Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: July 31st: Rise of Lugh, Loki & Sigyn, Lammas Eve

Tonight is Lammas Eve .  While tomorrow is Lammas, this is one of our most important Pagan Holidays as it was for the Ancients. It means Death of the Grain. Ill probably work some articles up concerning this separately, just let this mark our time to prepare. Our ancestors would cut the grain and bake a blessed bread.

Today, the Norse would have held an observance in honor of Loki and his wife, Sigyn.

The Celts had an Observance called Oidche Lugnasa which honored their god of the sun named, Lugh.

Lugh’s birth was a dramatic one. His morning was trapped in a tower made of crystal by her father Balor. Balor was the god of the underworld. Why would daddy imprison his own daughter? Same reason most father’s lose their cool. He didn’t want any man touching his baby girl.

Didn’t work, though. Ethlinn, Lugh’s future mother, found a way. Her lover, Clan, not only got her pregnant but he impregnated her with triplets.

Being a Grandfather didn’t exactly suit the God of the Underworld as he tossed his own Grandchildren out the tower to drown. All but Lugh did. Instead, he grew up to be the perfect man. He was a master of weapons, athletic, artistic and very good looking.And he would only add revenge to his list of successful endeavors for he would murder Balor during the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh.

August 1st Lammas, Lughnassadh Sabbath Info, Recipes & Ritual

Those of the Ancient World and Present Day Pagans share an event known as, Lammas, or, Lughnassadh. It is a Sabbath on August 1st, when God enters the Earth, sacrificing his body to become the Grain or Corn. Please note, while I may use “Grain” below, it may also be interpreted as “Corn” for both were very important – then and now.

fantasy_willow-wallpaper-1680x1050

It is the first Harvest when the God of the Sun marries the Goddess of the Earth, relinquishing his former existence and essence so that he may rule the Underworld as Lord of Shadow.

Mabon, (Autumn Equinox) will be your second harvest and Samhain, the third. All good things come in threes.

como-fazer-o-ritual-de-lammas

This belief has survived throughout the Ages from one Culture and Religion to the next. Some, who blend Christianity with Paganism or recognizes the link from one to the other, may think of Christ, when he died upon the cross, giving up his flesh to become something more spiritual, passing from one life to his next. Christ was said to give his blood to wash away sin while the Pagan God gave his to offer life after death and to the grain, blessing a life-giving Harvest.

The grain is represented by the God and vise versa.  It represents the cycle of life – a reflection of us all.

The season has begun it’s coming to an end, as life eventually comes to an end. But while the grain dies in the field, is it lost to us forever?

No. The grain relinquishes it’s seed and when joined with that of Earth, holds a promise of rebirth—renewed life.

As the God dies and joins with the earth, entering her for their sacred marriage, he will one day be reborn from Mother Earth, anew.

So is the same for us all.

Our Ancestors used bread to commemorate this holiday. Present day Pagans, whether they are Practitioners of Rituals or not, may also use bread.

If you are one to use Rituals, I have one listed below. If you are not one for Rituals but want to do something to mark the occasion, then my suggestions is to either make or buy a bread that is made up of grains, cracked wheat – the healthier stuff. You can also use corn, corn bread, etc.

corn

If white is all you have, I am sure your Deity will be forgiving, but if at all possible, a more natural food would be best.

Incorporate it in a family meal or a supper of one. Simply bow your head asking that the God, Goddess (insert your deity) bless the bread and grain.

This is a time to say thanks for all the blessings in your life and for all the blessings to come.

It is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labors or a time to see your efforts pay off and come to form.

Rituals & Recipes

Dancing is often seen and done in the old world and new. Twirling, spinning, dancing around a fire represents the sun (fire) and the constant orbit we make around it. The sun passing through seasons, moving and changing.

A song or chant to do, whether round a fire or candle flame can be found in a book called, Grimoire for the Green Witch, by Ann Moura. This is just a shortened version…

Clap or ring a bell three times:

I celebrate the Day of the First Harvest, the Festival of Bread and the Marriage of the Sun and the Earth.

Then Sing or Chant while dancing in circles:

Dance, dance, wherever you may be;

When you dance with the Lord, He will dance with thee.

Turn, turn, a Circle then you form;

And the Lord of the Dance is the Lord of the Corn!

Raise arms, sing and chant:

Down, down, into the Earth He’ll go;

Giving life to the grain that in Spring we sow.

He rules the Shadowland till Yule;

When His Sun is reborn and He joins us anew!

My Own Personal Molasses Bread Recipe

 

IMG_1437

Ingredients

1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water

1 cup of rolled oats (If you can’t find “rolled oats” go ahead and use steel cut or rough cut oats. I wouldn’t do instant, though. They won’t hold their texture. )

1/3 cup vegetable shortening (If you have lard that you made, go for it.)

2 packs of active dry yeast (I used a fast yeast and it worked great for me.)

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 cup of Molasses (The first time I did this, I used homemade Molasses. Was great. Second time, I used store bought. I wasn’t wild about it. You can, however, replace this with Raw Honey if you want.)

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons of salt

Butter (Enough to brush the tops and the inside of your bread pans.)

6 & 1/2 cups of unbleached flour (I used 3 & 1/2 cups of whole wheat/ whole grain flour.)

Directions

+ Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8 & 1/2 inch loaf pans.

+ In a large bowl, mix the boiling water, oats and shortening. Set this to the side and allow the shortening to melt.

+ While that’s going on, in a small bowl, mix together your warn water and yeast.

+ Now, go back to the Shortening – Oats- Boiling Water mixture and add your Molasses or honey. Stir in the eggs and salt.

