On the eve of 1 August the feast of the Celtic god Lugh begins. It is a time of great natural magic for Craft folk as Mother Earth releases her bounty of the early harvests. To the ancient Celts this would have been a feat of amazing natural magic, and to us perhaps it still should be. Yes, we know the science of growing things and we have technology the Celts could never have dreamed of but the harvest is still at the mercy of nature as we cannot control the weather.
Lughnasadh is also a time of sacrifice as it represents the sacrifice of the horned god as he manifests through grain to sustain our existence therefore the reaping of the first crops signifies the god sacrifice.
I will be marking the beginning of Lughnasadh at sunset tonight, as I follow Celtic traditions and start the day at sunset rather than sunrise. I normally start with a spell of house protection and harvest luck to protect my home and bring luck to those I care about.
This spell involves a basket of vegetables taken from my garden plus a corn cob, to ensure good luck and protection, and apples, to bring feminine balance to an all-male household, at sunset I will light a brown candle and ask Lugh to bring luck and protection into my home through the basket of vegetables.
I then leave the candle burning with the vegetables nearby and tomorrow once the candle has burned out I’ll make a vegetable soup and baked apples as part of the day’s festive meal.
The harvest festivals in my mind are a time for reflecting on the life energies, plant or animal, that are given so we can sustain our own lives. It is a time of gratitude but also a time to consider how we source our food. There is an old saying – you are what you eat – and if life energy is spiritual energy how can anything that is farmed unnaturally be good for the whole being?
Brothers, Sisters I wish you all the blessings and luck of Lugh this Lughnasadh
Love and light