Gifts of the Harvest
by Pam Montgomery

The fullness of summer is upon us as we celebrate Lammas, the cross quarter day between summer solstice and autumn equinox, also known as loaf mass day when the harvest begins and the freshly harvested grains are made into bread. In olden times the entire family would go to the field dressed in their finest and the head of the family would cut the first corn with a sickle. Encircling one’s head three times with the corn an honoring of the harvest would be given. Husks from the corn would be used to make corn dollies or “kern babies” which would then be plowed into the field in the spring to ensure the fruitful growth of corn the following year while remembering the continuity of life from harvest to planting to harvest each year. Being the most significant of the fire festivals this time is also called Lugnasadh where throughout Europe and Ireland fires were lit across the land so that there was a connected web of light that could be seen from fire to fire. After the fires dwindled charred sticks were gathered and saved to start a “need fire”. A need fire was lit with these sticks when healing, protection or fertility was needed in the household. In honor of Lugh, the Celtic God of Light, Lugnasadh was celebrated the entire month of August. Being an outward time of year when much is concentrated on the work at hand Lugh may be called upon for assistance as he is very skilled and capable of doing anything. As we begin the abundant harvest from our gardens we also want to be mindful of what we want to harvest within ourselves, what do we want to bring to fruition? A bountiful harvest is a great blessing that brings forth many gifts. What are the gifts that you can bring forth now and how will you share them with others and the Earth?