Lammas

Overview

Celebrate the Fruits of the First Harvest

Once a prominent Celtic festival known as Lughnasa (from the Gaelic násad, games or assembly, of Lugh, a Celtic deity and hero), Lammas is a joyful celebration of the first harvest. In an age when crops can be imported all year round, we tend to forget just how important this time was to our ancestors-the failure of the harvest meant starvation and death. Early August was a time to celebrate the fruits ...

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Overview

Celebrate the Fruits of the First Harvest

Once a prominent Celtic festival known as Lughnasa (from the Gaelic násad, games or assembly, of Lugh, a Celtic deity and hero), Lammas is a joyful celebration of the first harvest. In an age when crops can be imported all year round, we tend to forget just how important this time was to our ancestors-the failure of the harvest meant starvation and death. Early August was a time to celebrate the fruits of the first harvest and work positive magic for prosperity and protection.

Explore the origins, customs, and lore of Lughnasa and learn about similar festivals around the world, including Celtic, Norse, Roman, Egyptian, Russian, English, and Native American celebrations. Lammas includes a host of ideas for celebrating the bounty of the earth:

• Prepare mouth-watering recipes for seasonal food, wine, and incense

• Perform Lughnasa spells, songs, games, and rituals, including a traditional Witch ritual never before published

• Make traditional crafts including corn dollies, sacred masks, totem shields, and more

Compared to well-known Celtic holidays such as May Day (Beltane) and Halloween (Samhain), few people are familiar with the lore of Lughnasa. Even modern Wiccan books rarely devote more than a few pages to the Lammas celebration. Whether you're just starting on the path or are an experienced Witch looking for a new perspective on this ancient festival, you'll find that Lammas is a cornucopia of history, folklore, recipes, spells, and rituals.

Lughnasa survived the rise of Christianity by becoming Lammas (from the Anglo-Saxon hlaef-mass, meaning loaf-mass). Lammas marks the first harvest when the first grain is gathered, ground, and baked into a bread known as the Lammas loaf, a practice still popular in many parts of the British Isles. The following spells excerpted from Lammas offer ways for the modern kitchen witch to make magic.

LAMMAS BREAD WISH SPELL

Make a loaf of bread at Lammas and before you put the loaf into the oven, dip a paintbrush in milk and write on the crust what you most desire. Bake the bread, then eat it while still warm.

LAMMAS BREAD PROTECTION SPELL

A book of Anglo-Saxon charms advised the crumbling of the Lammas loaf into four pieces and the burying of them in the four corners of the barn to make it safe for all the grain that would be stored there. You can use this old spellcraft in a protection spell for your home.

Bake a Lammas loaf, and when it is cool break it into four pieces-don't cut it with a knife-and take one to each corner of your property with the words:

I call on the spirits

Of north, and south, east and west

Protect this place

Now, at the time of the Blessing.

Leave the bread for the birds to eat or bury the pieces.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This volume attempts to retrieve and revivify the ancient traditions surrounding the early fall festival of Lammas, or, as the authors assure us it is better called, Lughnasa. While a certain degree of whimsy, fancy, and wish-fulfillment play a part in their teachings on divination from ashes, color symbolism, and the like, the authors write engagingly. This book should give pleasure and welcome advice to those interested in pre- and extra-Christian ritual practice. For larger collections or where interest in neo-paganism is strong. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738700946
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Series: Holiday Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.58 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Franklin [England] has been a witch for 30 years, and a Pagan in her heart for all her life. She has conducted many rituals, handfastings and sabbat rites. She is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, a coven of the Coranieid Clan, a group of traditional witches with their roots in the New Forest, and branches in several parts of the UK. The Hearth publishes the long running Silver Wheel Magazine, runs teaching circles and postal courses as well as a working coven. Anna Franklin is the author of eighteen books on the Craft including the popular Sacred Circle Tarot, Midsummer, Lammas [with Paul Mason], and The Fairy Ring.

Paul Mason is an English Pagan artist, photographer, and illustrator best known for his stunning photomontage images and book jacket designs. He has worked previously with Franklin as illustrator of "The Sacred Circle Tarot" and co-author of Lammas. Mason lives in the English Midlands.

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