Our local Wiccan explores a traditional summer lovin’ ritual of Lammastide – "handfasting" of couples for a year and a day. It's a sort of trial marriage (or however you want to consider it) that you can try at home.
Shakespeare introduced me to Lammas. Specifically, the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet: “On Lammas-Eve at night shall she be fourteen.” As a teenager, I thought it was fabulous that the heroine we were studying was close to my own age but what the heck was Lammas?
Lammas is on August 1st and marks about halfway from the summer solstice of June 21st to the autumnal equinox on September 21st. Traditionally, it’s the time of the first harvest. The first fruits of the fields and gardens are ready to be savored. The days and nights are warm and sultry. Winter is far in the distance. It’s still light far into the evenings.
The weather at Lammas is usually perfect for outdoor celebrations and everywhere across the Northern Hemisphere such festivities usually take place: Family gatherings, county fairs, music festivals, carnivals, fireworks, and picnics. Perfect for trysts. And magickal rites.
According to Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials: Lughnasdh, this was a time for handfasting of couples. A trial marriage that lasted a year and a day, the union could be ended without penalty after that time. Nowadays, it could be a perfect time to renew vows in ritual with your partner.
Here’s what I plan to do with my Hunny Man at sunset that night:
- Have a nice campfire glowing and let our breathing become slow, even and synchronized.
- Face North. Feel the strength and stability of the Earth beneath our feet. Thank the Power of the North for this Gift.
- Face East. Feel the breath of Air around us. Thank the Power of the East for this Gift.
- Face South. Feel the heat of the Fire on our skins. Thank the Power of the South for this Gift.
- Face West. Feel the quenching taste of water as we sip from our cups. Thank the Power of South for this Gift.
- Join hands and feel the energy of the space and each other’s energies mingling in this moment of time and space.
- Thank each other for the commitments, talents, memories, love and laughter shared over our years together.
- Thank each other too, for the challenges we’ve been able to conquer and from which we’ve grown. Individually and together.
- Welcome the future together with the commitment to continue to be partners, listening to each other’s points of view.
- Face each of the directions, beginning in the West and thank the Powers for the Gifts of this Rite.
- Close the ritual by saying “Thank you for this Lammastide rite! Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry meet again!
- Feed each other pieces of bread and sips of ale or wine as tokens of the nourishment we provide to each other.
This is my way to honor Lammastide. It’s simple and personal. It’s to give thanks and celebrate the earth, my partner and myself. Online and in dozens of books, you will find other such plans for celebrating Lammas. Find one that speaks to you, or design one of your own!
If you love this Love/Sex/Moon Magick piece, then you may want to read some of her other articles:
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