Lughnasa, or Lughnasadh, is one of the Gaelic cross-quarter festivals (including Imbolc, Beltaine, and Samhain), marking the mid-points between Equinoxes and Solstices. The end of summer and the first of the harvest season celebrations, Lughnasa traditionally involved festivities including bonfires and celebrations of abundance, as well as the weaving of wheat poppets and pilgrimages to holy wells. Under quarantine I won’t be making any pilgrimages, but I will be having my own private ritual to mark the day.
While Lughnasa celebrations traditionally included braiding wheat and rye wreaths and poppets, I didn’t have any wheat to harvest and made do with braiding lavender from our garden! It was a beautifully fragrant and meditative act, and I highly recommend it to those able, even if your mini-wreath comes out as lopsided and uneven as mine did! 😉
I will also make time tonight for at least an abbreviated tarot spread, with a harvest-season twist on my easy 3-card check-in:
- What “weeds” need to be cleared away to ensure a bountiful harvest?
- What am I currently “harvesting”? Where may I find abundance in my life?
- What areas of my “garden” need tending before the late-fall harvest? Where may I focus my attentions going forward?
Interested in learning more about this history and Celtic folklore surrounding Lughnasa? I’m a huge fan of the podcast Blúiríní Béaloidis (Folklore Fragments), which does a lovely episode about this harvest festival.