Lughnasadh Title
Also known as: Lammas, August Eve, The Festival of Bread, Elembiuos, Lunasa, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide (Teutonic)

Date: August 1 or 2, or the first Full Moon of Leo

Symbols: All Grains, Breads, Threshing Tools, Berries (especially Blackberries)

Deities: Harvest and Grain Deities, New Mother Goddesses

Colors: Gray, Yellow, Gold, Green

Herbs: cornstalks, heather, frankincense, and wheat may be burned; acacia flowers, corn ears, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, and wheat may be decorations.

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Lughnassadh (Loo-NAHS-ah) is named for the Irish sun God, Lugh, and is usually looked upon as the first of the three Pagan harvest festivals.

Lughnasadh is primarily a grain harvest, one in which corn, wheat, barley and grain products such as bread are prominently featured. Fruits and vegetables which ripen in late summer are also a part of the traditional feast. The Goddess, in her guise as the Queen of Abundance, is honored as the new mother who has given birth to the bounty, and the God is honored as the Father of Prosperity.

The threshing of precious grain was once seen as a sacred act, and threshing houses had small wooden panels under the door so that no loose grain could escape. This is the original meaning of our modern word "threshold".

From "Celtic Myth and Magick" by Edain McCoy
Blackberry/Rose Hip Line
The following are a few suggestions for activities that may be incorporated into the Sabbat ritual or engaged in during the day.

Indian Corn
Make sand candles to honor the Goddes and the God of the sea.

If you don't live near a beach, you can achieve the same effect by putting sand in a large box, adding water, and working from there. This is definitely a porch or kitchen job, and newspapers are recommended under your work area for easy clean-up.

  • Melt wax form old candles (save the stubs from altar candles) in a coffee can set in a pot of boiling water.
  • Add any essential oil you want for scent (or scent blocks from a candle supply store).
  • Scoop out a candle mold in wet sand (you can make a cauldron by scooping out the sand and using a finger to poke three "feet"in the sand).
  • Hold the wick (you can get these ready-made in arts and crafts stores) in the center and gently pour in the melted wax.
  • Wait until it hardens, then slip your fingers under the candle and carefully lift it out and brush off the excess sand.

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String indian corn on black thread for a necklace.

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If the Sabbat falls on a rainy day, you could collect rainwater in a glass or earthenware container, add dried mugwort, and use to empower objects.

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Create and bury a Witch's Bottle. This is a glass jar with sharp pointy things inside to keep away harm. You can use needles, pins, thorns, thistles, nails, and bits of broken glass; it's a good way to dispose of broken crockery, old sewing equipment, and the pins that come in new clothes. Bury it near the entry to the house (like next to the driveway or the front door), or inside a large planter.

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Do a Harvest Chant when serving the corn bread at dinner:

The Earth Mother grants the grain,
The orned God goes to his domain.
By giving life into her grain,
The God dies then is born again.

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Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc. Double over a bundle of wheat and tie it near the top to form a head. Take a bit of the fiber from either side of the main portion and twist into arms that you tie together in fromnt of the dolly. Add a small bouquet of flowers to the "hands," and then you can decorate the dolly with a dress and bonnet (the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you wish, or and cotton material is fine too).

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Bake corn bread sticks. You can find a cast-iron mold shaped like little ears of corn in kitchen supply shops. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening

Sift dry ingredients together, add eggs, milk, and shortening, and beat until smooth. Pour into molds and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Collect blackberries and make a fresh pie marked with the Solar Cross.

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Have a magickal picnic with libations to the earth of bread and wine.

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Sprout whear germ in a terra cotta saucer (these can be found in nureries for use under terra cotta flower pots). The sprouts can be added to homemade bread or used as an offering. Children enjoy planting the seeds and watching them grow, too.

God the grain,
Lord of rebirth.
Return in spring,
Renew the Earth.

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Make a Solar Wheel or Corn Man Wheel:

  • Turn a wire hanger into a circle (standard circle material for wreaths too), keeping the hook to hang it by.

  • Make a small cardboard disk to glue the corn tips onto. You can decorate it with any design, for example, a pentagram or sun.

  • Place ears of Indian "squaw" corn (it is smaller than regualr corn and fits easily on a coat hanger) with the tips inthe center of the circle and secure with hot glue to the cardboard disk. Use eight ears for a Solar Wheel, or five ears for a Corn Man. If all the ears of corn meet just right you won't need the disk, but if they are uneven the disk is helpful.

  • Wrap a bit of the husks of each ear around the wire on either side of the ear of corn, leaving some to stand out free from the corn.

  • Let dry overnight and hang on the front door.
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Activities taken from "Green Witchcraft" by Anne Moura (Aoumiel)

For a Lughnassadh Ritual click here.
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All images on this page (c) 1998 - Joelle Miller