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 to Mother Earth.
The meaning of abundance in our Western culture became hijacked to mean money that offered access to expensive things, often hoarded. Personal wealth grew exponentially around the time of the medieval crusades in Europe, aided by the establishment of a system of credit by the Knights Templar in order to expedite money exchanges. With the rise of individual wealth, the values of sharing food and other resources with families who were in need became less and less about loving connection to community members and more about domination over others. Gifts of food were doled out for show. As greed expanded, private wealth became concentrated in the very few, as it is today.
The ancient understanding of abundance existed long before the money economy.
Every indigenous culture had barter systems of some sort. The people experienced abundance as both more practical, as in harvesting and sharing the fruits of the earth in the fall, and a more spiritual experience, as communities gathered together to express their gratitude to Mother Earth. Their ecstatic merry making expressed their shared joy of life that was the way to honor the source of their abundance.
What is abundance? It is tapping into the truth of Love; that is the most powerful energy in the Universe. It is tapping into the wisdom of our bodies by listening to our sensations. It is tapping into our imagination when we feel expansive and alive, knowing it is our most powerful tool for creating. It is tapping into moments of awe and ecstatic transcendence using meditation, breathwork and sacred plants.
Enjoy all these aspects of abundance, Love Linda