Friday, 1 July 2011

Harvest


This is a new one for me; I am looking forward to Lugus’ feast for the first time in as long as I can remember.  Perhaps this is because I will be making an actual harvest, a harvest in terms of taking those which I have grown and fretted over – never before has my first thought upon seeing rain fall been;  ‘cool, the veggies will be getting a drink’.  I have already harvested my carrots and the rest of the broccoli will be coming out in the next few days and the onion harvest will be a week or two away. I have been incredibly lucky with my allotment in general (although the beans went a bit squiffy), with virtually no pest damage (the Cabbage White Butterflies literally only turned up the day I was harvesting the bulk of the broccoli) and superb weather for it (lots of sun, occasional rain) so am incredibly grateful for that.

Back in the day when I was digging over the allotment prior to planting I made libations to Ambactonos and offered him hymns at the four corners of the allotment. Some of my first harvests were offered to him. As the onions start coming up and he beans hopefully start producing I will be making another offering of thanks and libations as the ground is dug over and made ready for next year.

A few weeks after that I will be looking to take advantage of the wild harvest; elderberries, blackberries, a wild pear tree some friends have in their garden which they don’t want to eat from plus whatever I can find that is edible or inedible but of use in the coming year.



With all this harvest I will be freezing, drying, pickling and jamming – those skills about the homes that fall under the crafts of Lugus and Briganti. And that I think is where he comes into it; the many skilled, the deft handed, the one who guides the hand when turned to something.

I am beginning to see him as a god of culture, of civilisation, of those things which have allowed us to gather, prepare and preserve and set aside in order to survive the coming winter.  All those things which will come to the fore over the coming weeks and months and for that, for tapping into that stream and paddling into it for a while I will be offering my thanks and making my libations.

Yes, for the first time in a long time this coming feast holds meaning and promise and a little hint of excitement.

6 comments:

Angelina said...

I hope the feast is wonderful for you ^_^. I've never had elderberry, is it tasty?

Nellie said...

YES! God of culture ~ I wrote almost precisely the same words last night in my journal. I was also thinking along the skills route, but more in the line of the skill needed to produce a crop in the first place. Growing stuff has been a steepn learning curve for me, there is knowledge and skill involved in the production of a crop. I was thinking that Lugus is less about the labour of farming the land and more about the change that a more settled agricultural society had upon the people - as you say, a god of culture and civilisation. Agriculture is arguably that which 'civilisation' is built upon. It changed the world. It's this notion of what farming meant rather than the actual farming per se that I'm coming to think Lugus has ties to.
I've been picking it all to pieces in my mind of late. The connection between Lugus and Odin/Woden is one I find difficult but :S I was reading today that there is a tale of Odin disguised himself and spent a summer farming to win a sip of the mead of poetry guarded by Gunnlod the daughter of Suttung(Or was it Baugi?!)who owned said farm. Interesting as it brings to mind depictions of Mercury and Rosmerta. I can't quite fit it together properly in my mind yet, but do wonder if the Norse story might provide some inspiration for a connection between Lugus and farming? What do you think?

Nellie said...

I've never used elderberry either. I keep getting put off using it for edible purposes by a mention in a glennie kindred book I once owned of taking care to not pick european elderberry due to it being toxic... or something like that. Always rather fancied fried and battered elderberry flowers though. If anyone can shed any light on this european elderberry I'd be much grateful and I no longer have that book! :0

Lee said...

The berries arent too tasty on thier own, but are good when cooked as part of something esle. So alcoholic elderberry cordial is superb (made with dark rum and drunk with hot water), I am probably going to have a pop at elderberry wine this year and a recipe for elderberry chutney. we shall see.

Nellie: the ripe fruit isnt toxic, and cooking dispels any remnant toxicity. as far as I know, all other parts contain the cyanide and can be trouble in sufficient doses.

Lee said...

Funnily enough, within minutes of writing that i saw the very same 'god of culture' phrase somewhere else :)

his connection to Odin is pretty reliable i think in terms of Indo-European themes, though perhaps we shouldnt be too quick in making cross connections.

as to farming, yeah... i am in the same boat. We have Ambactonos the divine farmer and yet Lugus just has to fit in there somewhere as agriculture is such a major part of culture and civilisation. It is almost as if he stole the secrets of agriculture and gave them to man - like Prometheus for instance. or was tricked into giving them to men.

we shall see

Lee said...

come to think of it Angelina, if i can get some through US customs, i can mail you a bottle of elder rob (rum cordial) later this year when i make it.