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Full Moon Harvest – Lughnasadh

August 1, 2012


On a glorious full-moon summer night, thoughts of Autumn and harvest seem as strange as one-eyed gnomes or bunnies on rooftops. But it is August 1, the midway point between Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox. In the Celtic Wheel of the Year, this time marks the beginning of the harvest season and Lughnasadh (also Lammas) is the first of 3 harvest festivals. The Fairies tell us that in their realm, they mark this festival as the beginning of Autumn as well.

Traditionally, this is the time the grains have been harvested and the first bread is from the new crop is baked and offered to the Earth Mother, the Goddess, in gratitude for her bounty. This season of harvest is, in fact, all about gratitude. The seeds we kept safe through the winter, carefully tucked into fertile earth in the spring, nurtured, watered and weeded through the summer are now bearing fruit that will feed us through the winter to come.

The harvest season is also a time of letting go – recognizing which seeds failed to sprout or bear the fruit we had hoped and returning to the compost pile the dried stalks that remain after we harvest the fruit.

If all of this sounds like a metaphor for our lives – well, it is.  Our ancestors, like the Fairies, knew their lives were connected to the cycles of the Earth. From whatever continent our lineage hails, our genetic memory carries the harmony and flow of the seasons. In our fast-paced “modern” world, our conscious minds often ignore these shifts, but our bodies and our spirits remember. When we take a moment to honor the ancient patterns that flow through us, it helps to balance all the worlds we walk in.

Take a moment to sway like a stalk of grain in the silver light of the full moon. Let your heart be a basket in which to gather what you have planted this year and brought to harvest and acknowledge those things still growing in your garden that have yet to bear fruit. Make an offering to the Earth Mother and the Fairies as thanks for their help in the growing and for keeping you tuned to the Wheel of Life. Tomorrow, revel in the warmth and the sun because this is only the first of the harvest festivals – the time of frost is still a long ways away.

–Bridget Wolfe

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Elizabeth McMeens permalink
    August 2, 2012 8:51 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I know very little about these festivals and have never participated in one. I am looking forward to learning many new wonderful things! Many bright blessings to you both.

  2. lavenderdragonfly permalink
    August 4, 2012 3:06 pm

    That we walk the seasons of breath among the Fairies, our feet kissing Mother Earth with our every step, may we remember these times as precious memories of life celebrating life. Namasté

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