Lughnasadh Rituals for your Sabbat celebration

LUGHNASADH RITUAL: Freshen Up Your Sabbat Harvest Ritual With Some New Ideas

Lughnasasdh also known as Lammas is the major harvest festival of the summer. All the delicious fruit and vegetables have ripened and its time to celebrate and feast with our loved ones. Though we do recognize the eight Sabbat festivals of the Wheel of the Year, throughout the history of paganism, was not the same as the celebrations held by the pre-Christian cultures. It wasn’t until Gerald Gardner (the Godfather of Wicca) in the 1950’s, brought together and organized a variety of traditions, cultural beliefs and other pagan practices such as folk magick and shamanic disciplines into what we now refer to as Wicca. This Wiccan ritual year, with all the eight Sabbats is followed by Wiccans, Witches and Pagans alike. Now is the time we celebrate the Sabbat, Lughnasah. Lets take a look at how you can incorporate a ritual into your day to make it more special and memorable.

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NOTE: Not all Pagans will celebrate every Sabbat, some only observe half or are more selective based on their own personal belief system and traditions.

LUGHNASADH RITUALS – HOW YOU CAN CELEBRATE THIS SABBAT

This wonderful summer Sabbat is pronounced like this: LOO-nah-sah. This is the first of three harvest celebrations in the Wheel of Life. We are in a season of harvest, creation, union and sacrifice. We need to focus on the blessing we have received and the preparation for the winter months. It is a perfect time to create and express our gratitude to the life energies and blessings that we receive from the precious Earth and the Universe. You can do this through your ritual traditions alone, in a coven or with family and friends.

In Celtic lore it was not Lugh who was honored originally, it was Tailtiu, Lugh’s divine foster-mother who was honored at Lughnasadh. She was honored for her labor and sacrifice in preparing the fields in Ireland for farming.

Rituals that focus on being thankful for the rewards of life and to increase protection of all things that live on this Earth are the ones to focus on at this time. Now is when you can sync yourself with the energies that are all around us; it is a time to connect with all the spirits of the Earth.

NOTE: Rituals are different from spells. Rituals are usually more in depth/complex with their effects lasting longer than spells. You could say that a ritual is direct communication/contact with higher spiritual entities. However, spells can be used within a ritual, or not, its up to you.

Conducting a ritual is a very spiritual act. It is an art form that is very thought through.The value of the ritual comes from the actual experience of “doing” the ritual as opposed to doing spell work, where you are primarily focused on the magickal outcome of the spell.

LUGHNASADH RITUAL IDEAS FOR YOU TO EMBRACE

The following rituals are for a solitary practitioner however, the ritual can be adapted to accommodate two people or a group. You can also personalize this ritual with your own special adjustments or additions to make it your own and help you connect with the the Goddess, earth, energies and spirits that you seek to communicate with during this special Sabbat.

Solitary Ritual for Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is a fantastic time to honor the goddess energy that is at work in your own life. This ritual will allow you to give thanks and reconnect to the goddess qualities of inspiration, beauty, and compassion. This ritual is a day-long and will begin first thing in the morning. By doing this ritual you will allow yourself to get into the seasons power flow and really connect with the goddess energies.

What you need:

  • 1 apple
  • Your athame (or a small blade)

Pre-Ritual Prep:

  • Have a purifying ritual shower or bath before you begin the ritual to wash away negative/stale energies and to bring a balanced and refreshed mindset.
  • Dress in something comfortable that will help you tune into the goddess energies for example: choose silver, white, red or black clothing, or moon or goddess symbolism on jewelry.
  • Make sure your altar and sacred space is ready
  • Decide upon the activities that you want to do before you start the ritual

The Ritual:

  1. Take hold of the apple in both hands and ask the goddess energies to enter the apple (you will be carrying the apple with you all day).
  2. Think of the goddess energies in whatever way you personally devise (you may call on a specific goddess by name, or think about femininity in general)
  3. Think about how you and the Goddess spend the day. What activities you will do to engage in with the various goddess energies (beauty, compassion, inspiration, tenacity) – which ever activities you choose, make sure you place the apple in your pocket/bag before you begin.

Activity suggestions:

  • Wear something that makes you feel attractive, think of beautiful people and radiate this as a golden light that is coming into you through your chest, flowing up and out of your magickally enhanced, beautiful face. Envision your beauty radiating outwards enchanting everyone who you cross paths with gifting them with feelings of confidence and joy.
  • Do something nice for someone. Make sure this comes from the heart.
  • Be inspired by going somewhere that really invigorates you (the beach, the woods, a park, a friends house etc.) doing something you like that gives you that “good feeling” that sparks your creative energy to go out and inspire others with your words, or actions, or both!
  • Do some real work. Something that will take great effort and determination. Do something for someone else’s benefit only like picking up trash in your community, or helping someone in need etc.

