This time of year (around the 1st August) is celebrated in Celtic traditions as the festival of Lughnasadh. The first of 3 harvest festivals, this is named for Lugh, bright Sun god of mythology who set aside this time with games and celebrations for the recently past life of his stepmother. In knowing this we get our first glimpse at the deeper nature of this occasion – for it is a time of maturity, when a boy becomes a man or a girl blossoms into womanhood, standing on their own two feet, independent from the security of that which raised them. Those that have heard the Joseph Campbell lectures (you'll find a link to them on the Front Page if you haven't) will recognise the ritualistic celebration of reaching adulthood, and of moving away from adolescence into an adult's place within the tribe.
But it's not just about a particular time in life – the flow of the Force is represented in many ways, all reflective of our total journey. It's a natural process with any venture to spend time analysing, researching, preparing, practising and improving but eventually we will need to take that one step further and out into the world. Lughnasadh invokes this spirit of determination and confidence in our abilities; all energies need to keep flowing and holding yourself back through fears or doubts only leads to stagnation. So trust in the Force to support you in your growth at this fertile time of year and put those plans into action!
The spirit of Lughnasadh can be seen in the bounty of nature at this time (in traditional Celtic lands, that is!). Corn ripens so that we may bake bread, berries burst forth to offer the sweet taste of joyous summer, the sun rises high in the sky and the land is warm and fruitful. In some Christian traditions, this time of year is set aside for the blessing of fields so that their offerings will be plentiful and the people well fed through the coming winter months. From this we derive the name of Lammas (or Loaf Mass), which is another name for Lughnasadh.
In older times, the community would share in the celebration of the harvest, with parties and family reunions and this still happens in many parts of the world today. So take some time to honour your own tribe: your family, friends, school, workplace, even this Order. We are all connected in the Force so allow yourself the realisation of the loving and supportive links that have enriched your life and maybe even set goals for how you wish to help others in the future.
There may be times when things look bleak, or situations are so difficult that it seems almost impossible to move forward. Know that there is always support in one form or the other, from those that hold you dear to the ever-flowing strength of the Force. Lughnasadh reminds us to “make hay while the sun shines” and be productive when we can while still basking in the radiant warmth of joy. I wish you all the brightest of blessings, now and always.
If you wish to join in the Pagan Rite's celebration of Lughnasadh (you don't have to be Pagan to join in – it's open to anyone!) and spread some positive energies into the world, please read the instructions here:
May The Force Be With You!