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Celebrating Lughnasadh with Bread

By Greycatsidhe

The sun is shining and, like Balor from the myths, threatens to kill anything that lingers in its rays too long. Many in the US have been experiencing drought. In Upstate NY, those of us who understand and value food worry about the relative lack of rain. Thankfully there has been some this weekend, but we could always use more. Here’s hoping Lugh throws his spear into the clouds and brings us some rain for the crops!

Speaking of Crops and Lughnasadh, I’ve been researching harvest customs. I joined my friends at Muin Mound Grove yesterday to celebrate the holiday with our traditional games. The mythological reason for this that Tailtiu, Lugh’s Fomorian-born foster mother, died clearing the forests in Co. Meath Ireland for farmland. Lugh promised to dedicate funeral games to her each August (Freeman, 236) and, in exchange for this observance, there would be prosperity (237). The games and the gathering of the tribes are what I usually think of when celebrating Lughnasadh. We honor Lugh, the triumphant hero who defeated Balor and learned the secrets of the wild to ensure harvest. We must also remember his foster mother, Tailtiu, an Earth Goddess who gave herself and her secrets for the benefit of others.

It is also a time to remember a lesser known deity, Crom Dubh. There is little known of him, and he’s occasionally equated with the harsh and possibly demonized Crom Cruach, a God associated with human sacrifice. Crom Dubh is said to mean “dark bent-one” (Freeman, 247). He’s believed to have brought the first supply of wheat to Ireland in a sack on his back, and that he brought all knowledge associated with it (248). Indeed, there is a lot of emphasis placed on wheat. It’s used in food, brewing, thatching, and weaving (baskets, hats, etc). Around Lughnasadh, men and women wove “harvest knots,” tokens of affection, for each other out of wheat (245).

Read the original article at: The Ditzy Druid

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