Sunflowers with wheat against them to symbolize the Lammas harvest festival.

Celebrating Lammas: How to Celebrate the First Harvest

As we move into the month of August, we come to the first harvest festival of Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh. This point on the wheel of the year marks the beginning of the harvest season. As green witches, we honor the abundance of the land during this summer growing season and give thanks for all the blessings of Mother Earth.

Lammas is celebrated on or about August 1 in the Northern Hemisphere. Traditionally, this was the time of the grain harvest.

Lammas is also a time to reflect on the cycles of life and the balance of light and dark. As the days begin to shorten and the darkness of winter approaches, we can use this time to connect with the energies of abundance, gratitude, and reflection and to set intentions for the coming season. We can also take action to create positive change in the world around us.

At this first harvest festival, our celebrations are to give thanks for the blessings of the earth and honor the cycles of life.

 

About Lammas

Lammas has origins in pre-Christian times. The people then depended on the land and a good harvest for survival. It’s also called Lughnasadh, after the Celtic god Lugh, whose domain was the sun, harvest, and craftsmanship.

In agrarian societies, this was the transition from the growing season to the harvest season. Today’s rituals and celebrations focus more on the connection to nature, the gratitude for the earth’s bounty and the interconnectedness between humans, the land, and the cycles of nature.

Pick up your free copy of the Lammas Guide here, and keep it in your Book of Shadows for easy reference and inspiration.

The Seasonal Connection of Lammas 

Lammas falls on August 1, the last month of summer. The sun’s energy is still evident and abundant and there’s long daylight hours.

But the energies are shifting.

Lammas falls between Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Fall Equinox (Mabon), so it is a time of transition between summer and fall.

This is a time when the spring crops are ready for harvest. A time of maturity and ripening. This is the abundance that we gain for the demanding work of the planting and nurturing.

We’re invited to pause and appreciate the changes from the vibrant summer to the coming fall, when the days grow shorter, and the sun isn’t so strong anymore. These are times of shift and change and a signal to prepare for the coming dark months.

As we go deeper into this transition from summer to fall, we’re also reminded that there’s a link between the cycles – life, growth, death, and rebirth. Each symbolized in the season and the life cycle of the plants.

  • Life is the seed. Spring
  • Growth is the growing season. Summer.
  • Death in the harvest and dying back of those plants. Fall.
  • Rebirth in the seeds produced so that the cycle can continue. Winter.

We’re also reminded of our interconnectedness to all of nature. We are a part of it and not apart from it. These natural rhythms mirror our own cycles.

This is a great time to reflect on what these themes mean to you.  If you want to go a little deeper with your journey through the Wheel of the Year, check out Ravynwylde – A Sacred Year Journey for the Solitary Green Witch. 

 

Hands with grains of wheat against a field of grain to signify Lammas harvest festival.
The wheat harvest falls near Lammas.

 

Lammas Ritual Inspiration

For celebrating Lammas, we can create our own rituals to show appreciation for the gifts of nature. For decorations, we can use the items harvested from our own gardens or pick up some things at the farmer’s market.

The key here is that we will express our gratitude to Mother Earth for the abundance of the harvest. Modify your ritual to suit your needs, energy, and time you have available.

To do your ritual, consider what items you’ll need and collect your supplies:

  • Fruits, vegetables, or grains from your garden (or get them from the farmer’s market to support your local agriculture)
  • A basket, bowl, or large plate
  • Candles and a lighter or matches
  • Your journal and something to write with

You can prepare your altar/sacred space any way that you like.

I like to use items from my garden, things I’ve found in nature and flowers in the colors that remind me of the harvest such as yellow and orange.

The exact things I will choose for my ritual depends on what’s growing and what I feel drawn to.

Tip:  If you need to buy herbs for your ritual, Mountain Rose Herbs is my favorite source for quality herbs and herbal supplies. 

Once you’ve gathered what you’ll need:  

Place the fruits, vegetables, or grains in the container you’ve selected.

Light the candles in honor of the sun. Keep your journal handy for making notes or recording your thoughts.

Take a moment to center and ground yourself. Do this with a few deep breaths.

Allow yourself to be completely in this moment. Allow any tension to dissolve.

Feel the earth beneath you as strong and stable. Your connection to it is like an anchor for you.

