The Celtic Holiday Of Lugh Under The Blue Moon
This is an exciting time for Pagans. As the sun sets on July 31st Northern Pagans will honor the Sun and his blessings upon the gardens and fields. Lughnasadh is known as a Fire Festival and celebrates the Celtic hero Lugh as the Sun God who saved Ireland from its oppressors. Freeing the people from slavery and ensuring the land would always be fertile and abundant.
In the Southern Hemisphere, Imbolg can be seen as a celebration of the return of the Sun or “the return of the light from the dark of winter”. It is also associated with the slow return of spring (in this case early spring), when new life is formed. This makes the holiday one of the Fertility festivals for the new season.
But tonight we complement these observances under a special event, the arrival of a Blue Moon!
A Blue Moon occurs when a full moon falls within a single month twice. For July 2015, the first full moon fell on July 1st. Today on July 31st, we’ll once again see the full moon in the evening sky. Technically the Moon hit its full phase at 6:46am eastern U.S. time. In the world of energy, the moon’s effects can be felt 3 days prior to its official phase and 3 days after. And of course the closer you are to the ‘official’ phase time, the stronger the energy will be.
Keep in mind however, that the ancients who lived by the moon didn’t have the luxury of Naval Observatory and precision clocks the way we do today. For them, the official time was sunset when Grandmother Moon bathed Mother Earth with her loving glow.
In some pagan traditions the phases of the moon represent the transition of knowledge within the Triple Goddess. The quarter moons representing the Maiden Goddess, the New Moon the Mother Goddess, the Full Moon the Grand Mother Goddess (which maybe one reason we refer to the moon as “Grandmother Moon”). The Blue Moon then is seen as the transition of the Grandmother or Crone to the Divine level of existence. She becomes an expression of the evolution of wisdom, as well as an example of the circle of life. She moves from a tangible wise old Crone to a spiritual energy within the Divine force of the universe.
For ritual work, the Full Moon is best used for banishing unwanted influences in your life. Think of it as ‘shining a light’ on issues or challenges. It can also be a good time for creating protection magik and performing divination. You can use a Full Moon for releasing old patterns or issues, and opening the door for healing by giving energy to positive patterns you’ll put in place.
Lammas / Imbolg And The Blue Moon
Merging Lammas / Imbolg and the Blue Moon together couldn’t be more appropriate for celebration. Honoring the Sun God and the Moon Goddess in one observation helps us recognize the circle in nature. One of my favorite descriptions of the importance of the circle in life and nature comes from Black Elk:
“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished. The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance.
This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion. Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves”. ~ Black Elk – Oglala Sioux
This is how Pagan’s view the circle of all things as well. On this night both holidays recognize the Sun. So it’s easy to add the cycle of day and night with the Blue Moon to honor the circles in your life. Your circle of friends, your circle of blessings, even the circle of lessons you’ve faced, overcome and have been rewarded for completing. Remember that what you put out is what you’ve received back is one of the daily expressions of the cycle of energy in your life. How you think, what you say, and what you do create your day, week, month, year and life. It’s a snowball that gathers strength and rolls into something bigger. Make sure it’s rolling into something that you want to be part of.
Honoring the circles and cycles are great ways to appreciate the energy of this night. From blessing the new babies, to honoring your elders you can mark the importance of family in your life. Honoring the harvest and blessing the seeds for next season can be part of your celebration. Of course cooking and baking from your first harvest is a beautiful and tasty way to honor the season.
And because tonight’s moon is a Full Moon, it’s a great night to continue the cycle in your life for moving forward. Getting rid of the old negativity that no longer fits in your new life. Letting go of nay-sayers who continue to bring you down, or degrade your growth so you can move on under the light of the day to expand your awareness and spirit. It’s a wonderful time to say good-bye to the old and hello to the new, to continue the circle of empowerment and strength.
Whatever you decide to do on this night to observe the energy around you, I hope you make it a wonderful, exciting and safe event.
Everyone here at Springwolf Reflections and Spring’s Haven extend our wishes to you and yours for a wonderful and joyous celebration of the warmth. Where ever you are in the world,
May Your Season Be Blessed with Abundance and Happiness
May Your Gardens Be Fertile and Your Hearts Be Filled with Joy!
© 2015 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.