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Lammas: Harvesting Your Soul Lessons

Posted on:  Jul 31, 2020 @ 14:18 Posted in:  Sabbats

Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

Lammas marks the end of the current cycle of your journey of soul. The wheel of the year has turned from darkness and death, through light and life, and now shines out the last of this season’s light before a new cycle begins. So too you’ve come to the end of one turning of your journey; it’s time to harvest its bounty of life lessons and personal growth, and to seek out the seeds of your next cycle.

Lammas calls you to harvest the bounty of your soul lessons. Seek out natural endings and the seeds of the new beginnings in the waning light of Lammas.

At Lammas, the summer sunshine has baked the land a golden yellow. Fruits, berries and grains bend branches and stalks with their plump ripeness, ready to offer up their bounty to the harvest. Yet the outer look of things can be deceiving. Day by day, the light wanes and the dark waxes; cold will soon replace heat, and the powers of death overtake those of life. The balance has shifted, and the abundance that is now so evident will soon be gone.

Lammas is the pagan celebration of the early harvest, with grains, such as wheat and corn, playing a central role in the symbolism of this time of year. The golden fields of grain are ready for harvesting. What has been tended and brought to full fruition must now be cut down to feed hungry bellies. Some living things are sacrificed to nourish other living things, and to ensure the continuity and wellness of the whole. With death comes the miracle of rebirth, held within the seeds and their promise of a new harvest.

This theme of self-chosen sacrificial death in support of life and rebirth infuses the mythic roots of Lammas. The Corn King, John Barleycorn and the Harvest King are some of the names given to the sacrificial God who gathers His energy into the crops that are cut down at Lammas to feed the living and to ensure a new harvest in Spring. In Celtic mythology, the Goddess Tailtiu cleared the land for cultivation as a gift to the people, and died from Her tremendous efforts. Lammas is also called Lughnasadh, in reference to the Celtic God Lugh. Tailtiu is Lugh’s foster mother, and legend has it that Lugh instituted a Lughnasadh harvest festival and games in Her honor.

Your journey of soul calls you to this same theme of self-chosen sacrifice in service of your personal healing and transformation. You must be willing to harvest your soul lessons and cut away those things that are now complete or that block your future growth. Some things must die in your life for something new to be reborn.

It is Lugh — the Shining One, the many-skilled God, bearing His Sword of Light — that illuminates your Lammas harvest pathwork.  Lugh meets you on a hilltop, offering you a wide-ranging viewscape that can help you see deep into the heart of your life story, and deep into the heart of the struggles of the Mother Earth, as one cycle of your journey of soul and one turning of our collective humanity end, and a new cycle and turning begin. In these profound mysteries of life, death and rebirth, Lugh is your luminescent, loving guide as you embrace the incisive, demanding, and often painful tasks that Lammas asks of you.

At its core, Lammas is a season of hope and the miracle of new beginnings. In the golden field that is your life story, you can find everything you need to heal your soul, transform your life and mend our world. Within you are the lessons, endings and seeds of a powerful new beginning that can lead you ever closer home to your Deep Self and authentic humanity.

Celebrate Lammas with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store

 

Artwork by Qistina Khalidah

A Lammas Meditation: The Golden Field of Your Life Story

Posted on:  Aug 1, 2019 @ 8:57 Posted in:  Sabbats

Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

On the day of Lammas, as the sun begins its descent to the horizon, find a place indoors or outdoors where you can feel the warmth of sunshine on your skin. Make yourself comfortable and ensure that the space and your time will be private and uninterrupted.

Ask Lugh to guide you in your Lammas tasks of harvesting your soul lessons, and discerning that which must be cut away in service of your life journey.

Close your eyes and begin to track the movement and energies of your breath. On your in-breath, sink deep, deep inside of yourself and anchor within the core of your being. On your out-breath, feel your inner energies reaching beyond your skin, mingling and communing with the outer world. On your return in-breath, draw these outer encounters back inside yourself, rich with the information and energies of your dance with otherness.