Light your candles and call in the energy of this harvest festival.

Offer your gratitude and appreciation for the abundance of the season. Acknowledge the interconnectedness between you and Mother Earth.

Choose your offerings from the items you’ve placed on your altar. Feel the gratitude you have and infuse your offerings with your intentions.

If you’re doing your ritual outdoors, you can leave your offerings on the ground. If you’re doing your ritual inside, you can place your offerings outside later. Choose a location at the base of a tree or in your garden to leave them, saying “thank you” as you do so.

Reflect on this festival, the harvest, and what it means to you in your journal. Consider all that the growing season has brought to you. What lessons have you learned? What growth have you experienced? Use your journal to record your thoughts.

To close out your ritual, offer your gratitude and thanks, feeling the sacredness of this moment and the blessings of the harvest. Finally, snuff out your candles and say Blessed Be.

Loaf of fresh baked bread on a bread board with a knife alongside.
My Grandmother’s Favorite Bread Recipe Plus Cinnamon Buns!

Lammas Gratitude Prayer

This can be used with your ritual or as a compliment to your other Lammas celebrations, including a harvest dinner or gathering of friends.

Here’s a couple of seasonal recipes you might like to try for your gathering:

Fresh Baked Bread (my grandmother’s favorite recipe and it makes great cinnamon buns too!)

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers 

 

The Prayer

Divine Spirit, on this sacred day of Lammas, I bow my head and open my heart in gratitude.

I am grateful for the bountiful earth, the fertile soil, for gentle rains and the warmth and light of the sun.

I am grateful for the reminder that all things must end and begin anew.

I am grateful for the lessons of the harvest. It teaches patience, dedication and diligence and that rewards come from hard work.

I am grateful for the plants, animals, and elements and the unity we share with all beings.

May I honor the gifts of the harvest, by tending to the earth and embracing her cycles of life.

With deep reverence and boundless gratitude, I offer this prayer to the Divine Spirit within and around me, On this sacred day of Lammas, and always.

So mote it be.

 

Immature stalk of wheat with green and gold showing before harvest time of Lammas.
Wheat harvest time.

Lammas 3 Card Oracle Spread

Here’s a simple three card spread that you can use for your Lammas celebration.

This card spread embodies that themes of the season to provide insight, guidance, and inspiration as you honor the first harvest. Each card represents a different aspect for you to explore.

Shuffle your oracle deck, focus on Lammas, and select three cards, placing them face down in the order presented below. When you’re ready, turn them over one by one.

  • Card 1: Harvest Blessings This card represents the blessings you’ve received during this growing season. It reflects the gifts of your efforts, and where in your life where you’re experiencing prosperity and abundance.
  • Card 2: Release and Renewal This card signifies the aspects of your life that are ready to be released and transformed. It represents the necessary sacrifices and letting go that come with the cycle of life and the harvest season. This card offers guidance on what you need to release in order to embrace new growth, transformation, and the opportunities that are coming to you.
  • Card 3: Harvest Lessons This card signifies the wisdom and lessons that the harvest season holds for you. It offers insights into the experiences, challenges, or teachings that you have encountered and provides guidance on the valuable knowledge you’ve gained and how it can shape your path moving forward.

Take your time to reflect on each card’s meaning and how it relates to your current situation. Journal about your insights, interpretations, and any actions or intentions that come up for you through using this spread.

You can also use tarot cards with this Lammas card spread if you prefer them to oracle cards.

 

Summary

Lammas, the first harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year is a special time for green witches to honor the seasonal shift, the abundance of the season and connect deeply with the cycles of nature.

It’s a time of weaving ourselves into the fabric of the season, cultivating a sense of harmony, balance, and reverence for the cycles of life as we embrace the spirit of Lammas.

Throughout the ages, Lammas has been a reminder of the interconnectedness between humanity, the land, and the cycles of nature. A symbol of the enduring relationship between people and the harvest that sustains them.

 

Here’s to a beautiful Lammas for you and yours! Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the Lammas Guide here.

Blessed Be.

 

Ready to go a little further with your journey through the Wheel of the Year? Check out Ravynwylde – A Sacred Year Journey for the Solitary Green Witch 

You might like these Wheel of the Year posts too:

Yule 

Mabon 

Samhain 

Free Lammas Guide