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Lammas is the celebration of Mid-Summer. It is a cross quarter day marking the middle of Summer. The Lunar Lammas Moon is the closest Full Moon in Aquarius to till day.
This is the time of year when the abundance of future harvest (or lack thereof) could be predicted based on the fruits growing on the vine. If the harvest promised to be plentiful, there will be much celebrating. If the harvest looks slim, this is the time to gather with your clan to to make a plan for supplementing winter stores.
Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes. We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle. Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.
© Sandra Ure Griffin 2011
With the afterglow of late summer purring in our bodies and the land, the days are lulled and languorous. The communities of trees are hanging heavy canopies as their life force is directed into the berries, fruits, nuts and seeds. The mellifluous hum of the nectar gatherers, wasps and worker bees fill the air with their sybaritic symphony.
The moon is low and orange over the fields, the first fruits of our labours ripe enough to be eased from the branch and baked into a harvest loaf.
A change in the evening air signals that the halcyon days are ending. It heightens our awareness that only a small percentage of the world have cornucopias of surplus.
Summoning the medicine of dragonfly who can jump tracks, adapt with lightening ease, fly backwards and forwards into the past and future we initiate deep wisdom circles to welcome indigenous wisdom already known. Doughnut and gift economies to close the global poverty gap and share this Love-fest from the earth, who could feed us all, mouth on mouth.
—Debra Hall © Mother Tongue Ink 2021
The is the first harvest—a time of abundance, our opportunity to assume conscious collective responsibility for creating the future. In this time of grains ripening, as we can also feel the Great Loneliness that wraps our human world, keep asking: What is it we value?
—Oak Chezar © Mother Tongue Ink 2019
August 2 Lammas/Mid-Summer: First Harvest, Breaking Bread, Abundance—Green Corn Ceremony (Creek), Sundance (Lakota), Goddess Festivals: Corn Mother (Hopi), Amaterasu (Japanese), Hatshepsut's Day (Egyptian), Ziva (Ukraine), Habondia (Celtic).
Bathrobe Boogie © Jakki Moore 2013
This is the season of grain harvesting. Grains are the staff of life. A full grain bin is a beauty to behold, and signifies survival through the dark winter months ahead. One popular tradition that can be practiced as a family or group is the breaking of the bread ceremony. The practice goes something like this:
Let go of everything in you. Let go of the body. Let go of space. Let go of time. Just hang out in No place No time. Aaah . . . what a treat!
If we like, we could indeed begin to harvest all we physically/psychically/energetically planted months ago in the ground of our lives. But reality turns on a lot less than a dime these days—no telling if what we chose back then is what our world needs now.
Out here there are Great Goddesses joyriding on waves of infinite potential, just waiting for us to join them in ecstatic co-creation. Set your intention and fly with it out of the Void to the shore of Realization.
Nothing is set in stone. Everything is up for our most outrageous imaginations.
—Miriam Dyak © Mother Tongue Ink 2015
Amaterasu © Hrana Janto 1991
Lammas is well known to be a corn festival! While many of us may not be able to harvest corn this season, we can still honor this spirit!
Embrace the harvest season and learn a new skill. This time of year traditionally is a time to harvest and prepare for the colder months ahead.
Supplies you may need:
There are many different methods to canning. Here are a few of my own favorite resources that I have used in the past to preserve my wonderfully home grown garden goods.
Not only is this a time to spent outside with your community, it's a lovely time to ground yourself and harvest your intentions.
Questions to ask yourself on Lammas:
Sit quietly with these thoughts in the sun as it passes over the sky. Let them wash over you and sweep through your body out into the air. Write your thoughts down to revisit if you'd like. Make a list, or sing a song to mark the occasion.
Ah, but what if the coming Fall harvest does not promise prosperity and abundance? Here's is where the ritual of second planting comes in! After the celebratory baking of first-harvest bread takes place and all have recovered from much revelry, it's back to garden.
To ensure a Winter of comfort and plenty, Fall crops can be planted at this time. With every seed nestled into the soil, offer your intentions of plenty, plenty, plenty. Plenty for yourself, for your family, and for your community. We reap what we sow.
Annual Creek ceremony centered around the corn harvest. It often involved a "first fruit" rite where green corn was sacrificed to ensure the bounty of the remaining crop. Similar festivals were found to be seen held throughout North and South America.
A time of gathering a sacrifice for many tribes. The Sun dance is a grueling test of the spirit and body often involving fasting from food and water, long intervals of movement and skin piercings. More information about the Lakota Sun Dance can be found HERE!
Celebrating in August or September, this celebration marks the end of the rainy season and the appearance of yams. In this region, yams are a staple crop needed to sustain these communities through the dry season. Feasts and celebrations are held in hopes of having a bountiful harvest.
She Who Dances in Dirt
SHE who dances in dirt knows the joy of being clean.
She who dances in dirt eats a slice of darkness
alongside her cup of sunlight.
SHE who dances in dirt can smell the stench and survive,
won't hesitate to cry when she feels pain.
She screams until her anguish breeds laughter
and her laughter breeds movement.
She proclaims her boundaries loud, proud, with convictions,
and believes fervently that her input is valuable
SHE who dances in dirt breathes fully, breathes freely.
SHE who dances in dirt has also flirted with fire, swam in sadness,
tasted tragedy, felt the forceful flames of fury rise within her soul
then bubble up, otu, and over into a salty sea.
She has been there. She has gone deep.
She knows the meaning of suffering,
and has risen from her pain alive and clean—ruggedly scarred—
but shining clean.
SHE who dances in dirt does so because
she knows her dancing will cause her wounds to heal.
Her dancing will connect her with the pulse of the great mother.
Her joy atop a mass of confusion
will help others learn
to trust the dirt, befriend the pain, know its watery depths
and in them find power to rise from the black hole.
Her dancing will spread until
SHE who dances in dirt
does not dance alone.
SHE who dances in dirt is one of the many
who move their bare feet
across the land
dancing, dancing, dancing . . .
joyfully, confusedly, wildly in the dirt.
—© Anna Ruth Hall 2016
Originally published in We'Moon 2020: Wake Up Call, available now at half price!
Maeanna Welti (Portland, OR—unceded Chinook Land) is a writer, astrologer and witch. She is the author of the Healing Witch Samhain to Samhain workbook. Maeanna offers readings, coaching, support for ancestral and personal healing, and teaches astrology and the fundamentals of witchcraft.
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