Lessons of the land, Nature

Lammas

In the wheel of the year, Lammas (also known as Lughnassadh) falls on 1st August and is the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox in the northern Hemisphere. By Lammas we are into the second half of the year and may refer to this time as ‘high summer.’ The days are still long and the sun’s energy is strong yet active growth is waning. The earth is adundant and many of our grain crops have ripened and await their gathering, full and golden.

Traditionally Lammas is thought of as the first of 3 harvests; the grain harvest. This is followed by the second harvest of fruits at the Autumn equinox and the final harvest of nuts and berries occuring at Samhain.

Despite the suns waning energy, this time of year is often marked by celebration; festivals, fairs and gatherings that honour local produce, celebrate the remaining light and acknowledge the ease of abundant times.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we currently are in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Element: Fire + Water

This time of year is associated with the energy of both fire and water elements. The seeds of the grain to be harvested hold both the ignition and transformation of fire energy and the nourishment and fullness provided by water energy.

As with all the elements, fire and water energies possess more and less helpful qualities. When in balance they can encourage transformation, growth, nourishment, fulfulment and fullness. In excess these elements can bring an intensity or chaoticness to our emotions and feelings of overwhelm and heaviness.

Outer observations

 The word I have chosen to summarise this time of year is: abundance. All around us, the earth is reaching fullness. Our fields have transitioned from the vibrant greens of Spring and early Summer to rich golds and yellows that signal ripe and readiness. Animals are begin to fledge,  blossom has given way to fattening fruits and there is a sense of ease and ‘enough’ for all.

Other words associated with this time of year: harvest, gathering, bursting, celebration, fulfilment, fullness, richness.

 Inner reflections

The time of year can be a guide for inner reflection. It may help to spend some time in nature, and just notice and observe the season that we are in. What words would you use to describe it? Be aware of what feelings it brings up for you. This will be different for us all, depending on where we are in our journey. Below I have provided some points of reflection that relate to the themes of the season. Work with them as suits you best but it may be helpful to do so outside or after having spent a moment in nature or somewhere quiet.

  1. All around us fields are golden and are awaiting their harvest. Crops have reached fullness and will sustain communities for the year ahead. Most seeds will be consumed, however some will go on to plant the crop for next years harvest. Acknowledge any areas of fullness in your life so far this year. What feels rich and full? What may be reaching completion? What can you give thanks for in this moment? Some years this is going to feel easier than others to reflect on but see if you can apprach this with the kindness and fairness you would if helping a friend to answer these questions. If it suits take your journal and see what follows as you write the sentence, ‘As the earth is rich and full, I am acknowledging…’
  2. This time of year is associated with both fire and water energy. Together they have ignited, nourished and filled up the ripened seeds. In your journal see what follows as you write the sentence, ‘Fire and water energy can help ignite, nourish and fill up. I would like the support of these elements to…’
  3. At Lammas the earth is abundant. In your journal see what follows as your write the sentence, ‘to feel abundant, I need…’

To summarise, being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. The energy of lammas offers us a chance to reflect on areas of fulness in our lives, consider how we can use the energy of fire and water to support us and contemplate what we need to feel more abundant moving forward.

 

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