The beautiful ancient festival of Lammas falls on August 1st and as with all these turns of the Natural Wheel, it raises within us energies, impulses and motivations from the Wild Field. The New Age commentary this season has been literally and metaphorically eclipsed by all the galactic activity over-head. Lunar and solar eclipses abound, increasing solar flares, and the majority of our neighbouring planets have commenced a retrograde cycle. And whilst I admit, I don’t fully understand the planetary stuff, my goodness I can feel it. This last month has had me feeling a bit like this….
Yet, despite all the calls to ‘look-up’ and engage with the heavens, there is also an undeniable build underfoot. I have seen it for the last week or so in my meditation groups and private energy sessions and I have also felt it within my own inner journey and practice – a call to action; a reaping of what I have sown this year; and a recognition of the spiralling nature of life – the exquisite themes of Lammas.
One of the wonderful benefits of teaching, guiding and holding space for healing with lots of people each week, is that it is so clear that these metta-patterns, this stirring underfoot, is shared. It is the energy of this next turn of the Natural Wheel into Lammas that many others are sensing too, and when we work with it, we surf a powerful natural wave that makes previously swerved or denied actions much easier and successful. The shared experience has come through in many experiencing a strong impulse to once again clear their home space (like in Springtime); to reorganise activities and stuff; to rejig their space by reorganising furniture, items and colours in their homes. I have had higher than usual requests for energetic space and body clearing, guidance on smudging and bespoke incense blends to achieve different releases. In healing sessions many clients have finally reached a point of a wholesale shift; a shedding of old paradigms and a reach for freedom from physical, mental and emotional disharmony; and many others experiencing transmutation/healing physically. For me, I have returned home from summertime travels with my family and in one day caught up on six months of book-keeping and charity donations and pledges – a task I have been procrastinating over for months, yet with these earth energies rising was made easy and satisfying.
I have learnt that the keys to understanding how to engage with the Natural Wheel is to look back to the festivals and rituals of the ancients. Within their actions and myths lie all the keys, which is the purpose of these blogs. How do we engage with these impulses that we feel at this time and translate them into modern life?
Lammas, Lughnassadh or La Lunasa is the first of the three harvests of the northern Natural Wheel. It is named after Lugh, the Celtic god of wisdom and illumination. In northern cultures it represents the transformation of the fertile Goddess into the pregnant Mother archetype and the Anglo-Saxon festival of “Loaf Mass” celebrates the cutting of the first corn of the harvest and the baking of breads from the first harvest. It is officially the first day of Autumn and while the summer sun is at its zenith, especially here in Singapore, the Earth is shifting beneath and around us. Like all the cross-quarter points of the Wheel of the Year, the shift is subtle, not obvious to the physical senses, but undeniable within. It presents as a deep stirring, impulse to action, a sense of urgency. It is felt, illogical, body-based and undeniable, and it requires action or can easily turn into frustration and anger. Lammas is a Fire festival, acknowledging Lugh and the full power of the sun. It is a reminder that we reap what we sow. It is a time of plenty and gratitude. And even if we are reaping some not so great experiences, seeded by dissonant beliefs, paradigms and actions, from a wider perspective Lammas reminds us of the true nature of life and free-will. If our bodies, feelings, thoughts or experienced reality in this harvest time is in some way ‘out’, we can change it. It is this spiritual reality that ensures our continued transformation and growth.
Ancient festivals at this time incorporated the blessing and storage of good seed, for another planting season. Sexual dances celebrating the sacred marriage of Earth and Spirit, Mother and Lover, were dramatized to symbolise the seed stored within the belly of the Mother for life to continue. Celebrations of fresh bread, joy and inebriation abounded. These beautiful sexy festivals, much misinterpreted, held no guilt or shame. Indulgence, sex, sensuality, dance and community celebration were essential elements to engage energy and awareness with the Earth-tide of the time. And in a beautiful nod to the spiralling nature of the soul, traditionally, celebrants would ascend the spiral paths of the ‘Lammas Hill’ on their way to Lammas festivities.
