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About Lammas/Lughnasadh


Lammas is probably easier to say (at first), however, we celebrate this Sabbat as Lughnasadh (Pronounced "Loo-na-sar"). It is a harvest celebration named for the Sun god Lugh, and he was one of the most popular of the Celtic gods.

Lughnasadh is known to non-Celts as Lammas and is celebrated on February 1st (August 1 northern hemisphere). "Lammas", the common name for this seasonal celebration in modern times comes from the word for "loaf mass" which celebrates the bread made from the first grain to be harvested. Lughnasadh was the first of three harvest festivals, and often the largest and the most important followed by Mabon and then the final harvest of the year which came at Samhain.


This is the season that the Goddess becomes the Mother of the Harvest. She is strong, her face dark from the sun and wind. he carries a scythe and a basket of fruits, vegetables and ears of corn. She knows that in order to eat bread we must cut the grain. In fact, is we didn't cut it, it would die anyway, for that is the only way next year's grain can grow. We can call on the Harvest Mother when we have difficult decisions to make or hard tasks to perform. We must face our fears of failing, of losing the harvest, or making mistakes. She gives us the strength to do what must be done, to tell the truth, even when it hurts, and to say no to things that are not right.She loves us, her children, and her gifts are food, abundance, and plenty. Everything we need to live and grow.


The success of the harvests would determine the quality of life for the rest of the year. Everyone who was able would gather to harvest the all-important grain crop with everyone in the community working together. At the completion of the work they then would celebrate and thank the gods for the bounty of the fields. In Europe the Corn Mother was made of the last sheaves of corn harvested; as her spirit was believed to be embodied in these sheaves of corn. The "corn dolly" can be burned in a ritual circle at Lughnasadh to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, or would be kept safe throughout the winter and then buried in the spring with the sowing of the fields. It is fun to make these dollies (See here for instructions).


In the modern world we tend to become distanced from our food. When all the food we eat comes wrapped in plastic or inside a can or freezer box, we tend to forget the effort that has gone into producing it. We should always be thankful for the food on our plates and give thought to how it got there, you don't have to wait for Lughnasadh for that!


Altar arangements - The Altar should have on it some of the first fruits, grains, and Vegetables that are now ripening. You can add things that represent your skills: a book, a drawing, even a hammer! Bread you have baked in the figure of the Sun or a man (to represent the God) could also be used for the Simple Feast during ritual. Corn Dollies, symbolic of the Goddess, are appropriate as well.One section of the altar can represent your hopes. Look for pictures in magazines and make a hope card.Another section of the altar can be for your fears. Draw pictures of them, fold them up, and, as part of your ritual, burn the pictures and release your fears.Have you and/or your ancestors been part of a struggle for justice? What struggles going on in the world right now could use some help from Lugh's spear? Put something on the altar to represent those struggles.


Colours - Although we still see green, for the fields and trees have reached their full spectrum of foliage, the focus is in the yellows and golds of the corn, and the black of the Dark Mother. Bone and Tan accent this holiday nicely.


Incense, Herbs and Woods - frankincense, sandalwood, copal and heather. Dill, Yarrow, Sunflowers, Rye, Oats, Corn, Wheat, Hazelnuts, Grape Vine, Hazel and Oak.






Some Lughnasadh activities might include:


·  Spend time in your garden. If you don't have a spot of your own land to plant and harvest, investigate the possibility of starting a community garden or visit one of the many farms which allow you to harvest your own vegetables.


·  Make a corn dolly using stalks of wheat or corn husks.


·  Start a compost heap. If your plot of land is small you can even start one in a large plastic garbage can. Poke some holes in the bottom to allow gasses to escape, fill about half full with grass clippings, vegetable parings and other biodegradeable materials, moisten well and allow to sit. Turn the contents periodically to allow air to circulate and moisten occasionally. When the materials begin to decompose you can add a handful of earthworms to speed up the process. You can also add vegetable parings from time to time. It will take several months, but you should be able to use your compost in your garden next spring.




Seed and Corn Necklaces



·  Dried beans (several different kinds and colours)

·  Dried corn which has already been removed from the cob

·  Dried corn on the cob ("Indian" corn)

·  1 yard heavy thread or dental floss for each child

·  1 tapestry needle for each child

·  finger bandages (just in case somebody gets stuck!)


