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Lughnasadh (pronounced 'loo-nus-uh) means the commemoration of Lugh. Lughnasadh August 1, marks the beginning of the grain harvest.
Lughnasadh also known as Lammas and August Eve is the first Festival of Harvest.
It was orginally celebrated by the ancient Druids as Lughnasadh to pay homage to Lugh, the Celtic sun god. In other pre-Christian Pagan cultures, Lammas was celebrated as a festival of bread and as a day to honor the death of the Sacred King.
On Lammas, homemade breads and berry pies are traditionally baked and eaten in honor of the harvest.
The making of corn dollies (small figures fashioned from braided straw) is another old Lammas custom. The corn dollies (or kin babies, as they are sometimes called) are placed on the Sabbat altar to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the harvest. it is customary on Lammas to make (or buy) a new corn dolly and then burn the old one from the past year for good luck. (Wicca, Candle, Magick Gerina Dunwich)
Lughnasadh marks the last heyday of the Sun God. Beneath the Barley Moon and Summer stars we, too, enjoy the expiring passion of the season. Robert Burns tells us, it is "happy night" that he spends in the cornfields with his love. (Celebrate the Earth - A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition Laurie Cabot with Jean Mills)
Throughout Britain ans Ireland, Christianity notwithstanding, the may Eve greenwood love making which so shocked the Puritans found its cheerful echo not only among the bilberries but in the Lammas (Lughnasadh) cornfields; on which the theme, if you like songs at your Sabbats, Robert Burns's It was upon Lammas Night- ( The Witches Bible)
Robert Burns It was Upon a Lammas Night
It was upon a Lammas night,
When the corn rigs are bonie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
I held awa to Annie,
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed,
Till 'tween the late and early,
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed,
To see me thro' the barley.
The sky was blue, the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly,
I set her down, wi' right good will,
Amang the rigs o' barley
I ken't her heart was a' my ain,
I lov'd her most sincerely,
I kiss'd her owre and owre again,
Amang the rigs o' barley
I I loc'd her in my fond embrace,
Her heart was beating rarely,
My blessings on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o' barley!
But by that moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She ay shall bless that happy night,
Amang the rigs o' barley.
I hae been blythe wi' Comrades dear,
I hae been merry drinking,
I hae been joufu' gath'rin gear,
I hae been happy thinking
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw,
Tho' three times doubl'd fairly,
That happy night was worth the a'
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs an' barley rigs,
An' corn rigs are bonie,
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi' Annie.
Nit-picky Virgo is not necessarily the first sign that comes to mind as bringing relief. But after the emotional upheavals of August, you'll welcome September's steady Virgo influence with open arms!
At the start of September, the Sun and Venus will be in Virgo, giving you an on-the-go spirit and an eagle eye for detail. On September 3, when the Sun meets up with Jupiter, you'll get an extra morale boost, and maybe even some good financial news. Then, Virgo's influence will get kicked up another notch when its ruler, chatty Mercury, moves in on September 9.
Later, on September 11, fiery Mars will send a friendly wink to Venus, upping your passion and enthusiasm. The next day, on the 12th, the full Moon in Pisces will present you with a dilemma, but Mercury and Pluto will also meet that day, giving you the means to find a solution.
The 15th will mark the start of the shift from Virgo to social, tactful Libra as Venus moves into the sign. Libra is ruled by charming Venus, and Venus here will put you in a calmer, more cooperative and romantic mood. September 17 and 19 may be problematic, though, as disruptive Uranus and intense Pluto take turns facing down Venus.
September 19 will also see rambunctious Mars move out of sensitive Cancer and into flamboyant Leo. The surge of confidence this brings will border on arrogance. Fortunately, you'll be justified in tooting your own horn a bit when Mars and innovative Uranus partner up on the 23rd and the brilliant ideas practically pour out of you.
The final shift to Libra will occur on September 23 and 25 as first the Sun and then Mercury move into the sign. The atmosphere will become fair and just, as everyone seeks balance in their lives. Uranus will immediately try to unsettle this balance by shaking up the Sun on the 26th and then Mercury on the 27th, but if you keep your wits about you, you'll find some amazing opportunities open up before you!
Now that you know how the planets will affect everyone on a cosmic level, find out what their movements mean for you personally! Your personalized September Forecast by renowned astrologer Art Poppe will look at every transit affecting you for the entire month (including many not listed above!). You'll learn what's to come and how you can turn the motions of the planets into unique opportunities to improve your life and your future! Discover what September has in store for you
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Autumn Equinox, Mabon, is the first of the dark sabbats and second of the grain harvest. The sun is changing, the days become shorter and the nights longer.
