Lammas Ritual | Appreciate the Bounty

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A SIMPLE MOVEMENT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

As the wheel turns, we can remember how our ancestors marked the movements through each year. They chose a specific time to honor the timeless.

By gathering with those they loved to celebrate the seasons, the passage of beloved times and beautiful beings, they honored the circle of eternal good energy.

During the hot days of August, when the land parched and dry, our families who lived thousands of years ago, saw that the bright reds and brilliant yellows of harvest season were upon them. It was time to reap what they had sewn. They immersed themselves in things of the Earth, smelled its scents, and heard the birds, singing that it was harvest time, time to pick the beans, corn, fruits and summer vegetables.

In leafy trees, they found ripened apples and plump mangoes. They harvested wheat, threshed and winnowed it, and made bread to pass around the table. Then they gathered to rejoice in the fruits of their labors, to show gratitude for their lives. In ritual appreciation, they fed the spirits and then they fed each other.

Called Lammas by the ancient Wiccan and Pagan cultures, the feast is still celebrated during the first week of August to honor hard the work and sustained creativity of farming communities. The feast also commemorates the funeral games of Lugh, Celtic god of light, the son of the Sun.

In the Celtic story of the Wheel of the Year, the Sun God transfers his life force and authority into the grain, and he is sacrificed when the grain is harvested.

Hmmm. A dying, self-sacrificing and resurrecting god of the harvest? Who dies for his people? So they may have food and flourish? If that sounds familiar, that’s because the same story recurs in many modern religions; it is nearly universal.

Today, it’s often easy to overlook our close connection with food and the agricultural cycle, as well as the tremendous challenges our ancestors endured to provide our families with food, shelter, and sustenance. Today, thanks to modern farmers, we count on the stores being open, filled with fresh and packaged foods, but our ancestors who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago planted and kept their own crops, which meant the difference between life and death.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor the land, our ancestors, and our future. They gave their time and effort so that we could live. We love, work, and play to contribute to our descendants and the planet in this all-important cycle. How do we honor the seven generations that came before us and apply what they have learned? What are we doing to contribute to seven generations in the future? What seeds do we need to nurture, and what seeds need to be relinquished, to create the healthiest future?

No matter where we live, what our blood lineage, or what cultural traditions we practice, Lammas is a good time to align with timeless things: family and friends, celestial movements, transformation, rebirth, and new beginnings.

Even the smallest of movements can align us of with the larger movements of life, death, and rebirth.

LAMMAS RITUAL

The ancient ritual of Lammas began with casting a circle and calling in the guardians of the directions, and we too are raising our banners and hands in prayer for the continuity of life and the spirit of community.

While Nature gives us vibrant seeds to plant and physical bodies to manifest, the Sun teaches us that for each new life, some energy must be transformed; something must die.

At the time of Lammas, we can stop and honor all we have created, nurtured, and protected, and let go of what is no longer true or useful.

Look inside to see what’s in the heart. Notice how you are now harvesting the good seeds planted physically, psychically, and energetically months ago. Appreciate the qualities of patience and persistence that make you glow with an inner trust that progress is steady and abundance is our natural state.

Look also to see if we have planted unskillful thoughts and habits. Have we caused harm? Draw on the power of seasonal change to forgive, amend, and let go. Lean into the cycle of life, death, and rebirth to dance with change and make the full circle of love stronger and more buoyant.

Make a ritual of clearing out the undesirable energies. In visualization and/or in fact, clean house, throw out what has no use, and make room for the new. In meditation, declutter the heart and mind by writing down whatever it is that you need to purge before it grows to fullness.

Visualize a cauldron of vast emptiness, or build a bonfire to burn away the debris. Throw the clutter with any bad seeds of unskillful thinking into the cauldron, into the fire. Let it burn away the hard shell of the fearful, untrusting self. Stir the cauldron, and throw in the addiction to having an enemy, any rejections, and all resentments, any way that we have withdrawn from healing, any trait that keeps us from the good, our pure happiness, our world-wise and magnificent wholeness.

Then write a blessing to someone who has harmed you. Bless them back into innocence. Forgive the parents. Forgive the drug cartel. Forgive capitalism and the government. Forgive the church and people who betrayed you. Forgive the media. Forgive everything from the past, everything from the present, and everything in the future. See a forgiving world the makes art, not weapons; calls for love, not war; and plays music, not greedy games.

Ask the Great Spirit of the One Heart: “May your intuitive wisdom be with us.” Let your love now flow through this season, this passage, this day, this circle, the moment in the circle of eternal energy.

See your sacred intention fulfilled now. Vow to protect it like the sacred seed it is. Everything is moving toward Realization.

A simple movement can make a big difference in aligning with the cycles and rhythms of life. All that stands in the way is nothing.

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