4. At the end of your day, find somewhere comfortable, relaxing and quiet to sit, take out your apple and hold it in your hands. As you begin to rest, focus on bringing your breathing down, slower. Close your eyes and think/reflect on the days activities that you shared with the Goddess. Do this until you feel re-energized and ready to complete your ritual.

5. Go to your altar or ritual space – you can cast a magick circle if this is something you prefer to do – the goddess energies are already in the apple, now is the time to invite any other deities/spirits to join you and formally welcome them when they join.

6. Bring your focused attention on the apple which is on your altar by placing your hands on the apple and addressing the Goddess with the following verse (or your own words if you prefer):

Great Goddess, Great Mother of the Earth, Great Lady,

Great Goddess of compassion,

Great tenacious Mother of Inspiration.

Great Lady of Beauty!

Today we walked together,

Thank you! almighty Goddess, for all the revelations that I received today.

7. Sit down and reflect on your thoughts and emotions. Write in your Book of Shadows (BoS) or journal about anything you learned from the ritual. Ask the Goddess if She has any new insights to share.

8. Next, take your athame and cut the apple in half (horizontally) so you can see the core of the apple. Look carefully at the seed formation, how it looks like a star. Gaze at this spot. Let your eyes relax, begin to gain awareness of what you are seeing within you. Notice images in your mind’s eye. Pay attention!

9. Reflect on the visions you received making notes in your BoS or journal. Say your final thank you and dismiss the energies present in the circle and cut the circle (only if you cast one)

10. Eat the apple altar-side to complete your ritual.

NOTE: Leave any remaining parts of the apple outside for the animals and birds to feed on.

A QUICK LUGHNASADH RITUAL FOR THOSE WHO ARE SHORT OF TIME

If you some how find yourself short of time on Lughnasadh, don’t worry, I have just the ritual for you. You can do this in a matter of minutes and, it will really help you center yourself and re-focus on the deeper meanings of Lunghnasadh. The purpose of this lovely, simple ritual is to deeply express your gratitude for all the blessings you have received and for further blessings you want to attract alongside good fortune for the rest of the year. This is to be done outside so, take a deep breath, head outside, and let’s begin!

What you will need:

  • Bread
  • Glass of water
  • Compass (optional)

Pre-Ritual Prep:

  • Vigorously shake your body, every part, to release any stress & to allow you to enter a magickal mindset
  • Determine where North, South, East & West directions are using your compass (if you have one)

The Ritual:

  1. Outside, stand tall holding the glass of water and bread in your hands
  2. Think about how it feels to be hungry and thirsty
  3. Think about how that bread and water can mean so much when you are in such need.
  4. Think of all the blessings in your life (food, water, a home, people you love, security, companionship, clean air, sunshine, nature etc.)
  5. Break the bread into four pieces, place a piece in each direction moving clockwise: North, East, South, West doing the following for each direction:
  6. In the north quadrant, express thanks for the good things in your life associated with the earth element: material wealth, manifestation, security, stability, food, the harvest, soil & crops, all green vegetation.
  7. In the east quadrant, express thanks for the blessings you have received in your life associated with the air element: intelligence, conscious action, breath, thought, fluidity, change, movement, atmosphere.
  8. In the south quadrant, express thanks for any good fortune you’ve had in your life associated with the fire element: illumination, transformation, the sun, light, energy, cleansing destruction.
  9. In the west quadrant, express thanks for the blessings you received in your life associated with the water element: emotion, life, love, creation, creativity.
  10. Finish your ritual by turning clockwise around the circle one more time, slowly pouring a circle of water from the glass, at the same time say the following chant as long as it takes to make a full rotation around the circle (keep a little sip of water in the cup):

I give my thanks to the powers that be

To these powers,

Connect the powers of me

This we will it, so mote it be!

11. Drink the last sip of water to finish your Lughnasadh ritual!

CONCLUSION:

To celebrate Lughnasadh you just need to take some time to focus on these key words: gratitude, blessings, harvest, reflection, life & death, sacrifice, discernment and introspection. Think about what these mean to you and how you can express it on this day. For all your magickal workings Lughnasadh is a fantastic time for spell work that focuses on: prosperity, strength, abundance, protection, growth, honoring ancestors, making offerings, communication with spirits and personal transformation. It is also a great time to go and visit any local magickal or sacred places that are local or even far (road trip anyone?) to see what magickal things you can find to add to your altar, toolbox or for future spell work.

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