Lughnasadh Symbols, Colors, Crafts and Tarot Spreads
Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, is the first harvest sabbat in the Wheel of the Year. It occurs annually on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and on February 1st in the Southern Hemisphere. If you celebrate this festive of pagan holidays, you might be inclined to share the traditions with your coven, circle of friends, or even spiritual family members. Here we provide you with a quick reference that you can bookmark with the Lughnasadh symbols, Lughnasadh colors, crafts, and even Lughnasadh Tarot spreads. Be sure to save or pin this article to look at later!
Briefly, What is Lughnasadh? Why do we celebrate it?
First and foremost, Lughnasadh is the first harvest festival on the pagan or Wiccan Wheel of the Year. Many modern witches, Wiccans, and pagans celebrate this sabbat today, but indeed it has ancient origins. We believe Lughnasadh wasn’t just the first harvest festival in Celtic Ireland and other places, but that it was also the day to celebrate the Celtic sun god called Lugh. The name for the festival Lughnasadh translates to Lugh’s Assembly. It’s believed the people would offer some of the first crops harvested to the sun god in gratitude for his generosity. Lugh is a sun god and therefore linked to the harvest. Without the sun, there would be no harvest and people in times past would have died without it. You can learn more about how to celebrate Lughnasadh here. Surely you can incorporate the following Lughsnadh symbols, colors, etc. into your celebrations.
The symbols of Lughnasadh are fairly predictable. We have the SUN symbol, since this is the day to celebrate the sun god Lugh in all his glory. And because it’s the peak of the Summer season. We also have harvest symbols like Grain, Wheat, a Loaf of Bread, Blackberries, Corn, and Sunflowers. In addition, you’ll see the image of the Corn Dolly used quite a bit as a Lughnasadh symbol, since these dolls were traditionally made on this sabbat. As well as the symbol of a Mountain or Hill, Fire symbols, and more. You’ll see the traditional Lughnasadh symbol represented below but referred to as its other name “Lammas”.
Here are a few Lughnasadh symbols you can use on your altar and in your sabbat celebrations:
Lughnasadh Colors for Your Altar, Feasts, and Magick
The colors of Lughnasadh evoke a fuzzy feeling of late Summer, days spent in the sun, blooming flowers, fields heavy with grain, passion and abundance. Decorate your Lughnasadh altar, feasting table, and your home in these first harvest shades. And adorn yourself too! Here are our favorite Lughnasadh colors to implement into your rituals and spells and their properties:
- Red: shades of bright and maroon reds. I think of the Solar Eclipse sunflower when I think of a red color for Lughnasadh. But you could also think of a red rose or poppies. Properties of this Lughnasadh color include passion, lust, ancestral magic, protection, and prosperity.
- Purple: shades of dark purple, so dark it’s almost black. Think of ripe blackberries in the bramble. Purple amethyst and lepidolite are other shades of purple for Lughnasadh / Lammas that I use frequently on my altar and in my rituals. Purple magic properties include all things magical, luxury, royalty, psychic abilities, intuition, dreams, and opening your third eye chakra
- Yellow and gold: Lughnasadh colors wouldn’t be the same without varying shades of dark yellow and gold like sunflower petals, fields of wheat, and the golden shade of a sunset. You know those Harvest colors I’m talking about. Yellow and gold magical properties include sun magic, prosperity (reaping what you’ve sown), joy, confidence, self esteem, and career success
- Other earth tones: just because Lughnasadh is a “harvest” sabbat, doesn’t mean all of the Lughnasadh colors are harvest related. Remember, for many of us, Lughnasadh is the peak of Summer, so we still see bright greens, bright yellows, etc. Any earth tones are appropriate colors for this sabbat. I also include brown for the earth element.
Projects and Crafts for Lughnasadh and Lammas
Some of us are crafty and enjoy making magical things with our hands, especially on the sabbats. There’s something entirely empowering about creating something ourselves that we then use in our magical workings and rituals. Also, I’d like to remind you all, you don’t have to be good at crafts or even make traditional items for Lughnasadh / Lammas. Create what you feel drawn to do. Spirit will let you know. Without further adieu, check out our favorite crafts for Lughnasadh:
1. Lughnasadh Craft: Traditional Corn Dolly
Corn dollies are traditional on harvest sabbats. They represent the earth goddess’s bounty she’s bestowed upon us. To give thanks to the earth, make a corn dolly for your Lughnasadh craft. Here’s the directions.
Lughnasadh Corn Dolly Instructions:
- Take five pieces of straw with heads, and 20 to 30 more stalk stems.
- Tie the five pieces (with heads) around your dowel, making the tie as close to the wheat heads as possible with the clove hitch knot (see illustration).
