Another one of Ravenna’s moments of pondering the deeper significance of the season!! Hurrah! LOL
So, what is Lughnasadh anyway? It’s that one moment in time, right before autumn sets in that the world pauses just briefly to reflect on the past few weeks and take note of what is ready for harvesting. And before you know it, time shifts, and you can almost feel the sense of urgency in the air as we spiral closer to the Autumnal Equinox. The seeds, both literally and figuratively, that we planted in the previous months have sprouted and are – or nearly so – ready to be harvested.
The God of Summer, He who, but a few short weeks ago reached the height of His power, knows that Summer has reached an end, and that a sacrifice must be made in order to ensure a successful harvest for the people.
The nature of sacrifice is a sticky thing. The dictionary offers this as the definition of sacrifice:
sac·ri·fice Pronunciation[sak-ruh-fahys] verb, -ficed, -fic·ing.
1. the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.
2. the person, animal, or thing so offered.
3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
4. the thing so surrendered or devoted.
5. a loss incurred in selling something below its value.
–verb (used with object)
6. to make a sacrifice or offering of.
7. to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.
8. to dispose of (goods, property, etc.) regardless of profit.
–verb (used without object)
9. to offer or make a sacrifice.
So the nature of sacrifice then, is to offer something up that is precious to us for the sake of another or for the greater good of another. The Sun King so then willing offers Himself as the Sacrificial King for the greater good of His people. His Body and Blood will nourish the fields of growing grain so that His people might harvest and live another year. At Lughnassadh though, He has not yet passed, but is instead Wounded, and begins to die as the Sun itself is seen to “die” in the weeks leading to the Autumnal Equinox.
The Earth Goddess also prepares for this sacrifice, knowing that even though She loses Her Consort for a time, He will return again with the birth of Her Child come Winter Solstice. This time of year is also – like Imbolc – the Quickening. For in Her belly, which is heavily pregnant with the new Sun God, She can feel the first stirrings of the new Life within, reminding Her that all is not lost, and even through the grief at losing Her Beloved Consort for a time, He will return again.
There is one last burst of Life in the land during this season, as the crops come to full maturity and are ripe for reaping. The same can be said for the things that we have planted within ourselves – ideas, plans and growth – are ready to begin to “harvest.”
So is the season of Lughnassadh, also called Lammas, linked with the Sun, the Earth, ourselves and other seasonal changes. The ever turning Wheel of the Year is connected to us all, whether we are conscious of this or not. Briefly pausing at each sabbat, we can take note of changes in the season, and see how they are ever flowing into each other.
Have a Blessed Day everyone!!