Celebrate ABUNDANCE my friends,
August 2nd is Lammas, the first of three festivals celebrating Mother Earth’s bounty. Baking loaves from the first grains and offering them at a communal meal has always been central to these gatherings, going back to thousands of years before the Common Era.
The Celts called this time Lughnasadh (loo-na-sa), Native Americans called
it the Green Corn Festival and in Slavic Regions it is called the feast of the
Big Glad Woman. Ireland celebrates Lammas as Big Sunday and farming
communities gather at hundreds of traditional hilltop sites to set up craft
fairs, feast, play games, and dance. A part of every one of these gatherings is a ceremonial meal where the first fruits of the harvest are shared in gratitude. Harvest festivals celebrate the abundance of the Great Mother. During the recent long months of quarantine, we began to connect with the natural world in a deeper sense. The feeling of abundance is also something to connect with in a deeper way, especially now. As I watched the documentary demonstrating the communication, cooperation and
interspecies sharing among trees, a deeper meaning of abundance emerged.
The meaning of Abundance in our Western culture is often hijacked to mean lots of money and access to the things it buys. However I’d like to explore the ancient understanding of abundance that existed long before the money economy that began around the time of the medieval crusades in Europe.
The people experienced abundance as both more practical, as in harvesting
the fruits of the earth in the fall, and a more spiritual experience, as
communities gathered together to express their devotion to Mother Earth.
Their ecstatic merry making expressed their shared joy of life that was the
way to honor Her.
So what do trees and plants of all kinds teach us about abundance? Whereas the money economy became about individuals having and hoarding in separation, the ancient meaning of abundance was a shared experience with community. The new research on tree behavior is that they share nutrients; value the diversity of other species; and welcome (and in fact need) all the plant and animal life around them. As the forester in the documentary says “they all take care of their neighborhood.” This is literally true. All trees and plant life thrive when every plant and animal in the area thrives, which is the opposite of the “survival of the fittest,” and “each man for himself” philosophy of the competitive money economy which has literally created extreme poverty, even in a country with great wealth.
Imagine a community, a country, a world, where we know in our hearts that
we can only thrive if we share our abundance and we live in a way that
exemplifies this knowing.
Celebrate Lammas and if you choose, find this Prayer Song on Spotify, or
create one of your own, feel the joy of singing that expresses gratitude and
hope for this great shift coming that is fueled by love.
My song is my prayer
I send the voice of gratitude
I pray for Peace, I pray for Love
I pray for Life
For the Life, for the Life of our planet
Teach us to live in harmony
Teach us to live as one
‘Prayer Song’ by Leah Wolfsong (Songs of the Circle)