August 13th is Hecate’s Feast Day. A time to honor the Goddess of Witches, Magic & the Dark Moon. The Wise Woman. The Crone, the most powerful and empowered of the Triple Goddess. She stands at the crossroads, as guardian & guide. Blessed be all by her!
Lammas or Lughnasadh is one of the eight Sabbats on the the Witch’s Wheel of The Year. It is the time of the first harvest and one of three harvest festivals (Lammas, Mabon & Samhain). In the Northern Hemisphere it is celebrated on the 1st of August, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is the 1st of February.
On this day I honor what has been harvested and acknowledge what remains to be gathered later in the Fall. I use it as time to reflect on the seeds I planted (metaphorically or literally). What is now ready to harvest? What has grown? Is there more work to be done? Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves, always focusing on what we didn’t accomplish rather than looking at how far we have come. Maybe we didn’t get there the way we planned or as quickly as we had hoped but if we are still moving forward there is much to be grateful for.
It is also a time to offer gratitude to Mother Earth for the abundance she provides. Gratitude for the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink, the beauty of the Earth that surrounds us and a place to call home. The photo above is the altar I set up in honor of Lammas. Since August is typically a time to harvest grains, baking (usually bread) is part of the traditional celebration of Lammas. I baked vegan cookies in recognition of that tradition and as an offering. The corn dolly on the altar is meant to embody the “spirit of the corn”. The corn dolly also honors Gefjun, the Germanic Goddess of agriculture, fertility, abundance and prosperity. A candle, to represent the light & heat of the sun, essential for the life and in reverence to the Germanic Sun Goddess Sunna. The spoon with the 4 elements to incorporate Earth, Air, Water & Fire. An altar is one way show gratitude but it can be as simple as watering a plant or an offering of prayer.
“I call upon the Goddesses, I invoke thee and I thank thee”
Ceres! Goddess of Abundant Fields, may I attract abundance, love and opportunity.
Demeter! Goddess of the Harvest, teach me how to plant seeds of inspiration, help me to grow and reap what I have sewn.
Gefjun! Goddess of Generosity, teach me to give without expectation and to receive with gratitude.
Gaia! Mother of all life, teach me how to live in reverence for your gifts and in partnership with nature so that you may heal.
Heqet! Goddess of Fertility, may I give birth to creative manifestations that become my reality as I release fear and open to receive.
Hecate! Goddess of the Dark Moon, teach me the secrets of rebirth as the Sun loses its strength and the nights grow cold.
Nerthus! Goddess of the Sacred Grove, may I stand tall like a tree, growing wise in my age, remaining grounded in love.
Sunna! Goddess of the Sun, May I shine like the strongest Sun spreading light into this world.
SO IT IS!!!”
May your harvest be bountiful! Lammas Blessings!
Alchemy , a noun, meaning: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
So alchemy? How does that apply to me and how am I the alchemist? When I finally embraced my spiritual path it started with yoga & meditation. However, it quickly led me to other spiritual practices. I studied the tarot and I started working with oracle cards, crystals, reiki, herbs, qabalah, hermetics and astrology. I was taking class after class and reading book after book to learn as much as I could about all of it. There were more than a few people who would say things like “You should pick what you want to do and focus on that, become an expert.” Of course, I started to question myself. What did I want to do? What would I pick? Will anyone take me seriously if don’t become an expert? There was still so much to learn. I loved all of it. To me it seemed like everything was pieces to a greater puzzle I was just starting to put together.
Well I didn’t pick just one thing or even two. Why do we have to pick between things we love? Especially if what we really see is they all have a connection to each other. A way of working together that is a whole other magical way of being. I think the more magic we have in this world the better! Instead I decided I would take what I know and combine it in a way that works for me. So in that way, alchemy seems like a fitting word. I am taking my magical practices, combining them, transforming them to create a practice that is truly my own.
The more I learn about the tarot, herbs, crystals etc, I realize that so much of their magic is different for each individual. Yes, there are some similarities or overarching meanings but when you truly connect to your intuition, the message you get is yours, no one else’s, it’s more personal than some generic “this means that” or “this does that”.
There is no right way or wrong way, when we make our own magic, that is what makes it powerful. I hope everyone will feel compelled to really connect to what feels right to them. Do not allow others to determine how or what you practice. Be the alchemist and create your own magic!