Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Daily Goddess Awareness
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Yule and the New Year
A Celtic View of Samhain
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Witches Lost in Halloween
A Summer Solstice Primer
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Solstice of the Soul
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
The Holiday Season, The Constitution and What's REALLY Important
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
Unity During Samhain
The Sacredness of Halloween
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
A Samhain Dance
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Blood is in the Land
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Promise of the Harvest
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
The Call of the Crone
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
The Wheel of the Year: A Journey of Eight Sabbats
Back to Basics: Imbolc
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
Like Bread for Lughnasa: A Letter
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
My Yule Views
The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
Observations for a MidSummer's Eve
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
Article ID: 14077
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,980
Times Read: 9,776
RSS Views: 14,394
Posted: July 25th. 2010
Times Viewed: 9,776
Over the years, I have celebrated Lughnasadh in several ways. However, this year, while sitting in the outdoors, ever present sauna of an Oklahoma heat wave, I was gifted with the most profound meaning of the Sabbat I’ve ever experienced. If you’ve never been in an Ozark heat wave, here’s a little background on what it feels like…Hot! Sticky! Damp! And ever present! It feels as if summer will never end and you know that you are just beginning to walk into the hot months. The only hope you feel is when you try to convince yourself that the humidity will be less present in August and September. But when you look at the amazing landscape around you…for a moment, it’s all worth it! So, that’s the setting for my revelation, let’s discuss Lughnasadh!
This Sabbat is the first harvest. It is also called Lammas. The Celts call this holiday Lughnasadh in honor of Lugh, a God of that culture that held games at this time of year. Last year, I was honored to hold the community Sabbat ritual for Sacred Well Congregation and, because of the story surrounding the “Games of Lugh” we had an amazing mothers’ day ritual. Allow me to explain.
Lugh’s’ foster mother, Tailtiu, had cleared land in Ireland so that man could cultivate crops. She died shortly after her labors and Lugh admired her so much for her sacrifice that he declared that her death should be marked, not by weeping and moaning, but by celebrations of a life that was lived to its fullest and in the service of others. Hence, we have the funerary games of Lugh in honor of Tailtiu!
Now, this holiday may seem like there is no connection to our modern lives but there is one amazing connection that most people really love and get to experience in America on an annual basis. Even in the cosmopolitan area of Seattle, people look forward every year to “doing the Puyallup”! Yup, State and county fairs are the descendants of Lughnasadh. We bring the best of what we’ve raised so far in the season and show it off! We trade, network, play and admire the bounty that has been bestowed upon all of us. Pretty amazing to think that something considered to be an American tradition is actually thousands of years old!
Our ancestors celebrated this time of the year by making corn dollies or John Barleycorns. Corn husk dolls were a common sight in most households until about 75 years ago. Corn dollies are thought to bring good luck. Dig deeper back into time, and we find that they were used, in ritual, as a symbolic sacrifice of the God and the Goddess to remind us that we only have an excess at this time of year because something has died (usually the stalks from last year’s crops) and returned its bounty back to the land so that the great circle may begin again. Most of us think of corn husk dolls as a child’s toy or as a decoration but those sweet little dollies are in our midst to teach us one of the most profound lessons in life: The fullness of life will come to pass only because of hard work and sacrifice.
What does any of the above have to do with a humid evening in North East Oklahoma?
Everything! I was sitting outside on a hot summer evening about ½ hour before sunset. It was the time of night when the air was beginning to cool down from the heat of the day. I had been outside several times that day and each time, a robin, one of this year’s babies, would light on a wire and look at me.
Now, I may be pagan, but I don’t really pay attention to animals around me unless they make it very obvious and this little guy was getting his point across loud and clear to me. I met his eye and my perception of the world around me changed. I noticed dragonflies chasing each other in that wonderful game of mating tag that they play. I saw the Killdeer parents letting their wee ones stray just a little further from mom and dad than they had before in hopes that the chicks will gain confidence to hunt on their own. The butterflies were not only abundant but every color on mom’s earth was represented by the various species flitting around. The hummingbirds were being the little warriors that they are want to be and flying perilously close to both myself and my dog! At that moment, I was not watching what was going on around me; I was participating in the amazing drama of life.
Rabbits were in and out of the tall grass, teasing the rat terrier that really wanted to chase them but, somehow, knew it was not the right moment to do so. I was connected to everything on that hot summer night. The cicada’s were droning and the crickets were singing but, using a word that I had not used during the tenure of that heat wave, they seemed to both be singing a gentle song. Then, as if the Gods and Goddess’ decided to pull out a 2X4 and beat me with it, I got it! I understood the “why” behind Lughnasadh!
At this time of year, life is so abundant and in its fullest and, yet, still freshest state of being. It is all around us and all we have to do is pay attention. We are at rest from the spring labors. We know there is work ahead but it is work that fills us with hope.
The meaning behind this Sabbat, to me, can be described by two phrases:
•Hope and Gratitude.
•The celebration of all life lived well and to its fullest.
We feel hope because we see that our first harvest is a good one. That can portend the next two harvests (Mabon and Samhain) will be bountiful as well and, thus, we will survive the winter to begin the cycle again.
Gratitude, well, that comes in many forms. It can be as simple as “thanks” or as complex as the Judaic custom of sacrificing your best, first fruits of all forms to deity. In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter what outward form gratitude takes as long as the inward realization exists so we are reminded that we are participating in life and not just observing and being critical.
Lugh honored his foster mother by deeming that her full life of service, and not her death, be celebrated by games. Playing to commemorate the fullness of life and all of the fruits that it holds seem appropriate to me! It is a time of relaxation and reflection on the sacrifices that have been made so that we will enjoy the bounty that the hard work of living our lives will bring.
Lughnasadh is but a moment in the year when we can sit back on a warm summer evening with lemonade in one hand and a fresh peach in the other, enjoy the bounty and fullness of life being well lived and enjoyed, put our heads back and, with a grateful heart, yell out “THANK YOU….LIFE IS GOOD!”
Location: Butte, Montana
Author's Profile: To learn more about Morbek - Click HERE
Other Articles: Morbek has posted 3 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Morbek... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2018 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).