Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, is the celebration of the summer harvest. It’s typically celebrated on August 1st and more so than any other holiday in the wheel of the year, this is a time for feasting! Even if your friends and family aren’t witchy, inviting them to join your for a summer BBQ or dinner party is an excellent way to celebrate the abundance of this day because that’s what it’s all about!
Lughnasadh is a time of giving thanks for the overabundance of food that comes from a successful crop. If you have a vegetable garden, you’ll know what I’m talking about! Your tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash will have been producing veggies for you at a ridiculous rate. In my part of the world, peoples vegetable gardens get into “annoyingly abundant” territory around this time and they start trying to hawk tomatoes and squash off onto anyone and everyone they know because they simply can’t keep up with how much their gardens are producing!
This is also a holiday associated with marriage. In Ireland, where this holiday hails from, festivals would often involve “trial marriages” where young couples would be wed on a trial basis. After a year and a day of living as a married couple, they could either tie the knot for real or simply let it be forgotten. This is a great time to revisit your intentions in your own romantic relationships, and figure out if you’re making the most of your time with this person or if there’s something you could be doing differently to bring more abundance into your relationship.
How To Celebrate The Harvest Festival
I always like to celebrate the holidays in a few different ways. I always make some sort of food to share, I do some self-reflection to dig into the meaning of the holiday, and I do a little magic! For this Lughnasadh, I’ll be sharing a recipe, a spell, and a few journal prompts that I’ll be using to enjoy the bounty of the summer harvest.
Summer Blackberry Cobbler
Lughnasadh traditionally marks the beginning of the harvest season. Because of this, recipes for this holiday are typically very bread related. There’s nothing wrong with this! Celebrating the grain harvest is an amazing way to welcome this next part of the wheel of the year. The grain harvest doesn’t really resonate with me though. Where I live, there are no grain fields! Instead, our gardens are bursting with tomatoes, and zucchini, and peppers. You can find wild fruit growing just about everywhere you go and the blackberries are almost a plague they become so voracious in their fruit production. For me, this is what the summer harvest brings to mind. Tomato pies, zucchini bread, and best of all, blackberry cobbler.
This cobbler is the recipe that my family has been using for generations, it hasn’t changed a bit since my great grandmother started using it and for good reason! It’s absolutely heavenly and simple enough that you can throw it together in just a few minutes on a hot summer day and not have to spend ages in the kitchen when you’d rather be sipping lemonade by the pool.
For the Filling:
- 1 Quart of blackberries
- 2 Tablespoons of melted butter
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the Dough:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together and pour the berry mixture into a medium-size casserole dish.
Next, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar. When thoroughly combined, add the milk and melted butter. Mix until the dough comes together and has a consistent texture. Take large spoonfuls of the dough and roll them into balls, plop these dumplings on top of the fruit to mostly cover the cobbler. If the dough doesn’t completely cover the blackberries that’s ok, this cobbler is meant to look rustic.
Bake the cobbler for 30 minutes until the top is browned and the fruit has formed a thick syrup. I recommend serving this with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
I love taking time to journal on holidays, it helps me focus on myself and how the changing energy of the seasons affects my life. These are a few ideas and prompts to get you thinking about how you want your life to transform this season. Feel free to choose a single question that sparks your interest or write about all of them to really dig deep into how this holiday impacts you.
- What are you harvesting in your life right now? What relationships, projects, or other circumstances in your life are producing great results at the moment?
- Do you feel aligned with the celebratory, abundant nature of this holiday? Why or why not?
- This holiday is a time for deep gratitude for all of the good in your life, take a moment to write down all of the wonderful things in your life, big or small.
- How are your relationships (romantic or otherwise) faring at the moment? Do they feel abundant and productive or could you change something to bring more of this abundant energy into your important relationships?
- Take a moment to reevaluate your commitments. How are these parts of your life fitting you? Are they still serving you or are you only continuing to pursue them out of a sense of obligation? Remember, this is also a time for reflecting and deciding whether or not your commitments are worth continuing! It may be best to say farewell to some parts of your life in order to make room for more abundance elsewhere.
The Harvest Meal Ritual
You Will Need:
- An item to represent everything you would like to reap the harvest of (better pay, happier relationships, etc.)
- Two candles
- An offering (I often use a glass of beer for Lughnasadh offerings. If beer doesn’t work for you, try bread, apple juice, or some other edible thing. You can even make a full meal for yourself if you want! Just make sure it’s something you enjoy.)
- Altar decorations
This ritual is meant to draw the rewards of your effort into your life. Because of this, you need to only pick parts of your life where you’ve put in the work to get your results! The harvest you reap from a relationship you’ve neglected will be very different from the harvest from a well cared for relationship. You can choose any item to represent these parts of your life, photos, trinkets, anything small that you associate with those things in your life will work just fine.
Set up your altar. Place a bowl, glass, or plate for your offering in the center and place the candles on either side of it. Decorate the altar with anything that evokes the feeling of summer harvest for you. This could be warm yellow and beige colors, flowers, braided grass or grass wreathes, it’s up to you!
When you’re ready to begin, light your candles. Place each of the items you’ve collected in a circle around the offering. Name each item as you place it:
“I call up my relationship to Jim” or “I call up my work at [name of company]”, etc.
When all of the items are in place, take your offering and as you pour or place it into the container you’ve set out for it, say:
“As abundance has wrought this offering, so may abundance bring to bear all that I have laid out here.”
Sit in silence for a moment and contemplate what it will feel like when each of these areas of your life begins to bear fruit. Feel gratitude for the harvest that is coming your way.
When you’re ready, you can eat or drink your offering! I suggest you go slow, take time to really enjoy and appreciate the offering you’ve chosen. It has been charged with all of the energy that you need to bring about the results you desire and should be taken into your body with reverence!
When you’re finished, clean up and take yourself out into the sun and maybe hang with people that you love and enjoy being around! It’s time to fill yourself up with the feeling of abundance and enjoy all of the wonderful things that your life has in it already.
Happy Lughnasadh witches!