A Might-do List for Lughnasadh
A few years back the idea of a might-do list kept showing up in my world and I was immediately enamored with the concept. As someone who can make a list that turns more into a marathon than an appropriately paced daily jog, I really like the concept of being able to keep my beloved list-making habit while softening my obligation to it. Doing this has actually changed the ways I make lists and plan out my year for the better.
What makes a might-do list different than a to-do list is that by its very nature you’re not supposed to try and do all the things on that list. It is more like a collection of inspiration to help remind you of how it is you want to be spending your time, not how you think you should be spending your time.
Being a Pagan and celebrator of the Wheel of the Year, I thought I would put together a might-do list for the season of Lughnasadh. Notice that I put season and not just Sabbat. These are activities that you might choose to do on the days of Lughnasadh or spread them out between the First Harvest and the festival of Mabon.
One more note. In the time of climate crisis and the increasing anxiety that comes with it, we need to draw ourselves closer to the earth rather than farther from it. Of course, as a Pagan, I think we all need to become conscious of our roots in ways that have been previously lost due to assimilation, colonization, and the survival skill of forgetfulness that is so keenly humxn. But hopefulness and the important knowing the one is always in a web of interconnectedness comes about when we take time to re-acquaint ourselves with the seasons of the year, of our lives, and our revolutions.
So here is my list of nine things you might do or not for the season of Lughnasadh.
Perform a harvest blessing. Magickally welcome in the start of harvest season with blessings and offerings to the spirits of the land and waters.
Have a day of playing cooperative and competitive games with your friends and family. Lughnasadh is traditionally a Gaelic festival and in Ireland, funerary games in honor of the Goddess Tailte (who is Lugh’s foster-mother and one of the reasons for the season) were played. Beyond Lughnasadh, the myth of Inanna and Ereshkigal is another powerful teaching myth of the season.
Visit a festival or faire. The First Harvest is a time of celebration and community gatherings so go out and enjoy a festival or faire in and around your part of the world. Also, protests to bring about a more kind and just world are always relevant to attend!
Support local community efforts and/or raise some funds for your favorite organizations. Since we’re celebrating the hard work of making a bountiful harvest possible, be sure to get out there and support the hard work of others, too. Support food banks, healthy food programs in school, and other food security initiatives are great places to start.
Visit a pick-your-own farm. Support local farms, enjoy whatever seasonal back goods they have to offer, and enjoy a day out harvesting good food for the months ahead (because heck yeah to freezing bucketloads of fresh fruit for autumnal crisps later on in the year).
Harvest your own garden grown fruit, veg, and collect seedheads. In the days leading up to Lughnasadh I really enjoy harvesting herbs, fruits, and vegetables from our family garden to use in the Sabbat feast. Learn how to collect and save seeds for future harvests. I also start creating gifts that I’ll give for Yule.
Practice some seasonal divination. From watching the weather of August to predict the weather of the coming months or using corn kernels for answering yes and no questions to inquiries about one’s health. Lughnasadh by Melanie Marquis is a good resource for these and other Lughnasadh divinatory traditions.
Practice gratitude and create hopeful harvest cards to share. Honor that which you are grateful for and reflect on all the ways you have grown this year. Pull out your journal or book of mirrors and list all the things you’ve done, big or small, plan and unplanned, and be sure to take time to celebrate and feel these accomplishments in your bones. If you want, create your own variation of the Hope Cards described in Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions:
“Ask the children to think about what they hope to harvest, literally or symbolically, and help them make cards that represent those hopes. They can draw on construction paper or any scrap paper, or create collages from magazines, greeting cards, and old calendars.
All the cards are put into a basket and shuffled. Then each child draws a card. The card each child receives becomes a symbol of luck and blessing for the harvest. And by giving away our hopes, we are asking the Goddess to help them be fulfilled.”
Honor and reaffirm your interconnectedness with the land. The First Harvest is a time of honoring our inherent reliance and relationship to the abundance of the land. Ask yourself how you will care for, re-engage with, and defend the health and vitality of the land. This is something that is wonderful to do in a ritual setting with friends and family.
I look forward to continuing the “might-do” series with the next sabbat, Mabon. If you’re looking for more Lughnasadh season magick, check out my tarot spread for the First Harvest and a wider look at the magick and herbal healing arts of summer.
Many blessings of the start of harvest season to you and your community.