Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, is the first harvest festival of the wheel of the year.
Traditionally, the day is a time of athletic competition and funeral games in honor of Lugh's foster-mother Tailtu, an ancient earth mother and incredibly powerful queen, who cleared the land in Ireland, died from her efforts, and became the life-sustaining grain that sprang forth from the fields. The intermingling celebrations of life and death is a common theme in both ancient and modern Pagan festivals. Lughnasadh is a reminder to celebrate our harvest and show off the skills we have developed over the previous season. It is also a period to remember the ancestors whose shoulders we stand upon - those who have given their lives in the struggle so that we may be sustained and grow. May we be able vessels of their memories, may we speak their names, and may we carry on their work for the betterment of our communities.
Modern celebrations of Lughnasadh is typically take place between July 31 and August 2. Astrologically speaking, Lughnasadh is marked by the Sun reaching the midpoint of the sign of Leo (or 15 degrees Leo). Which basically means that you can celebrate the First Harvest for a whole week if you like, which would be quite lovely. You can learn more about the significance of Leo within astroherbology over here.
My tea of the season celebrates the slow burning end of summer with some spicy heat and beautiful berries. Make a big community pot to heal the hearts of your kindreds after a long, hot summer season. If you don't have blackberries available, use another local sweet berry in its place - especially if you've harvested them yourself!
The tea features Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) which is an amazing African herb that is a rich source of antioxidants and it's a great daily tonic tea. The tea is a beautiful red color (it's name is Afrikaans for "red bush") and is rich in flavonoids which do all sorts of great things in our body from reducing inflammation and easing tension. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a great digestive herb helping to soothe angry intestines while Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) is well known for its ability to manage blood sugar and is another digestive aid. Black Pepper (Piper nigra) harmonizes and sparks the blend, again, helping with digestion (specifically awakening a sluggish digestive system) and having an overall clearing affect in the body.
Lovely Lughnasadh Brew
Blend together the following herbs:
- 5 parts Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)
- 1/2 part Fennel Seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
- 1/2 part Cinnamon Chips (Cinnamomum spp.)
- 1/4 - 1/8 part Freshly ground Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Add 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water. Then add 2 - 3 Blackberries to each cup of tea and allow to steep for 5 - 7 minutes. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding or reducing the amount of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) or omitting it all together. Want it more sweet? Add more Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). No fresh berries available? (That's a shame.) The tea is still good without them (but really find some berries if you can). You'll be set for some Lughnasadh feasting with this cuppa in your hands!
Looking for more recipes? Sure thing! Check out my recipes + tutorials section. You can also find out more about what is ripening in your life, what is changing, and what needs to be given with my First Harvest Tarot Spread.
I hope you have a blessed and magickal first harvest festival! Do you have a favorite Lughnasadh recipe? Share in the comments below!