Wait. She’s Hellenic, like, she honors the Greek gods, and she’s going to celebrate an Irish holiday? psh. I knew she was messed up.
Alright, let me explain, alright?
Yeah, I’m sure there’s a few reconstructionists laughing at me right now.
What many people don’t seem to know, is that the Greeks, as they moved out of their country, as they colonized other areas, they celebrated the holidays that best fit the land. They believed in honoring the spirits of the land, so they celebrated the seasons of the places they were in, not necessarily what season it was back in Greece. Occasionally, they even introduced foreign gods to the folks back home, and their gods to the people in their new home.
Here in Michigan, I’m surrounded by my Irish family, and our seasons link up well to the Irish Celtic seasons. Anyone from Michigan will agree that as soon as August hits, so do the county fairs and festivals. Harvest season is here. And we can easily expect a snowfall by the beginning of November. So using the Irish seasons, which states harvest and autumn begin on Lughnasadh and end on Samhain, link well to the land I’m in. Also, it’s easy to incorporate the Greeks into this festival. It’s easy to see Apollo in place of Lugh, in fact the Romans considered them essentially the same being! By baking bread and harvesting herbs and vegetables, I honor the land I’m in. The baking of bread also honors Demeter, so I make sure to leave some as an offering after my rites. And I incorporate pomegranates to honor Persephone and her descent to the Underworld.
Okay, okay, I hear the person in the back freaking out. Didn’t she say she also is a Christopagan? And what about all the Egyptian deities she talks about? Isn’t Sekhmet her patroness or something like that?
Alright, calm down. First of all, the Christianity adopted Lughnasadh or Lammas in other Celtic countries and Christianized it. Lammas comes from “Loaf-mass”. Mass. Do you see the connection here? Regardless, Christians worldwide celebrate their harvests and see them as gift of God. But for the most part, Christianity doesn’t really play into my celebration of Lughnasadh at all. The evolving Christian aspect of my path is usually separates completely from the pagan, except where it parallels completely, like Christmas.
Is Sekhmet my patron goddess? Yeah, she is. And so are Ma’at and Bastet now to a lesser extent. As for the rest of the pantheon, well, that completely plays into the Christopagan aspect. In the version of the Kemetic myths I believe, Aset, Wasir, and all the rest incarnated on earth. They were more or less mortal in their incarnated bodies, and as Wasir points out, were quite killable. This will sound odd, but I kinda believe that Mary and Jesus were like second incarnations of Aset and her son Heru. So they also don’t really play much into Lughnasadh. Though I do honor Mary/Aset on the 15th, as it’s the Assumption of Mary. But tomorrow does offer a slight taste of Samhain spirit as it’s the Egyptian Festival of the Dead. But I won’t be doing anything major to acknowledge that. Just a simple prayer for my ancestors and loved ones that have passed on. The major Kemetic holidays I acknowledge aren’t for a few weeks yet.
Anywho, back to Lughnasadh!!
Like I said, for me it’s a very domestic holiday. I’m celebrating it a few days late due to interferences from my job, but for me the date is almost unimportant. For me, Lughnasadh actually lasts until my local county fair ends on the 25th.
For me it signifies that it’s time to start preparing for winter. Even if it still seems far off, it’ll be knocking on my door in about two and a half months, and there’s some things it’s best to take care of while you know there’s no risk of getting snowed in.. It’s time to pick and dry the herbs before the first frost hits sometime in September. It’s time to take inventory on all the canned goods, see what needs to be mended see what clothes I need to buy before the cold weather hits, make the candles and soap, etc. It also reminds me that I need to take advantage of the last days of warm weather! I need to get my butt out in the pool before it’s drained the monday after memorial day. I need to go on picnics at the park. Go to the beach.
It’s also a reminder that lazy summer days are coming to an end, and so is my summer job. The kids go back to school on September 3rd, and won’t need a nanny until their next school vacation around Christmas. It reminds me that I only have a few weeks after that and I’m back in school myself. So I have a lot of things to get in order before that. I have to get my winter clothes out of storage, and put my summer clothes away. Find that other snow boot I haven’t seen since April. Those kinds of things. Because once I get back in school, I’ll be juggling homework and classes, a part time job, and mandatory volunteer hours at some random school. I’ll be busier than ever!
So tomorrow I’ll wake up and bake some bread and biscuits, and if my family is lucky, I’ll make some cinnamon rolls. I’ll do a ton of dishes, while I burn a candle for Hestia. I started burning a candle to her while I do housework about a month ago. It just feels right. Then I clean up by taking a purifying bath, and go do my ritual outside so I can burn as much incense as I like. Then I’ll do a little harvesting of my herbs. Check on the tomatoes, which is one of the only things that made it through the combined heat spell and drought we experienced. Then I get to come in and go through the cupboards. Then I’ll be making something nice and seasonal for my family for dinner. Then I get to decide between taking inventory of mending, my “witch’s cabinet”, and all that good stuff, and relaxing. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be doing laundry.
It’s honestly funny to think I do so much work on and around Lughnasadh when for all other holidays I have a strict no chores rule.
This is the start of my very favorite season and I couldn't be happier!