Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

August 1st, 2017

Bright Blessings!


August already!




Depending on your tradition, you will likely celebrate either Lammas, or Lughnassadh, and while I’ve written about Lughnassadh, I’ve delved into little about Lammas.




The difference lies in what is being harvested. Lughnassadh is about corn harvest, and Lammas is about wheat harvest.


The underlying principle is the same. Both wheat and corn were very meaningful to the people who grew them, and both crops can be used in multiple ways. Meal is ground from corn, while wheat makes flour, and both can be used to bake spectacular things tons of different ways. Both also store well, and were important food for our ancestors. While many shun both corn and wheat these days for reasons ranging from wanting to avoid carbs to stay thin, to gluten intolerance, ancient people relied heavily on these foods. They celebrated the success of the harvest of these important foods, and thanks was given to the gods.


Many modern Pagans don’t grow wheat or corn, let alone rely on those foods like our ancestors did. However, Pagans still celebrate harvests. For those like me who are gardeners, carrying in the first fruits and vegetables to feed your family with makes you prouder than most anything else. Imagine how much more proud the people were of a successful harvest whose livelihood depended on the work they did on those foods in the fields.


For most of us, this is the first of three harvest celebrations, the next being Mabon, and the final Samhain. We typically celebrate symbolically, and ascribe the term harvest to things we have accomplished in our lives. Maybe there was a pay raise, or a new baby is on the way. Maybe a new furbaby joined the family! Maybe you were able to get into grad school, or earned good grades for the year in your classes. Maybe a loved one got over an illness, or maybe there was reconciliation in a relationship that was thought beyond saving. We all have our own personal harvests to celebrate, no matter how great or small they happen to be.


Unexpected Harvests


What about the things we feel like we failed to do? The goals we have been unable to reach? What about when we had big goals we planned well for, worked towards, and we watched them crumble before our eyes?


What do we celebrate during the times we feel like he failed ourselves, and feel we have nothing to be proud of, or thankful for?


I hate to say it, but if you live long enough, you might feel this way about yourself.


Fortunately for us, the ambitious species we are, we are also an intellectual species, and we can shift our perception.


The trick is going to be to focus in the unexpected things you DID accomplish, no matter how small they were, as opposed to grieving the things you were unable to do.


Sometimes, we pick the wrong goals, and our attention, and time are better spent on things we are able to do. You would never expect a blind person to pilot an airplane, would you? No, because that would not be fair. It’s equally unfair to expect yourself to do things you are not meant to do.


Then again, there are times when you just need to dig your heels in, and keep trying!


It’s difficult to know which is the case when it seems you are failing. Nobody but you can decide whether to keep trying, or to go try something else.


When I think of all the things I have tried to excel at in my 41 years, it makes me chuckle. Hell, at least I tried, but you never know whether you are gifted with something UNLESS YOU TRY IT FIRST.


I’m not sure what is on your list of things you tried, and moved on from, but mine include music, math, dancing, being skinny, trying to make my first marriage work, trying to get pregnant, trying to be tan (I burn), trying to be “normal” , being politically correct, keeping mosquitos from eating me ( OMGS, they LOVE me!!!!) and much more!


Every last time I do not excel or accomplish something, I beat myself up over it, and take it as a personal failure, and I get all upset for days on end.


Eventually, I have to stop boo hooing, pick my ass up, and start doing something else, instead of feeling bad.


I don’t know what the list of things you are a success in are. Mine are being a good cook, and mastering new foods regularly, learning to crochet, being a good customer service professional, graduating college, and then getting a professional certification beyond that, moving cross country and traveling all I wanted to- much of which was done on my own, btw, gardening, raising furbabies, a happy second marriage, reading tarot professionally, and much more, including writing for this amazing ezine!


If I only focused on what I could NOT accomplish, I would never have achieved any of the wonderful things I have in life.


None of us would. These things are our unexpected harvests. The things we accomplished and are thankful for that were not our number one plans! These are the things we were meant to do while we were making plans to do other things! These Unexpected Harvests are sometimes the most abundant, and joyous things in our lives.


Keeping this in mind, I will share a very simple personal working you can do for Lammas to celebrate these Unexpected Harvests.


Saoirse’s Unexpected Harvests Working


This is a very personal working, and you don’t have to share if you don’t want to.


There are two ways to do this.


First, you can do this alone, with nobody else knowing about it, or two, you can do this with a group.


For the group working, do circle, or open circle as you prefer, and for the working part, pass out pencils and paper to participants.

Have everybody write ten things they accomplished or “harvested” since Midsummer- or if you want to, a longer timeframe, even for the whole year.


Then, have each person read their list out loud, and give a gift to thank their person gods for their help in accomplishing these things. Feast and do fellowship as you prefer! People can keep the lists, or discard them as they prefer. Another good thing to add to this working is a gift exchange. That way each person gets a little gift, or treat for their good work towards their harvest. You can have everybody wrap the gifts, and put them all on a table together. People can draw numbers, and choose their gift in the order of number they drew.


If you are doing this alone, I suggest a longer list of twenty or more things. You can sit down all at once and do it, or you can work on your list for a week or more. When you have finished, give thanks and gifts to your gods who helped you, and reward yourself with a little something. Hey, after all, you put work in to do the harvest, didn’t you? Yes, you did, and you deserve a little gift!


You can cast circle, light candles, or not. Be as simple or as detailed as you would like to be about this.


You can seal your list up to read at a later time if you like, or you can discard it as you see fit.


I personally, like to burn my papers, and release the ashes to the wind. However, saving your list to read another time is always beneficial to show you how far you have come. You can even make three lists. One Lammas, one Mabon, and a final one at Samhain.


May you have a Blessed Lammas.


Blessed Be!



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