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It seems odd to be talking about the beginning of the harvest this year. Lockdown has been hard on us all, and the police/protester violence seems to be getting worse instead of better, so as we approach this Lammas/Lughnasadh holiday, what better way to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it this far into 2020 than to honor the Gods and Goddesses of the harvest.
August 1st is the Sabbat of Lammas or Lughnasadh, which is the first Sabbat of the year to celebrate the harvest. Mabon follows in September, and Samhain in October, but Lammas is the beginning of the harvest.
It’s the time of the year to think about our personal harvest as well. What are we harvesting in our own lives? In this age of technology, there are many ways to focus on and organize your goals. Journaling remains one of the best ways to keep track of goals to help us stay focused on what we want to manifest in our lives. It is also a season to throw away useless thoughts and habits and to form new ones to give ourselves renewed strength. Today especially, it's vitally important we let go of those useless and damaging thoughts. Reflecting on these topics alone in the privacy of your journal or your meditation and meditative activities such as working with Runes, or Tarot Cards, or sound therapies such as singing bowls, tingsha cymbals, or bells, allows you to stay in touch with yourself more easily and often helps work through those questions we have about what and how to manifest the energy we want in our lives. Below are some tips for items you can use in your rituals, and I included a small protection ritual at the end.
Corn Dollies were originally used to represent the Corn Spirit who was believed to live in the corn and would have nowhere to go once the harvest was over. There are many sets of instructions for whatever kind of corn dolly that you would like to make, Click here. Traditionally, a corn dolly was made of the last husks of the harvest and was believed to hold the spirit of the corn until the following spring. However, in their simplest form, they're made up of two corn husks that hold those things that represent the goals you want to achieve. With the coming of the combine, corn dollies fell out of favor because the husks weren't as easy to get. Today, corn dollies can be the traditionally tied corn husks or wheat straw. Types of corn dollies
Bread is the ultimate symbol of the Lammas season. After all, once the grain is harvested, it is milled and baked into bread, which is then consumed. It is the cycle of the harvest come full circle. The spirit of the grain god lives on through us in the eating of the bread. In many traditions, a loaf of special bread is baked in the shape of a man, to symbolize the god of the harvest.
You can easily make a loaf of Lammas bread by using a pre-made loaf of bread dough, found in the frozen food section in your grocery store. Certainly, you can make your own dough, but if you're not much of a baker, this is an easy alternative.
First, place the frozen bread dough on a greased cookie sheet. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil, and place it on top of the dough. Place the tray in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise for several hours until it has at least doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, cut five slits in it.
Shape the two lower sections into legs, the side sections into arms, and the top section into the head. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, at about 350 degrees, or until golden brown. After baking, remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Brush the bread man with melted butter, sprinkle with herbs if you like, and use in your Lammas ritual.
Lammas Bread Protection Spell:
For this spell, I would advise just making a plain loaf of bread rather than trying to do it with the loaf you shaped into a man; however, either will work. Originally, farmers would cut the Lammas loaf into four pieces and the burying of them in the four corners of the barn to keep the grain safe. You can use this in a protection spell for your home.
Bake a Lammas loaf, and when it is cool break it into four pieces.
Do not cut it with a knife.
Take one to each corner of your property with the words:
I call on the spirits of the watchtower of the north (east, south, west)
Protect this place, now, and for all time to come.
Leave the bread for the birds to eat.
That's it for now; see you next time!