AN ANCIENT FERTILITY FESTIVAL
Lammas, (or ‘Loaf-mass) is a harvest festival that may be as old as farming. With fields full of crops and hedgerows heavy with the promise of fruit, it seems natural to thank Nature for all her gifts. For present-day pagans this is a major celebration. Lugh, the Celtic god of lightness and brightness is honoured now – and in fact the other name for Lammas is Lughnasadh (pronounced ‘loo-na-sah) which means ‘Lugh’s Festival’.
THE CORN SPIRIT
The Corn Spirit is one aspect of the dying and resurrecting god, who appears in countless myths, from many countries. The Corn Spirit dwells in the crops, and it used to be considered unlucky to be the person who harvested the last stems of wheat. So all the labourers threw their scythes together at the final clump, with a shout – and no-one knew who had actually cut through it. This was called ‘crying the neck’. No-one wanted to be guilty of killing the Corn Spirit, even though it had to be done.
The best ears were taken from the final sheaf, to make a Corn Dolly. Corn dollies are often found in shops and many are intricate, beautiful works of craft. But you can make your own simple Corn Dolly with a handful of stalks bound with a red ribbon. Traditionally, the Dolly was placed over the hearth till next spring, when the seeds were shaken out to be part of the fresh crop. In this way the cycle of life continues.
Around this time, mysterious circles appear in corn, and other crops. Many people dismiss these as hoaxes, and some people have owned up to creating them. However, no-one really knows the truth. Such circles have been found all over the world, in many different types of plant, and they have been around for many centuries. Some say they are the work of faeries, or extra-terrestrials, and that if you stand (or better still, sleep) in the centre of a crop circle, you can have spiritual experiences. People have also meditated sitting in corn circles. Wiltshire is the English county that has most of these circles – why not visit one and see?
THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATING
Being able to meditate is a valuable skill, especially in today’s hectic world. Drawn from ancient disciplines, it is still totally right for our times. Most, if not all religions encourage some form of contemplation, but the techniques of meditation as they are taught today are often drawn from Buddhism. The ultimate goal of meditation is a union with the Divine, but for the great majority of us that idea seems too distant and we’re happy with a sense of peace.
Tranquillity, a pleasant detachment, a realisation that there’s ‘something greater’ is what you probably want, and this can be found in meditation, along with a host of health benefits that come with reduced stress. These include lowered blood-pressure, a better immune system, less frequency of life-threatening diseases and a general sense of wellbeing. Meditating involves shifting your state of mind, moving into another level of awareness. This isn’t difficult, but requires practice. Check out the other articles on the website (see above) for hints and tips to go about this. Then you’ll be ready to start the Lammas Meditation.
The meditation can be done in a group, if you wish. You can record the instructions if you like, or memorise them – whatever works best for you. This meditation is to help you find out how you can be more productive and creative, so affirm this to yourself before you start. Relax and begin…
‘You’re walking down a country lane, towards the setting sun. It is warm, insects are buzzing and the air is thick with scents. Take the time to see, hear, feel, smell and sense everything around you. what animals cross your path? Relish the solid contact your feet make with each step, on the dry earth of the path…
You are approaching a field of golden corn. The sun is a huge crimson ball, setting over the field. Ahead of you, to one side, there rises a barrow-mound – a low, green hump above the gold of the corn. Standing near the edge of the mound is a glorious oak tree, its branches spread in welcome…
‘When you’re ready, enter the field. The corn swishes as you walk through it. Approach the tree. The corn doesn’t grow right up to the tree, so there is soft grass at the base of the trunk. Sit with your back to the tree, facing the setting sun with the barrow-mound to one side and the whispering, golden corn stretching ahead of you ….
‘Now ask for your creative gift. Wait patiently and notice everything, however small. When you have received a sign, or feel you need to move on, proceed in your own way with the journey, if you wish, or turn back along the path to everyday awareness.’
Make a note of all you experienced. You can do this visualisation as often as you want – your message may clarify over time.
Of course there are times when you need some knowledge and positive input that you can’t get through meditating. You may also want someone wise to talk to about your experiences when you meditate. Don’t worry – at TheCircle we have all that you could wish for in Psychic Readings and Clairvoyant Readings. Why not call us today
, to be connected to a Medium, or Psychic and to feel supported and guided.
PUBLISHED: 30 JULY 2015