Category Archives: Lammas (Lughnasadh)

Lammas/Lughnasadh Correspondences


Lammas/ Lughnasadh (August 1): Lammas is associated with the color gold and
all harvest colors, the harvest and bounty of the land, the sacred king, and
the Disseminating Moon lunar phase.

Lammas Herbs

acacia flowers, blackberries, corn ears, cornstalks, crab apples, frankincense, grapes, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, pear, sloe, wheat, all grains

The Sacred Herbs of Lugnasad
from “A Druid’s Herbal’ by Ellen Evert Hopman.

Berries, Fenugreek, Frankincense, Heather, Hollyhock, Mistletoe, Oak, Oat, and Sunflower

Berries: Pies can be made of berries to commemorate the death of the God, the “Green Man”, who is sacrificed each year at the harvest so that the greater life may prosper.

Fenugreek: Use Fenugreek seed to attract money.

Frankincense: Use for purification, protection and exorcism. Use it to accelerate spiritual growth.

Heather: This is a herb of luck and protection, and can be used in rain-making rituals.

Hollyhock: Attracts money, success, and material wealth. favored by the fey!

Mistletoe: Use this herb to strengthen all magickal workings. Use also for healing, protection and beautiful dreams.

Oak: Use for strength, perseverance and protection. Brings fertility to ideas, projects and harvest magick.

Oat: Use in money and gather wealth spells.

Sunflower: These are sun symbols and symbolize wisdom and the healthy ego.

Lughnasadh/Lammas Incense, Oil & Soap Recipes

Incense, Oil and Soap Recipes

Lughnassadh Incense 1
2 parts Frankincense
1 part Heather
1 part Apple blossoms
1 pinch Blackberry leaves
a few drops Ambergris oil

Lughnassadh Incense 2
1 tsp. Bay Leaves
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp. Allspice Powder
1 tsp. Gardenia Flowers
1 tsp. Rose Petals

Lughnassadh Incense 3
2 tsp. Copal
2 tsp. Benzoin
1 tsp. Oak
3 tsp. Chamomile
20 drops Lavender

Lughnassadh Incense 4
2 tsp. Benzoin
1 tsp. oak wood
½ tsp. gorse flowers
½ tsp. basil
½ tsp. borage
2 tsp. frankincense
A few drops of pine oil

Blend together and burn on charcoal.

Lughnassadh Incense 5
2 tsp. Frankincense
1 tsp. hops (or sandalwood with a few drops of beer)
1 tsp. apple blossom
1 tsp. blackberry leaves

Lughnassadh Oil
2 parts lime oil
2 parts cinnamon oil
2 parts sandalwood oil
1 part clove oil
1 part frankincense oil

Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.

Lughnassadh Oil 2
2 tsp. wheat germ oil
6 drops frankincense oil
2 drops clary sage oil
1 drop rose oil
sunflower oil to make 2 TB.

Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals

Lammas Soap
1 cup grated unscented soap
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp. apricot oil
1 tbsp. sunflower petals
1/2 tbsp. blackberry leaves
6 drops rosemary oil
3 drops sandalwood oil

Place grated soap in a heat-proof non-metallic container and add the hot water and apricot oil. Leave until it is cool enough to handle, and then mix together
with your hands. If the soap is floating on the water, add more soap. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the soap is soft and mushy. Once
the soap, water, and oil are blended completely, add the dry ingredients. Once the mixture is cool, then add the essential oils (essential oils evaporate
quickly in heat). Enough essential oils should be added to overcome the original scent of the soap. Blend thoroughly and then divide the soap mixture
into four to six pieces. Squeeze the soaps, removing as much excess water as possible into the shape you desire, and tie in a cheesecloth. Hang in a warm,
dry place until the soap is completely hard and dry.

Lammas: The First Harvest by Mike Nichols

The First Harvest
by Mike Nichols

“It was upon a Lammas Night
When corn rigs are bonny,
Beneath the Moon’s unclouded light,
I held awhile to Annie….

