This cross-quarter day is one of the Greater Sabbats and marks the beginning of the harvest season. The trees begin dropping fruit and the first grains are ready for harvest as the days become shorter. It’s the time to give thanks for the abundance of last harvest and look forward to the remaining light, although it is also the hottest part of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere. This is also the traditional time for handfastings between lovers.
Celebrated on August Eve or August 1st, it represents the first day of the Celtic autumn and the last of the four great fire festivals of the Celtic year. It is also the first of the three annual harvests, the second being Mabon and the third and final harvest of the year being Samhain.
Wiccan mythology holds that the God’s power begins to wane at this time, as the days grow shorter and the crops are ready to be cut down. In some traditions, the Sun God actually infuses the grain with his power, and so is sacrificed, in a sense, when the grain is harvested. This grain is then used to bake the first bread from the year’s crop, which in earlier times would then be taken to a church and laid on the altar to be blessed. This custom is a good example of how pagan religions and Christianity were able to coexist and even commingle for a time. The name “Lammas” actually comes from this tradition, taken from an old Anglo-Saxon phrase meaning “loaf mass.”~ Wicca Living
The Regin of Leo and the Age of Nobility
The celestial lion, which first appeared in the night sky on Imbolc is now lost in the sun’s glare. A positive, masculine sign, Leo is the 5th sign of the zodiac and represents responsibility, maturity and parenthood. Leo leads us to nurture, moving beyond innocence and adolescence.
As rituals for Lammas are related to harvest and gratitude, we take a moment to recognize the manifestations of our intentions this year. Give thanks to that which we have created and follow with gratitude as we continue to bring forth our desires through the rest of the year.
Colors: orange, yellow, red, green, brown
Crystals: citrine, tiger’s eye
Deity: Sun God or Lugh
Representing the maturity of the seeds of intention, making bread is a common way to celebrate, so below I’ve shared on of my favorite recipes, along with a picture of my corn dolly. Use the doll as the center of your altar, traditionally she is kept until the following year when she is burned to release the spirit of of the previous year’s harvest.
Below is a recipe for Lammas bread and a protection spell. An old book of mine advises to crumble the bread into 4 pieces and bury at the 4 corners of your house.
LAMMAS BREAD PROTECTION SPELL
Bake 2 loaves, so that you can eat one. With the one you want to use with your ritual, break it into 4 pieces, do not use a knife. Place each piece outside on the 4 corners of your house while reciting at each one:
I call the spirits of
north, south, east and west
To protect this home
and us all bless.
Leave the 4 pieces for the birds, or bury them. I always leave for the birds as an act of gratitude for them and their song.
9 3/4 cups Flour
1 1/2 TBS Salt
2 1/4 TBS Yeast
5 cups Warm Water
** Should be noted here that mine looks different because I use gluten free flour.
Mix together the dry ingredients and then add the water. The water should be warm. Not hot.
Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for two hours then place in the refrigerator for two hours.
Place the dough onto a surfaced coated with flour and roll it around until evenly coated. Don’t worry about kneading it. Just get the dough shaped into a loaf.
Allow the bread to rise on top of your stove while the oven preheats to 450 degrees. It should rest here for at least 30 minutes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool before trying to cut.