grain harvest title graphic

Also known as: Lughnasadh – "The Games of Lugh" / Lammas – "Loaf Mass"
by Rowena Whaling

lammas pic         The keynote of this season of the Wheel of the Year, Lughnasadh or Lammas, is Harvesting – harvesting our successes of the year, as well as our failures.

        At this time, the truth can be known to us as to whether we planned, sowed, watered and fertilized, removed the rocks – the obstacles – tended, and continued working on each of the fields of our lives in good fashion.  For, barring disasters, such as a drought or other unexpected life events, which can and do affect each of us, if we live on the Wheel of the Year, doing all things in their proper time, we should "reap what we sow".

        Of course, we cannot and should not, try to control the free will of others, who will sometimes throw boulders in our way.  But we can cope with unexpected changes in our lives, with minimal possible damage to ourselves, by remembering that everything in the Universe is bound to the cycles of birth, growth, life, death (or endings) and transformation to new life.  Sometimes the things we perceive as boulders turn out to be strawberry shortcake!   Sometimes the Universe recognizes that we need to open up the windows and let some fresh air in.  Even relationships that we decide to keep in our lives, come next Samhain, (for instance that boss or job) should have been settled into something worth keeping after our efforts to balance that relationship by the time of our waning out of Mabon (the Autumn Equinox).   You see how this works?

         It is my firmly held belief that the Grain Harvest must have been the very first community celebration ever shared by our common Ancestors.  I can picture my same Neanderthal tribe (*see my article on the History of Chanting) feasting and celebrating the plentiful growth of the emmer wheat, herbs, wild barley and berries of this summer's cycle.  They know that this means that the beasts will live through the coming cold, and so then too will their children.   They have gathered all that they can stow and carry with them when they seek warmer shelter.  I can see a great fire around which their hunters, gatherers, mothers, grandparents and children sit to share the abundance.  For, what else on Earth would cause better reason for feasting and celebrating?
        By the time of the previous spoke of the Wheel of the Year, at the Summer Solstice, we should have been able to see just what kind of crops we were bearing.  All the crops are up by that time of year.  Were some of our fields deficient?  Had we planted too little in one field, ignoring it for the sake of others?  Had we planted too much in one field, thereby ignoring or abandoning the others?  And when and if we saw these things happening did we forget to thin out that field?  Had we ignored the telltale signs of issues in some of our fields, perhaps in our relationship fields, maybe in favor of our jobs or careers?  If any of these things were the case, then by the Summer Solstice we could see what was happening.  Hopefully we remembered to take the time to truly look at our lives and take corrective action.  If we did see some issues then it was not too late to plant another crop.  However, it would not be the same crop as we were able to plant in the early spring – yet, still one that could bring a good harvest late in the fall. If our inattentiveness was in the field of our relationships, there was still time to correct situations before the Autumn Equinox, at the year's second opportunity to balance relationships.  But as we are learning to live on the Wheel of the Year, perhaps we will see a good Harvest of all the plans we made back at the time of the returning light, at Imbolc. If so, I offer my sincerest of congratulations.   If not, then we have the opportunity for the harvest of essential lessons learned in pursuit of effectively living on “The Wheel of the Year”.

        With most of us there will be successes and failures throughout our lives.  My wish for you – and for me – is that our each year that rolls by will become more and more aligned with the tides of "Great Nature", and that the Mother of all – our God/ess – will bless us with the greatest Harvests, those of love, good health, and peace.

        Also read my article on the Grain & Herb Harvest at my author site RowenaWhaling.com  for even more information!
        Have a great and fun Harvest Celebration!  "Merry we meet, and merry we part, and and merry we meet again."
        Godspeed and Goddess Bless,


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Last updated January 2015