Lughnasadh is the celebration of Summer’s End and the harvesting of our efforts both on a physical level as well as a mental and emotional one. As the sun’s brightness continues to fade, we are invited to celebrate our accomplishments so far, before going within to reflect and assess what this means and to ask ourselves where we go from here. We all have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and to grow from them, preparing ourselves for the darker half of the year. So like the god of the harvest, ask yourself what sacrifices can you make now that will benefit you later on? And in what ways can you celebrate this turning point in your life?
This is a time to remember all of those people who are less fortunate than ourselves and to share our time or money with them. Baking a cake and gifting it to an elderly neighbour or offering to do some shopping for them are just two easy things we can do. Donating food to a food bank is also a great way to encourage the flow of abundance which is one of the core messages of Lughnasadh.
Gratitude is the other key message of Lughnasadh. We can show our gratitude by honouring our ancestors with offerings and remembrance. It is important to reflect on their hardships and sacrifices, especially at this time of year, which for their community was a matter of life or death; a concept that is impossible for us to grasp in this day and age of convenience.
Being mindful of where our food comes from and how it is grown and harvested helps us to seek out more ethical and natural choices when it comes to our grocery shopping and to appreciate the earth’s cycles that produce it for us.
To show our appreciation for our living kin, a family gathering could be organised or if this isn’t possible then a simple phone call to let someone you love know that you are thinking of them.
Baking your own bread, cakes or biscuits is wonderful to do no matter what time of year it is, but especially at Lughnasadh when you can offer up your hard work to deity, the land and to the creatures who live there. To make your baked goods even more special decorate them with sigils and herbs.
Go outside and enjoy the shift in the seasons. The mornings and evenings are cooler now, but there are still plenty more days of sunshine and listening to crickets.
Now is the time to gather seeds for next year’s planting. You could even make your own rattle with the larger seeds that you can then use for cleansing your home, your aura or use in ritual.
Start harvesting and drying herbs as well so that you will have what you need to make your own smudge sticks, skincare treatments, spells and remedies.
Crafting corn dollies is an ancient tradition that our ancestors did to honour the harvest. These are straightforward to make even without corn husks. You can use stalks of grass, twine, ribbon and flowers instead. There are many tutorials online that will inspire you.
And lastly how about finding a recipe for making your own cordial or lemonade? Perfect for that weekend family gathering.
Please share any ideas that you have for celebrating Lughnasadh. Do you have any plans yet? For me, gratitude will definitely be the centre point of my ritual this year. Even when things are tough, just remembering the smallest of blessings and being grateful for them can only allow us to receive the abundance that we deserve.