I'm not Irish or Wiccan but I am writing this blog post on Lughnasadh. It is the first of three harvest festivals for Anglo-American New Age people, but that may not resonate with your particular tradition or practice.
In every culture, there are reoccurring symbols of prosperity such as grain, corn, rice, potatoes, soy, hemp and so on. These are staple crops that people have physical and spiritual relationships with.
In every culture, there are ceremonies to give thanks to the earth for what bounty it has given us to sustain us. One way to celebrate this energy is by having an end of summer feast and by honoring the survival skills of your people.
Lughnasadh is about reaping the fruits of your own labor. In the olden times, people were share-croppers who had shared land and shared resources. Today we live in very different times -- where people are able to steal the labor of others and society fights to control natural forces.
This year, people are having a hard time surviving and thriving due to factors that are outside their control. People are having to make do with thin crops; and are gaining consciousness about what beliefs no longer serve them.
They are also realizing that darker times are ahead, which coincides with Lughnasadh with Winter steadily approaching and what astrologers have been saying about the future.
Since we are just beginning corona season and might expect to be quarantined in our tiny overpriced apartments for another year, I would like to go over some simple ways to celebrate the first harvest.
Get in the mood by burning incense. Making loose incense or potpourri would be in the spirit of Lughnasadh. Fortunately, there is a wide array of herbs that correspond to Lughnasadh. To make a first harvest-themed scent you may use frankincense, mint, oak, rose, sage and sandalwood.
Bake sourdough bread with organic flour. Sourdough is made by creating a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. So bake some bread to celebrate the genius of the natural world. Add rosemary or berries for an extra harvest touch.
Don't have time to grow a yeast culture? Make potato bread instead.
Make a meal with rice, papas, tortillas, frybread, cornbread or biscuits.
Not good at cooking? Buy a ready-cooked chicken with rosemary, potato salad and oatmeal cookies from a local carniceria. Buy elote from the eloteros outside.Smoke weed or hemp. One of the crops of the first harvest.
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Drink elderberry tea with added CBD.
It wouldn't be a heathen fest without getting hammered -- drink the champagne of the people, beer. Alternatives include amaretto (nuts), elderberry wine, rice wine, tequila (aloe), vodka (potatoes), whiskey (barley, corn, rye, wheat) or vodka (potatoes) to name a few.
Treat the meal like a ritual. Turn the TV off. Eat at the table. Light red, yellow, orange, green or gold candles charged with intent. Decorate the table with sunflowers, roses or heather. Include symbols of Adonis, Demeter, Ishtar, Lugh and Persephone. Work with imagery of skulls. Complete your altar with aventurine, carnelian, citrine, emerald and quartz.
After your feast, give back to the earth by starting a compost bin with earth worms and planting tomatoes.