This summer has been very odd indeed. It is now the middle of July and there are conkers on the horse chestnuts that line my walk to work. The rowan up the road has had berries on for weeks. The summer came very early and it was back at the beginning of April I think I saw the first may-blossom. Since then the weather has been scorching hot and sodden with rain. It has been very odd indeed.
This then brings me to Lammas. This coming weekend the coven will be having a get-together to have our Lammas celebration. Normally I would think it is a little early, especially as I am one of those people who likes to take their festival cues from the land around me, this year I think it might not be too far off time wise. Certainly the harvests are going to be affected by the recent rain but other then that I feel the harvest is not too far off. There are some stray wheat-like grasses growing around the city and they all turned golden 2 weeks ago.
So what is Lammas/Calan Awst to me?
It is the harvest. Back home they will be harvesting the barley and making the straw. And I can see why there was a celebration after that was finished! There are plenty of traditional customs to do with the last of the harvest and the process itself, mainly to do with the last of the sheaths of grain. These days it is about remembering that all I have, all I have achieved and all that lives is built upon the blood of sacrifice. The blood on the corn. The sun has given its strength and weakened, just as the people would spill their sweat and blood to bring in the grain and straw to ensure their own future.
The sun is weakening, the days are getting shorter. The summer is still here and it will still be warm for many weeks yet, however it is clear that the tide has turned and the balmy, blissful last touch of the sun is on its way to be followed by the bite of Calan Gaeaf.