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Posts Tagged ‘Lughnasadh’

Last weekend, we celebrated Lughnasadh with friends from Northern Rivers Protogrove and Muin Mound Grove at the latter’s annual Lugh Games. There was friendly competition, feasting, swimming, singing around a fire, and a lovely ritual. My husband was crowned the champion of the games! It was a wonderful time.

Today, I celebrated Lughnasadh with my family. Having already participated in a large, formal ritual, today was about our household customs.  I hope my readers had a blessed Lughnasadh.  May the season be fruitful for everyone!

One of our traditions is to gather wild grass gone to seed on Lughnasadh. It’s the closest we have to wheat near our home and it acts as a centerpiece on our dinner table. Come Imbolc, our Druid group will use the grass to make Brighid crosses. Gathering it was a wonderful excuse to spend some time outside on this lovely Lughnasadh day! Photo by Weretoad, 2014.

Although it’s a small harvest, I’m proud of it!, especially the potatoes. I only dug around a corner in one of my potato bins and was pleasantly surprised! Huzzah for harvest!  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

We set our table for a homemade dinner of salad, roasted veggies, seitan, corn on the cob, red wine, and my first attempt at “wheat sheaf” bread. Everything was delicious, and much of it came from local farms or our own patio garden!  We made offerings to Lugh and Tailtiu.  After dinner, I used some of the cornhusks to make corn dollies.  I can’t wait to share that tradition with Bee.   Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

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I wanted to make an offering for Lugh that reflected his association with lightning as well as the seasonal association with grain. The lightning aspect was important to me because the lore shows him as a champion of justice. He strikes down those who do not reciprocate hospitality and goodwill. I prayed to him last year, asking for justice. He has been good to us, so I took out my sewing supplies and did my best to make this quilt and appliqué piece. May it please him!

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Goldenrod by the Hedge – Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013

The warm temperatures linger and school isn’t in session yet, but I feel autumn in the air.  The farmers’ markets are teeming with bounty. During our walks, Weretoad and I have spied some changing leaves!  The hedges have also shifted in color.  The warm green is starting to give way to the tans of dried grasses, the deep maroon of curly dock, and the crisp yellows of marigold.

While baby was napping, I left her with my husband and took a short walk along the hedge.  It felt nice to go out on my own, even for a little bit.  I miss my forays into the forest, but that will come again.  It was nice to visit the hedge and see the changes.  The aforementioned marigold was alive with bees and wasps gorging on nectar*.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any blackberries on the bushes this year.  I’m not sure why.  The precious year’s harvest was low because of the extreme heat and lack of rain.  Many of the berries dried up before I got to them.  This year – nothing!  I wonder if it was the wet start to summer?

And speaking of reflecting on previous seasons, last Imbolc I was sad not to have any reeds to weave into Brighid crosses.  I used locally grown dry lavender I happened to have, and Northern Rivers ended up using pipe cleaners to keep things easy.  I decided that I would gather the drying grasses come Lughnasadh for future crosses.  Although I’m a few weeks late, the grass is still dry and ready for picking!  I gathered a small bouquet and headed home as the deer flies had taken notice of me**.  I will be gathering more for my protogrove to use for the wheel is turning and, before we know it, the hedges will be covered with An Cailleach’s frosted cloak and Imbolc will have come.

* I’ve been reading about goldenrod online and I discovered it has some interesting lore and herbal uses!  This is a neat read, as is this.

** Thank goodness for the Outsiders of the Nature kin – they keep us humble!

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Lughnasadh is difficult this year. Some sad and complicated things happened in my family this week. I’m looking forward to seeing grovies this weekend, but today was a quiet celebration at home. I made a simple dinner of homemade cornbread, tacos with local ingredients, and leftover salt potatoes. We made offerings of cornbread in thanks for our blessings. We’ve been counting them a lot recently.

For games and physical activities, we took a long walk and played a couple card games while I nursed. We brainstormed some ideas for future celebrations when Bee is older.

As we enter the harvest season, I hope to keep my family close so we can take care of each other. I hope to harvest new happy memories with loved ones and to give my baby all I can. I pray Lugh gives my family the strength we need.

May your Lughnasadh come with a good harvest.

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“Balor Archery Target” painted and photographed by Weretoad, 2012

We spent Saturday with my grove mates to celebrate Lughnasadh.  It was wonderful to see them after staying with my family for the Summer Solstice.  We held our traditional Lughnasadh games!  They were more low-key and less structured this year. We had other activities planned this year and the heat was oppressive this weekend.  We spent a lot of time, including our business meeting, just floating around the pool.  The games we did have included archery, spear throwing, and Kubb.  Because nobody was really keeping track, we didn’t declare a champion this year.  Instead, everyone who participated charged a wreath which was given as an offering during ritual.

This year included a special women-only ceremony for one of our younger members, Dragonfly.  We welcomed her to womanhood and shared our words of wisdom and wishes for her.  It was very lovely and well-planned.  I know that, if I have a child, I would very much like for them to have a coming of age ceremony. I know I would have liked something like that.  What I liked best was that it was very personal and not connected to a spiritual mandate of some sort.  It was all linked to physical changes and her life.

“Artisan Showcase” – Photo by Grey Catsidhe

In addition to games, our Senior Druid felt it important for the artisans to show their work as well.  We did not compete – simply shared some of our recent work.  Painting, sewing, ceramics, sculpture, drawing, photography, and jewelry making were all represented!

One of my more recent dolls – “Dryad.”  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.
One of my “Wee Greenman Pins.”  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.
“Lughnasadh Altar” – Photo by Grey Catsidhe 2012

Our ritual was held in the shade of several trees behind our hosts’ home.  As the sun set, the air became less stifling and we focused on the cooling waters our bodies and lands so crave.  At the same time, we acknowledged the searing truth that is high summer and the lessons it teaches.   We praised Lugh as champion – as the many-skilled one who inspires us to reach for our goals and work hard each day.  We thanked the Nature Spirits for the harvest.

After that – we feasted!

It was a good day with wonderful people. I’m looking forward to the Autumn Equinox already!

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Autumn Oak Tree Spirit – plushie and photo by Grey Catsidhe

I nearly forgot the giveaway!  As you may remember, I decided to have a contest in celebration of my blog receiving 20,000 views.  I promised that the lucky winner would be announced on Lughnasadh.  All of the names were placed in a bread pan in honor of the occasion.  The name drawn was…

Katy Rose from Wings of Flight!

Here’s what she wrote about The Ditzy Druid:

I love that each post has something about druidry/spirituality to it but is also about your life – some blogs try to separate these things which doesn’t feel right/possible to me.

I totally agree and I’m glad you enjoy my blog.  I will be contacting you soon about mailing your new tree spirit!

A big thank you to everyone who entered and to all of my readers!  I’m so happy to inspire you and it means a lot that you keep reading.

Peace,

Grey Catsidhe

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Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.

Hail to the Nature Spirits, source of the grain harvest! We thank you for your bounty.

Having made some bread, I’m off to bring the heal to the forest shrine as an offering of thanks.  I gave an offering of whiskey to Lugh this morning and am going to have a game night with my neighbors this evening.  Looking to be a wonderful Lughnasadh with friends!  Since it will be a full moon this evening, I’m hoping to do more work before bed.  It’s a good time for it – very auspicious!  The big celebration will come Saturday with my grove.  We’ll be having our traditional Lughnasadh games complete with caber tossing.  Always a fun time!

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