas, a fire festival also known as First Harvest, Harvest Home, and Lughnasadh. This celebration centers energies on the themes of thanksgiving, sacrifice, and celebration. We give thanks for the good things in our lives and the food Mother Earth has provided for us; we sacrifice the first harvest of grain with the goal of strengthening the land, which promotes fertility and a bountiful harvest in the future; we celebrate the harvest with gusto, recognizing that it feeds our souls as well as our bodies.

Choose among your preferred shades of red, gold, orange, yellow, bronze, citrine, gray, and green, and incorporate your choice of sickles, scythes, corn dollies, sun-wheels, breads, and fresh fruits and veggies in your decorations. If possible, celebrate outdoors and build a fire. Remember that fire-pits, cauldrons, and outdoor barbecue grills will generate positive fire-energy just as well as a bonfire.

Bread and all dishes whose primary ingredient is grain should be the focus of your menu. Granola, pasta and rice salads, tabooli, and cornbread are but a few examples. Berry pies, locally grown seasonal produce, roast lamb, fruit wine, and ale all provide a tasty compliment for your enjoyment.

You and your guests may enjoy playing outdoor games of strength, or you may prefer to tell and retell the stories of various grain goddesses (Ceres is but one suggestion); but whatever activities you choose to pursue, be sure to include time for each guest to give thanks at the beginning and end of your celebration for whatever each considers deserves thanks.

Another useful activity is to write down on a piece of paper things you regret doing or thinking or saying during the past 12 months (you may draw a symbol that represents them if you prefer) and burn that paper in the ceremonial fire. This activity represents not only acknowledging where you got off track and could do better, but it also releases that energy, opening you to positive improvements during the next 12 months. Remember that the first step toward improvement is recognizing that there is room for improvement.

Share the leftover food with your guests. If you have made this a pot-luck gathering, be sure that each guest takes home some of someone else’s donation, not just their own. By sharing in this way, you are creating more energy for positive growth in the future.

[Kate Braun's website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at kate_braun2000@yahoo.com. Kate will be participating in a Metaphysical Fair on Saturday and Sunday, August 14-15, 2010, at the Holiday Inn (formerly the Radisson) at 6000 Middle Fiskville Rd. in Austin (between Highland Mall and Lincoln Village).]

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