Category Archives: Pagan lifestyle

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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+ 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 6th: A Tale of Two Religions

 

 

Rome offers up a very historical remembrance for the Emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus. He was born in the year of 331 and died in 363 BCE.

Now interesting thing about Flavius….

We all know how Constantine basically sold the soul of Rome when converting the empire over to Christianity, yes? Before then, Rome had a Freedom of Religion type deal. Their modo—everyone believe in their own Gods and Goddesses, and well, just get along. And we all know what Freedom of Religion is….we supposedly have it now. Only now a days, most people scream they want it, but are only tolerant if YOU freely believe in THEIR religion lol. Somewhere in history, I think we lost the point.

Anyway, before Constantine died,  Roman General Flavius raised his legions and refused to obey Constantine’s dictates, nor convert to anything that wasn’t Pagan. Flavius’ stand was so backed by the people, that he was made the new Emperor, and Rome would have been faced with an ugly Civil War IF Constantine had not died.

His rejection of Christianity in favour of Neoplatonic paganism caused him to be called Julian the Apostate–Source Wikipedia

Flavius’ rule may have been brief but it was certainly an interesting one. Although rumors could be just gossip, they filled his short reign with colorful tongues.

Some sources claim that he believed himself to be the reincarnation of Alexander the Great, while other sources claim that he sprinkled blood on all the food so that Christians would not eat it—hoping to starve them all to death.

One fact remains, though….and that’s proved by the way he died. He certainly had no fear. When he passed, it was during a battle with Persia, and history claims that the man was so confident and convinced of his own victory, that he refused to wear any armor.

SO on this day in Roman history, and now today thanks to the Ancient Calendar, we remember Flavius Claudius Julianus of Rome.  Thank you Flavius, for attempting to bring back what we lost…and are still struggling to hold onto.

 

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 30th: A Goddess is born

 

Ceres, the Roman Goddess of Agriculture, will hold June’s hand so that the warm month will not have to go alone.

Rome made today sacred to her, BUT, not before the Greeks did, because Ceres was just another version of Demeter. Ceres being born of Rome around the year 496 BCE after  a horrible famine hit. The Sibylline Oracles assured the Fathers of Rome that they needed to adopt the Goddess in order to save them. It must have worked, because Ceres stayed, even though she was mostly worshiped by Women and the mysteries of her rites and rituals were kept between those women and NOT spoken to historians.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 29th: Norse New Year, Ramon Lull, Feoh

This is the first day of the runic month Feoh, beginning a New Year for those of you who follow the Norse path and runes. Runic months runs in halves, so Feoh will rule until another takes its place. Feoh is sacred to the Norse god and goddess named Frey and Freyia, who are the patrons of the Earth.

In the English village called Appleton, an observance by the name of ‘Bamming the Thorn’ would have taken place on this day. Customs included but were not limited too: Collecting the branches of an Ancient Hawthorn tree, dressing them with flowers, and creating garlands.

Today in 1315 an Alchemist and Philosopher by the name of Ramon Lull closed his eyes for one final time. Born to wealth, he became the tutor to James II of Aragon. When he died, he was said to have left a legacy of over two hundred books, including that of the Blanquerna, which may have been the very first of English novels. Lull invented the scientific method and the mechanical devices used to research alchemical principles still used in Science today.

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 28th: Runic New Year, Hemera, Ra & Nun

 

For those who follow the whisper of the Runes, then pay close attention because today marks the completion of a year…that’s right, the Month of Dag bows it’s head and says good-bye…for now.

 

In other civilizations, Greek to be exact, Hemera was said to be born on this day. Hemera, interesting to me, because Erebus–the God of darkness and primeval chaos was said to be her father and Nyx, her sister, the Goddess of night.

 

Now scanning the distance across oceans of ancient sands, we take a look at Egypt, who would have been celebrating Ra and Nun on this day. According to their calendar, Ra would go forth and make peace with Nun.  Now we know Ra is the Sun God, but most do not know that Nun happens to be the God of primeval waters which existed long before the universe was ever created. Even though the Universe came into existence, Nun still existed, only his waters flowed within the earth and in the deep depths of the Nile.

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 26th: Iceland’s Shadow and Fortuna

 

 

What was the Journey to the Center of the Earth based on? Surely the theories of a hallow earth, or civilizations living within did not begin in fiction. And if that is what you were thinking, then you are right. One possible beginning to such beliefs could have been the Shadow of Scartaris, which came from Icelandic beliefs and traditions who would have been paying honors on this Ancient day in history past. It was said that the very TIP of the Shadow of Mount Scartaris had a secret door or entrance that led into the center of our Earth. And while many stories of such circulated, one of them was the fact that monsters lives within. Kind of interesting since Iceland just had an eruption, hu?

In Rome, offerings would have been given to the Goddess Fortuna on this day who happened to be one of the most beloved deities. Probably because everyone wanted heirs, good luck, and wealth. And who better to give that than a happy Goddess?

 

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 21: Summer Solstice, Midsummer, the Druid festival of Alban Hefin, the Seventh Station of the Year, and the Pagan festival, Litha.

balanced scalesToday has many names for those of the past and for those of the Present. Summer Solstice, Midsummer, the Druid festival of Alban Hefin, the Seventh Station of the Year, and the Pagan festival, Litha.

This is the longest day of the year when the sun shall be its brightest. Today, we celebrate the fullness of the year.

It is a time to bid good-bye to the Oak King as the Holly Kind will now reign for the next six months to come. In other words, God turns from Youth to Sage. It is the union or marriage of God and Goddess – Mother and Father. During this time, the Holly King will impregnate the Mother Goddess with the Oak King. It is a cycle of rebirth. Life never truly ends. We are made up of energy and energy can not be destroyed.

Alban Hefin means “light of the shore,”. Its symbolic of summer meeting winter.

For those who know this day as “Midsummer”, then this would be the day to leave offerings to the “Other People”, “Otherfolk”, “Otherside”, or “Otherkin”.