Prepare the strings in advance by threading the needles and knotting the end. Prepare the beans and dried corn by soaking overnight in water.


  1. Show the children the ear of dried corn (Not the corn you soaked!) and show them how the kernels can be removed from the cob. (Twist the cob firmly in your hands while holding it over a towel or blanket. The corn should pop off--once you get it started it isn't difficult to remove all the kernels.)

  2. Show the children how to use the needle to poke a hole through the centre of each corn kernel and bean. Alternate corn and beans or make some other pattern.

  3. When the strand of strung seeds is about 24" long, set it aside overnight or hang it in the sun to dry (the seeds will shrink slightly). When it is dry, push together the seeds to cover any spaces which may have formed.

  4. Tie the ends together in an overhand knot and cut off excess string. Slip the necklace over your head or wind it around your wrist as a bracelet.

You could also do seed pictures.






Cornmeal Muffins


·  1 C. sifted all-purpose flour

·  1/4 C. sugar

·  4 teaspoons baking powder

·  3/4 teaspoon salt

·  1 C. yellow cornmeal

·  2 eggs

·  1 C. milk

·  1/4 C. shortening.


1. Sift together the dry ingredients. Then mix in the remaining ingredients.


2. Beat with a rotary beater or electric mixer just till smooth. (Don't overbeat or your muffins will have peaks on top--they taste the same, but they look funny!)


3. Fill well greased muffin tins about 2/3 full.


4. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Makes about a dozen





Corn Fritters


·  1 C. sifted all purpose flour

·  1 teaspoon baking powder

·  1 teaspoon salt

·  2 eggs

·  1/2 C. milk

·  1 teaspoon vegetable oil

·  2 cups cooked corn

·  Vegetable oil in heavy saucepan or deep-fryer




1.     Heat 3-4 inches of oil to 375.


2.     Mix remaining ingredients except for corn with rotary beater or mixer until smooth.


3.     Stir in corn.


4.     Drop by rounded spoonful into hot oil.


5.     Brown until light golden brown (do not overcook or allow the oil to become too hot.)


6.     Drain on paper towels. Makes a lot! (Serves 6-8 adults)




Perfect Corn Bread


1 cup sifted all-purpose flour                      

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder                          

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup yellow corn meal                              

2 eggs

1 cup milk                                          

1/4 cup shortening

1. Sift flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt then stir in cornmeal.


2. Add eggs, milk, and shortening.


3. Beat with rotary or electric beater till just smooth. (Do not overbeat.)


4. Pour into greased 20cm x 20cm x 5cm pan. Bake at 220°C for 20 to 25 minutes.


5. Corn Sticks: Spoon batter into greased corn-stick pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake in hot oven (220°C) 12 to 15 minutes.


Makes 18.



Stuffed Mushrooms


2 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons diced green pepper

Salt & Pepper

1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems

2 tablespoons chopped onion

250g large mushrooms, stems removed

3/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons cooked, crumbled bacon

12 small slices cheese (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 18°C.


2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over low heat and sauté the mushroom stems, green pepper, and onions until tender.


3. Mix in the bread crumbs, bacon, thyme, salt & pepper.


4. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and place the caps on a cookie sheet.


5. Melt one tablespoon of the butter & drizzle over the caps, then top each with a cheese slice.


6. Bake for 15 minutes. (Serve hot).


Yield: About 1 dozen.



Noodles in Faery Butter


4 hard-boiled egg yolks

2 tablespoons orange flower water (optional)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup sweet butter, softened

450g noodles (any kind), cooked

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sweet basil

1 orange, sliced (garnish)


1. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, butter, thyme, basil, and orange water in a small bowl until smooth.


2. Mix enough of the butter with the hot noodles to coat the noodles with a golden-yellow colour.



3. Garnish with orange slices.


Yield: 8 Servings









Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her mother Elizabeth, her father Michael, her brother Corwin and her cat Starweaver.

One day Meagan was helping her mother do the grocery shopping. They were buying ingredients to make bread. They got flour, yeast, and molasses. Meagan was very excited. She was going to help make the bread for her family's Lammas celebration. Meagan knew that Lammas was also called the 'Loaf Mass' by some Christians. It was a holiday to celebrate the grain harvest. She helped her mother put the groceries into the cloth bags and carry them to the car. Soon they were ready to go home and start making the bread.

