It really annoys me when writers, usually wiccan, assume that all modern pagans follow the wiccan wheel of the year and traditions.
For me Lughnasadh is very much a domestic holiday.
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!
Welcome to July!
While my favorite sabbats are honestly Mabon and Samhain, the Summer Solstice has always been important to me. For me it is a time or rebirth and rededication. Of cleansing the soul and getting rid of the old, the bane, and the no longer needed. I have preformed the same ritual every year for the past 5 years, and I have rededicated myself on the solstice for the past 7. My ritual is a combination of the ritual given in the BOS at the back of Cunningham's Solitary Wicca and the ritual given by DJ Conway in Celtic Magic. Considering that it was written by other people, it sounds kinda lame. But it's one of the most powerful and meaningful rituals I perform. Conways's rite comes first, and it's a rededication to the gods. Cunningham's comes second. For that you prepare a small cloth pouch the night before. It has to be hand sewn because you poor out all your illness, negative feelings and experiences, etc from the entire year into each and every stitch. You then fill it with herbs associated with the solstice. During the rite you ask the sun to purify you and then you burn the pouch and visualize all your banes burning away. You honestly walk away feeling like a new person. Lighter. Freer.
This year I stepped it up a bit. I started my cleansing a few days before with fasting and a detox. Immediately before the rite I took a ritual shower and imagined that all my banes were washing down the drain. I used a peppermint and rosemary body wash because they are purifying herbs. I dressed in an cotton robe/dress given to me by my Uncle from his homeland, Ghana. It's purple and hand embroidered and despite it's origins, I can't help but think of the Celts whenever I wear it. My ritual took place outside with me barefoot. I wanted to FEEL the earth. I set up my altar underneath a large maple tree that I've worked magick with since childhood. I called the quarters, and began my rite. The wind was pesky. But the candles remained lit exactly as long as I needed them. Once that part of the ritual was over, they were immediately out. And though it had been cloudy all day, the sun seemed to come out just for my purification. After the ritual I felt clean inside and out, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Immediately following my ritual it began to downpour and it was amazing. It was as if the universe itself was washing away my pain, my fears, my guilt.
Welcome to June!
-Gay Pride Month
-National Adopt a Cat Month
-National fresh fruit and vegetables month
-Hug your cat day
-Full Moon (strong sun moon)
-Lunar eclipse 7:03 am (EDT)
-World Environment Day
-Anastasia Romanov’s Birthday
-Sacred to Domna (Irish Goddess of Sacred Stones)
-National gardening as exercise day
Love a tree day
Wear purple for peace day
The netjerts fest in their temples
George Boleyn, Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris, and others beheaded, 1536
International Museum Day
Queen Anne Boleyn beheaded, 1536
Anne Boleyn Day
Pick Strawberries Day
Sacred to Athena
Solar eclipse 7:23 pm (EDT)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.