MOOD | CELEBRATORY
Today’s traditional celebration is one of freedom. This year, that freedom comes in a multitude of layers and looks different for each one of us. I hope you feel that sense of celebration in a personally meaningful way.
Here at Magic Fairy Candles we are so excited to be celebrating the long-awaited launch of our Monthly Magic ritual box subscription service. It’s been a year in the making, but now it’s finally here!
Monthly Magic delivers ritual into your hands every month. After signing up, you’ll receive the current month’s ritual box immediately. Then you’ll receive a ritual box each month, curated to uphold and celebrate the rituals of the coming holiday in the Wheel of the Year, as well as additional themed boxes to enhance awareness and self care practices for those months which fall between holidays. You’ll also enjoy a specially discounted monthly price and free shipping. Please visit our Monthly Magic page for all the details and to get started!
In this week’s blog, I’m sharing some of the content from our next ritual box booklet, honoring the August holiday of Lammas. While summer just arrived, it seems to go so quickly. How do we make it last? We can bring our full awareness into each summer moment, one at a time. May you settle deep into each and every lush summer minute.
All my love, always.
LAMMAS | A CHRONICLE
Lammas is the first harvest of the season. Largely observed on August 1st or 2nd, the word lammas has its origins in the Old English word hlāfmæsse, meaning loaf mass. Hence the ritual of bread baking to honor the wheat harvest at this time of year.
While not one of the year’s most boisterous celebrations, its existence dates back many centuries, marking the approximate halfway point between the summer solstice and autumnal equinox. Though some of its first rituals are recorded in very early Anglo-Saxon texts outlining instructions for prayers of protection over newly harvested corn, specifically to keep the mice at bay.
Ancient Celtic observance of this day signified the union of the Earth goddess with the Sun god, uniquely called Lughnasaid. This name for the day is not interchangeable with the title of Lammas, as some might believe. And there exist very different histories of celebrations for Lammas in England and Ireland, which have their roots in Christian customs. Some Scottish weddings in older times, which occurred on Lammas, could be broken off after a year without penalty or religious questions. Thus, the day of Lammas is not solely a pagan observance, but spans a multitude of beliefs.
Lammas is a time to honor and observe the fruits of your labor—literally and figuratively. Perhaps this was the first time you planted a garden. Or maybe you’ve labored in other ways to sustain yourself or your family. Whatever transitions which may have occurred during the first part of your year, this is a moment for reflecting upon the successes.
Harvests of all kinds occur about this time, so it’s easy to find local crops to fulfill your celebration’s needs: bake bread using local grains; gather herbs to dry for use during the rest of the year; pick or buy local fruits to freeze or make preserves; or collect seeds to dry and plant next year.
Lammas is also a time to honor others for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf. A first harvest of the season is the perfect time to share the abundance of what you have through baking and gifting, hosting a small feast, or lavishly preparing something for your beloved or someone you don’t even know, simply for the pleasure of sharing.
THE LAMMAS ALTAR
Consider setting up a space outdoors, if possible, including any items representative of the harvest. Wherever you set it, an altar is an intimate expression of your experience with this celebration. There are no rules, only suggestions based on those who have come before us:
• A richly colored cloth which reminds you of ripe fruit or golden fields.
• Items to represent all the elements—earth, air, fire, water. Some soil, a feather, your candle, and a small bowl of water are simple selections.
• Herbs ready for drying. Think sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or parsley.
• Stalks of wheat or corn, perhaps tied with a ribbon of an earthy shade.
• Fresh raspberries, blackberries or blueberries.
• Summer flowers of sunflowers, zinnias, nasturtiums, marigolds.
• Stones of topaz, slate, quartz, jasper, or lodestone.
• Personal spiritual items such as deities, amulets, talismans, or images.
• Something to represent both the feminine and masculine.
Above all, make it a delight to gather items and create your altar.
Simple is lovely. As is over-the-top elaborate. Let it be who you are.