Although in the heat of a midwestern summer it might be difficult to discern, the festival of Lammas (August 1) marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we’ve reached autumn’s end (October 31), we will have run the gamut of temperature from the heat of August to the cold and (sometimes) snow of November. And in the midst of it, a perfect midwestern autumn.
The history of Lammas is as convoluted as all the rest of the old folk holidays. It is, of course, a cross-quarter day, one of the four High Holidays or Greater Sabbats of Witchcraft, occurring one quarter of a year after Beltane. Its true astrological point is fifteen degrees Leo, but tradition has set August 1 as the day Lammas is typically celebrated. The celebration proper would begin on sundown of the previous evening, our July 31, since the Celts reckon their days from sundown to sundown.
However, British Witches often refer to the astrological date of August 6 as Old Lammas, and folklorists call it Lammas O.S. (Old Style). This date has long been considered a “power point” of the zodiac, and is symbolized by the Lion, one of the tetramorph figures found on the tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune (the other three figures being the Bull, the Eagle, and the Spirit). Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four “fixed” signs of the zodiac, and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft. Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four Gospel writers.
“Lammas” was the medieval Christian name for the holiday, and it means “loaf-mass”, for this was the day on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on the church altars as offerings. It was a day representative of “first fruits” and early harvest.
In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as “Lughnasadh”, a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish Sun God Lugh. However, there is some confusion on this point. Although at first glance, it may seem that we are celebrating the death of Lugh, the God of Light does not really die (mythically) until the autumnal equinox. And indeed, if we read the Irish myths closer, we discover that it is not Lugh’s death that is being celebrated, but the funeral games that Lugh hosted to commemorate the death of his foster mother, Taillte. That is why the Lughnasadh celebrations in Ireland are often called the “Tailltean games”.
The time went by with careless heed
Between the late and early,
With small persuasion she agreed
To see me through the barley….

One common feature of the games was the “Tailltean marriages”, a rather informal marriage that lasted for only a year-and-a-day or until next Lammas. At that time, the couple could decide to continue the arrangement if it pleased them, or to stand back to back and walk away from one another, thus bringing the Tailltean marriage to a formal close. Such trial marriages (obviously related to the Wiccan handfasting) were quite common even into the 1500s, although it was something one “didn’t bother the parish priest about”. Indeed, such ceremonies were usually solemnized by a poet, bard, or shanachie (or, it may be guessed, by a priest or priestess of the Old Religion).
Lammastide was also the traditional time of year for craft festivals. The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers. The atmosphere must have been quite similar to our modern-day Renaissance festivals.
A ceremonial highlight of such festivals was the Catherine wheel. Although the Roman Church moved St. Catherine’s feast day all around the calendar with bewildering frequency, its most popular date was Lammas. (They also kept trying to expel this much-loved saint from the ranks of the blessed because she was mythical rather than historical, and because her worship gave rise to the heretical sect known as the Cathari.) At any rate, a large wagon wheel was taken to the top of a nearby hill, covered with tar, set aflame, and ceremoniously rolled down the hill. Some mythologists see in this ritual the remnants of a Pagan rite symbolizing the end of summer, the flaming disk representing the Sun God in his decline. And just as the Sun King has now reached the autumn of his years, his rival or dark self has just reached puberty.
Many commentators have bewailed the fact that traditional Gardnerian and Alexandrian Books of Shadows say very little about the holiday of Lammas, stating only that poles should be ridden and a circle dance performed. This seems strange, for Lammas is a holiday of rich mythic and cultural associations, providing endless resources for liturgical celebration.
Corn rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny!
I’ll not forget that happy night
Among the rigs with Annie!

[Verse quotations by Robert Burns, as handed down through several Books of Shadows.]
Document Copyright © 1983 – 2009 by Mike Nichols.
Text editing courtesy of Acorn Guild Press.
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