Lammas – the Wheel of the Year
Summer swiftly races by, riding on a fiery steed, shaking its golden mane in the wind. We barely had time to hold a handful of the first strawberries when July comes to an end. August is the last of the three months of summer. Ahead lies the gathering of the first harvest. Autumn is still far away, but we can already feel its cool breath. The harvest can be diverse. We are not only talking about vegetables and fruits but also about other fruits: the realization of the plans and aspirations we set for Imbolc. Have they all been fulfilled? How many things have we put aside for later, and for what reasons? Will we keep the seeds of these plans for sowing next year’s “harvest,” or will we abandon them altogether? The time for decision-making is approaching. But for now, we are preparing for a joyous, lively, and bountiful celebration.
Feasting. On the evening of the 31st, it would be lovely to set the table for friends and family. But even better, it’s best to prepare for this holiday together. Therefore, celebrating Lammas in nature is great: grilling kebabs and vegetables on the grill and roasting marshmallows on the bonfire. This creates an atmosphere of unity and cooperation—some set up the camp, others cut vegetables, and someone decorates the trees with garlands. The ritual food for the celebration includes berry pies and fruit baskets, fresh and roasted vegetables, corn, and honey. Consider ale, fruit beer, and cider when it comes to drinks. Let’s also talk about bread. It’s great if you can bake it yourself, but if baking is not your strong suit, you can buy bread in the shape of a sheaf of wheat or with grains, croissants, and gingerbread.
Lammas Altar. The holiday colors are not as vibrant as during Litha, but they are deeper. The sky turns dark blue, the grass dark green, the bright yellow becomes golden, and the color palette includes the first ochre and orange hues. You can decorate your altar and home with ribbons and candles in these shades, installations made from wheat sheaves, and bouquets of wildflowers. You can also create grain and wheat stalk dolls or a corn cart.
It’s also a great time for protective practices. On this day, you can charge amulets, cleanse your home and yourself from negative influences, and then set up protection in any way available to you. Also, remember that Lammas is the first of the three harvest festivals, so it’s time to let go of anything hindering your progress. It’s not as drastic as Samhain, where everything unnecessary is cut off without hesitation, but it’s time to contemplate what might be holding you back and preventing personal growth. It could be painful memories of failed relationships, the fear of change, the inertia of being stuck in old habits, or simply laziness. It’s time to shake off the intoxication of summer nights, illusions, and idle fantasies.
Lammas is also a time for taking stock of your progress. What harvest have you gathered? What have you achieved, and in what areas have you faced setbacks? Why did things turn out the way they did? All of this should become evident around Lammas. You likely have internal processes and projects in progress. Perhaps some of them need a push forward, sending their intentions out into the universe. To do this, acknowledge their fulfillment and completion as if they’ve already been successful. But do this only if you’ve put considerable effort into them. If these events exist only as daydreams in your mind and you haven’t taken any concrete actions, then put them aside for another time.
“Lammas Weddings.” These days are perfect for infusing energy into your relationships with loved ones. For this, on the day of the celebration, simply hold hands or give your loved one a pleasant and unexpected gift. Show them that you appreciate being together up to this day. If you don’t have a special someone yet, it’s a good time to look around. The energy of the holiday can bring many pleasant surprises, including unexpected encounters and enjoyable meetings. Don’t decline any dates during this time; find the time for them.
The fields are now filled with the energy of Lammas. It’s in the bittersweet scent of herbs and the earth’s warmth beneath your bare feet. Lammas has its unique air and sound—the hum, the wave between the earth and the sky, the buzzing of bee wings, and the rustle of the wind in the wheat. These days are great for spending time in the woods, but be aware that the wheel of the year will soon turn to Mabon.
It’s also a time for the first preservation. You can head to the forest for berries—blueberries and bilberries are now juicy and ripe, and the first mushrooms have appeared. Just don’t gather everything at once; divide the days. One day for mushrooms, another for berries. It’s also a good time to start preserving vegetables—peppers and eggplants, pickling cucumbers with tomatoes, making jams, and canning the first compote.
Lammas is a wonderful, bright holiday! It’s a day of unity, a day to hold hands and give gifts to those who are dear to you. May the preparations be filled with joyful anticipation! The gods favor everyone who works diligently, especially those who do so with joy.
Correspondences and Attributes of the Holiday
Other Names: Lammas, Lughnasadh, Lunasa, Loafmas, Corn Festival, First Harvest Festival, Bread Festival, August Eve, Ceresalia.
Symbols: Sun, sun symbols, corn, fabric dolls, straw dolls, sickle and scythe, grains, wheat, straw crafts, fruits, and vegetables.
Scents: Aloe, rose, sandalwood, rosemary, vanilla.
Stones: Alexandrite, agate, yellow topaz, citrine, amber, aventurine, peridot, sardonyx.
Colors: Yellow, green, orange, gold, red, brown.
Food: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, mushrooms, bread, baked goods, rice, corn, honey.
Drinks: Homemade lemonade, juices, fruit-infused waters, herbal teas. Alcoholic beverages: ale, mead, wines, ciders.
Animals: Horse, all birds.
Mythical Creatures: Phoenix, Dragon, Griffin.
Nature Spirits: Sylphs.
Goddesses: Bast, Demeter, Gaia, Ishtar, Kore, Persephone, Ceres, Isis, Libera, Rhiannon, Danu.
Gods: Green Man, Lugh, Odin, Osiris, Cernunnos, Liber, Zeus.
Zodiac Sign: Leo.
Decorations: Sun symbols, straw crafts, colorful ribbons, fruits and vegetables, and figurines of Goddesses and Gods.
Traditions: Jumping over bonfires, weaving straw dolls, giving thanks to the Gods for the harvest, and playing games.
Candle Colors: Gold, yellow, orange, green, light brown.
Magical Rituals: For prosperity, success, and luck; rituals for childbirth, marriage, and family hearth; offerings to Ancestors.