It’s Lughnassadh – the first harvest and the beginning of Autumn although you wouldn’t believe it seeing as we still seem to be in the throes of summer. However, the ancient Celts marked it so, the beginning of the autumn season and the harvest time. No wonder I could smell autumn in the air these past couple of days. My nose senses these things and I’m becoming more adept at sensing the changing of the seasons. The year is on the wane and so to am I, or rather gradually turning inward, becoming a little more reflective and quiet in myself. No, I don’t feel depressed I just feel it is the turning of the wheel and its resonance within myself.
Last night I celebrated Lughnassadh with Sacred Mists – a wonderful and quite powerful ritual. Of course I took my first foray into actually helping to facilitate the ritual by giving the pre-ritual meditation written by me. I was really excited but nervous too and had been wondering if my meditation was a bit too long. And did I leave enough time between copying and pasting into the chat room window for everyone to read it? I tried to get into some sort of rhythm but all I could do was copy, paste, read the bit through twice and then on to the next bit. I hope that everyone could follow along ok. I’ve had some feedback from others in my journal all saying that it was powerful and a very moving meditation, so I’m really pleased because I really liked participating in this way. I felt I was really lending something to the ritual and giving something to the God and Goddess in thanks for their many blessings. Only a small offering of thanks but meaningful none the less.
Lady Raven cast the circle in the names of Lugh and Dana, which I think wonderfully appropriate since Lughnassadh takes its name from The Sun God Lugh, or ‘Lugh the shining one’. The magnificent shining sun god who now gradually wanes and dies. In fact Lughnassadh comes from the honouring of Tailtiu, who was the foster-mother of Lugh. When she died he ordered funeral games to commemorate her death and these were held every year on or around August 1st. Tailtiu [said TELL-tay] – the Irish goddess of the land. . She sacrificed her life, dying, clearing the fields of Ireland so that the new crops could grow. Dana is the Irish Celtic Mother Goddess also known as Danu. The Tuatha-De-Danaan are known as the Children of Danu. Now the Mother gives birth to the first fruits of her belly – the first harvest.
However, during the ritual only the God and Goddess are referred to, the Corn mother and the Grain God as the first harvest is to do with reaping in the corn and grains. I found the blessing LRM gave especially wonderful and very apt:
Blessed be the harvest
Blessed be the Corn Mother
Blessed be the Grain God
For together they nourish both body and soul
Many blessings I have been given
I count them now by this bread
Here we had to voice one blessing we are grateful for and I said my Family – Elendil Star and Meadowhawk, without whom I would be bereft. But in reality there are so many wonderful blessings I am grateful for – Sacred Mists, my warm home, always having sufficient to eat and drink, clean water, my furbabies who give me so much pleasure, the support I receive in connection with my mental health problems, my medication…and these are just a few. Each day is a blessing and I need to make more effort to remember this on the days when I feel depressed and as if all hope is lost.
The ritual made a lot of emphasis on the God and Goddess being two but yet also one and this is so true. You cannot have one without the other and together they form a whole.
Blessed be our Mother, whose womb contains and bears all life
Blessed be our Father, whose seed plants all life
Blessed be the Two that are One
From them life flows and flows back again.
That part really said it all from me – The Great All who is One yet Two. A mystical dichotomy.
The whole ritual felt so empowering yet afterwards I felt so calm and connected with my brothers and sisters and with the God and Goddess too. Before hand I’d felt somewhat stressed yet afterwards I felt calm and peaceful and extremely aware of my blessings. The only sad part about it was that my Elendil Star and Meadowhawk could not be present. I would have liked them to both be there but circumstances wouldn’t allow it.
I was going to make bread for my offering but never had the time or energy to do it, so I made scones instead. I’m looking forward to LRM’s post-ritual work to find out what to do with what’s left over.