Lughnasadh / Lammas

Lady Day, First Harvest, Feast of Bread, Bread Harvest, Festival of First Fruits, August Eve, Gŵyl Galan Awst (Welsh ‘Feast of August’)
August 1
Cross-quarter Fire Festival, Greater Sabbat

Lughnasadh is the first of the three harvest festivals and falls halfway between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumn Equinox (Mabon).  Lughnasadh honours the craftsman god Lugh, who created the festival in honour of his foster mother Tailtiu.  Lúnasa is also the name for the month of August in modern Irish.

The first grains are harvested at this time, therefore wheat, barley, bread, whiskey and beer is significant.  Lughnasadh is also called Lammas, old English for ‘loaf mass’, in honour of the harvest.  Lughnasadh is also associated with corn dollies, sun wheels, bonfires, handfastings, the story of John Barleycorn, and the faery goddess Áine.

Beautiful Lughnasadh (Lammas) Altar.

© A Year And A Day (2013)


June’s Sun Moon

Strong Sun Moon, Dyad Moon, Lovers Moon, Mead Moon, Honey Moon, Rose Moon, Strawberry Moon, Moon of Horses, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Seremonath (Dry Month)

In the Pacific Northwest, June’s Full Moon arrives on June 23 at 3:32 am (Pacific Time).

The days are long and the earth is bountiful with flowers and the first fruits.  Enjoy time outdoors, and nurture your garden, your relationships and yourself!

Colors: Sun colors like gold, yellow, orange
Gemstones: Topaz, agate
Trees: Oak, maple
Deities: Isis, Cerridwen, Persephone, Áine
Herbs: Parsley, mosses, skullcap, mugwort
Element: Earth

PaganWiccan – Strong Sun Moon

© A Year And A Day (2013)

Litha / Midsummer

Midsummer, Summer Solstice, Samradh, Alban Hefin (Druid, Anglo Saxon), Aerra Litha, Gathering Day, Vestalia, Feast of Epona, Gŵyl Ganol yr Haf (Welsh)
June 21 (2013, Northern Hemisphere)
Quarter Festival, Lesser Sabbat

Litha, or Midsummer, celebrates the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year.  The days are warmer, the earth is bountiful, and the Goddess and the God reach their peak.  Midsummer marks the end of the waxing year and beginning of the waning year, when the sun’s power begins to fade and the days grow shorter.  This is when the Oak King is bested by the Holly King, who will rule until Yule, when the cycle will start again.

Litha is associated with feasting, dancing, leaping bonfires, handfastings, flowers, oak trees, faeries, and the faery goddess Áine.  This is a great time to connect with nature and the outdoors!


© A Year And A Day (2013)

August Blue Moon

This month we are lucky enough to have a Blue Moon.  The common modern definition of a blue moon is the second full moon that occurs within a calendar month (given that the moon’s cycle is on average 29.5 days and the number of days in a month vary).

Historically, the Old Farmers’ Almanac defined a blue moon as the third full moon out of four within a season.  Each season (winter, spring, autumn, summer) typically has three full moons.  But if a season has four full moons, then the third full moon may be called a blue moon.

This month, the Blue Moon occurs on August 31, 2012 at 5:58am (PST).

However the blue moon is defined, plan to do something unusual or different to celebrate this relatively rare event.  Many consider the blue moon to be a goal moon where you set specific goals for yourself.

© A Year And A Day (2012)

Lughnasadh / Lammas

Brón Trogaill/Trogain, Festival of First Fruits, First Harvest, Feast of Bread, Bread Harvest, August Eve, Gŵyl Galan/Calan Awst (Welsh, ‘Feast of August’), Freysblot/Freysfest (Norse)

August 1

Lughnasadh (LOO-na-saa) is a cross-quarter festival which roughly falls halfway between the summer solstice (Litha) and the autumn equinox (Mabon). The agricultural year changes from growing to harvesting, and the balance between night and day shifts more noticeably. It marks the time of year when the first grains and fruits are harvested, therefore it is sometimes called ‘First Fruits’.

lammas harvest

The name Lughnasadh is thought to have its origins with the Celtic craftsman god Lugh as a funeral feast and sport competition in honour of his foster mother, Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the fields or Ireland for agriculture. This day is also referred to as Brón Trogaill in ancient Irish texts, marking the beginning of autumn. Some celebrate this festival as Lammas (‘Loaf Mass’), an early Christian feast day honouring the grain harvest. Lúnasa is also the name for the month of August in modern Irish.