What can we glean from this ancient gorgeousness? The themes and correspondent deities of the season: Loki, Sygyn, Odin (Wodin) and Frigg, all point us towards some clear threads.
This is a call to action and taking responsibility for what we have sown. It is a spiritual harvest when we sift the good and not so good seeds. It’s a time to understand the dynamics of our inner fields and to celebrate the good within us and our lives.
Sharpen your harvest tools:
Sharpen abilities of drawing into presence and spiritual perception. Absorb uplifting content and company that provides new perspectives and approaches. Our awareness is creative and when we engage it with like-spirited circles, learn new inner practices or absorb enlightened content we create this vibration within ourselves and our lives. I employ specific ‘harvest-hacks’ at this time. Inner decrees stated with determination are hugely powerful for this. If I find myself deliberating on a fearful outcome to a situation yet to play out, I catch myself and state clearly “I now dismiss this possibility”. If I find myself in the company of someone who is draining my energy or trying to engage me in their own drama, I quietly and compassionately remove myself and state “this is not my story”. When I catch myself spiralling into judgement or comparison I arrest it and state “I choose love”. The more we detach our awareness from old contracting patterns, the more they weaken and then dissolve into their native nothingness.
Engage in a spiritual-sift:
This potent galactic time in the heavens, has got the new-age community on social media currently repeating the phrase ‘Release what does not serve you!’. Whilst this sounds uber-spiritual, what does it really mean for spiritual practice and how do we do it? When harvesting the fields, the ancients put a lot of resources and focus into sifting the good crop from the not so good. Seeds that didn’t appear and feel like they were humming with life-force were given to live stock as meal. The good seeds were blessed and stored for consumption and the next planting season. Similarly, our spiritual-sift requires some focus and allocation of awareness. Relationships, content, experiences that contract the spirit into smallness, feelings of victimhood, exclusion and low self-worth are worth examining. It’s not the experiences per say but what they raise within that’s important. The mental tail-spins, the negative emotions or the destructive behaviours for example are sign-posts to beliefs and patterned behaviours that should be thrown from the inner store-house. To sift these out, the key is first to catch them and then choose a new script. Make the choice to remove them from future seeding. We do this by not reacting and projecting, but rather by acknowledging and arresting the reactive patterns that arise.
Acknowledge gifts and blessings:
The vibration of gratitude is the marker for Lammas. Guilt-free celebrations of life’s gifts and blessings help us draw towards the good seeds and attract more of the same. Shifts in feelings to higher states, smiles from strangers, abundance of life in colours, shared meals, perfumes, true friendships, acts of kindness, quiet moments to be with self and spirit are all rare and beautiful blessings; they are the bread of life. I bumped into my friend Sue recently after returning from our respective summer holidays with our families. We shared stories of where we had been and the wonderful experiences we had had. And then we both said at the same time “we are so blessed…but we work hard for it!” Lammas invites us to unashamedly indulge in the harvest that we have worked hard for. And even if that harvest may simply be an afternoon or even a lunch-break just for us, really indulge it. Switch off the phone, disconnect from anyone else who needs you, check out of your field and all its demands and be fully with yourself and the moment.
Choose the good seeds:
As the nature of spirit spirals upward and outward, choose the expressions that surf this movement. Expansive states of love, compassion, kindness, generosity, giving, and forgiveness open the ‘field of the heart’ and allow greater movement and rotation to higher ground. Just feeling these vibrations isn’t enough. They become active and manifest new realities when they are expressed. Make a point of it at this time. These are the seeds to replant into your inner field for continued transformation and abundance of spirit, life and blessings.
Blessed Lammas everyone.
For further guidance on anything mentioned in this article including ways to engage with the season through meditation and ritual, email me at [email protected]
Originally published at themeditationteacher.net