A Creative Harvest

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and it is time to bake cornbread and make corn dollies. Lughnasadh is one of the four great fire festivals of the Celtic year and the first of the three harvests. Lughnasadh is the grain and corn harvest. A harvest is a great metaphor for possibilities. If you have a garden and can literally harvest, that is wonderful, but you can also harvest projects. What were your possibilities and ideas that you wanted to accomplish this year? Your harvest is your creativity birthing a novel idea.

Named after the Celtic God Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills and was honored in various aspects by the pre-Christian peoples both in the British Isles and in Europe.

The weather is hot, and we see the apples beginning to redden on the trees. the grapevines are full, and we anticipate autumn.

“Nothing is ever lost as time passes, it merely metamorphoses into something as wonderful or, in some cases, into something even better than before.” ― Carole Carlton

The embodyment of Mother Earth


May you never hunger


The God Lugh

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.

Photo: Celtic Warrior Figurine The British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA)

Great Lugh! Master of artisans, leader of craftsmen, patron of smiths, I call upon you and honor you this day. You of the many skills and talents, I ask you to shine upon me and bless me with your gifts. Give me strength in skill, make my hands and mind deft, shine light upon my talents. O mighty Lugh, I thank you for your blessings.


John Barleycorn

In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley—beer and whiskey—and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.

Versions of the song John Barleycorn date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, but there is evidence that it was sung for many years before that.

Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields.

In early Anglo Saxon Paganism, there was a figure called Beowa, associated with the threshing of the grain, and agriculture in general.

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields. This ties into the related story of the Wicker Man, who is burned in effigy. Ultimately, the character of John Barleycorn is a metaphor for the spirit of grain, grown healthy and hale during the summer, chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he can live once more. Source:  Learn Religions

“AS I watch'd the ploughman ploughing, Or the sower sowing in the fields, or the harvester harvesting, I saw there too, O life and death, your analogies; (Life, life is the tillage, and Death is the harvest according.)” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Lughnasadh Ritual and Feast

Greeting and Welcome

Once again, it is time to turn the wheel.  This is the sixth phase if the eightfold solar cycle, called Lammas or Lughnasadh.  At this time the seasonal energy  enters into the corn and grain.  Know you that all phases of the cycle, each turn of the wheel, is necessary and vital to life.  This phase brings the lesson of sharing.  Having reached the fulfillment of any goal, what will come?  Having reached the top of the mountain, can you climb still higher, or shall you always stay in that place?  Surely you know that the only constant in life is change.  No, eventually you must come down, and there will be other mountains to climb…but this is not yet the time of darkness; much time of sunlight still remains before the winter.  Doubt not and fear not, be not anxious for the future, but live fully in the Now.  You have been given much.  The harvest is abundant.  What shall you share with the Universe, with your  sisters, and with the  God and Goddess within? John Barlycorn in his golden tassels for the moment, reigns supreme.


Points to ponder at Lughnasadh


Your life is what you’ve been given,

It is not accidental.

Search for your purpose, and do it as best you can.

Forgive, it frees the soul.

Recognize the special people you have been blessed to know.

Live for today, and above all make every moment count


Purification: Spritz the circle with water, saying to each:

May your harvest be bountiful in days to come


Calls to the Directions

East/ Air -     All face East

Powers of the East, and of Air, we call you and invite you
Hear us now as we request your aid in the cycle of life.
As your winds blow through fields of ripened grain,
Carry loosened seeds upon your back

That they may fall amidst the soil that is our Mother Earth.
Until they sprout next Spring, beginning life anew."



South /Fire -   All face South

Powers of the South and of Fire we call you and invite you

Hear us now as we request your aid in the cycle of life

We feel the warm Lughnassadh Sun

Its heat wraps around us like a blanket and illuminates our harvest.

Candles brightly burn on our alter of this first harvest

Fire of south ,warm our hearts always.


West/ Water -  All face West

Powers of the West and of Water we call you and invite you

Hear us now as we request your aid in the cycle of life,

We call the gentle summer rain to remind us to nourish our harvest 

And nourish our plans and dreams

With the love and compassion of the Goddess,

Warm water from the august sky fall softly on our fields


North/Earth -  All face North

Powers of the North and of Earth we call you and invite you

Hear us now as we request your aid in the cycle of life,

We call your stability and abundance to hold  firmly the seeds

We will plant in the coming year,

As their bounty will sustain our lives.

We give thanks to the Great Mother,


All speak  Face the altar

All living creatures of wood and field,

Of lake and stream, and of air.

Of your blessings we gratefully partake

Blessed be this Harvest Night,

The Givers and the gift.

The spirit of life that we all share.



Goddess of the grain

Goddess of the fertile land

Mother of the Harvest.

The ground is rich

The grain is mature

The fruit is ripe.

I give thanks for nature’s bounty.

Many blessings I have been given,


Lady weave your circle bright

Spin a web of glowing light

Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Guide us to her



Lord of the Sun and the waning year

The harvest is ready, ripe for threshing:

Fields of gold, waves of grain.

The summer  is coming to a close.

There is much we have to harvest in our lives.

Show us which paths to keep

And which paths to leave

So we can let go of what no longer serves

To be better for ourselves, our families and all that is



Hoof and horn, hoof and horn

All that dies shall be reborn

Corn and rain corn and grain

All that falls shall rise again



Let us join hands and consecrate the feast before us, and then celebrate, as only Pagans can: Free from guilt, joyful in our gratitude, and blessed by our Beloved Lady and the Lord of the harvest.


All:  Blessing of the Harvest Feast


Blessed are all who gather here

Blessed is the bounty we share

Blessed are those who are not here to share it

Nourished are we by this feast

Nourished are we by each other

Joyous are we on this beautiful occasion.

                                        Blessed Be


After the Feast:   All join hands for”Merry Meet.”