by Dawne Skeye
[Special Note: Tomorrow, August 13th, is the Full Moon!]
The month of August begins with the new moon July 31st and Lammas or Lughnasadh the first harvest festival, usually celebrated Aug 1st. The Celtic festival called Lughnasadh honoured Lugh, the Celtic god of light; Lammas celebrates the grain and marks the time when summer harvest season gets underway. It’s also a day to celebrate things that are coming into being in our physical, mental and spiritual lives – it’s a time to look at the progress that we have made since planting seeds of intent in spring.
August new moon [8/13] is about adjusting to changes. Even positive changes provide stress in our lives. Are you stronger, healthier, more understanding, or compassionate than you were in spring? What has happened to the seeds you planted? Have some kernels of potential flourished while others perhaps didn’t even sprout? Are there some things growing that you’ve forgotten to nourish lately? Or perhaps you have an abundant garden full of thriving fruitful promise. This new moon the chant “She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches changes” is very appropriate.
The August full moon is also known as the Barley Moon as the first grain harvest begins. Each crop that has sprouted and grown now holds the food for harvest and the potential of the next generation within each seed. During the harvest, the seeds that fall into the soil and become buried begin their resting time, knowing that when the last harvest is done, the time for sleep arrives. The first Harvest Moon is time to think about connections in life, to remember all the cycles of life that have gone before and will continue after our personal journey on this planet. This is a moon to remember the endless connections between all lives here, in all forms.
The first humans birthed the first children, and it continues all the way down to us, to our children, their children, and eons into the future. Each person on earth is related to all the others. Yes, there are many wonderful variations of human beings – how lucky we are to be individuals AND connected! This moon is a time to think about extended family and relationships of all kinds. It’s also a good time to think about the legacy you are creating that will live on after this life cycle is over. It’s a good time to think about business, partnerships, legal matters, what mementos you have and what they represent. It’s about abundance, reward for efforts, celebrating the fullness of summer, personal and spiritual prosperity.
SOME CIRCLE IDEAS
• Wear tan, gold or yellow shades of clothing to celebrate the harvest. You could use altar cloths in these colours too
• Include ears of corn, wheat sheaves, or other grain on the altar
• Burn gold or yellow candles
• Decorate the altar with fresh local flowers
• Use a wheat sheaf, or corn husks to asperge the circle
• Cast the circle with barley, leave it for the wildlife when you finish.
• Serve oatmeal, wheat or other grain crackers, cookies or bread for cakes
• Hold a story circle as an activity, one person begins, the next adds on, and so on around the circle.
• Bring a picture of an ancestor and each person shares what the connection to the person means.
• Make a paper chain, three links per person; write something you are thankful for on each link
• Make a wheat wheel. Make a circle of braided wheat, tie it together and put it in the middle of the circle or on the altar. Give every person a small bundle of wheat, and then ask each individual to put a blessing into their stalks, dance around in a circle each person chanting their blessing. After the energy is released, tie all the strands of wheat onto the circle. Someone can keep the wheat wheel until it gets offered to the fire at Samhain.
• Make bracelets from 2 strands of red, 2 strands of yellow and 1 strand of black and 1 strand of white braided together, it symbolises the cycles of life.
Dawne Skeye is the Maiden for the Circle of the Sacred Muse, an affiliate of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. You can learn more about the Circle of the Sacred Muse at http://www.circleofthesacredmuse.com/, and Dawne’s website at http://www.pagansouls.com/.
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