Handfastings.org News and Views   Lughnasadh 2010

In This Issue
New Officiants
Harvest Ritual Chant
Breaking News!
Moon Phases
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Hello Friend,

Happy Lughnasadh and a healthy first harvest to you all!  We've added a number of new handfasting officiants to our ever-expanding list, so check it out!  In this issue, I discuss the harvest holiday of Lughnasadh with indulgently visual help from digital artist Iribel.  In addition, I've written down a favorite harvest ritual chant.  Finally, I introduce you to a new column I've been working on for the awesome website, The Magical Buffet.

My family and I have been barely bearing the heat of July and so we welcome the coming harvest months to cool us off.  May your crops yield sweet fruit and may your lives be filled with abundance.
Blessed be,
Welcome New Officiants
Welcome Michelle Oxman of Illinois (pictured) and Sarah Mellon of North Carolina!
Michelle Oxman
Michelle Oxman

I'd also like to add that even though the following officiants were welcomed last month, I've been having trouble uploading pictures into this newsletter.  I've discovered a shortcut, so here are the pictures of Michael McBride and Peter Hertzberg - welcome once again!
Michael McBride
michael mcbride
Peter Hertzberg
Peter Hertzberg

Lughnasadh - The First Harvest
Lammas by Iribel.
lughnasadh handfasting

Lughnasadh, often celebrated on August 1st, marks the first harvest of the year (there are three harvests on the Pagan calendar - Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain).  It is during this time on the Wheel of the Year that we welcome the first crops of the season and create rituals inspired by the grains of the earth to bring in abundance.

Originally a Celtic harvest festival, Lughnasadh was named for Lugh, the God of  Light, or Sun God.  The holiday was later renamed Lammas, or loaf-mass, in order for medieval churches to rein in the Pagans, or country dwellers.  Lughnasadh was a very important day for agricultural communities when the people of the land would harvest their crops for the coming winter and save the seeds for next year's planting.  Today, this holiday is a time to celebrate Nature's bounty and to reap what we have sown.  Part of the harvest is ritually sacrificed to supplicate the Gods.  

A Lughnasadh ritual might include a harvest chant, some corn dolly plaiting or making of harvest knots (if you're crafty), or magical bread-baking (or eating, if you're like me).  Plants can be ritualistically cut with a consecrated boline, a magical tool used to cut herbs and plants in ritual (often shaped like a sickle).  In addition to the God Lugh, the Corn Mother, in many of her forms, such as Demeter, Greek Goddess of the Harvest, can be honored during a Lughnasad ritual, depending on the tradition.    

Here is a very well researched article about Lughnasadh by Christina Aubin:

Happy Lughnasadh!

A very special thanks to Finnish artist Iribel, whose digital art of a Lammas handfasting graces this article.  You can see more of her beautiful work here:
Harvest Ritual Chant

harvest bread

Hoof and horn
Hoof and horn
All that dies shall be reborn

Corn and grain
Corn and grain
All that falls shall rise again

Witch Month in Review
New Column to Unveil in The Magical Buffet


the magical buffet

Okay folks, get ready for newsworthy magical meanderings!  Rebecca Elson, publisher, editor-in-chief and All-Master of The Magical Buffet, a website where spirituality, politics, and pop culture collide, somehow thought it would be a great idea if I would write a monthly column for her esteemed website.  Well how could I possibly pass this one up?  The upcoming column, Witch Month in Review, will bring The Magical Buffet readers the latest news in Witches & Pagans in your community (I just hope I live up to the introduction I was given).

Will I go under-cover in a Christian church?  Will I interview famous Witches?  Will I unveil a new Pagan non-profit?  Maybe I will!  Stay tuned to The Magical Buffet and wait and see...

Subscribe to The Magical Buffet newsletter here, and visit their website often!  Witches' orders.

August Almanac

Moon Phases for August 2010

(in Universal Time)


harvest moon

Last Quarter - August 3, 04:59
New Moon - August 10, 03:08
First Quarter - August 16, 18:14
Full Moon - August 24, 17:05

Fun fact: the best time to view the stars in the night sky is during the new moon.
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Love and Light,

Artemisia Shira Tarantino
Joining Hearts in Perfect Love™ 

Contact Information 
email: shira@handfastings.org
website: www.handfastings.org


Free Hugs! 
All Handfastings.org News and Views readers are entitled to One Hug by yours truly.  May you always be inspired by the wind that brings hope, the sun that brings transformation, the oceans that bring love, the earth that brings sustenance, and the Great Spirit(s) that brings the mystery of Life.  Blessed be! - Shira 
Offer Good Always