Dog Days of August Are Here
Its Lammas Day
Dog Days of August Are Here and finally I can start to talk about some of my favorite summer subjects. From the dog star Sirius to Mad Dogs and Englishmen prepare to be bombarded with all sorts of things starting this Sunday pertaining to the heat, the stars, folklore and crazy stuff. Oh and books too.
The month of August and the heat associated with it has long brought out the craziness in humans and animals. From the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks and Romans and even musicians such as Joe Cocker who pulled Mad Dogs and Englishmen”,from it’s the title of a famous song by Noel Coward (who credited Kipling and it probably went back further )for his song Mad Dogs and Englishman, the dog days of summer have been both an inspiration and more. See what I mean?
But today or more accurately tomorrow, its Lammas Day. August 1st. So that’s our first topic of conversation this month. What’s Lammas Day you say? Well, I should be asking author Susan Laine here to answer that question. Her wonderful stories, The Wheel Mysteries, books 1 & 2 are now combined in one collection, revolve around a Wiccan main character and his P.I. boyfriend and take place during a Wiccan/Pagan holidays also called Sabbats.
Wiccan holidays, or Sabbats, are timed to the seasons and the Earth’s natural rhythms. Sabbats celebrate the Earth’s journey around the sun, called the Wheel of the Year, and Wiccans refer to commemorating the Sabbats as Turning the Wheel.
Most Wiccans celebrate these eight Sabbats annually:
Yule, Winter Solstice: December 20, 21, 22, or 23
Yule is the longest night and the shortest day of the year. Some Wiccans consider Yule to be either the year’s beginning or the end. This is the time to celebrate the return of the light. Yule is the solar turning of the tides, and the newborn Sun offers a fresh start and, literally, a new day. It’s a time of renewal and hope.
Brigid, Imbolc, Candlemas, Imbolg, or Brigid’s Day: February 1 or 2
Brigid, or Imbolc, is a preparation for spring. At Brigid, Wiccans clean and organize their living environments, as well as their minds and hearts, in preparation for the upcoming season of growth. It’s a time to shake off the doldrums of late winter and light the fires of creativity and inspiration.
Eostar, Spring Equinox, Ostara, or Oestarra: March 20, 21, 22, or 23
Winter is now over. Light is increasing. The day and night are equal in length at the equinox. Spring has arrived or is coming soon. Eostar is the time of fertility, birth, and renewal. The ice is thawing, and the growing season for plants and animals begins. Growth is the theme of the day.
Beltane, May Eve, Beltaine, Bealtaine, or May Day: April 30 or May 1
Beltane is the time of the marriage and union of the Goddess as Mother Earth and the God of the Greenwood. It is an ancient fertility festival marking the beginning of the planting cycle. The festival was to ensure a good growing season and a bountiful harvest. Beltane is light-hearted and joyful.
Litha, Summer Solstice, or Midsummer: June 20, 21, 22, or 23
Litha is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Light triumphs, but will now begin to fade into darkness as autumn approaches. The crops are planted and growing. The woods and forests have reached their peak fullness. This is the time of abundance for wildlife, including people! The holiday is joyous.
Lughnasad, Lughnasadh, or Lammas: August 1
For the ancient Pagans, Lughnasad was a time of both hope and fear. They held hope for a bountiful harvest and abundant food, but they feared that the harvest wouldn’t be large enough and that the cold months would be filled with struggle and deprivation. At Lughnasad, modern Wiccans also face their fears, concentrate on developing their own abilities, and take steps to protect themselves and their homes.
Mabon, Fall Equinox, or Harvest Home: September 20, 21, 22, or 23
At Mabon, the day and the night are equal in length, in sublime balance. For many locations, Mabon coincides with the final harvest of grain, fruits, and vegetables. Mabon, also called Harvest Home, is the time of thanksgiving. The beauty and bounty of summer gives way to the desolation of winter, and the darkness overtakes the light.
Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowmas: October 31 or November 1
For many Wiccans, Samhain marks the New Year and is the most important Sabbat. It’s the time to remember the ancestors, and the time to celebrate the harvest and all that has been accomplished over the year.
Lammas. August 1st, Lammas Day, is generally celebrated as the “cross-quarter” day), the midpoint of summer. For most of northern hemisphere, it coincided with the harvest of wheat. So Lammas is known as (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”), the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide. The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards to work magic: A book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain. In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits”.
So tomorrow, if you have the time…why not bake some fresh bread, think about your talents and how you want to develop them, or any of the things that Lughnasad or Lammas stands for. And why not pick up Susan Laine’s Wheel Mysteries while you are at it. I love them. There are three out at the moment, I keep waiting the rest to follow. She is writing one for each Sabbat. Happy Lammas Day.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, July 31 – Goodbye July!
- Its Lammas Day, Dog Days of August Are Here
- This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, August 1:
- Cover Reveal – His Premier by Jessie G. (cover reveal and giveaway)
- Cover Reveal Blitz for “Lord of a Thousand Steps” (cover reveal and excerpt)
- Far From Home blog tour with Lorelie Brown (a Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stranded with Desire by Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed
- Counting Daisies by Nicola Haken Excerpt Tour and Giveaway
- An Alisa Release Day Review: Never Lose Your Flames by Frances Gideon
Tuesday, August 2:
- Given the Circumstances by Brad Vance Blog Tour and Giveaway
- In Our Spotlight – Dawn to Dusk (Lover’s Journey – Book One) by Alina Popescu (Blog Tour, excerpt and giveaway)
- A Stella Review: Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K. E. Belledonne
- A BJ Review: Junk Mage by Elliot Cooper
- A Jeri Review: The Wicked West Collection by Shannon West
Wednesday, August 3:
- Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio – Online Stories from Castle Roland
- Release Blitz – Amber Kell – Mate Call (Dragon Men Series #5) tour and giveaway
- A Lila Release Day Review: Normal Enough by Marie Sexton
- An Ali Audiobook Review: For Real by Alexis Hall
- A Paul B Review: Werewolf Tutor (Shreds #1) by Jade Astor
- A Jeri Review: Jersey Heat by DC Williams
Thursday, August 4:
- Audio Review Tour: Sorting Out (Fitting In #2) by Silvia Violet (giveaway)
- Its Volume 1 of the End Street Detectives by Amber Kell and RJ Scott (Recap Tour and Giveaway)
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Sorting Out by Sylvia Violet
- A MelanieM Review: Seeing Red: Scorched by T.C. Orton
- A Stella Review: Into the Blue by Penny Henson
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Treasure by Kim Fielding
Friday, August 5:
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Fallow by Jordan L. Hawk
- A Jeri Review: Fight the Tide by Keira Andrews
- An Ali Audiobook Review: Tigers on the Run by Sean Kennedy
- A Stella Release Day Review: Unbreak My Heart by K-lee Klein
- A MelanieM Review: Diary Dates by TJ Masters
Saturday, August 6:
- In the Spotlight: Roadside Rescue by Caitlin Ricci
- A BJ Audiobook Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
- A Stella Review: Roadside Rescue by Caitlin Ricci
- An Alisa Review: Tagging Mackenzie by LM Somerton