Lammas aka Lugh is happening the first week of February (February 4th at 6.55pm EST) which makes it the first harvest festival of the new year in the Gregorian calendar in the Southern Hemisphere. Lammas is all about giving thanks and gratitude for the harvest blessings bestowed upon us. Although its origins are Irish due to it being a Gaelic festival – its a festival celebrated by various Pagan and Wiccans in the modern day.
Personally I like to observe it, due to being mindful of our season and I tend to offer fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs which are available during this time. A good way to work out what is seasonal is to check your local grocer/market and note what regional produce is in abundance, which is usually cost effective too.
Australian Seasonal Produce During Lammas/Lugh:
Veggies: tomatoes, corn, avocados, rhubarb, beetroot, cabbage, green beans, asparagus, cucumber, eggplant, leeks, spring onion, peas (all types), silver-beet, zucchini, varieties of greens like lettuce, spinach, water cress, red potatoes, radish, celery, carrot and capsicum.
Fruit: tomatoes, plums, cherries, strawberries, grapes, apricots, nectarines, berries (blue, black), bananas, mangoes, figs, watermelon, cantaloupe, passion fruit, lemons, limes,
Herbs: fennel, basil, chillies, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mint (all varieties), oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, lavender, sunflower and thyme.
As a practitioner in Australia, the way I like to connect to my heritage whilst honouring the land I live on, is to make food which I can then dedicate to the local land spirits, my personal ancestors and my patron gods. I do this through making food as offerings. These foods not only connect to my Greek heritage but also to the Australian classics and in recent years I have added indigenous ingredients in order to create a fusion of flavour honouring them all.
I make bread for Lammas as tradition dictates, however I also make Pita and Scones. I also like to make tsatziki, roasted lamb with saltbush, Greek salad with wild purslane and meredith feta, lemon myrtle tea cake with quandong jam, macadamia and beetroot pesto pasta, figs with honey and stuffed vine leaves. All these items are either grown and gathered from my residence or sourced locally from friends or organic farmers which have specific significance to me and the connection to the land I inhabit as well as my heritage.
I also like to create magical items used in ritual and spell craft to honour the season.
Having a paper bark tree in my front yard, I use the paper the tree gifts me and write what I am thankful for with red ochre sourced from a friend’s central Victorian property which was gathered by a stream running through her property. I burn incense made from gum leaves/nuts and eucalyptus resin I source from nature locally, ensuring I do not hurt or harm the environment . I also burn bundles of bay laurel, rosemary and eucalyptus (from my garden) before offerings of bottle-brush, wattle, kangaroo paw and and eucalyptus spray (again from my garden or from my neighbours overhanging trees).
I have created a simple ritual you can use for Lammas/Lugh which I have shared below:
Setjataset’s Australian Lammas/Lugh Ritual
1. Start off by giving thanks to the people who came before us.
I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders, past and present.
2. Create sacred space in whatever manner you are accustomed to.
3. Evoke a God/dess which to you symbolises harvest and home ie Lugh for Celtic tradition, Birrahgnooloo & Gunabibi for Australian Indigenous, Hestia for Greek, Vesta for Roman, Bes for Ancient Egyptian, Frigg for Norse and so on.
4. Burn incense.
5. Leave a food offering and/or libation.
6. Write a petition of gratitude and read it out loud whilst mindfully acknowledging all the blessings bestowed upon you. On the other side of the petition write how you can share some of those blessings with those who would benefit from some assistance from you. It can be something as small as sharing your food to something as big as volunteering your time and energy towards a cause you feel strongly about.
7. Partake in food offering and libation as well as leaving some for the spirits of the land.
8. Thank your God/dess and farewell them.
9. Close and disassemble sacred space in whatever manner you are accustomed to.
Whatever you decide to do for Lugh – remember, its all about the things you are harvesting in your life and giving thanks for those blessings.
(C) T. Georgitsis 2020