It’s that time of year I alternately dread and enjoy. Lammas is soon upon us, and I tend to feel wistful. Summer is heading towards its end, with plant-life not quite as lush, and a whisper of autumn around the bend. Loving summer as I do, I feel the tendrils of sadness start to curl up my body. From spiraling outward since Beltane with exuberance, I feel the spiral inward, as we head towards Samhain.
I’ve written before about Lammas being my personal reset button, and this year is no different. The Wheel of the Year turns ever onward, with the duality of “It’s almost Lammas already?!” coupled with excitement of plans. During the time of COVID-19, and with myself still keeping quarantined due to immunocompromised family members, public ritual is not in the cards for me, so I turn to other ways to celebrate.
Baking Bread-making has been quite popular during this time of quarantine, but there is something really special about making bread for Lammas. The word Lammas itself means “loaf mass”! It is a grounding and centering activity, and magical as well, as you set your intentions while you knead the dough. This year, in addition to making bread, I am also going to make a blueberry pie, filled with blueberries harvested by a friend on her home farm. Friendship and farm-to-table berries, along with gratitude for both will be baked into that pie, and I am looking forward to that first bite, topped with the sweetness of whipped cream. With baking at Lammas, not only will I be feeding my family, I will honor my deities with baked offerings, and set my personal intentions for the rest of the year.
Nature I am spending as much time as possible in nature, storing up that vitamin D in my bones, and breathing in the summer smells of nature. I am fortunate to live in a place surrounded by trees and mountains, but I strongly urge you to explore your own natural habitat. A change of scenery helps with perspective, and hugging a tree dulls that ache of not being able to hug people right now. Outside my office window, some Carolina wrens have begun making their nests, and their friendly and cheerful socializing right outside my window is indeed some magical times. Wrens embody all the boosts I need right now, so I am filled with appreciation for this magical addition to my days. Sunflowers have also been an bonus joy to my gardening this year, with their bright and cheerful petals always bringing a smile to my face. At Lammas, I will tend to my plants, hug trees, and honor the nature that surrounds me with much gratitude.
Authenticity Being away from people for the most part, I find myself deeply appreciating the authentic people in my life. Those who show up as themselves, and not as an aesthetic, are especially treasured. Seeing people from afar who are doing the work, helping those around them, and keeping in touch despite corona angst-filled days are especially treasured by me. Being in contact with such people is also grounding, and bring me back to center when I too am faced with feeling overwhelmed. During this time of Lammas, I will offer gratitude for authenticity in my life, and doing my own check-list to make sure I am being truly authentic myself.
Writing I have been picking up my pen, stepping away from the keyboard and writing. Writing lists, letters, postcards, and more. Rediscovering my own hand-writing has been a joy, since it had turned to chicken scratch with so much computer usage. Stamps and stationery have once again been added to shopping lists, and I am deeply in the joys of pen pals. Deepening bonds of friendship, along with making plans for future visits and activities is like adding fertilizer to my soil. It lets me know there are better days ahead, and keeps my sights firmly faced forward in these uncertain times. I will be spending time at Lammas writing to those who have enriched my life, thanking them and sending healing energy with my written words.
Spirituality My practice has deepened, what with divination, healing work, research, writing, and rituals filling my weeks. Turning inward as the spiral of the year slowly tightens its journey, I relish the time spent with my deities, in quiet meditation, or while learning, always learning more. I try to be still, and listen. It is the most valuable part of my spirituality, when I feel I have been programmed to stay busy and achieve. When I am still and listen, the quiet panic quells, and I feel connected to those who have guided my path all along. Time at Lammas will be spent honoring and communing with my deities, enjoying community when I cannot be with other people.
Letting Go One of the many gifts of corona is a constant letting go. Letting go of control, expectations, plans, preconceived ideas, and more. I let go of control, and it’s not the scary, out-of-control feelings of my dysfunctional childhood. Instead, it’s with an understanding that none of us really have control over anything. Anything, that is, except our reactions. This bit of serenity is hard-won, but it has added calm to my life, at a time when we all need it. At Lammas, I am letting go completely of what I thought this year would look like, and instead, continuing to embrace the here and now.
Whatever and however you celebrate, whether it is Lammas or Lughnasadh for you, take some time to truly honor the celebration. It’s not merely something to check off your list, but a time to pause, reflect, reset, and lean into the life you’ve created thus far. Be present, and be mindful. Life is more vivid that way, and a bit less fearful. Blessed Be!