Lammas/Lughnasadh 2017 Sabbat Box Theme Release • Kitchen Witchery
• KITCHEN WITCHERY •
“Food is magic…” -- Scott Cunningham, Wicca in the Kitchen
As the Wheel of the Year makes its turn, we leave behind the longest days of Litha and find ourselves looking at the coming of Lughnasadh, or Lammas. It is the time of year when the first crops of the harvest are ready to be harvested and the bountiful results of hard work sown literally come to fruition.
Lammas, also called Lughnasadh--celebrated usually on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere (and February 1st in the Southern)--is the first of the three harvest festivals of the year, followed by Mabon and Samhain. It is one of the four cross-quarter Sabbats, standing between the fullness of summer solstice and the coming autumnal equinox. Historically the festival of Lammas is marked in the British growing season by of the beginning of the wheat harvest; the day itself stands a celebration for the ready crops that would help ancient people survive the cold, dark winter. In the Celtic tradition, this was also the time to honor and revere Lugh, the Celtic Sun King and God of Light. It is also the first mindful reflection that the light has already begun to wane and shorter days lie ahead. One of the most common traditions around Lammas is the baking of bread, which honors the gods with their fruits and feeds loved ones.
Since Lammas is all about the grains and first fruits of harvest, we are reminded of the most used form of spell craft: cooking and preparation of food. While many people don’t consider, for example, making dinner a spell, but the truth is cooking and baking are some of the fundamental daily rituals of Pagans. The work put into the kitchen, like the seeds sown in the field, can reap a harvest of sustenance, family bonding, celebration, and joy. What is a spell, anyway, but the carrying out of a recipe? In the deliberate intention we exercise over our stove, we are linked to ancient practitioners who worked over their own cauldrons, preparing not only the basic human requirement of sustenance, but also offering a sacrifice of love and toil to satisfy and appreciate their loved ones. There has been a long-held belief that feeding someone what you prepare instills your intent and will into them.
It brings to mind a story my grandmother told me about when she first met my grandfather. Being the young German girl who was smitten with the young American soldier, she knew the way to get his attention: she would bake a apfeltorte—or “apple cake”—for him. He loved it, and, in turn, eventually fell in love with her. The spell had been cast!
She performed all the components of what we as Pagans would identify as spell work: she had in mind her intent (she wanted my grandfather to notice her) powered by her will (she worked hard to make the best apple cake she’d ever made), which led to her will and intent manifested (her cake made my grandfather realize how much my grandmother cared for him, which led to love and marriage). All the elements of magickal working in its most basic, mundane terms.
This Sabbat Box we wanted to offer some items that will help the work we do as Pagans in the kitchen. From the earliest times, our kitchen or hearth has often been the center of what we consider “home.” We want to provide some things that can help you connect to that part of your magickal practice and maybe even bring love and togetherness to your hearth. In the modern age we may have mostly replaced cauldrons with Crock Pots, and wands with spoons, but whether you may simmer some arcane herbs on the stove for a protection spell, or make chocolate chip cookies for your coworkers to celebrate a birthday, the work we do in our kitchens can bring love and peace and light to our lives. And whatever form that may take. We can create smiles and laughter and joy from what we prepare in our kitchens...and if that isn’t magic, what is?
- Llyfr Glas