Celtic Rituals: Lughnasadh - The First Harvest
Although in recent tradition, Lughnasadh or Lammas is celebrated on or near August 1st, astrologically it is marked by 15 degrees Leo. Some years it has fallen on August 8th, representing the 1/2 way point between the Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox. Traditionally this Celtic ritual celebration was at sundown on July 31st.
Working with the rhythms of nature, this is a very good time to initiate closure on areas of life which are winding down. Whether a project has been successful or not, this will be the time to bring about its ending, if that's what needs to happen. This will help to clear the decks for your new good to enter your life. Additionally, this is a fine time to release whatever negative influences may surround you.
The next part of this ritual is about the idea of plenty, honoring the Wheel of Fortune tarot card which has as one of its corners, the Lion, and the sign of Leo that we're now in. Prosperity and abundance are the experience of a successful harvest, and we are looking forward to more.
Fruits and vegetables of the season are recommended, especially those of a sunny color, e.g., corn, apricots, yellow tomatoes, etc. Also, grains are part of the Lammas tradition, and you may use corn meal, wheat, or simply have your loaf of bread for your altar. Cornbread or something special from your local bakery will be fine.
You may wish to prepare a corn dolly, and to use corn meal to outline the perimeter of your circle. A yellow altar cloth is suggested and incenses you may wish to use are Aloes, rose and sandalwood, in keeping with the season. A yellow candle for the altar is recommended. A variety of coins and bills of different denominations may be gathered as well.
Cast your circle in the usual way, making certain to ground and center yourself within it.
The basic ritual follows. There are both releasing and prosperity affirmations for each sign that are listed below the ritual. If you know your rising sign, you may affirm that as well. Celebrate the end of the ritual with your bread, fruits and drink.
Glorious Lord of the Sun
Teach me the acceptance of your seasons
Aid me in releasing what is no longer for my highest good.
Help me to bring to completion that which needs to be over in my life.
I sacrifice the old in order to make room for the new.
(Light your corn dolly, and recite the releasing affirmation for your sign)
Beautiful Goddess of the Moon
Sensitive reflection of my soul
Show me the true wealth that lies within me.
Open me to the overflowing abundance that is rightfully mine.
(Take a bite of your bread and recite the prosperity affirmation for your sign.)
I give thanks oh mighty Goddess and God
My prayers are answered.
I go in joy and fulfillment.
Affirmations for Each Sign:
Aries - Releasing Affirmation:
I let go of the false images of the past which have held me enthralled. Meaningless ego is left behind me, and deep, personal authenticity is all that is here now.
I am fulfilled and secure, knowing that I am perfectly protected at all times. My good is here with me, now fully revealed.
Taurus - Releasing Affirmation:
No longer am I held down by the opinions of others, no longer can outside authority determine my beliefs.
New vistas are open to me now, and I expand my world with courage and determination. More comes to me as I easily give more to my world.
Gemini - Releasing Affirmation:
Deeply held habit patterns, fixations and obsessions no longer have any hold over me. I am free.
I successfully provide for myself in every way. I have control over my own resources.
Cancer - Releasing Affirmation:
I no longer base my life on who I can please. I release the need for approval, thus no longer giving up my power to others.
I accept the wholeness that is me, mind, body and spirit. I know that within me is the potential for anything I could ever need or want.
Leo - Releasing Affirmation:
False pride and overweening ego no longer exist to keep me from my good.
I am inspired to create in abundance and joy. Nothing can stop me!
Virgo - Releasing Affirmation:
Letting go of the obsession for meaningless details, I open my eyes to the perfection of life.
I accept the bounty of existence, understanding that it is for me and entrusted to me.
Libra - Releasing Affirmation:
No longer is the pain of discord part of my life. Harmony naturally follows in all that I do and say.
I am prospered through all of my connections in the world. I know that only good can come to me.
Scorpio - Releasing Affirmation:
There no longer is a need for opposition anywhere in my psyche. I put all of that aside.
My expectations are fulfilled, my plans have succeeded. I am complete.
Sagittarius - Releasing Affirmation:
I release any attachment to false ego and repressed feelings. My heart is open and welcoming.
I now connect with the abundance that has always been right where I am, but which I have rarely seen. I know now that it is mine.
Capricorn - Releasing Affirmation:
Behavior patterns which no longer serve me and that actually are holding me back are released from my life. I connect with reality as it is.
As I open myself to a clear perception of life in present time, the prosperity I have missed now rushes in to me.
Aquarius - Releasing Affirmation:
Previously hidden fears and over-cautiousness now rise up and disappear forever. These unseen enemies no longer haunt my life.
My joy in service and creative functioning brings me the opportunities I have desired. My choices are infinite.
Pisces - Releasing Affirmation:
The old and tired visions that no longer serve me are allowed to leave my consciousness now.
I see my world and my inner worlds in a whole new light. Creativity and joy are mine to express abundantly.
I hope you have fun celebrating this wonderful Pagan Ritual from the Celts. Wiccan and Pagan Rituals are growing in popularity as more and more individuals wish to connect with their ancestoral roots.