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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Lughnasadh

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The American Sabbat

Around the Fourth of July, I began to write this essay. I was inspired by the ways in which the Fourth is celebrated: by families and neighborhoods, with fireworks and games and picnics and all-day, Summery leisure. I watched movies about the American Revolution, and I thought at length about the Fourth, as a civic celebration, as an iconic moment of childhood, as an inspiration for the immigrants who come here, for artists and writers aspiring to greater depth of talent and expression. For anyone longing for liberation, this celebration of independence and freedom seems full of promise, full of encouragement to go boldly in the direction of one's heart's desire. This is an American narrative of liberty and opportunity, the one we teach school children, the one that inspires numerous people to immigrate despite hardship and challenge (not to mention a less than warm welcome once they arrive). It is based on a shared history that is inspiring and ennobling, as well as horrifically violent and racist.

The Fourth's observance, with its emotion and spectacle, is truly an American Sabbat, a day of remembrance and revelry. Its arrival soon after the beginning of Summer marks its as a time of play and pleasure. It's also a time to recall our civic Ancestors: not merely the Founding Fathers or members of the military, but everyone who died in pursuit of freedom and liberty, not all of whom were warriors. I always feel that part of this Sabbat is marking the sacrifices others have made in building this country, and how far we are from coming into our country's fullest promise of liberty and security.

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, August 5

Welcome back to Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment where we take at news affecting the Pagan community and other religious communities around the world. This week we explore a variety of subjects, from upcoming Pagan festivals to an old 1970s hippie commune to a modern-day witch hunt. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Them Summer Days, Those Summer Days

Summertime is a strange, liminal time. 

I've never really had a “regular” summer schedule (whatever “regular” means.)  As a child and adolescent my life, like the life of most others, was determined by the start and stop of the school year.  I took summer classes in college, and after graduation and marriage I moved to a college town.  Those of you who live in similar cities know that the university schedule often determines whether or not the Locals dare to venture downtown, go to parks, drink at bars, or eat at the popular cafes.  (Because of crowds of annoying freshman or big-headed seniors, certain parts of my town are pretty much off-limits during certain times of the year.)  For a long time I worked on a college campus, and I'd spend the time from May to August sitting back, reading dozens of novels, and drinking delicious, blended beverages.  Then I went to graduate school, and after I graduated my first summer of unemployment extended into an autumn of unemployment, a winter, a spring, and now another summer of the same.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
The First Harvest of the Year

Welcome brethren, to the annual celebration of the growing season’s end and the harvest season’s beginning! Although perhaps not as widely known or celebrated as Samhain or Beltaine, Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas), remains an important component of the wheel of the year and an integral part of the annual sabbats, commemorating the point at which summer begins to transition to autumn.

As always, we’ve brought out a collection of content we thought would be of interest to all of you who follow us, some from Witches&Pagans, some from elsewhere. We hope you’ll enjoy!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Finding Meaning

Sometimes we encounter challenging situations or obstacles and we want to give them meaning or significance. Take my current situation. My family has struggled on and off since February dealing with septic and pluming issues without an obvious cause.  While we think we're finally honing in on the source and remedying each obstacle as we come to it, it's created a great deal of stress for everyone in my household.

As a water-worshiping witch, I wanted to apply meaning to this event. I wanted there to be a supernatural or metaphysical reason behind this unpleasantness. Even more so because of my close ties with water and earth. But after a lot of avoidance of the matter, and a steep depressive chasm for a few days, I came to realize through calming meditation and talks with my guides that this is just one of those awful, mundane bits of life that have no more significance than the house is old and the septic system was poorly built or maintained by previous owners.

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Drinking Cider on a Steeleye Span Night

I have been writing like a maniac and have much writing ahead of me tonight and tomorrow.  But tonight I have kissed the final sunset of July good-bye, I have facilitated a Full Moon ritual at Mother Grove Goddess Temple and I am now listening to Steeleye Span.

Lured thither by a search for John Barleycorn, I have settled onto "Now We are Six" and am drinking hard cider from last season's harvest.  I have considered my options for the evening--finishing two pieces that are due tomorrow, washing the dishes, tidying up and printing tomorrow's ceremony for our public ritual or drinking cider and singing Steeleye Span.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This may be ambitious for your next Sabbat party, however I must decree it – get out to the country, already! Get rural with it for Lammas. Know someone who lives on a farm, or of one that is open for visits? That is where we should all be this Lughnasadh. Anywhere that offers dining on fresh produce and home-cooking is ideal. Remember, bread and corn are key, in whatever form you enjoy them.

Round-up a group of pals and make a pilgrimage. Bring a big red and white plaid vintage tablecloth to spread out on a picnic bench or the grass. Enjoy barley wine, hard cider, mead, or a local craft ale together. Stroll the grounds and eat outside. For the meat-eaters, it could not get more ritualistic than a sacrificial pig roast. If someone has access to a small tractor (and knows how to drive it), take turns giving each other rides perched atop some hay bales. It is near impossible not to get into the spirit of this day when partaking in these activities. Pick a picturesque spot to watch the sunset together. Listen for the resounding alien hum of the cicadas, and don't forget to take a pause and be thankful for what you have.

If you are not fortunate enough to be friendly with someone who has their own barn and facilities, here are some midwestern farm-themed options for getting away from it all. Take a gander at their websites and/or call first to plan your day trip:

Apple Holler
(Halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee)
A homestyle country restaurant, live entertainment, hay rides and family-friendly fare abound at this Sturtevant staple. A word to the wise: If you don't mind crowds, by all means, go. If not...

Bridge-Between Retreat Center
(Denmark, WI)
Up toward Green Bay in the little town of Denmark, lies this peaceful retreat. They tend a small organic farm with meals available. Llamas, cats, hens, and geese roam the grounds. This is definitely for those looking for little quiet.

Brown Deer Farm
(IL/WI border)
West of Beloit is where you can escape here. A retreat facility, organic farming, and a nature-rich surrounding await.

Country Corner
(Alpha, IL)
President Obama paid a visit here, and this place is hopping all-year round. Look ahead to Halloween-themed fun with their Zombie Quest event. Rentals are available for groups.

Red Barn Farm of Northfield
How much more romantic can you get? Make your own brick oven pizza from their farm fresh, pesticide-free produce. Hand-made vegan-friendly dough and and a fun environment are offered.


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