Lughnasadh! August 1st is a special sabbat for Wiccans, as it is the first of three harvest festivals that signifies the winding down of the Wheel of the Year. Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-naw-saw) has its roots in the harvest festivals observed by early pagans when living off the land meant the difference between life and death. These pagans were attuned to the seasons of the year and worshipped the old gods and goddesses.
In these modern times, Wiccan observances take on more symbolic meanings, but are no less significant. And in this day of backyard gardens and community gardens we do enjoy our own harvests. Many will be serving their own home-grown veggies during the sabbat celebrations.
With the rain-starved, hot conditions we have faced this summer, a lot of us are looking for signs of Autumn, and Lughnasadh is a signal that we are approaching our favorite season (by "our", I am referring to the many witches and other pagans who adore autumn). There is still plenty of summer left to enjoy, but thoughts are turning to this beautiful time of year and the final sabbat of Samhain (pronounced sow-wen..sow as in cow) otherwise known as Halloween.
Lughnasadh is a time to begin to see the fruition of projects and goals that we set for ourselves back at Ostara (the Spring Equinox). A time to reflect on our Path and its direction.
I love the summer and its wonderful offerings of gardens, vacations, family time, relaxation, the easy-going lazy days, beautiful nights filled with the night-time chorus of tree frogs and crickets. Porch sitting, swing-gliding, lemonade...all the charming, delightful summer pursuits.
Today's celebration will most likely include corn on the cob, fresh-picked tomatoes, barbecued steaks or chicken or burgers. Fresh summer fruit like watermelon, blackberries, blueberries. Ah, blueberry pie!!
Enjoy the scents and flavors of summer, for it is fleeting now and Autumn is coming. Take a moment to relish these last days of summer and give thanks for it all.