The heat is on and summer is half over (or Winter if you're in the Southern Hemisphere). August is a wonderful time to take stock of all you’ve accomplished so far this year and prepare for Fall. As you gear the kids up to head back to school, think about what you would like to do with the rest of your year.
In ancient times, August was the beginning of the harvest. Lammas (which usually falls near August 1st) was a time when the earliest crops of the season were harvested. The wheat fields were cleared, and the people began to prepare for the long winter ahead. Hay was put aside for horses, bread was baked, and the people began to reap what they had sown earlier in the year.
This was a time when the Mother Goddesses were Honored and Thanked for the feast they provided. Goddesses such as Demeter, Juno, Aine, and Damara were central focuses of such celebrations. As you approach the end of Summer, you might consider doing a ritual to Honor one of your favorite Goddesses.
Simple Lammas/First Harvest Ritual:
- Go outside in your background (or in your living room, if you prefer)
- Spread a circle of grain or bread crumbs around your feet (or pour some at the base of a tree)
- Light a red or orange candle to symbolize the warmth of the sun.
- Say a prayer to the Goddess of your choice, something simple is fine, such as:
Demeter, Goddess of the Grain
Thank you for all the gifts you have given me this year [name some of the things you are most grateful for]
As the wheel of the year prepares to turn again,
Help me be grateful for my bounty
As the seasons change, so too I must change
I ask that you help with me [insert problem here] as Summer passes into Fall.
With the gift of wine and bread [or whatever gifts you feel Called to share with the Goddess], I ask for Your Blessing. [pour wine and bread or place gifts on the ground, preferably under a tree]
Thank You and Farewell!
Collect your belongings and leave, knowing your prayers have been heard.
After you complete your simple ritual, you may wish to take out your journal and jot down what you are grateful for, the problem you asked for help with, and what you plan to accomplish between now and the end of the year.
Now go take action to work on something on that to-do list!