Today Nature takes a subtle seasonal shift with the little known pivot point to First Harvest, also known as Lammas (pronounced lah-mass).
What the heck?
Fall Equinox is 6 weeks away, you might protest, but this is something that summer worshipers don’t care to admit: Solstice has come and gone, and though summer is at its zenith in the Northern Hemisphere, daylight is slowly fading and has been since Summer Solstice.
Lammas sometimes called Loaf Mass, or the Gaelic, Lughnasadh (lOO-nah-sah), is a Celtic festival that welcomes the seasonal wisdom and natural shift of the beginning of the harvest.
Lammas is one of the cross-quarter festivals – along with Imbolc (Candlemas), Beltane (May Day), and Samhain (Halloween) – of the Celtic calendar with the quarter festivals of the Solstices and Equinoxes celebrated in between.
There are three harvest festivals: Lammas (today), Fall Equinox, and Samhain (sow-in aka. Halloween). Which reflects how some crops have longer growing periods.
Observed on August 1st, Lammas is the midway point between Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox.
Lammas is about taking a moment to relax in the heat of Summer and to reflect on the soon to come abundance of Fall. A time to bless our metaphorical and literal crops.
Even though this is a time of burgeoning abundance, this also marks a time of waning. Life bursts forward and yet, in nature’s growth cycle after this peak it begins to decline. Soon enough we’ll celebrate Fall Equinox and enter longer nights and the full harvest season.
Did that just harsh your mellow?
Even the word Lammas – kinda looks like the word lament for some of you, doesn’t it?
While I’m a lover of crisper days, my husband has a visceral reaction to seeing leaves turn this “early” in summer.
This clinging to life is normal. Life has been blooming since sometime in the Spring. The trees, flowers, birds, and sunshine seduce our attention outward. Shaking off the hibernation of winter, we stepped outside and felt the full glory of warmer days.
It seems that just as start to we warm up to this way of being, change beckons again.
Resistance is natural. Many people experience a feeling of loss at this time.
After many years of tuning into Nature’s rhythms, I’ve learned that this feeling of loss usually comes because our inner world hasn’t been tended to as much. Often self-care practices have melted away. A meditation, journaling, or yoga practice vanished sometime back in June.
This is the point when the playful, celebratory tone of Summer has pulled us so much from our connection to ourselves, our inner centre, our deepest soul essence – the part of us that knows how we connect with Nature reflects how we connect with our truest Nature and finds joy in the rhythm of the earth’s cycles – that we feel lost and disconnected.
As the season starts to shift, it’s time to come back home to ourselves, to reaffirm our connection to what matters most, to welcome self-care back into our everyday.
Self-care is Soul-care.
And it isn’t another to-do in life, it IS life.
Lammas is a perfect time to reflect on what you want to harvest during this season.
It is also a great time to choose to let go of any projects, tasks, thoughts, or behaviours that no longer need your energy and to redirect that energy into what matters most to you and by doing so, to reconnect to yourself and your life.
I like to reconnect with myself by spending time in nature and witnessing the subtle shifts through swimming at an outdoor pool, walking in the ravine, sinking into a great book, writing in my journal, going to various outdoor festivals, and having no-stress backyard barbeques.
Take out your journal and ask yourself:
- What (if any) self-care practices have fallen by the wayside? How do I need to reconnect with myself?
- What practices or activities would best support me in doing so?
- Is there anything that I want to focus my energy into completing?
- Is there anything I’ve put off that needs renewed attention?
- Where can I get the support I need to tend to my soul-care and/or the things I want to devote my energy to right now?
Ways to Celebrate Lammas
- Bake some bread using grains that resonate with your body’s wisdom
- Bake some traditional breadmen
- Do some crafting and make traditional corn dolls
- Enjoy late summer fruit like apples, plums, and peaches
- Go to a corn maze
- Find a huge sunflower field and take some selfies
- Head out to a lake, forest, or the mountains and notice the subtle shift in the season
- Take in an outdoor concert, play, or movie
- Indulge in a corn-on-the-cob roast (what the farmers in my family lovingly call a corn pig out!)
- Seek out a local harvest celebration or county fair
- Sip on some barley, malt, or hops (aka. beer) or mead (a type of honey ale)
- If you are on Vancouver Island, consider celebrating at one of my Moon Lodges! www.shecollective.ca/MoonLodge
Want to join other like-minded/hearted women? Join my SHE Revival Facebook group. Sign up here.
How did you celebrate Litha?
I’d love to know! Leave your comment in the box below and share your experience with me.
Your Soul Sistah,
aka. Moon Maven, Ritual Queen, Rebelle Mystic, Symbolism Sherlock, and Hormone Whisperer specializing in women’s health, cycles, rhythms, body wisdom, and soul fulfillment.