"Mommy," asked Meagan, "can we make a loaf for Cindy and Mrs. Hanson?" 

Elizabeth nodded, "I think that's a great idea! We're going to make a loaf for each of them, two for the coven and maybe a loaf for Nana and Gamma Lee and Granpa Scott. How many loaves will we need to make?" 

Meagan thought and thought. She started to count on her fingers. "Hmmm," she said, "let's see, two and two is four and one is five and one is six. We need to make six loaves of bread to have enough for everyone." 

"That's right!" said her mother, "and as soon as your brother gets home we'll start making them." 

Meagan helped unload the groceries when they got home. She helped set out the ingredients for the bread. Then she decided to make cards to go with the bread until Corwin got home. She made a card for her best friend Cindy and Mrs. Hanson who lived down the street. She made a card for her Nana. She made a card for Gamma Lee and Granpa Scott. Corwin was still not home. 

Meagan sighed. Her cat Starweaver jumped up into her lap and started to purr. "Gosh," she said to him, "I don't think that Corwin will ever come home!" She decided to make a card for Gwennie's new baby. Gwennie was in their coven and would be having a baby very soon. Michael had told Meagan that the midwife said that Gwennie's baby would probably be a little boy. 

Meagan carefully chose a red crayon for fire. Meagan drew a red lion to stand for fire and the South. She drew a yellow eagle for air and the East. She drew a blue dragon for water and the West and she drew a green stag for earth and the North. Meagan stopped and looked at her card. She opened it up and put a silver Goddess on one side and a gold God on the other. 

Just then Corwin came in the back door with their father. His face was pale. He had a white cast on his arm. Meagan jumped up from the table just as her mother came into the room. 

"What happened!" Meagan gasped

. Elizabeth hugged Corwin tight. "Corwin fell from the tree he was climbing at the park and broke his arm. He'll have to keep the cast on for awhile but the doctor said that it was a clean break and should heal well." 

Meagan put her hand on Corwin's good arm. "I'm sorry," she said, "will we still make bread?" Elizabeth looked at Michael over Corwin's head, "That depends on how Corwin feels, honey." Corwin sighed, "I think I'll be okay but I'm just gonna sit in the armchair and supervise." 

Everyone helped Corwin get settled in an armchair in a corner of the kitchen. They made the dough for the bread and set it aside to rise. Meagan showed Corwin the cards she had made. "Hey, that's neat," her brother said, "I think I'll make a card for Gwennie and the baby later too. But right now I'd like to take my medicine and lay down."

Corwin went to his bedroom. Michael and Elizabeth were both doing other things while they waited for the bread to rise. Meagan felt all alone. She decided to make an extra special card for Corwin to help make him feel better. She used all her favorite colors. She took her time and was very careful. The dough still wasn't ready to cook.

Meagan looked at the timer. It was about to go off! She called her parents. "We're coming," chuckled Michael. Meagan jumped around the kitchen shouting, "It's time! It's time!" "Hush," said her mother, "we don't want to wake up Corwin. First we have to punch down the dough and let it rise again. We'll wake up Corwin just before we're ready to cook the bread." Meagan sighed, "How much longer?"

Elizabeth smiled and showed her the timer. Meagan sighed again. She had already made tons of cards. What could she do while she was waiting for the bread? She decided to make a present for the new baby and for Corwin. She went and got two jars from the recycle box. She cleaned them very carefully. She saw her father in the workshop and asked him to punch some long slots in the jars. "What are you making?" asked Michael. "I'm making a saving's jar for Corwin and one for Gwennie's new baby," said Meagan. "That's a great idea!" said Michael, "Why don't you go decorate the jars and I'll have the tops ready for you by the time you're done." 

Meagan took the jars up to her room. She glued on sparkles. She used yarn. She set the jars aside to dry and went back to the workshop. Michael had just finished filing the slots smooth. Meagan took the lids up to her room. She took out her button collection. She very carefully picked out buttons to fit on the lids. She glued buttons all over the lids in a spiral design. She hid the jars away so that Corwin wouldn't see them if he came into her room. By the time she had gone back to the kitchen it was time to bake the bread. 

