Updated: May 21, 2022
August 1 marks the celebration of Lammas, a cross quarter of the year. Resting at the halfway point between summer solstice and fall equinox, this day commonly celebrates the First Harvest. This is the harvest of beautiful bountiful grains that have been cut from the fields around us out here in Sonoma County. The second harvest at Fall Equinox is the harvest of the fruits, although I have personally tended to celebrate both at Lammas. Out here, I think of the Gravenstein apple orchards that used to spot Sonoma County, and how they have slowly faded as wine becomes our crop of choice. Nonetheless, I saw a tree yesterday, with tiny apples formed and beckoning.
This energetic cross-quarter of the year has been celebrated by earth peoples all around the world, and has also been called Lughnasadh, Lammas, and Sirius Rising. All of these holy-days have unique myths associated with them, and all of them somehow connect to the fields and the harvest, reminding us of our inalienable connection to the earth. When we eat locally of the land, we are taking into our bodies the life force and the natural healing of the world all around us.
Lammas is a time to celebrate the beginning of the Harvest season, and to be filled with the joys of summer, connecting with all of the things we love to do and the people we love to be with. It's a time for deeply honoring our earth, our land, and our livelihood. We give ourselves permission to be... Happy!
A LAMMAS/LUGHNASADH JOURNAL PROMPT
I love journalling, and this time of year is no exception. Some great questions to ponder in your journals this week include:
❤️ What do you love and appreciate about your 'livelihood,' or the way you make your living?
❤️ As you look at your day planner through the year up to this point, reviewing old appointments and milestones, what is it that you are now harvesting? In other words, what has all of that effort led you to at this point?
❤️ Have you done anything kind for the earth this year? What was that like? If you haven't done anything, how would you like to connect to your earth consciousness at this time of year?
GROWTH, HARVEST, & SACRIFICE
One year at Lammas/Lughnasadh, I learned about the Irish Goddess Tailtiu, who was the step-mother of the God of Light, Lugh. One year she worked so hard to clear the land so it could be seeded and tilled, that she died of exhaustion. Yes, she gave her life to ensure the nourishment of the people. Her son Lugh established a harvest festival and games in honor of her.
I've always thought of this as a great cautionary tale for us as energy healers. We may love what we do deeply--it may even be a core part of who we are--but we must take care of ourselves through the year so we can truly enjoy the harvest. Sometimes we do make great sacrifices to ensure that our lives and creative vision are able to produce. Thus at the first harvest, just as we can remember Tailtiu's death and sacrifice, we can also honor the hard decisions we made earlier in the year. We can celebrate the harvest all the more fully because of the great emotional sacrifices we may have made earlier in the year to get to this point.
Are there parts of you that had to shed or release in the spring and summer? Honor that now through journaling or reflection. Then in honor of the Goddess Tailtiu, find a nice ripe apple, and eat it with as much pleasure as you can muster. You deserve your harvest.
Grounding into your reflections, you become more resilient and more clear about your journey towards autumn and winter.
POISON & HEALING IN THE GARDEN
My own relationship with the land this year has revolved around my small property. A few weeks ago, I noticed a brand new plant pop up like a weed. As an earthy practitioner, I have always believed that the earth around us will provide the medicine we most need, so I decided to investigate this new plant. But first, I was reminded of the last time a wild plant revealed itself in my garden. . .
Years ago, living in San Francisco, I found myself really struggling to see my love relationship and emotional contracts with clarity. I felt as if my sight was obscured. The more I tried to see my life with clarity, the more aware I became that my childhood experiences had created wounds in my ajna chakra (or, the third eye chakra of wisdom and insight).
At about this time, belladonna began growing wildly in my small garden, right next to the rosemary, which we new as a plant of wisdom and protection. Belladonna is poisonous to touch, and will kill if eaten. However, in the middle ages it was used by women in micro doses to create luminous eyes. Belladonna has also been used in refined forms for eye medicine. I laughed when I discovered this. I felt that the medicine was exactly what I needed, on an energetic level. And indeed, as I welcomed the spirit of belladonna into my life (careful of course not to consume or touch it), I began to see my entire life very different. It is part of what initiated great changes for me, including a very fun departure from San Francisco and our decision to move out to the countryside.
This last few weeks in my new garden, I asked a friend and Reiki Master student, and she helped identify this new surprise plant as Pokeweed. I did some research and discovered that it is considered poisonous, but it also has a long tradition of being cooked down as greens. It helps with solar plexus (or, willpower and manifestation) issues.
Again, I laughed out loud when I saw this. It felt very connected to my personal spiritual work, and I saw the pokeweed as coming at the perfect time to remind me how to clear blocks in my lower chakras.
We are all connected to the land. Although we have grown up in a culture that has taught us to bypass this kind of wisdom, the plants, trees, and insects all around us are a part of the energetic environment that we have co-created. They are all here to reflect wisdom back to us.
At these important cross quarters, we have a blessed opportunity to reconnect, and realign our biorhythms with nature around us. As we do so, we receive vital healing energy and nourishment for our journey.
I hope your start to August is fabulous!
DAILEY LITTLE is a healing practitioner, transformational life coach, ordained Priestess, and teacher who founded Healing Heart Reiki to help others navigate life with joy. She offers private sessions, and teaches classes in healing and mindset from a magical peaceful corner of the world in Northern California. For more info see: www.SantaRosaReiki.com