The other day, as Doktor Snake and I took a stroll in the countryside, we marvelled at the glorious landscape in all of its beauty and abundance – the crops bleached to bone white by the relentless sunshine we’ve had,contrasted against the vibrant greenery of the trees. Sloes, acorns and hawthorn were in full fruit, which I suspect may herald a harsh Winter to come, but we’ll worry about that when we get there.
It still seems hard to think that the sunny days are heading to an end though, as we slip into August and the season of mellow fruitfulness.
This brings us to Lammas, which covers 31st July to 1st August, and whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, all have their equivalent of giving thanks for what we have. I’m going to cover a couple of the rituals that you can do to offer up thanks for your blessings.
To begin with, cleanse your space, which you can do with charged water, or a mix of water with wine or honey added. Take care how you outline your space, as it should be part of the meditative process to prepare you for your magick.
As this Lammas falls quite close to the recent full moon, you can combine the “cakes and ale” type of ceremony with the harvest one.
Now, aside from a magickal rite, you can also make yourself an extra special batch of cookies (maybe crescent moon shape) to eat to accompany the working. If you want to do this, you will need
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 sticks of butter (softened)
- 2 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and mix well, then add the vanilla extract.
One cup at a time, add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix well, to a doughy consistency. Flour your hands so it doesn’t stick, and then take pieces roughly the size of a golf ball and flatten and shape them into crescent moons. Bake at 350 for about 10 minute, until they start to brown at the edges.
Put them somewhere to cool, and make the icing if you wish – you will need:
- 8 oz block of cream cheese (softened)
- 1 stick butter (softened)
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp milk
Blend the cream cheese and butter together, gradually add the sugar so that it doesn’t go everywhere in clouds, and then mix in your vanilla extract and milk to make a spreading consistency.
If you need a conversion chart for measuring ingredients, you can find it here.
Use this to decorate your biscuits or cookies, and add silvery sprinkles if you wish.
To move onto the working itself, you will need a small fireproof bowl and some straw or plant matter that you can use to fashion a poppet doll. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, just make sure that as you make it, you energize it with your thanks. When it is done, walk around your space 3 times anti-clockwise (we’re going against the direction of the sun here). While you are doing this, speak aloud what you are giving thanks for in your Life, and call for renewal of your energies. Place the doll into the fire, and when it has burned, throw the ashes to the winds to release the intent.
It is usual then to partake of Lammas bread, which you can make, but as we put all of that effort into making cookies, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to the spirits if you buy a good loaf of bread.
Take a bite, and savor the work that has gone into producing it, and then take a sip of water or wine if you wish. It is better if you can charge the water before you drink it.
This working can be undertaken by just a single person, or you can expand it to include close friends and family,and you can celebrate your blessings together.
I think I’m likely to buy bread to share with Doc, and then maybe we’ll go and leave a couple of moon cookies in the church as an offering of our gratitude to the Gods (and Goddesses) we believe in …