Lughnasadh – Walk the Celtic Wheel

Lughnasadh: The first Harvest

Lughnasadh is a fire ceremony that signifies the cross-quarter Wheel of the Year point following Summer Solstice.  The cross-quarter days which fall between the solstices and equinoxes signal the turn toward the next season.

Lughnasadh marks the starting point of the turn toward autumn and we begin to see and feel that it’s the end of the Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. We celebrate the first wheat harvest as we give gratitude for the land, the fruit and grain. If you consider our ancestors, this was a time of deep gratitude for the harvest that would support the community through the tougher days of winter.

People may celebrate Lughnasadh on different days, all the days in-between are also an opportunity to mark this turning point on the wheel of the year.

  • Calendar Lughnasadh: 1st August
  • Astrological Lughnasadh: Changes each year

Can you feel it?

We can feel and see that the Wheel  of the Year has turned. The energy is descending.

If we look to nature, we can see that the days still seem long, but they are getting shorter. We continue in our holiday season but it feels different – you can almost feel it beginning to slow down. You may even feel yourself beginning to look forward to the slower pace, the cool breeze, the winding down, the rest and renewal of Autumn.

How is the energy of Lughnasadh meeting and affecting you? What are you learning about yourself and your harvest? What are you noticing that could be changed, adjusted or improved? What is arising for healing so you can move into the next phase in a supportive energy.

A Lughnasadh field of wheat with the sun shining on it.

What are you harvesting?

Lughnasadh is the first of 3 harvests along with the Autumn Equinox and Samhain. This is a perfect time to reflect on what you have planted and what you seek to harvest – literally or symbolically.

What have you planted through the year?

What are you beginning to harvest?

What do you wish to harvest in the coming months?

It takes effort and hard work to grow things whether they are literal or symbolic. We hope that the seeds and intentions we planted at Imbolc will continue to grow and flourish. Yet, we may fear that we don’t have it in us or our limitations / beliefs / patterns may prevent your dream seeds from flourishing even after all the energy you’ve put into them.

It’s a time to sit with the fears and also to sit with the idea of success ‘what if it all comes to fruition’. We think we are afraid of failure but often we can be afraid of succeeding due to the impact this will have on our lives.

Can you allow yourself to be proud of all you’ve navigated, achieved, grown
into even if it’s not what you expected or is more than you expected?

One of the beautiful aspects of Lughnasadh is that harvest contains the seeds for next years growth.  The ending and death of one thing contains the seeds of new beginnings – the same for our lives and our internal world. So remember, if there is any aspect of your life dying, don’t cling to it or try to resuscitate it. How can you let it go with ease? How can you remember that within every ending there is a new beginning that you might not even see yet. Align to the ever lasting cycle of life-death-rebirth.

“We sang, we danced, we talked, we laughed, we ate, we drank, but most of all we shared our contributions and I learned, that Lughnasadh night, that true gifts come from the heart and not necessarily from the purse.”

A Lughnasadh trail in the woods with moss on it.

The First Taste of the Descent at Lughnasadh

After the Summer Solstice the days get shorter, but we hardly notice it now because of ‘day light savings’ and are usually out and about enjoying the height of the summer with various activities. When Lughnasadh arrives, Summer is over and Autumn begins.

How does that make you feel?

How do you feel about summer and all that it means to you ending?

Think about how you meet the end of the party feeling – want to hang on, wish it could stay that way forever, can’t wait to get out, sadness of knowing it is ending.

We are beginning the descent part of the cycle moving each day closer to the darker evenings, to the yin part of the cycle of the seasons…. Being called more and more inward to our inner world and inner journey… a sense of turning inward. We are reminded that not everything survives in the grand cycle of life.

Depending on how you feel about letting go and ‘coming down’ from the high of summer, will influence how you experience the energy of this season. There is definitely a sense of melancholy associated with this season, and this phase of the cycle. The sense of ‘coming down’ from the high of summer, the peak, is very present, and how one negotiates that will be full of the opportunity of self knowing that the travelling through the cycle of things provides. The bottom line is that the letting go and the descent in to the dark is inevitable, so we may as well ‘go with the flow’, if we don’t, somehow or other Nature and our nature will take us there anyway.

Celebrate Abundance

Lughnasadh is also synonymous with dancing; wild and fancy dancing, where our endurance and strength is given wholeheartedly to celebrating the bounty in our lives in these still warm and sunny days. The practice of joy and exuberance are rare in our modern world. We rush from project to project, we complete one task rarely stopping to give thanks, celebrate our achievements or bask in the joy.

We go from one thing to another without reflecting on all we’ve learned, received and grown from that aspect of our life, the project, the relationship etc. We “just keep going”, onto the next with the achieving but never stopping to absorb it. It’s a radical practice to stop, take stock and celebrate in the way our ancestors did.

If Lughnasadh is a festival of celebration, harvest, abundance, joy and you are not feeling that, then I invite you to look beyond your definition of those words. We often only see them in relation to what we’ve produced or our productivity.

Our harvest isn’t limited to what’s in the bank, how many goals I achieved, how much of my to-do list I’ve ticked out… we are being called to look beyond those limiting structures that keep us in the loop of ‘more is better’. We’re exploring all the places in our inner world and outer world where we are experiencing these elements of growth, harvest.

We may initially look at our outer world and think ‘crap harvest’ and be surprised by the fertility of our inner world, our mind, our spirit and how we’re harvesting or beginning to feel that we will be harvesting the growth of these inner foundational shifts.

A silhouette of a woman in a field at sunset during Lughnasadh.

Lughnasadh is a time to:

A serene field of lavender with the moon shining during the summer solstice.

Journal Prompts for Lughasadh

Ways to honor Lughnasadh

There are lots of ways to honor Lughnasadh. Choose one (or more) of the below or come up with your own way. Your intention and the energy you bring to it is more important than what you are doing.

Would you like to take time to honor the turning of the seasons?

Take some time out to contemplate what the turning point on the celtic wheel is reflecting to you in your life through ceremony

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A woman in a floral dress standing in the woods.

I'm Roseleen

Your guide to navigating those life shaping moments.

All of my work is shaped by the beauty and wisdom held within nature. We grow by learning to be relationship with ourselves and nature so you can be your most present, aligned and embodied self.

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