Corwin was feeling a little better. Soon the house was filled with the delicious smell of baking bread. When the loaves were done, they set them out to cool. Meagan and Corwin decorated some paper to wrap the bread in for their friends. 

Soon it was Lammas. They put the bread on the altar with some real grain that someone had brought from their farm. Meagan looked for Gwennie but she didn't come. Someone told her that Gwennie was working on having her baby. While they were in Circle they asked the Lord and Lady to watch over Gwennie and her baby. When Circle was over everyone came back into the house. Michael checked the phone messages. 

It is a boy!" he shouted, "Little Arthur Linden born at 6:22 PM. He weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. Baby and parents are doing fine."

Everyone was very excited. Someone mentioned taking a present by their house. Meagan asked them to wait before they left. She ran to her room and got the card and the jar she had made. She also got the card and jar she had made for Corwin. Corwin saw the jars and asked her what they were for. "Well, one is for you and one is for Arthur for being born," she said, "since he's just a baby and won't care you can pick out which one you like best." Corwin took the jar that had blue and silver buttons on the top, "This looks like the night sky. Thanks Sis, this really makes me feel better." He gave her a hug. Meagan felt warm inside. Corwin had picked the jar that she had made while thinking of him. She gave the other jar to the grownup who was going by Gwennie's house. Everyone liked her present. 

Meagan yawned. She told everyone goodnight and went into her room. She got ready for bed. When she got into her bed she found a piece of paper and a shell on her pillow. The paper was from Corwin and said "Thank you for being my sister." Meagan smiled and went to sleep holding her new shell. Her cat Starweaver came in and curled up at her feet. It had been a good day.


by Kathryn Dyer















The Grasshopper and the Ant
adapted from the tale by Aesop
by C.J.Brown





Once upon a time there was a very hard-working ant. Every day he worked from sunup to sundown collecting food and carrying it to his ant hill where he and his brother and sister ants stored it safely for winter.

Living next door to the ant was a grasshopper. The grasshopper was lazy. All he wanted to do from sunup to sundown was to play his fiddle in the sunshine and sing and dance. He would watch the ants going to and fro from their ant hill and he would sing:


[Tune for all songs: London Bridge is Falling Down]
"Hurry, hurry, work all day
Never any time for play...
Sit and listen to my song.
The day is warm and life is long."

The ants usually just ignored the grasshopper when he would sing his song. They were too busy collecting food to worry about what a silly grasshopper might have to say, but the ant cared what might happen to his friend the grasshopper, so he made up a song of his own:


"Lazy, silly, play all day...
Play your fiddle while you may.
Winter comes with ice and snow.
How you'll live, I just don't know."

The grasshopper had never really thought about winter. Perhaps the ant was right; maybe he should collect some food for the winter. The grasshopper started looking for food, but then he got distracted by the clouds in the sky and the song of a bird and he decided to make up a new song instead:


"Hurry, scurry, work all day.
You should take some time to play.
Clouds float by and birdies sing
I'll work later... it's still Spring."

The ant just shook his head in disbelief and kept on working. From time to time the ant would remind the grasshopper that he needed to save food for the Winter, but the grasshopper always had an excuse to do it later.

When the sun was shining bright in the Mid-summer sky, the grasshopper sang:


"Hurry, scurry, work all day.
You should take some time to play.
Grass grows green and sun does shine
I'll do work another time..."

When the chiily Autumn breezes began to pull the leaves from the trees, the ants weren't the only ones hurrying to bring food into their houses. The squirrels and chipmunks also tried to convince the grasshopper to save for the coming Winter, but the grasshopper just laughed and sang:

"Autumn leaves are falling down.
Nuts and apples on the ground.
Though there's frost up in the air,
I won't work...I just don't care."

As the days grew colder, the ant tried again and again to get his friend to find a warm house and to save some of the nuts and seeds that were lying on the ground. The grasshopper would just laugh at the ant and went right on playing his fiddle and singing and dancing.

Then, one morning when the ant woke up, he couldn't hear his friend singing. The ant looked for the grasshopper and found him frozen to death with his fiddle in his hands. The ant shook his head sadly and sang:

"Lazy, silly, always played...
Never worked a
single day.
Never planned and now you're gone.
I will really miss your song."

Then the ant crawled back into his nice warm anthill with all his brothers and sisters and they all had a nice big breakfast.

The End










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