Archive for July, 2012
The Celtic Wheel ~ Lughnasadh
Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAH-sa) is named for the Celtic God Lugh, King of the Tuatha de Danann, whose phallus of light pierces the Mother Earth bringing forth the fruits of that union.
This is the time of First Fruits. Historically, the first sheath of grain harvested was blessed and buried at a height on a hill or mountain. In some areas, and over time, this was baked on a fire of protective Rowan, protection being invoked for this year’s harvest and for the next year’s seeds by walking sunwise around the fire and/or home and fields (the core of the customs continued through the ages, even as they varied widely by location and time as well as prevailing beliefs in that they were syncretized into the rituals of Christian Ireland and Britain).
Around this time – from the Summer Solstice to Lughnasadh at the many Pattern festivals – the water source of each township is ritually blessed in gratitude. For an example, people gather at Brigid’s Well in County Clare on August Eve (July 31st or for Christians the nearest Saturday night) and spend the night. In the morning rather than going to Church, the gathered will pray and perform ancient rituals, whether the elaborately orchestrated Christian rituals with set prayers while walking sunwise around the various spots at the water source, or the redreamed Pagan Celtic based rituals.
Just as Lughnasadh is thought to signify the marriage of the Sun Lugh to the Earth Mother, in times past it was a time when handfast marriages were arranged and commited ritually between a couple willing to commit to a year together. At the end of the year, if compatibile, the commitment could be made more permanent. If, however, it was thought by the couple that it was best to separate, there was no shame either for them or for any child coming of the union.
A time of feasting, of games, of fun.
A time to climb to higher ground.
A time to bless the water sources.
A time to make a commitment for the coming year.
This August Eve, harvest some fruits and vegetables. Create a delicious meal to share with others with joyful playing and dancing. Share the harvest with close friends and strangers – with those who have and those who are hungry.
As you harvest, so shall you harvest next year.
Harvest the seeds for your next year’s reaping, whether seeds from plants to be sown in the spring, or the seeds of your relationships and your imaginings to be cared for and brought to fruition over time.
Remember the waters, take time to visit your water personal and communal water source and your wild waterways. Hold a water ritual and bless the waters, and all the waters. For the waters of all time and space are one. This is made clear in the oft quoted statement that we drink Cleopatra’s bathwater. Feel the waters on your fingers and lips knowing that all beings past present and future have held these same waters within and without. Commit to ensuring that the waters of one are available for all, and remember the many areas with little or no waters, and those with too much waters.
Climb a mountain, or the highest area nearby. Climb the mountains of your mind and take in the higher perspective of where you have been in your existence and where you are headed such that, through adjustments in direction, right action will grow through the coming year to fruition.
Make a commitment for the coming year to another person, to a principle, to a task or practice. Give to this with your whole beingness, and commit that in a year you will reevaluate the wisdom of this commitment by it’s fruits, making your choice whether to continue this commitment according to your best understanding of the higher good of all.
The wheel is turning,
Happy Lughnasadh All,