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Posts Tagged ‘Lughnasadh’

     It’s time to harvest the grain and cereal crops and show a little love for the sun-god, Lugh.  Click the link to read The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year and discover the origins of this annual August festival.

https://lilywight.com/2013/08/01/lughnasadh-the-beginners-guide-to-the-wheel-of-the-year/

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Lily Wight

     Updated 29/07/2014

     Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-na-sah) is one of eight festivals celebrated on the ancient Wheel Of The Year seasonal calendar.  It marks the midpoint between The Summer Solstice and The Autumn Equinox.  It was once observed when the first sheaf of corn was cut and now, most commonly, on 1st August.

     The First Harvest is named for the Irish Sun God, Lugh, who also lends his name to the Modern Irish name for August.  In Gaelic Mythology Lugh held a funeral and athletic games to honour his foster-mother, Tailtiu who died of exhaustion after clearing the land for agriculture.  Tailtiu represents an earth or harvest deity whose labours feed and nurture the people.

     At Lughnasadh tribal people throughout Western Europe and The Northern Hemisphere gave thanks for their grain and cereal harvest and sought blessings for…

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     Updated 29/07/2014

     Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-na-sah) is one of eight festivals celebrated on the ancient Wheel Of The Year seasonal calendar.  It marks the midpoint between The Summer Solstice and The Autumn Equinox.  It was once observed when the first sheaf of corn was cut and now, most commonly, on 1st August.

     The First Harvest is named for the Irish Sun God, Lugh, who also lends his name to the Modern Irish name for August.  In Gaelic Mythology Lugh held a funeral and athletic games to honour his foster-mother, Tailtiu who died of exhaustion after clearing the land for agriculture.  Tailtiu represents an earth or harvest deity whose labours feed and nurture the people.

     At Lughnasadh tribal people throughout Western Europe and The Northern Hemisphere gave thanks for their grain and cereal harvest and sought blessings for next year’s crop.  The birth, death and rebirth of the cornfield was symbolic of the eternal cycle of all life.

     The Anglo-Saxons referred to The First Harvest as Hlaef-mass, meaning “loaf mass”.  Loaves would be baked in the shape of a corn god then broken and consumed to represent the blessings of his sacrifice.  The practice was adopted by modern Christians who refer to this festival as Lammas.

     Corn dollies, or spirit cages, are traditionally crafted at Lughnasadh to lure and capture crop spirits.  Combine this with the often misconstrued concept of sacrifice and you have the plot for The Wicker Man!

     It was common in agrarian societies for a god and goddess to marry at Beltane (1st May) and conceive a child to represent the new year and it’s harvest cycle.  In Folklore the father god “John Barleycorn” is “sacrificed” at Lughnasadh to nourish the bountiful goddess, her child and the people.  This is still reenacted today via the burning of a cornstalk effigy (not Edward Woodward).  Sometimes a bull would be sacrificed in the fields for a celebratory feast. 

     Today the people of Ireland still honour Lugh’s prowess by climbing closer to the sun, at the summit of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, to gather bilberries for celebration foods and wine. 

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     Professionals, amateurs and curious beginners are welcome to add their thoughts and comments on this 1st August 2012 spread asking for general insights until the Autumnal Equinox.

Overview (start middle left and count anti-clockwise)

1.  The Inquirer/The Present ~ The Ten Of Swords.  Invasion of security/privacy.  The scars we earn enable us to provide wise counsel.

2.  Past Influences ~ The Emperor.  Mixed aspects of secular power and material/practical concerns.

3.  Subconcious Influences  ~ The Eight Of Cups.  Follow your heart.  The ongoing quest for emotional fulfillment.

4.  Secret Desire/Wishes ~ The Three Of Wands.  The growth of an idea.

5.  Hidden Forces ~ The Three Of Swords.  Pain/loss/destruction can be a source of strength.

6.  Events To Come ~ The Six Of Cups.  A trip down Memory Lane.

7.  Surrounding Environment ~ The Seven Of Pentacles.  Patience and hard work.

8.  The Influence Of Others ~ The Ace Of Cups.  Pleasure and inspiration.

9.  Spiritual Forces ~ The Fool.  A fresh start with equal joy and danger.

10.  Final Outcome ~ Death.  Unexpected change and self-resurrection. 

     Wow.  The grouping of Death (Major Arcana) flanked by The Fool (Major Arcana) and The Ten of Swords dominates this spread.  Death and The Ten side-by-side signify ferocious – even violent – upheaval, with The Fool promising an absolute fresh start.  Rebirth is painful, but necessary to break out of that box in position 1!

     The Emperor (2) has been oppressive instead of benign leading to tangible entrapment (1).  The past couple of months have belonged to corrupt words and secular desires instead of action.

     Inside (3 and 4) is an emotional drive to follow an inspirational idea.  The Eight Of Cups (3) the card that represents this site and it’s author, appeared in position 10 in May.  The true self should always be the ultimate outcome yet here she is diminished.  The seed of an idea, already planted (4) is the key to her release.  The Eight is constantly questing for that one fulfilling cup, held perhaps by The Ace – representing the influence of generous and positive “others” in position 8.

     Self-inflicted pain can be debilitating but The Three Of Swords (5) remains stable on her three legs, reminding us that scars can mean strength.  The Fool (9) reiterates that we should travel light and jettison the painful baggage that no longer serves us.

     A nostalgic event, possibly celebratory marks the shift from present to future (6).  What follow is a period of hard-work, demanding patience.  The Seven Of Pentacles (7) shows a figure waiting for the seed she has planted to grow to fruitfulness – perhaps the seed planted by The Three Of Wands in position 4!

     The Ace of Cups casts her inspirational light over the coming weeks.  This spread is full of little hints to follow the heart, trust one’s instincts and look for support in the metaphysical rather than the secular realm.

     Then there is Death and The Fool,  the surest sign of a cataclysmic new beginning.  It’s going to be big.  It’s going to be dramatic, but it is going to be for the best.

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