lammas: Setting Up Your Lammas (Lughnasadh) Altar

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It’s Lammas, or Lughnasadh, the Sabbat where many Pagans choose to celebrate the beginnings of the harvest. This Sabbat is about the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth—the grain god dies, but will be reborn again in the spring. Depending on your tradition, you may also observe this Sabbat as the day of the Celtic craftsman god, Lugh. Either way, you can try some or even all of these ideas—obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most.

Did You Know?

  • Your Lammas altar can include all kinds of produce, grains, bread, and other agricultural symbols.
  • Consider adding items to your altar that represent Lugh, the god of craftsmanship, or other deities of the fields.
  • Use bright autumn leaves, nuts, acorns, and other natural found goodies to accent your altar space.

Colors of the Season

It’s the end of summer, and soon the leaves will begin to change. However, the sun is still fiery and hot. Use a combination of summer and fall colors—the yellows, oranges, and reds of the sun can also represent the turning leaves to come. Add some browns and greens to celebrate the fertility of the earth and the crops being harvested. Cover your altar with cloths that symbolize the changing of the season from summer to harvest time, and use candles in deep, rich colors. Reds, burgundies, or other autumn shades are perfect this time of year.

Because Lammas is a grain holiday, representing the first harvest, it’s a great time to get yourself into baking bread. Consider adding loaves of freshly baked bread and incorporate them into your harvest rituals and spellwork. If you’re not a baker, that’s okay! Get some stalks of wheat, barley, or corn, and add those to your altar to represent the bounty of the late summer fields.