The spiritual meaning of Lughnasadh
In this blog, I wanted to share a little bit about Lughnasadh; what it is, the spiritual meaning of Lughnasadh, some of the ways in which we may experience the energy at this time of the year, and how we can celebrate it.
WHAT IS LUGHNASADH?
Lughnasadh is a festival in the Celtic Wheel of the Year. It takes place on 1st August in the northern hemisphere and on 1st-2nd February in the southern hemisphere. Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest festivals in the Wheel of the Year. The Autumn Equinox follows six weeks later, with Samhain taking place six weeks after that.
The Wheel of the Year is celebrated by many spiritual seekers all over the world, including pagans, Wiccans, witches of all kinds, and also nature-lovers who do not follow a specific spiritual tradition. It celebrates the turning of the seasons, and those who follow its rhythms mark its seasonal festival days or ‘Sabbats’.
THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF LUGHNASADH
Lughnasadh takes place at the time of year when the first harvest has ripened and is ready to be gathered in. Its themes are abundance, gratitude and seeing the first signs of what we have sowed starting to pay off.
Because it is the first of three harvest festivals, when we celebrate Lughnasadh, there is a great feeling of abundance; as well as the harvest we have been blessed with now, we know that there is more to come! However, we also know that there is more work to do.
In our own lives, while most of us won’t be working to gather a harvest in at this time, this translates to taking stock of and celebrating what we have created in the last six to twelve months. What results can we see from our labour? This could be work we have been doing on a creative project, in the home, or on a certain area of our life, such as our health, wellbeing, spiritual connection or relationships.
We are often so busy that we don’t take the time to acknowledge everything that we have achieved. Lughnasadh is the perfect time to really acknowledge what those things are and give ourselves a pat on the back. Doing so also motivates us to keep up with the good work, ensuring that there are many more harvests for us to celebrate!
If we were to choose one phrase to sum up what we are doing at Lughnasadh however, it would be GIVING THANKS. Lughnasadh is very much a festival of gratitude for our lives, for the gifts of the earth, and for all of the abundance and good things that enrich our time on this planet.
As a festival of abundance focussed on giving thanks for the harvest, Lughnasadh is a hugely celebratory time and there are so many fun and creative ways that people mark it. The themes of Lughnasadh also make it a particularly suitable festival for children to get involved with.
If you’d like some inspiration on how to celebrate Lughnasadh, you can find a special module in The Sanctuary Membership focusing on this topic. It includes ideas for marking this festival day and a special Lughnasadh Gratitude Ritual that you can do alone or with friends. You can find out more here.