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The Astrological Significance Of Lughnasadh And How To Celebrate!

Discover The Pagan Festival Of Leo Season, And Rituals Ahead Of The Harvest...

Also known as Lammas, August Eve, and Lúnasa, Lughnasadh is traditionally celebrated every year on August 1st, when the fields are full of grain, and the harvest is hotly approaching!

It is one of the four Fire Festivals and the first of three Harvest Festivals (the others being Autumn Equinox and Samhain).

In astrology, a date is never just a date it’s a degree of the Zodiac, in this case, it’s 9º Leo. When the sun is around this degree of any of the Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), we take into account its positioning between the equinoxes and solstices…

The astrological significance of Lughnasadh is that it’s the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox. In terms of timing, it can also be celebrated at the astronomical midpoint between the summer solstice and autumn equinox (or on the closest full moon). 

You can read more about the bigger picture, here, but essentially, these are known as cross-quarter days, and the Four Lunar Fire Festivals, ancient ceremonial holidays)…

The Four Lunar Fire Festivals Are:

  • Beltane (May Eve) – 9º Taurus – May 1st
  • Lughnasadh (Lammas) – 9º Leo – August 1st
  • Samhain (Hallowe’en) – 9º Scorpio – October 31st-November 2nd
  • Imbolc (Candlemas) – 13º Aquarius – February 2nd-7th.

> Read more about the Lunar Fire Festivals, plus the Solstices and Equinoxes. <

So what are some of the traditional customs associated with this time and how do they relate to Leo?

Rituals For Lughnasadh…

In the pagan tradition, the festival is associated with Lugh, the God of Light, and Lugh’s foster-mother Tailtiu, known for introducing agriculture to the Celtic people, and therefore the harvest. Lugh was known as a great warrior, master craftsman, king, and a savior to the people.

There was eating, drinking, dancing, folk music, games, and matchmaking, as well as athletic and sporting contests.

Festivities and feasting begin at sunset the evening before; this is a celebration of thanksgiving (particularly for first fruits, grain and therefore bread). It’s a time to be grateful for the harvest that’s due, with symbolism to suit!

Scroll down for the food in season in the UK in August…

For example:

  • Baking a figure of the corn god in bread, and then symbolically sacrificing it by eating
  • Enjoying the early blueberry harvest, or blackberries that are now ripening…

  • Gathering together with family – Special meals were made with the first produce of the harvest; cornbread is a favorite at this time. In the Scottish Highlands, people made a special cake called the lunastain, which may have originated as an offering to the gods.

The First Grains Of The Season, And Late Fruits Of Summer…

This festivity came before the harvest, anticipating the particularly busy time of work and toil (a.k.a Virgo Season), or around the very first harvest. This makes for an opportune moment to relax in the heat, and reflect on the upcoming abundance of the fall months.

What’s more, Leo Season is a brilliant time to throw a party!

  • Sporting Prowess – Tailtiu died of exhaustion while clearing the lands in preparation for planting; athletic competitions called the Tailteann Games were enacted as a commemoration for her sacrifice; some say the games are appealing to Lugh, others say it’s for Tailtiu.
  • Being Playful & Romantic… Lughnasadh and Beltane were thought to be the two most auspicious times for handfasting…
  • Lighting A Bonfire – giving thanks to the spirits and deities for the beginning of the harvest season, and offering prayers not to harm the still-ripening crops.

Other Names…

Lughnasadh is an Irish-Gaelic word which translates as “Commemoration of Lugh”, Lammas, which has an English-Christian translation of “loaf mass”, focused on celebrating the grain harvest. In modern Irish it is called Lúnasa, in Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal, and in Manx: Luanistyn.  

Foods In Season in the UK in August…

via eattheseasons

  • Vegetables:
    artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, french beans, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce & salad leaves, mangetout, marrow, onions, pak choi, peas, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, runner beans, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms.
  • Fruits:
    apricots, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, damsons, figs, greengages, loganberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, strawberries.
  • Herbs:
    basil, chives, coriander, oregano, mint, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leafed), rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon, thyme.
  • Meats:
    beef, lamb, rabbit, venison, wood pigeon.
  • Fish:
    cod, coley, crab, dab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, halibut, herring, langoustine, lemon sole, mackerel, monkfish, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, red mullet, salmon, sardines, scallops (queen), sea bass (wild), sea bream, sea trout, shrimp, squid, whelks.
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