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Celebrating Lammas: An Ancient Fire Festival

Updated: Feb 26

Lammas is a Pagan fire festival & feast that falls at the end of July/beginning of August, but most folks typically celebrate on August 1st. Lammas signifies the first harvest, & is also known as Lughnasadh/Lugnasad (Celtic) or Gwyl Awst (Welsh). This fire festival is a time to celebrate your past achievements, the fruits of your labor, quite literally if you garden or farm. Along with joyous celebration, Lammas is also a time to acknowledge the Sun's waning* as we head towards Autumn & darkness. We rejoice in the first harvest & all of the wonders that have come of summer, but we also begin to plan & prep for the colder months that lie ahead.

lammas, fire festival, sunflowers

The word Lughnasadh is derived from the Celtic Sun God, Lugh. Lugh is the God of light, sun, gold, skills, action & creativity. Therefore, we give thanks to Lugh (or whichever Sun God/Goddess resonates with you - Helios, Surya, Sekhmet, Ra, etc.). We also stop & appreciate Danu, the Celtic Earth Mother, for bearing her fruits for us to enjoy this harvest. Through sun & soil, we can clearly see how the earth & fire forces work together to bring us this magical season of Lammas & abundance. Gratitude lies at the heart of this ancient fire festival.


Lammas is not only a time to give gratitude to Lugh (Fire) & Danu (Earth), but also thank the magical Fae & the Green Man, the king of the harvest. Faeries embody the Air element, which carries to us the seeds for next year's harvest, therefore we thank them with offerings of milk, honey, bread, flowers, etc.


One simple way to rejoice is to create or refresh your altar. Place the cardinal directions/elements on your altar - North (Earth), East (Air), South (Fire), West (Water). I provide elemental offering ideas below, if you're unsure of where to start. Next, add in some symbolism of the season - I will also share some symbols below! You can also add any magical objects/tools to your altar - pendulum, divination cards, bones, salt, herbs, wands, etc.. And, don't forget to cleanse your space!**


Offerings for the Elements + Directions:

  • Earth / North: plants or flowers, grains, crystals, herbs, fruits & vegetables

  • Air / East: feathers, incense, dandelion clocks, smudge sticks (sage, mugwort, cedarwood, etc.)

  • Fire / South: candles, clear quartz or citrine spheres, gold, sunflowers, mirrors

  • Water / West: seashells, water, oil, water crystals (fluorite, carnelian, blue lace, moonstone, etc.)


Symbols of Lammas:

  • Grains, Oats & Bread: a time to feast - folks will make oat cakes for prosperity & abundance!

  • Fruits & Vegetables: symbols of abundance (especially grapes/wine), harvest, & good fortune!

  • Herbs: frankincense, sunflower, mint

  • Berry Pie: folks will make berry pies to honor the death of the Green Man that comes with Fall

  • Oak: a sacred tree to the Fae, oak also brings forth ideas, strength, magic, protection, empowerment, & endurance!

  • Corn: making a corn dolly, setting intentions/sewing seeds for the year ahead is a ritual that has lasted ages!

Fittingly enough, Lammas also happens to be smack-dab in the middle of Leo season, the most fiery season of them all! Sunflowers & Lions are major symbols of Leo season, especially with the Lionsgate portal right around the corner on 8/8. Checkout the few crystals that I've listed below that are perfect for this sun-filled season, connecting you with your Solar Plexus & Agni/digestive fire.


Crystals for Lammas & Leo Season:

  • Citrine

  • Honey Calcite

  • Peacock Ore

  • Red Jasper

  • Carnelian

  • Bloodstone/Dragon's Egg

  • Ametrine


Enjoy this season & comment with any shares or questions. Take a moment to yourself, create new or deepen old rituals, or have your friends over for a big bonfire & feast. However you do it, allow yourself to celebrate both the big & little things! Blessed Lammas.


Learn more about other holidays within the Wheel of the Year in the Moon & Magic section of the Embodied Ambrosia blog.


Looking for holistic clean beauty & body care products that you can trust? Check out the Embodied Ambrosia Clean Beauty Collection in the Shop!


*Did you know that the days slowly begin to get shorter after the Summer Solstice on June 21st? Most folks think that the Summer Solstice marks the start of summer, but it actually marks mid-summer.


**How I clear my space: I typically clear my altar & wipe it down with either lemongrass or cedarwood essential oil. Next, I will either spray a smudge blend I've made, or burn one of the following: sage, palo santo, cedarwood, or dragon's blood or frankincense resin (keep your windows open when smudging).


Sources:

  • Hinds, K. & McColman, C. (2020). The Spirit of the Celtic Gods & Goddesses: Their History, Magical Power, & Healing Energies. Weiser Books.

  • Hopman, E. E. (1995). A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year. (1st Edition). Destiny Books.

  • Lafranque, S. (2020). Moon Energy: A Practical Guide to Using the Lunar cycles to Unleash Your Inner Goddess. Skyhorse Publishing.

  • Lister, L. (2017). Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic. (1st Edition). Hay House UK.

  • Starling, M. (2022). Welsh Witchcraft: A Guide to the Spirits, Lore, & Magic of Wales. (1st Edition). Llewellyn Publications.

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