Lughnasadh is the time when we begin reaping that which we have sown and tended all through the year. For our ancestors, this was most usually their crops (and for some of us it still is... for without the farmers, the rest of us would have no food). Even within the act of harvesting the new bounty we can see the theme of rebirth within the seed itself... some for food (sacrifice) and some for next years crop (rebirth).
Nowdays, a large portion of our population live their whole life without ever plowing a field, sowing a seed or harvesting a food crop. Keeping this in mind, it is important to point out that Lughnasadh is not just about harvesting physical crops for food, but about the harvest of seeds we all plant within our lives. Those plans we make that we plant, tend, and bring to fruition through our own hard work and sacrifice... Things like that promotion at work that you worked so hard for and finally got; that new baby you strived so hard to conceive; that new car you needed so badly; the house that you have saved for your whole life; the new friendships you have cultivated throughout the year. These kinds of harvests cannot be measured by bushels or pecks, but instead are marked and measured in our hearts and held dear to us because we earned them and helped them to manifest.
Games are traditional at Lughnasadh, both to celebrate the wake of Lugh's foster mother Tailltiu and as a symbol of Lugh's battle with Balor.
A traditional part of the celebrations surrounding Lughnasadh is the formation of oaths. Because of this, marriages, employment contracts and other bargains of a mundane nature were formed and renewed at this time of year.
It was traditional to offer up a portion of the harvest to the Gods and Ancestors and then feast in their honor.
Bread and Cakes (as well as wine) were made and eaten in celebration of a successful harvest.
New corn dolls were made and the old ones burned in the Sabbat fire for good luck.
Tailltean marriages, usually performed by a poet, bard, priest or priestess of the Old Religion, were very common into the 1700's. These were informal pairings that lasted only a year and a day or until next Lammas, at which time the couple would decide to continue the arrangement or stand back to back and walk away, thereby dissolving the marriage.
The creation and burning of a 'Wicker Man' to symbolize the sacrifice that the God makes for us each year is a very sacred tradition.
Often now associated with Midsummer by many Wiccan traditions, the 'Catherine wheel' was, at one time, a ceremonial highlight. A large wagon wheel was taken to the top of a near-by hill, covered with tar, set aflame, and ceremoniously rolled down the hill represented the end of summer because it was symbolic of the sun in its decline.
Wheat Stalks are a traditional symbol for this Sabbat due to the fact that this is the time of the first harvest of grains
Corn Stalks are also a traditional symbol for this Sabbat because of the first harvest of grains.
Loaves of Bread are a symbol because they are made from the grain harvested and offered in celebration of a successful harvest.
Corn dollies are symbols of the Goddess of Grain and considered good luck.
Spears are symbolic because they represent Lugh.
Scythes are symbolic of this Sabbat because this is the time of reaping and sacrifice.
Wicker men are symbols of this Sabbat because they represent the God and the sacrifice he makes for us, His children.
I ask you, do you have any thing prepared for an emergency of a more magickal nature? Chances are you have just answered, "Uh, a magickal emergency? Umm, well no!" Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Sarah, have you fallen off of your broomstick? What in Hades are you talking about, ha a magickal emergency! No more mead for you girlie!" I am talking about those times when all of us have been caught a bit unprepared and under the weather but we desperately needed to do a spell. It is kind of tough to do a healing spell for yourself when you are caught in a comatose cough syrup eddy.
Why not "can" little bottles of magick for just such emergency occasions?
Since it is Lughnasadh the first harvest festival, it would be a perfect time to harvest and put back some emergency rations for those lean, needy times. Besides, "canning" magick is a whole lot of fun!
1. Clean, bottles or jars with tight fitting lids. Baby food bottles are ideal for small travel size spells. You can use any type of bottle or jar you like. Personally, I like to use new 8oz Jelly Jars.
2. New labels (This way you can remember what is what if you put up a lot of magick.)
3. A good black magick marker.
4. Bits and bobbles that clearly express and represent your magickal intentions. Examples: Paper Runes (believe me they fit in a bottle much better than stone), alphabet beads to spell out what you want, animal beads, heart shaped beads, tiny brooms, ribbon (good for color magick), herbs, coins, multiple colors of glitter (hey some of us just luuuv the glitta), pine cones, wheat, corn, honey, or sugar cubes, feathers, found objects, etc. I think you get the picture. Just have a good time! Use that imagination your Mom always complained you never used when you were a kid!
Hint: You can either plan your bottles in advance of your ritual, if you are doing it as a Solitary or you can have a grand time just CAREFULLY winging it with a group of friends. CAUTION! Just because this looks like fun and is fun does not mean you leave your moral, ethical and magickal responsibilities at the door! Any and all magick should be done with serious careful intent so it will "Harm None."
Carefully place all of your "canning" materials in the middle of the area that will comprise your magickal space, remember no one has a good time with a wedge of glass in their foot.
Viola! Everyone has a little bit of magickal first aid to take home. When you need to use your "canned magick" simply pop the top off and place it opened on your altar (away from wee people or animals please). Of course just like any good first aid supplies, your "canned" magick should be kept out of reach of children, animals and your nosy Aunt Freda when not in use.
HAVE A GLORIOUS HARVEST OF LOVE, LIGHT AND FAERIE LAUGHTER!!!
1 medium butternut squash, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup wild rice
3/4 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Season the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper.
3. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
4. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
5. Peel and seed the squash.
6. In a blender, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.
7. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the stock and 1/2 cup of the chopped onions to a simmer.
8. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a fork.
9. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
10. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3 minutes.
11. Add the remaining 2 cups onions and corn.
12. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes.
13. Add the remaining 6 cups of stock and squash puree. Bring to a boil.
14. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
15. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
16. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
17. Stir in the parsley and serve.
1 C. sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 C. milk
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups cooked corn
Vegetable oil in heavy saucepan or deep-fryer
1. Heat 3-4 inches of oil to 375.
2. Mix remaining ingredients except for corn with rotary beater or mixer until smooth.
3. Stir in corn.
4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls into hot oil.
5. Cook until light golden brown (do not overcook or allow the oil to become too hot.)
6. Drain on paper towels
Makes a lot! (Serves 6-8 adults)
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease an 8 by 4 by 2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, oil, and sugar.
4. Cream the mixture until smooth.
5. Add the egg to the creamed mixture and mix until incorporated.
6. Sift the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and add the sifted flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time until all is incorporated, and the batter is smooth.
7. Squeeze and drain the shredded zucchini. Fold zucchini, walnuts, and lemon zest into batter.
8. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown or when skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
10. Serve the bread, warm, with butter.
1 pint strawberries, halved or quartered
1 pint blueberries
1 cup heavy cream
1 rounded tablespoon sugar (more of less to taste)
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1. Layer the berries into 4-6 clear dessert glasses
2. Whip the cream with the sugar until it makes soft peaks
3. Top the berries with the whipped cream
4. Sprinkle the cream with the chopped nuts
2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 cups fresh lemon juice (Please use only fresh-squeezed)
1 gallon cold water
1 lemon, sliced
Mint sprigs, for garnish
1. Place sugar in a 1-gallon container, pour boiling water over the sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.
2. Add lemon juice and cold water to render 1 gallon.
3. Stir until well mixed.
4. Pour lemonade over glasses of ice, squeeze a slice of lemon on top of each, and garnish with a sprig of mint.
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