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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Lughnasadh

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Oak Moon, Holly Moon

At the Summer Solstice it is said that the Oak King and Holly King do battle, and the God of the Waxing Year must give way to the King of the Waning Year. This is a Hinge, a moment of transition that drives the Wheel of the Year. At the Solstice, the Sun is at its peak, the fruitful earth is coming into its most delicious bounty. After this, we cross a tipping point, as the days grow shorter, and we move forward towards the harvest festivals.

For me it feels more intuitive that this transition comes as the solar transit of Cancer turns into Leo. The lunar month attending Cancer is the Oak Moon, hearkening to the Oak King of the growing, fertile, waxing season of the Year. The Oak King evokes the solar qualities of the divine masculine: strength, forthrightness, generosity; he holds the energy of divine kingship and warrior-ship. A sacred animal often associated with this lunation is the Horse, embodying the power and dignity of the Solar God. An animal fit best for open, sunlit plains, the horse has been associated with solar gods since the Greeks wrote of Phoebus driving a chariot of fiery stallions across the sky each day.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Harvest-Time

Every day at this time of year, either morning or evening, I do some gardening, keeping back the riotous growth that excels in this season. If I didn't, many plants would simply take over the garden, crowding out some other favourite plants. Though these crowders may be near the end of their cycle, in their death they will still smother those that have great potential, as their time is arriving.  It's a hard time of year to keep on top of things, as the sun is so hot in our south-facing garden, and time is limited to mornings and evenings when we won't burn to a crisp or keel over from heat exhaustion. Jack in the Green is running riot, uncaring, reaching for the sun, drinking in the rain.

Yet if I want my irises and lilies to survive, I must release them from the choking hold of ground creepers/covers that threatens their existence.  I must carefully weed out and try to keep under control those plants whose vigorous growth would otherwise overwhelm others. In this, I feel a kinship to my ancestors, not only my recent ancestors whose work with plants runs in my blood, but also ancestors of this land who depended upon agriculture to survive. Both physically and metaphorically, this is the ideal time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Even as I hear the tractors and combine harvesters rumbling in the fields on the other side of the street, so too do I look both within and without to see what needs harvesting, and if the harvest has been good.  Getting out in the garden brings it all home, showing that if you take on the responsibility of growing things, of nourishing them, then you must do your job well in order for your harvest to be good.  Walking out in the fields after supper, running my hands over the tops of the wheat and barley that grow around here, I make my prayers for the harvest to go well, for the people to be nourished and for the land to be treated well. The time nears for when we give back in great gratitude as Lammas, Lughnasadh, Harvest-Time arrives.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
High Summer: The Reflection

For the 8 Sabbats that are a part of the Pagans Down Under blog project, I've decided to share my fledgling '8 Spoked Wheel' system as I work through them properly for the first time myself in my own practice. This is a work in progress that follows a practice for a number of years that did follow the traditional neo-pagan sabbats but after serious reflection I've decided to give an adjusted practice a go that reflects a system I have created that suits.

I don't imagine this could be directly adopted by anyone else and see it as a personal weaving of my own creation. This series of festivals incorporates colour magic and is adapted to suit my local climate and so we begin with Red and an observation I have termed The Reflection. The energy of this thrums throughout late January and early February and could be shifted to suit astrological or lunar correspondences. For this year that would suit the 3rd of February, when a Full Moon in Leo is experienced. The Full Moon in this sign lends a shining, fabulous quality to the season.

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There is no clean land in all of Ireland, no fields not blood-soaked nor polluted by tears and death, for the Great War had raged across the land for ages. The war and its reasons, the dead and their Kings,  their celebrated champions no longer matter. One royal husband slain and the victor wed, and Tailtiu, still Queen of Ireland, never took part in the fighting.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Lughnasadh greetings to all my friendly readers from Airmid the Wortcunning Fairy!

I hope you are all having a bountiful early harvest because now is the best time for enjoying fresh treats from the fields and gardens-- especially berries. The most popular berry of Lughnasadh is the bilberry, also known as wild blueberry or huckleberry. These are smaller, juicier, softer and darker than the blueberries you would find at the supermarket, although they taste just as sweet. In Ireland, these berries are called fraochán. In the old days, everybody would get together and go bilberry picking around Lughnasadh, which was not as easy as it sounds because the best bilberries grow in the thickest patches of heather on the hillsides and peat lands. It's well worth the work, though, because later there would be scrumptious cakes, tarts and for the adults bilberry wine. If there is a good harvest of bilberries, the rest of the crops are sure to be abundant later in the year. (Bilberries on the bush. Photo by kahvikisu via flickr Creative Commons)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Family

     As I sat with my family before the celebratory Lughnasad feast, I looked around the table at the faces of those most dear to me: my husband, hardworking, honest, loving, driven, an incredible father. My seventeen year old son, quirky, awkward in his form, intelligent in ways I can't begin to comprehend, fiercely loyal and protective, especially of me. My four year old son, the child I never expected to have, a joyful, funny, curious, wiggly little boy who can't walk anywhere: his little feet constantly patty-patty back and forth from one task to another. And finally my fifteen year old daughter, my only girl, gifted with faerie-like beauty and a voice that has been described to me as 'like listening to a baby angel.' Incredibly talented, creative, and utterly unselfconscious, she dances into each day like the wild faerie child I knew her to be at birth.

     What did we talk about that evening? Truthfully I don't remember. The freshly-baked bread was sliced, the roast chicken, redolent with herbs from our garden was carved. Stuffed zucchini and sliced cucumbers dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar were placed on the table, candles lit, prayers said. We ate, we laughed; the children told anecdotes from their day, my husband discoursed on the ins and outs of his current work project. Dessert, a pear crostada that the four year old proudly helped make, was served, eaten with even more gusto than dinner, if possible, then, table cleared, we gathered at the front door so my husband could speak the ritual words of welcome to the season of Lughnasad:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Lovely, reminds me of Jewish Passover home celebrations. Do you have special prayers for your Sunday family gatherings too. You co
  • Nicole Kapise-Perkins
    Nicole Kapise-Perkins says #
    Thank you so much for your kind words Carol! I tried not to be pedantic, but I really wanted to stress how very important family m

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