Lammas - Anthony Meadows - Llewellyn

Various mythos surround this festival. In Wicca, it is thought that the Sun God ages and loses his strength as the sun rises farther in the south each day and the nights grow longer. It marks the time when the first grains are ‘sacrificed’ to ensure the continuation of the harvest cycle, therefore highlighting the link between life and death.


The Witch Of Forest Grove

As the first grains are harvested at this time, wheat, barley, corn, bread, whiskey and beer are significant. Traditionally, bonfires were lit, with the ashes of previous bonfires scatted over the fields in order to bless the fields, cattle and people. Lughnasadh was also an important time for handfastings, second to Beltane.  Trial marriages in old Ireland would last a year and a day, with the option of ending the contract before the year was out.

Lammas altar

Lughnasadh can be thought of as a time of personal reflection of our actions and deeds, and our gains and losses over the past year. It is a time when we start to reap what we started sowing in spring. This requires introspection and honesty as we look inside to examine our thoughts, feelings and decisions. We can identify events which turned out poorly and look for their lessons, as well as acknowledge successes and consider how to carry them forward. We can take the opportunity to clear away unnecessary things to make our own harvest more bountiful.

© A Year And A Day Wicca (2012) / The New Pagan (2015)

Llewellyn’s 2014 Sabbats Almanac: Samhain 2013 to Mabon 2014
Neo-Paganism – Lughnasadh
Wiki – Lughnasadh
Wiki – Lammas
Witchvox – Lughnasadh
The Celtic Connection – Lughnasadh
Lughnasadh Lore

August – Corn Moon

Pagan: Corn Moon, Wyrt/Wort Moon, Herb Moon, Dispute Moon, Barley Moon
Native American / Farmers’ Almanac: Sturgeon Moon, Grain Moon, Red Moon

In the Pacific Northwest, August’s Full Moon arrives on August 1 at 7:27 pm (PST).

Nature Spirits: dryads
Herbs: chamomile, St. John’s wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
Colors: yellow, gold
Flowers: sunflower, marigold
Scents: frankincense, heliotrope
Stones: cats eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
Trees: hazel, alder, cedar
Animals: lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon
Birds: crane, falcon, eagle
Deities: Ganesha, Thoth, Hathor, Diana, Hecate, Nemesis, Lugh, Danu, Áine

Energy: Energy into harvesting, gathering, appreciating, gratefulness, vitality, health, friendships.

  • Sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, was most readily caught during this month.
  • A few tribes called it the Full Red Moon because, as the moon rose, it appeared reddish through a sultry haze.

Pagan’s Path
Angel Fire
Willow Grove
Farmers’ Almanac

© A Year And A Day (2012)

July – Blessing Moon

Pagan: Blessing Moon, Mead Moon, Wyrt/Wort Moon, Fallow Moon
Native American / Farmers’ Almanac:  Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon

In the Pacific Northwest, July’s Full Moon arrives on July 3 at 10:52 pm (PST).

June Buck Moon

Nature Spirits: hobgoblins, faeries of harvested crops
Herbs: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop
Colors: silver, blue-gray
Flowers: lotus, water lily, jasmine
Scents: orris, frankincense
Stones: pearl, moonstone, white agate
Trees: oak, acacia, ash
Animals: crab, turtle, dolphin, whale
Birds: starling, ibis, swallow
Deities: Khepera, Athene, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Nephthys, Venus

Energy: Relaxed energy, preparing, succeeding, Dream-work, divination, and meditation on goals and plans, especially spiritual ones.  This is a very masculine moon, so it’s a good time to work on the physical things in your life.

  • When the sun was in Leo, the worts (from the Anglo-Saxon wyrt plant) were gathered to be dried and stored.
  • Bucks (moose & deer) start growing velvety hair-covered antlers during this month.
  • Thunderstorms are also more frequent during this time.

Pagan’s Path
Angel Fire
Willow Grove Magick
Farmers’ Almanac

© A Year And A Day (2012)