Continue to bring this quality of awareness to the movements and turnings of your breath, inner to outer and back to inner again. On your out-breaths, open yourself to the seasonal energies of Lammas, with Summer still hot upon the land, but with the powers of darkness waxing. On your return in-breath, draw in the smells of the sun-baked land, the changing quality of the light and however else late Summer manifests in your part of the world.

As you take these energies inside of yourself, imagine them stirring up ancestral memories from our agrarian past, when Lammas was a crucial time of harvesting and storing grain for the lean winter months, and for the seeds of future harvests. Then go deeper still, opening yourself to the Lammas mysteries of death and sacrifice in service of life and rebirth.

When you feel filled up with these powerful Lammas energies, let them paint for you a flat hilltop with an expansive view of the surrounding landscape. Imagine a sunset-hued sky, with the sun descending toward the horizon. Then sense Lugh appear at your side.

Turn to face Lugh; take in the color of His eyes and hair, the look of His face and form, and the feel of His warm, all-encompassing presence. Clasp Lugh’s hands in yours; feel His strong grip and the powerful currents that course through His fingertips — His are skilled, knowing hands that wisely wield the sword that brings death to ensure the wellness and renewal of the whole. Commune with Lugh, sharing words of welcome and connection.

Ask Lugh to guide you in your Lammas tasks of harvesting your soul lessons that have come to full fruition, and of discerning those things that must be cut away in service of your well-being and that of our world.

Lugh directs your awareness to the viewscape before you. See an expanse of cultivated land ready for harvest. This is the golden field of your life story that can show you many things, from pieces of your story and soul work that span your entire lifetime or that have come to light in your recent pathwork. It can reveal the micro details of a single memory, or the wider vista of your place and part in the weaving of greater human society. This field resides within you and is reflected in the outer manifestations of your life. It is always present, a storehouse of information and remembrances, to help you make brave, wise choices on your journey of soul.

With a palm held flat against your mid-back, Lugh fills you up with His wise knowing and truth-seeing powers. A beautiful sword, shining and sharp-edged, appears in your hand. When you gaze down at the surrounding landscape, it is as if you can see into the very heart and necessity of things.

Speak out loud your desire to be shown your soul lessons that are ripe and ready for harvest at this moment, in alignment with your highest good.

Open yourself to whatever the field shares with you in whatever form, be it words, images, sensations, emotions, memories, insights or information. Breathe these things deep into your body, ingesting their healing, transformative lessons, and letting them nourish and change you.

With your sword, carefully, lovingly cut away the old pieces of your personal story and patterns that must now die away. Offer up this sacred chaff to the Mother Earth, knowing that She will honor your sacrifices and endings by transforming what you have cut away, in Her great composting belly, in service of new life.

Tenderly gather up the seeds of new beginnings and possibilities that reveal themselves in your winnowing work. For now, let the seeds be and do not probe any further into their contents. Hold them close to your heart, infusing them with your love and commit to follow where they lead in the next cycle of your journey of soul.

Take as long as you need for these essential Lammas tasks.

Feel Lugh behind you, with His hand still on your mid-back, filling you with His brilliance and love, and guiding your truth-seeing and cutting-away process with His broader awareness of the needs of all living things and of the Earth.

Through His touch, your awareness widens and you take in the whole of Mother Earth. You are a part of Her, and She is a part of you. Let yourself fully feel the power and importance of this primal connection; the Earth’s breath is your breath; Her body is your body; Her well-being and stability are inseparable from yours, and your healing and transformation are Hers.

As your Lammas work draws to a close, visualize the last rays of sunlight melding with the contours of the landscape before you. With every passing day, the power of the sun fades and diminishes, and the seasons of darkness and death fast approach.

A parting is upon you, for it is time to say goodbye to Lugh. Gaze upon His beautiful face, His love radiant still in the encroaching darkness. Share with Him your gratitude for His guidance and wisdom, and wish Him farewell.

