Lammas: Symbols of the Harvest

The harvest is here, and that means it’s time to include symbols of the fields on your altar. Sickles and scythes are appropriate, as are baskets. Sheaves of grain, fresh picked fruits and vegetables, a jar of honey, or loaves of bread are perfect for the Lammastide altar. Other symbols of Lammas, or Lughnasadh, that you might wish to use include:

    • Grapes and wine: grapevines are abundant this time of year! Get some fresh grapes in a bowl, add a bottle of wine—local wineries are a great place to visit during this season—or decorate with the wide, green leaves and long pliable vines of the grape plant.
    • Corn dolls: the corn doll is a harvest craft that has been found in societies the world over. Make one of your own using the husks of freshly picked corn. If you live in an agricultural area, many farmers are happy to give you the loose husks once they’ve harvested their crops.
    • Ears of corn: Use corn in rituals involving growth and transformation. After all, a single kernel brings you a tall stalk full of (you guessed it!) more kernels! You can also associate it with self-sustainability and fertility, both of people and of the land.
    • Iron, such as tools, weaponry, or armor: in many magical traditions, this time of year is associated with protection magic. If you have access to weaponry, think about adding some to your altar. If you’re not into weapons, that’s no problem—many agricultural tools are made of iron. Find a scythe, sickle, or other iron implement to add to your altar.
  • Fall flowers, such as cornflowers or poppies, are abundant during the late summer and early fall. Put a vase of fresh ones, or even dried blossoms on your altar to celebrate the first harvest of the year.
  • Straw braids are often found at agricultural craft markets, but you can make your own with the detritus from your garden. Braid some grain stalks or straw together to form a braid, representing the three aspects of the land, the sea, and the sky.
  • Onions, carrots, and root vegetables are ready to be harvested soon—grow your own and dig them up for Lammas, or collect fresh ones from a local farmer’s market stand, and add them to your altar, either loose or in a bowl.