Lammas for Beginners

June 09, 2019

In between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox, Wiccans celebrate the Sabbat of Lammas, or Lughnasadh.

Lammas marks the start of the Harvest season, as it’s when the first grains will start to be harvestable, and fruits are just reaching their perfect ripeness and dropping off trees left right and centre.

At Litha, we realised that the Sun God’s power is starting to wane, and some ancient Pagans believed that He infused the grain with his power, and that when we harvested the grain, we were metaphorically sacrificing Him to keep ourselves fed. The main thing people often think of when they hear the word ‘Pagan’ is worshipping the earth, and I have a funky feeling that that sort of idea came directly from the respect that Pagans must have shown their crops if they believed they had been infused by their God.

In Pagan and Wiccan tradition, the first grain harvest of the year is used to bake a loaf of bread, which historically was taken to a Church to be blessed. Christians and Pagans historically cohabited quite well, and the word ‘Lammas’ is actually taken from this tradition; broken down, it means ‘loaf mass’.

As with every cultures’ harvest festival, the best way to celebrate Lammas is with a feast. Wiccans will decorate their homes with the colours of the season: rich yellows, oranges, and browns. They might also add harvest imagery such as scythes and baskets (please note, a drawing of a scythe would suffice, there’s no need to go hanging blades all over your dining room). Then they’ll serve up some bread, late summer vegetables, bread, seasonal fruits, bread, grain-based dishes, bread…

Many Wiccans also make corn dollies to decorate their altars or to use in spells if that Wiccan identifies as a Witch. If I had some corn I’d show you how easy they are to make, but there are tutorials available online if you’re interested.

On a spiritual level, Lammas is all about productivity and gratitude: we’ve got to work hard to get the harvest in, but we also are extremely grateful for everything that we have been provided with this year, and in the years to come. By respecting and being grateful for the food, shelter, and clothing we’ve been given, we are already celebrating Lammas in the best possible way!

Have a lovely day, and goodbye!

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