If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
— J. R. R. Tolkein
Lughnassadh (pronounced “LOO-nahs-ah”) or the Anglo-Saxon “Lammas,” is one of the Greater Sabbats and honors the First Harvest. In agricultural traditions throughout the Northern Hemisphere, this marks the start of the harvest cycle, when grains and corn are the first to ripen. We give thanks for these early, life-giving crops, as well as the fruits and vegetables that are now filling our pantries. Now is when we are reminded to save, preserve, and store food for the dark, hungry times ahead.
This Lughnassadh is especially momentous, for it comes on the Leo New Moon, which has featured a total solar eclipse. For important and understandable astrological interpretations of this pivotal confluence, I urge you to visit here, here, or here.
Of course, magically, the New Moon is the time when we plant the seed of our intention, to be fulfilled as the Moon waxes to Her fullness. Since Lughnassadh is primarily a grain harvest, it is the time that provides the precious seed for next year’s crops.
Corn, wheat, barley and grain products such as bread are featured during this celebration. At this time, Witches celebrate the Harvest Gods and Goddesses, as well as honor the stories of sacrificial Dying and Resurrection — stories that are far older and more universal than just the currently famous Christian one.
This is a splendid time to raise your awareness about the food you eat. Take action to support your local farmers and sustainable agriculture. Whether you live in an urban location or out in the suburbs, or even in rural areas, get to know the food on your table — where it comes from and those whose labor put it there.
We live in troubled times of faceless corporate agribusiness, where in recent years, we have seen thousands sickened and even dying from tainted food of questionable origins. This is what happens when the bottom line takes priority over wholesomeness, and marketing trumps wisdom. Merciless exploitation of the land, the animals, and even the workers — who are all treated like parts in a factory, turning out quotas of product — is rampant and deeply harmful to all involved. Including those of us feeding these products to our families.
Instead, let us honor the Goddess, as the Queen of Abundance. What we buy and feed ourselves and our families is holy. The food on our tables ultimately comes, not from the scheming of a multinational corporation, but by the grace of She, who is the Mother of bounty, and the God, who is the Father of our prosperity.
Therefore, honor Them today by choosing only what is in harmony with the Earth Herself. Because in all our choices – where we shop and what food we buy, how we prepare it and how we bless it with our gratitude, we are working the most profound magic of all.
May you never hunger. May you never thirst.