Lughnasadh: Reflections on Summer

Lughnasadh Altar.jpg

My “wicker” man perched atop my altar.

It feels like ages since I’ve posted, and yet like the summer has absolutely flown by in the blinking of an eye. A great deal has happened and it feels like a great unraveling and re-weaving of a tapestry. It’s all seemed a blur, but I’m able to sit now and reflect and give thanks for the process though I know the work is not yet over… but after all, that is what Lughnasadh is about, isn’t it? Giving thanks for the first fruits of our labor though we know there is still much left to do.

In the past months since posting, I’ve moved back to Michigan from Georgia and, on mutual terms, ended the long-term relationship I’d been in. I left a living and job situation that was not promoting growth and stability like I had hoped that it would. The stars (or energies, or whatever) aligned so that I was able to get my job back in my home town, and I have my own little bit of space in my parents’ house. Right now, I’m looking at returning to school to become an English teacher. I have the freedom to drive where I please. There’s a great deal I’ve been thinking and feeling, that for sake of privacy I won’t divulge here, but for the first time in I can’t quite remember when… I feel happy and fulfilled and hopeful for the future.

This year, as I was crafting my “wicker” man (he’s truthfully made out of sticks, wild grapevine, leaves, tigerlilly stems, and all manner of other foliage from my back yard), I began with a poppet. I’d wanted him to be a little bit more stable, but I also decided to fill him with written prayers of thanks, affirmations of the personal transformations I’ve been undergoing, herbs and scraps from spells over the past winter, and all my hope for the coming fall and winter.

Lughnasadh has always been for me one of those important touchstone holidays. I may skip nearly every other sabbat in the Wheel of the Year, but I’ll find time to bake and to get crafty and gather friends together to mark the start of Summer’s end. I make the first pumpkin bread of the year. The Halloween costume shops start to crop up around town. There’s a cool breeze now and again in the air that smells like the coming rains of autumn. The leaves and grasses are more yellowed with the languid late-July/early-August heat, and the spring and summer flowers are fading away. Crows have moved into my family’s yard and chatter away each morning. The countdown to the renaissance festival has begun.

As I write this, my bread has just finished baking and my wickerman is perched upon the altar awaiting a small rite tomorrow. I am deeply thankful for the lessons and the strength the beginning of 2019 has given me. I look forward to whatever the coming months have in store.

Forest Blessings,
Rachel

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3 thoughts on “Lughnasadh: Reflections on Summer

  1. churningforest says:

    That’s a wonderful Wicker Man. (In my brain, I think I will always remember the film (2006) and I’m like…noooo.) Pumpkin bread sounds good; I do not think I’ve ever had pumpkin bread before which is odd because I love pumpkin pie and try to have it as much as possible once it becomes available. Do you use pumpkin in a can? I have thought about using it when pumpkin pie is out-of-season but just seems weird. Anyway, merry Lughnasadh to you and yours. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • patchworkcrow says:

      Thank you! I’ve actually managed to NOT see The Wicker Man (the 1970s film or the remake!).
      And yes! I do use canned pumpkin. It’s not QUITE in season yet here, but at this point making it for Lughnasadh has been tradition and I’m not quite so skilled a baker as to know where to begin with raw pumpkin, lol!
      Thank you again and blessings of the first harvest to you as well my friend.

      Like

      • churningforest says:

        I don’t know, maybe that’s a good thing? I mean, in terms of this particular feast day, the Wicker Man probably wouldn’t contribute much of anything (except maybe something like, “Man, I sure am glad we don’t do things like *that* anymore”). Canned pumpkin or not, it’s neat that you’ve developed a tradition around it [the baking of the bread]. Honestly, I wouldn’t know where to begin with using raw pumpkin although I think I could figure it out, eventually! Blessings.

        Like

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