The sun dips below the horizon and Lugh is gone, taking His sword with Him. Yet your hands are not empty. In their cupped interior are shining seeds that hold the dormant magic of your pathwork to come.

Press your palms against your solar plexus, and take these seeds into the mysteries of your inner darkness, trusting that they will offer up their healing, transformative energies when the time is ripe.

Let your hilltop vision fade away, and use your breath to bring you back into your physical body and waking reality. When you open your eyes, take in the quality of the light as darkness begins to descend around you.  As you finish your meditation, take a few minutes to check in with your emotions.

Lammas can be a time of loss and sadness, and it also brings joy and hope. From endings and death, new life emerges. So the world and your life are forever renewed in the waning light of Lammas.

Celebrate Lammas with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store

 

Photo Credit: Rose Erkul at Unsplash.com

Lammas: Lugh and the Miracle of the Harvest

Posted on:  Jul 30, 2017 @ 22:53 Posted in:  Sabbats

Though the heat of Summer still burns bright and strong, the sunlit hours wane with every passing day. Now is the time of Lammas, the pagan Sabbat of the early harvest. Lugh, the Celtic God of light, waits for you on the summit of a hill, ready to guide you in the mysteries of life and rebirth held within the living land and your living body.

At Lammas, Natures reveals the miracle of the harvest: within everything is the seed of a new season, with its promise of a fresh beginning and future harvest.

The sun has begun is downward arc toward the horizon, and a panoramic view of golden fields, ripe for the early harvest, spreads out before you.

“Behold the great exchange of life,” Lugh says, “the mysteries of sunlight turned into grain to feed the hungry bellies of this world. But there is a price for this miracle: something must die to nourish the living, and for something new to be born. Everything has its season. One cycle ends so another can begin.”

With a wave of His hand, the scene shifts, revealing the elemental forces that underlie the golden fields. All is not well. The earth is parched and barren. The air is filled with contaminants. The fire heat of the sun is too harsh. The water in the nearby stream is clouded with murky sludge.

“Like the turning of Nature’s cycle of light and life at Lammas, humanity is also coming to the end of a cycle,” Lugh says, “For too long, your kind has forgotten the ways and rhythms of the Mother Earth. You have taken, and taken, and taken, despoiling the air, water and land that sustain you. This imbalance has come to an end point, and a reckoning is upon you.”

Lugh is grave and silent, leaving you to consider the import of His words. The stark evidence of humanity’s environmental excesses and disregard surrounds you. The Mother Earth is weighted down and weary, with Her fragile, precious systems stressed and failing.

“I don’t share these things to burden you with a vision of despair,” Lugh continues, “Look to Nature as your guide, with its Lammas teaching of the miracle of the harvest. Within everything is the seed of a new season, with its promise of a fresh beginning and future harvest.

“You too have come to the end of a cycle,” Lugh says, “and your personal healing and evolution are intimately intertwined with that of humanity and the Earth.

“The imbalance you see before you is also inside of you, side by side with your personal imbalances and discontent, and those of your human society. And the seeds of the new are there as well, within your living body and life story. With these seeds, you can mend and renew your life and this world.

“But there is a price to be paid for this miracle. Something must die, must be sacrificed, for something new to be reborn. You must be willing to change in profound ways.”

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Photo by Emma Van Sant on Unsplash

A Lammas Mystery: Lugh and the Miracle of a New Harvest

Posted on:  Jul 27, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

As the sun begins its downward arc toward the horizon, the God Lugh greets you on the summit of a hill, backlit by soft, descending rays. His long flaxen hair is tied back with a leather strip and He is dressed in the simple, handspun garments of the country folk who worked the land in ages past. He smells of sunshine, soil and sweet growing things.

