This is the eve of Lughnassadh, also called Lammas in the Christian revision of the Pagan rites. It is a cross-quarter holiday, meaning that it falls between the Solstice and Equinox. It is pronounced Loo-nah-sah. Our Celtic ancestors counted their days, not from midnight to midnight, or even sunrise to sunrise, but sunset to sunset. So, tonight at sunset, this Sabbat would properly begin.
It is a time to give thanks to the spirits and deities for the beginning of the harvest season, and to give them offerings and prayers for the safety of the crops that are still ripening.
This holiday is named for Lugh, the God of Light and the harvest. He is a Triple God — passionate Youth, wise King and Sage Elder. He embodies the Male dualities of Fire and Air. He is the protector of the land, and also known as Ildánach which means master of all arts and crafts. His is the Spear of Assal, which is one of the four treasures of the Tuatha de Danann.
Today is also the last day of the month, and so it is sacred to Hecate. In modern Goddess traditions, Hecate is widely known as the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. But historically, She was also recognized as the beautiful (but formidable) Maiden, as well as a fierce Mother protector of children and women, particularly women in childbirth.
Usually classified as a Moon Goddess, Her realms are three-fold: the earth, sea, and sky. Or another view would say She presides in all of the three realms – the lower world, middle world, and upper worlds.
She is known as the Goddess of Witches and of magic, the dark of the Moon, and the depths of the underworld. Hecate walks along the roadways and counsels those who may find themselves at the crossroads. Such a crossroads is now upon us all, as we move this weekend into the climax of the Cardinal Cross, an astrological event much anticipated, and for some, even feared, for years.
Of all the Greek Goddesses, Hecate alone could grant or refuse anything asked by mortals. She is the Queen of the Night, and those who seek Her protection can move safely in the darkness. Hers is the voice of wisdom, divination and dreams.
Be aware that, if invoked, She is likely to respond, and is not dismissed easily. She may require you to meet uncomfortable challenges in Her service, for She often asks us to let go of what is familiar, safe, and secure, to travel to the more difficult places of the soul. Yet this may hold the key to important growth and wisdom for you.
Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!