Hearth and Home
Wheel of the Year
Pagan Parent and Child
Feast of Grain
The next turn of the Wheel brings August Eve, Lunasda, Lughnasadh, Lammas, Gwyl Awst (Welsh), Brón Trogain (Irish) the last Pastoral Holiday/Fire festival for the Pagan Year. This harvest festival on July 31*/August 1/2(traditional) or circa August 7 (actual-when the Sun is 15deg Leo), is the first of three harvest celebrations the time when grains are harvested.
The Goddess is acknowledged as the Corn Mother, Demeter or Ceres or any other Goddess of harvest, abundance and bounty or of the season.
The God is acknowledged as Lugh, John Barleycorn(wiccan).
At chez Mama Moon Lunasda is not a big celebration, it's usually a day met with a bit of sadness but over the years, after several years living rurally we became more in tune with the cycles and are slowly beginning to find ways to enjoy and celebrate each feast day. By early August in northern New England we are already seeing the signs of the coming Autumn and I (Mama Moon) feel rather sad as our growing season only began two months earlier and we are already more than halfway through the growing season. Breads are a main part of this celebration and it's usually dreadfully hot and humid to be baking. An alternative that we have found is to try and bake in a solar cooker. They can be very easy to make and with the heat and sun of the day items inside will cook at a steady pace (it will still take longer than a traditional stove though).
Another way that we celebrate is maybe a bonfire or a barbecue. One idea is maybe have a luau and invite your friends and neighbors to enjoy and celebrate the earth's bounty. On the same Sunday early in mid-August, my maternal grandmother's family gather for a family picnic. Her older brothers began this tradition over forty years ago and their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even a few great-great grandchildren continue now that they have long since passed. They were and are farmers so this gathering on the farm features fresh early corn, fresh milk, lots of good foods brought to this potluck gathering and generations of family sharing stories and catching up with people they have not seen in a year or more. I find this a wonderful way to celebrate Lunasda, even if it's nearly two weeks later. I have met many folks online who opt to pass on the traditional dates of celebrations and instead wait until it feels right to them.
By August my gardens are finally starting to reward us with good things to eat. Our feast usually consist of whatever is ready to harvest and with it a good, whole grain bread, herby focaccia or fougasse. The spiraled herb bread I made at Midsummer is far better by Lunasda as our herbs are huge and plentiful. These hazy, lazy days are short lived, especially since school systems are bringing children back to school earlier each year. We enjoy lazing about watching hundreds of dragonflies buzz about and in the evenings fireflies wink at us. Now as the wheel of the seasons turn it is time to start gathering and preparing while. We try to enjoy these last few weeks of warm weather, Lunasda is our adieu to the burgeoning, fertile greenness as the world takes on a yellowish, orangy hue.
Activites: Baking Bread, weaving wheat, making corn dollies, make Indian Corn Necklaces or a Corn Man Wheel. Craft ideas here.
Incense: Frankincense. Marigold, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood and Sunflower
Colors: Yellow, Red, Orange, Gold, Green and light Brown
Stones: Peridot, Citrine, Aventurine
Flowers, Herbs, etc: Grains, Blackberries, Heather, anything currently blooming
Foods: Breads, Grains, Corn, Berries
Decorations: Yellow, Green candles; Indian corn; All currently blooming flowers-especially Sunflowers; Grains; Corn Stalks-if you can find 'em..if not save this for Mabon.
Crafts for the wee ones
Lughnassadh Sabbat Incense
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Myrrh
1 part Rosemary
1 part Cedar
1 part Juniper
Burn during Lughnassadh
2c.(500ml) dried yellow rose petals
1c.(250ml) dried marigolds
1c.(250ml) dried hops
1c.(250ml) dried chamomile flowers
1Tb orris root
4 drops rose oil
4 drops bergamot oil
Mix and seal into a jar. Shake daily for 2 weeks to blend well