Lugh guides you in Lamma’s mysteries of life, death and rebirth, and your harvest pathwork as one cycle ends on your journey of soul and another begins

In the circle of His shining presence, you feel safe, protected and nurtured. Somehow you know that everything that He has to offer, He would gladly give to you and to others, and that wherever His blessed light touches the Earth, a natural abundance arises and flourishes.

With wide-sweeping arms, Lugh draws your attention to the panorama of golden fields that spreads out before you; tall, slender stalks of wheat bend and rustle in a hot wind, top-heavy and ripe for the harvest.

“Below us is the great exchange of life,” He says, “the miracle of sunlight transformed into sustenance to feed the children of this hungry world. But there is a price to this miracle: what has come to full fruit must give its life to fill the bellies of the living; death is the price some things must pay to ensure the wellness and renewal of the whole.”

A sword appears in His hands, its hilt toward you and the tip pressed against His breast.

“Everything has its season,” He says, His sky blue eyes locking onto yours, “The seed of the new resides within the body of the living; the grain must be cut down for the seed to find fresh soil. All things of the material world are governed by this ever-repeating pattern; one cycle must end so another can begin.”

Lugh gently draws His fingertips across your field of vision, and your awareness shifts so you can view the landscape through His unclouded awareness. You take in the weaving of life that underlies the golden fields: the parched, barren soil, the particles of contaminants in the air, and the murky sludge in the nearby stream.

“Like the green-growing world, humanity has also come to the end of a cycle,” Lugh says, “For millennia, your species has lost sight of the natural ways and rhythms of the Mother Earth. You have taken more than She can bear, and despoiled the air, water and land that sustain you. Now you are reaping what you have sown; this imbalance has come to a breaking point, threatening the very elements that support human life.”

For a few moments Lugh is silent and you can sense the Mother Earth as He does, weighted down and weary, with Her living systems stressed and failing. And you know in your deepest heart that She is fragile and precious, and that Her stability and health are being severely jeopardized by our collective disrespect and maltreatment.

“I do not share these things to burden you with a vision of gloom and despair,” Lugh continues, “Within everything is the seed of a new season and a new harvest, and their miracle of a new, life-affirming beginning.”

The sword now appears with its hilt in Lugh’s hand and its sharpened point pressing against your tender skin.

“You too have come to the end of a cycle on your journey of soul,” Lugh says, “and your personal healing and evolution are intimately intertwined with that of humanity and the Earth.

“The outer imbalance in the natural world and the malaise of humanity reside within you, side by side with your inner imbalance and discontent; each reflects and informs the other. And the seeds of the new are there as well, within your living body and life story. With these seeds, you can mend and renew your life and this world. But there is a price to be paid for this miracle; you must be willing to change in profound ways.

“You must ask yourself: what is ready to be harvested and cut away in my life in service of my soul work, and a more sustainable, life-serving exchange between myself and the Mother Earth? What lessons must I ingest to aid my transformation? What am I willing to sacrifice for new seeds to take root in my life and the greater world?”

The sun now brushes the horizon and you feel the chill of the impending darkness. Lugh’s light is dimming and you reach out to touch Him, and infuse yourself with His illuminating wisdom, wide-scope vision and truth-seeing powers.

A great sadness and sweet hope fill your heart, a knowing that a time of reckoning has indeed arrived and that you must change, humanity must change, if we are to preserve the beauty and abundance of the Mother Earth. Some things must end, must die, for something new to be reborn.

Lugh speaks to you one last time, “Remember that the seeds of the new are held within the body of the living. Everything you need to heal, grow and transform yourself and your world is present in this now moment, in the golden field that is your life story. Be guided by your journey of soul, and the endings and new beginnings that naturally arise within you, moment by moment, and season by season. Be bold, be brave, be wise. From the depth of this cycle, a profound new beginning arises.”

With a sudden gust of wind, Lugh and the hilltop vision are gone, transformed into a descending spiral of golden chaff. And in your cupped hands are the seeds, the miracle, of the new harvest to come.

Celebrate Lammas with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store

 

Artists: Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth (Faery Oracle Deck)