We honor Mother Earth who has sacrificed the fruits of her labour so we can survive. Her seeds will be born once again at Beltane, after a long winter's rest.
During harvest, Mother Earth offers up all she bore at Midsummer. We take her bountiful gifts which leaves the land barren, until another turn of the seasonal wheel when she blooms with new life once.
Autumn is the time when nature bursts into all sorts of warm and wonderful colors. Gather an assortment of squash, buttercup, calabza, delicate hubbard, and kabocha. Arrange in a basket on a bed of straw wheat, barley, Indian corn, and a few dried autumn leaves and the squash to decorate the base of your altar. Scatter orange, gold, red, russet, copper leaves on the surface. Add a few acorns and pine cones A green pillar candle on the left to represent the bountiful harvest and a brown pillar candle on the right to represent the barren land after the harvest.
Your ritual should reflect on what fell out of balance, and how to right that balance.
The Autumn Equinox occurs as the Sun enters Libra on the 22nd. It's time to look back on the year thus far and express appreciation to the people you love and gratitude to the "powers that be" for the blessings in your life.
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE SUN AND MOON,
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE DAYLIGHT MOMENTS,
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE SUNSET HOUR,
I'M THANK FL FOR THE STARS,
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE AIR,
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE RIPEN GRAIN,
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE GOLD AND RED APPLES,
I'M THANKFUL FOR MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
I'M THANKFUL FOR MY NIEGHBORS,
I'M THANKFUL FOR THE HAPPINESS AROUND ME,
I'M THANKFUL FOR DIVINE INSPIRATION,
I'M THANKFUL FOR ANOTHER MOMENT HERE ON EARTH.
The beginning of August heralds the first harvest, Lughnasadh. Sacred to the Celtic Sun god Lugh, the man of many skills, this is the day to enjoy the first fruits of ones labors that began at Imbloc.
As the harvest of grain and corn, arrives, we begin to think about the coming autumn and winter. Even though the warm weather is still present, the sun slowly continues to rise each day further south and the nights become longer to single first harvest.
August first, Lughnasadh marks the point in the sun's cycle to remind us of the endless loop of birth, life and death.
In the first harvest of the wheel, we honor Lugh, son of Goddess of fertility, Danu, the great father of all, Dagna. The Goddess carried the young seed throughout the winter months then gave birth on Ostara. From that day forth Lugh grew in power and strength living his life on earth to mature at this time of the seasonal wheel.
Lugh is known as both Sun God and God of Grain.
Long ago Lugh saved Ireland from his grandfather, King Balor. The Formorians, living on the northwest coast of Ireland, ruled the people with an iron fist, laying laws and taxing any bounty they wished. Their great ruler, Balor,"of Strong Blows" was a Cyclops. As his glance would destroy anything in its path, his eye was always closed, but for those times it was required, Balor would command his guides to open the eye and place an ivory ring in the center to release the deadly power.
Balor had a daughter who later was united with a great warrior Dagna of the Tautha d' Dannan. By joining her beauty and his spirit they bought forth a son, Lugh,"of the Long Hand," When Balor learnt of the birth, he took the infant and cast him into the angry Irish sea. There he was rescued and raised in secret by the people of the Tautha d' Dannan who feared revenge from the mighty King Balor, leader of the Formorians.
Lugh possessed the magic of the Tautha d' Dannan. He grew to be a man of many skills. His father, Dagna was pleased to see a man so wise with the face of a god. Then, one day, when the soldiers from Balor's kingdom came to collect the taxes the King extorted from the Tautha d' Dannan, Lugh decided to take a stand against the Formorians. In the ensuing fight, nearly all the soldiers were slain, but for nine men who were sent back to tell King Balor of their defeat. Lugh gathered warriors to prepare for the battle he knew would surely come. When Dagna heard of the war being launched, he sought to protect his son by caging him with around-the-clock guards.
No one could have for seen the blood spilled of friends and enemies side by side that continued for days. In the confusion, Lugh escaped the prison to search for his grandfather, King Balor. He soon found the mighty Cyclops and challenged him to a one-on-one battle. The King jumped from his chariot commanding his guides to open his eye. They did as they were told and just set the ivory ring in place when Lugh fired a spear straight into the King's eye, spilling blood that brought death to all it touched. Once Balor was destroyed, the Formorians did not know how to survive. They knew only the force of arms and did not possess the knowledge of working as a team in their community.
Lugh spared the life of a captured enemy leader named Bres and gained in exchanged all his agriculture secrets. The legend states that four soldiers of King Balor's army who lived, dove into the northern sea and were exiled to the small islands around Connacht region of Ireland.