- Bend each stem in a 90 degree angle, so that one head points in each direction. (Think of the north, south, east, and west points on the compass.) This arrangement will leave one extra straw that you’ll aim just to your left, assuming you are sitting south of the compass.
- Start with the extra “beginner” straw pointed toward you (the one just to the left of the south stem) and bend it up parallel to the dowel. Then bend it to the right over two wheat stems. If you’re thinking compass: your first bend will be over the south and east stems.
- Now, turn the dowel 90 degrees (a 1/4 turn) clockwise. The east stem will now become the south stem. Take your new south stem and bend it over two more stems. Again, turn the dowel 90 degrees, and repeat the process.
- It will take five bends to complete the circle, and you’ll continue building up circles one on top of the other. It won’t be long before you’ll reach the end of a stem and run out of straw. Simply join another straw stem into the “run-out” one. To do so, cut the small end of a stem (the end nearest the top) at an angle and then slip this end into the larger, hollow end of the used-up stem.
- Try to use only one of these for each round around the dowel or it will weaken the spiral.
- When you’ve made the size dolly you want, simply tie off the ends with a brightly colored ribbon or another piece of straw.
- Add the finishing touch by joining heads into the weave, which will leave you with straw heads at both the top and bottom of your weave (instructions pulled from Mother Earth News here).
2. Make a Cornucopia: A Fun Lughnasadh Craft
Because Lughnasadh is a harvest sabbat, any craft representing harvested fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers is appropriate and festive. Making a cornucopia isn’t as difficult as it sounds. But first, what is a cornucopia? It is a symbol of the harvest – a large horn overflowing with fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers. In the old days, the horn itself was a hollow goat horn or horn from some other animal. But today, you can literally find a basket shaped like a horn at a local craft store. Then fill it with freshly harvested gourds, corn husks, vegetables, fruits, and sunflowers. OR construct a cornucopia with nothing but faux flowers, veggies, etc. This way you can continue using this Lughnasadh craft in years to come.
3. Blackberry Wine for Lughnasadh
If you live somewhere where blackberries grow, you’ll know how wonderful it is when they ripen on the vine in the Summer time. It doesn’t even matter if you cut your fingers on the thorny branches picking them. Those sweet, juicy little morsels scream Lughnasadh! to you and your family and friends. And what do you do with the extra berries if not making them into a pie? Ferment them and make them into blackberry wine. Wine is a traditional Lughnasadh beverage, and blackberries are also associated with this holiday. Put them together with this recipe from Practical Self Reliance. You’ll want to start this project a month or more prior to Lughnasadh. Then drink your blackberry wine with your Lughnasadh feast.
Lughnasadh Tarot Spreads for Prosperity and Renewal
One of my favorite rituals on pretty much every sabbat is divination. I enjoy pulling Tarot cards, Oracle cards, runes, and scrying depending on the sabbat and my mood. According to Salem’s official witch Laurie Cabot, “Lughnasadh is a time when the symbolic aspects of the life-sustaining elements of grain spill over into every part of life.” So we consider crafting and reading Lughnasadh tarot spreads focused mainly on prosperity, fertility, renewel, and success. Try the following Lughnasadh tarot spreads and modify as needed:
A Lughnasadh Tarot Spread for Prosperity with the Lughnasadh Symbol
There are specific symbols for each sabbat in the Wheel of the Year, and we were inspired by the Lughnasadh symbol in creating this Tarot spread for prosperity. Since Lughnasadh is a harvest festival, a big theme is bounty, reaping our rewards, and being prosperous. But how can we open those channels for more prosperous energy to flow in? That’s what this Lughnasadh tarot spread is for:
- Your number one practice that’s made you prosperous.
- What will continue to keep the prosperity flowing.
- Things that have held you back from being successful in the past.
- People that have held you back from being successful.
- How to break through blockages concerning money.
- What Lughnasadh will bring to your door.
- What to expect over the coming Harvest season through Samhain.
- Other factors adding to your overall success.
- What to watch out for in the coming months that could impede money energy
- Who to watch out for that could impede money flow.
A Lughnasadh Tarot Spread for Shadow Work and Renewal
The sun is starting to descend into the Underworld on Lughnasadh. Which means this is a time when shadow work will begin and continue until the Winter Solstice (sometimes until Imbolc, it depends on the person). When we shine a light on our shadows and learn how to integrate them, we become renewed and refreshed. Here’s our favorite Lughnasadh tarot spread for renewal:
- Starting from the bottom and working your way up: this card represents the current shadow that is impacting your life at Lughnasadh.
- This Tarot card represents what caused that shadow to begin in the first place.
- How to meditate, acknowledge, and forgive yourself for that shadow in order to integrate it.
- The renewal that will happen on or following Lughnasadh if you are working towards this shadow integration.