Soft & ambling light; warm & golden light; when the shadows aren't yet sharp ~
In the Northern Hemishpere, we will be celebrating Lùnastal on Saturday the 1st of August. This time is also known as Lughnasadh or Lammas & it holds the midpoint between the Summer Solstice & Autumn Equinox. It is a pivot point of energy. From here, each day brings us closer & closer to a new half of the seasonal wheel ~ the second half of the year coming into our viewfinders, maybe for the first time in a long time. It is the sunset hour, the golden hour of the Earth, just before twilight sets in with its mysteries & shadows & chemise woven of night. In many ways, this time of the year can be considered the last glimpses of the sun before it sets below the horizon ~ half of the circle has almost been completed & there is much to look back on before we go forward ahead.
Though Lùnastal & Lammas have different origin stories, these festivals occur at the same time & in modern day, are often treated as one in the same. Lùnastal is rooted in Gaelic & Celtic traditions, whereas Lammas is considered to be a introduction from the Christian church. Both can be traced back to celebrations of the harvest & of the communal shift into a new seasonal slice of the year's wheel. Living in line with the seasons & what each brought with them was not only a way to venerate these times of the year, but for our ancestors, it was very much about survival & honoring the connectivity that humans share with the natural world.
So, I want to share a few ideas with you to celebrate this Lùnastal. To bring some harvest magic, altar placements, & solar celebration into this time. As always, I encourage you to trust your own instincts & intuitions when it comes to honoring seasonal markers!
Lùnastal Celebrations: ---:: Make time to pause, as much as you are able to throughout the day: let pause be your invocation from the time you wake, until the sun sets you into bed ---:: Prioritize relaxation, enjoyment, & reflection on all that has occurred for you in the past few seasons ---:: Harvest the herbs & vegetables that are ready from your garden & be sure to include them in some way in each meal you create in the day ---:: Food & feasting are a big part of this celebration day, so even if you do not have a garden, it is a wonderful day to incorporate the ripe & fresh foods of this time of the year, depending on where you are located! Here in North Carolina it is Nightshade season so there are tomatoes & peppers galore ---:: Sharing with the community is also a huge theme of Lùnastal ~ what do you have in abundance that you can share with your community? Think of abundance creatively, it is not about money, it is more about your own gifts & talents & ideas. The other day, I passed by a neighbor's house who had left bags of free vegetables outside for anyone who wanted to grab some ---:: Call one of your good friends, especially if you have not spoken in awhile, to say hello & catch up ---:: Make a big batch of sun-warmed Milky Oat Tops infusion ---:: Clear off & recreate your altar space with greens, oranges, reds, & golden colours. You can also include symbols of horses, oats or other grains, a nice cup of good red wine, burdock seeds, blackberry flower essence, & a beeswax candle ---:: Turn the TV off, put your phone on silent, no emails or DM's, don't take any photos. Just be, unencumbered by a screen, for as much of the day as possible 𓋆 𓋆 𓋆
Herbs & Plants to call upon for Lùnastal:
Bee balm flowers & leaves in tea or harvested for an infused vinegar
Sungold Fruit Essence to place upon your altar, or in a glass of drinking water
Amaranth to eat in the mornings
Wild Grapes to watch ripen on the vine & fermented ones to sip on ;)
Pears to bite into
Rowan to make crosses with & to place quietly & alone, over the doors at midday
Rolled Oats & dried Apricots to make fresh milk with ~ recipe below:
Oat Milk with Dried Apricots
You'll need ~
-- 1 cup of rolled oats
-- 3-4 dried apricots (I prefer the ones without Sulfur, as I am a bit sensitive!)
-- 1 pinch of salt
-- 3 drops of your favorite flower essence
-- a good dash of vanilla extract (optional)
-- 4-5 cups of fresh, filtered or spring water
-- a blender
-- a sieve or cheese cloth
-- a quartz sized glass jar with a lid
To make it ~
-- Add each of your ingredients into the blender, one at a time
-- With the water, 4 cups will make a thicker batch, but even with 5 Oat milk is pretty goopy!
-- Blend together on high speed for about 1 minute
-- Pour your liquid over the sieve/cheese cloth into your jar, a pitcher, or a
-- You will likely have to squeeze out excess liquid from the oat sludge with a spoon (if using a
sieve) or with an extra squeeze of your cheese cloth
-- Pour into your jar(s) & keep them in the fridge for up to a full week or so
May you have a Merry Lùnastal :