+ Add the yeast mixture and 3 cups of your flour. Beat the batter until its all well blended and smooth.

+ Start adding the rest of the flour, slowly. You may not need all of the left over flour.  So add it little by little. Once it pulls from the sides, throw it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough becomes elastic and springs back when you poke it. Knead for about 8 or so minutes.

FullSizeRender

+ Form it into a ball and put it in a greased bowl. Place plastic wrap and a towel on top and let the dough rise for an hour.

+Once it has risen twice it’s size, throw it back onto a floured surface and punch it down. Divide it into three pieces. Lightly knead and shape each one and place it into the bread pans. Put a towel over them and let them rise again for 45 minutes. When they have risen to the tops of the pans, bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown. Slide from the pans, brush the tops with butter and then let cool.

Tips:

For easy slicing, wrap the cooled bread loaves with plastic wrap and toss into the fridge. Once the bread is chilled, you can easily slice with a jagged edged knife without the bread bending or squishing.

Golden Sweet Cornbread

Recipe By: bluegirl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: July 30th: The Dark & Crooked Man

This is the last day of Ancient Ireland’s Aoine Chrom Dubh. The god Crom Dubh was known as “the dark & bent man”. Why is he crooked and hunched over? Because he is a God of never-ending labors, constantly bent with sheaves of wheat weighing down upon his back, delivered unto the realm of men from that of the netherworld.

This maybe why this celebration took place  during the peak of Cruschan Aigle and it was a time to gives deep thanks to Aoine Chrom Dubh and Aine for the fruits of the season.

It was also a time of fertility. Interestingly enough, if a woman wished to become with child, she’d travel and spend the night on top of the mountain. Upon her return, she was instructed to seek out her Lover and join with him. By doing so, the God would bless her with a child.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: July 29th: Runic Half Months & Thor

3The runic half-month of Thurisaz (thur-ee-saws) begins on this day. Also known as Thorn or Giant, it runs from July 29th through August 13th.

This is a rune of protection. It is also a time to deal with conflicts in a passive and peaceful  way.

Some call this a rune of evil, chaos and temptation while others say it can come up as a warning.  Many say it is a rune of strength – strength of mind and body. This is the power and the time to overcome ones enemies or troubling situations. This is the fire that will burn through the darkness, clearing your mind, allowing you to gain whatever wisdom or strength you need to overcome.

Fitting that this is the Rune beginning for this month because the Norse also had a festival for Thor on this day in our ancient calendar. Thor was the God of Lightning and of Thunder.  He was strength and stood for mankind. Infact, when it came down to picking a side between God and Man, Thor often chose the side of men.

Thursday was actually named after Thor.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: July 28th: The Dark, Bent Man

Our Ancient Calendar tells of the Irish celebrating for three whole days something they called, Aoine Chrom Dubh. The god Crom Dubh was known as “the dark & bent man”. Why is he crooked and hunched over? Because he is a God of never-ending labors, constantly bent with sheaves of wheat weighing down upon his back, delivered unto the realm of men from that of the netherworld.

This maybe why this celebration took place  during the peak of Cruschan Aigle and it was a time to gives deep thanks to Aoine Chrom Dubh and Aine for the fruits of the season.

It was also a time of fertility. Interestingly enough, if a woman wished to become with child, she’d travel and spend the night on top of the mountain. Upon her return, she was instructed to seek out her Lover and join with him. By doing so, the God would bless her with a child.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: July 27th: First Female Pharaoh

Even though this is an Ancient Calendar Date that will also apply to all  July 27th’s to come, I can’t help but to reflect on what is going on right now, as I write this.  How far women have come and how far they still have to go.

As my fingers tap against my keyboard and my eyes glance back and forth from my notes to my Writing Program in order to get this worked up and posted for all of you to read, my mind skips to all the women in the news today—those who are running for President like Hilary and those who were running for President, like Fiorina. I think about the women fighting for equal pay and I think about women who are just fighting to be taken seriously. I think about all of the women who have paved the path for us now – the right to vote, the right to shake off a 100 pounds of clothing, the right to even speak in a religious place…

This makes me respect Queen Hatshepsut even more as this day is all about celebrating her day of birth.

I wonder if Thutmose I and his wife, the Queen Ahmose, of Ancient Egypt, knew their daughter, Hatshepsut would end up being the very first Female Pharaoh?

Hatshepsut

Her destiny didn’t start out that way, though. At first, she was the wife of Thutmose II. It was only after his death that she bravely and boldly declared herself Pharaoh during a time when there wasn’t even an Egyptian Hieroglyph or word describing or speaking of such.

A person can’t help but think of how far we have come and owing that journey to women such as her. What thoughts shall Hatshepsut stir within your own mind as the Ancient Calendar celebrates her birthday?

Magical Moon: July 26th, 2016

78ec3f1d481ce3e75ae173aa9eb5686c.jpgOn July 26th, 2016, the night shall bring forth the Last Quarter Moon, otherwise known as the Waning Moon.

This, again, is another Crone Moon, which can be used for any magic of decrease.  (Remember, that the New or Waning Moon is used for magics of increase.)

While the New Moon moves from Dark to Full, the Last Quarter moves from Full to Dark.

This is a good time to banish things you no longer need or want in your life. This is also a great time to reverse anything you may need to rework or to end things that need put to an end, like friendships, projects, relationships with those who are toxic or for lovers that are no longer needed in one’s life.

This is a time of retribution and a time to thank the Mother for all that she has given us—gardens, blessings and gifts.