1 Aug 2015

THE EIGHT SABBATS ~ LAMMAS 1 AUGUST


At last, I write about a Sabbat on the actual day of the Sabbat! Blessed Lammas folks! Hope you enjoy your day surrounded by people who love you.

So, the Sabbat Lammas (also known a Lughnasadh) actually celebrates the rising of the Celtic Sun God Lugh. This day signifies the first of the harvest and a time when we must make a personal sacrifice for the bounty we have been blessed with! Now I'm not talking about cutting off an arm here, more like making an effort to redress the balance. Think about what you have received and the gifts you have been given, and try to 'give away' a gift of something to help maintain the equilibrium. A good example of this could be: Imagine you have passed your driving test. Of course you have worked hard for this with lots of practise and study, but you have also been given a gift which contributes to your freedom! If you have a car, you can go where you like when you like! In exchange for this blessing you could decide to help someone who is struggling a little in life, and may need a helping hand. Maybe you could walk the dog for a neighbour who is struggling with their mobility, or help a young person to complete a project they are stuck with. The payment does not have to be connected to your achievement!

A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND

In times gone by, and probably still in the more isolated areas, traditionally, and as part of Lammas celebrations, the last sheaf of the first field to be cut would be 'sacrificed' to the land as part of repayment for a bountiful harvest. It was possible that a person would be selected as 'King' for the day, and given anything he desired. The King would celebrate with all the other villagers, cheering and making merriment with them in order to speed along the harvesting. The King would then remove his fine robes and blend in with the crowds, and it would appear to the people that he had been 'slain', thus the sacrifice to the land had been made. Many of today's Covens will make a Corn King from the first sheaf of corn cut, and all the participants of the celebration would join in with the 'slaying' of this poppet. Corn which was still remaining would go into food prepared for the feast in order to share the blessing of the land with the people of the village. Cakes would be fashioned into the shape of a man in honour of the Corn King, hence the origins of our gingerbread men! 

WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN MARK THE SABBAT
  • Take a piece of paper and split it into two columns. On the left hand side write down a list of all your achievements so far this year. In the right hand column, write down what you intend to do in 'payment'. Make sure whatever you choose is achievable on your part, and that it is something that will cost you your time and effort. Money shouldn't have to come into it!
  • Make or buy gingerbread men and share them out with friends and family.
  • If you are skilled in the baking department, have a go at making a plaited loaf, or make it into the shape of a wheat sheaf or a man.
  • Go for a walk and take some rubber gloves and a rubbish bag with you. Pick up as much rubbish as you can manage to and dispose of it when you get back home! This is a way to 'sacrifice' your time for your community and the wildlife where you live! 
A MOMENT AT THE ALTAR
  • Call upon the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
  • Visualise the Goddess and the God, lighting their representing candles in turn and requesting their presence at your ritual.
  • To honour the newly risen God, place a gold gold coloured flower on your altar.
  • Take out your piece of paper on which you wrote your dedications and read each one out in turn.
  • Give thanks for each accomplishment
  • Make it known what you intend to do as a 'sacrifice' for each blessing you have been given.
  • Take a few moments to absorb all of this.
  • Thanks the elements and the Goddess and God for attending your ritual.
  • Give thanks for the help you have received.
  • Do not leave any burning candles unattended.
After a ritual, especially if you have been in somewhat of a meditative state, it is always a good idea to make yourself something to eat and drink, as a way of grounding yourself back to the present.

Have a Blessed Lammas and I wish you a bountiful harvest and love and luck always.