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Festivals in August

 
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Azjah
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Festivals in August Reply with quote

Lughnasadh = Autumn's Bounty

The grain stands tall in the fields, the days are misty and hot as we gather the harvest of the year.

Lughnasadh sees three harvests: the grain harvest of August, the fruit harvest of September, the meat harvest of October.

November when beasts are slaughtered for winter eating, there is plenty in the larder and a feeling of unaccustomed richness.

As Autumn progresses, animals make their own harvest of the year's plenty against the dark days of Winter, gathering fruits and nuts.

The season of Lugnasadh is one of transition when we adjust to the lessening of heat and of assimilation as we asess the harvest of our work while the leaves fall.

Lugnasadh opens the last quarter of the Celtic year. The festival derives from the funeral games held by the Irish god, Lugh, in honour of his foter mother Tailtiu, and its name means 'the binding duty of Lugh'.

Tailtiu was an ancient goddess of agriculture who is said to have died from having cleared the plains of trees ready for planting, since this clearing of the Irish forests took place in earliest times, we may conclude that Tailtiu is a Gaelic name for an even more ancient goddes.

Lugh, son of Ethniu, is also called Samildanach, or 'he of the many gifts' since there was no skill or art to which he was a stranger. It is fitting that his name should be given to this feast which celebrates the harvest of all the fruits of the earth.

Two great fairs were held at this time in ancient Ireland, one of which, the Oenach Tailtren survivied until the late eighteenth century at Teltown, County Meath. One of the customs of this fair was that of the Teltown marriage, whereby a wall was erected in which was a hole big enough to admit a hand. Men and women stood on either side of the hole and whoever grasped the other's hand through it were considered married for nine months, if either party were dissatisfied at the end of which time, the trial marriage was cancelled.

Marriages were common after harvest time, since small holders could establish whether they could afford to get married in the coming year, although in Rural Ireland, getting wed during the harvest was generally avoided as unlucky.

The sacrifice of a bull seems associated with this festival, possibly to feed the assemblies which gathered to celebrate the harvest.

Many games and contests were part of these celebrations including the swimming of horses across lakes, contests of strength, dancing and skill.

This festival marks a deeper awareness of the marriage between the land and its people. Lugh frequently appears in vision to aid and assist candidate kings in their quest for kingship, in his hall sits the Goddess of Sovereignty who dispenses the red drink of lordship to the worthy candidate.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: August 2 Victory over Fomoria Reply with quote

When Lugh and the Tuatha de Danaan were victorious over the Fomorians, they captured the Fomorian king, Bres, and promised to spare his life if he granted his gifts of agriculture to them.


first Bres offered a continual supply of mikl, then a harvest in each season, these gifts were rejected because they broke the natural order of things. The Tuatha de Danaan replied:

This has bben our way
Spring for ploughing and sowing,
Summer for strengthening
and encouraging the grain
Autumn for ripening the corn and reaping it,
Winter for enjoying it.

But they accepted his advice on ploughing, sowing and reaping, and so it is that the blessing of 'corn and milk in your land and mast in your woods and increase in your soil' is maintained to this day.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: August 5 Three Keys Reply with quote

There are three keys that unlock thought in mankind,

Drunkenness

Trustfulness

Love
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: August 8 Number Three Reply with quote

The number three is the sacred number of the Celts.

Triadic sayings are common to all Celtic countries and these are undoubtedly remnants of ancient druidic teachings.

They remain concise, encapsulizations of ancient memory.

The triple spiral or triskel is the basis for much Celtic ornament and is a central symbol for the three-fold nature of the soul.

Three elements are frequently invoked as witnesses to oaths: Earth, sea and sky.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: August 10 Myrddyn Emrys Reply with quote

Myrddin Emrys, or Merlin is the traditional keeper of Britain, one of whose names was Clas Myrddin or Merlin's Enclosure.

He is better known as the druidic adviser and prophet of Arthur, although he prepares the coming of the Pendragon line by exposing the treacherous king Vortigern.

He retires to his otherworldly observatory of seventy two doors and windows, (the sacred nine times eight) at the end of his career, the better to keep watch on the doings of Britain.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: August 11 Faery Hosts of the Sidhe Reply with quote

The faery hosts of the Sidhe or Place of Peace are described in this annonymous Irish poem...

White shields they carry in their hands,
With emblems of pale silver;
with glittering blue swords
with mighty stout horns...

With smooth comely bodies,
with bright blue starred eyes,
with pure crystal teeth,
with thin red lips.

Good they are at man-slaying,
Melodious in the ale-house,
Masterly at making songs,
Skilled at playing Fidhchell.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: August 12 Three great re-newings Reply with quote

There are three great renewings recognized by the Celts...

A woman's womb

A cow's udder

A smith's fire
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject: August - Edrinios Reply with quote

In the Gaulish calendrical tablet, the Coligny Calendar, the month of August-September was called Edrinios or 'arbitration time', since the period after harvest was a suitable time of assembly when disputes could be legally settled satisfactorily.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: August 17 Celtic Otherworld travels Reply with quote

Many Irish stories tell of heroes who make wonder voyages to the Celtic otherworld. The am of many of these voyages is to discover the fabled Land of Women, where faery women dwell together in blissful harmony.

The voyager Maeldiun makes the landfall upon this island and finds perfect happiness as the cosort of the Queen of the Land of Women.

When his crew grow discontented with otherworldly existence and seek to return home, they have difficulty persuading Maelduin to accompany them, so completely enthralled is their captain with the Queen.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: August 20 Glam dicind Reply with quote

A king who refused the proper reward for a poem was likely to have the glam dicind performed against him, this was a ritual satire with terrible effect.

After fasting against the king, the poet with six poets of each degree went to a hilltop. Facing the king against whom the satire was directed, with their backs to a hawthorn, with the wind from the north, and in each man's hand a slingstone and a hawthorn thorn; each sung a verse into the slingstone and placed them under the hawthorn.

If the satire were unjust, the earth would swalllow the poets up, but if the king were in the wrong, then the king, his wife, sone, horse, arms, clothes and hound would be swallowed up by the earth.

Many lesser satires were parctised by aggrieved poets, causing facial blemishes or other misfortunes.

The power of the word spoken with intent was the chief skill of the poets, one which was subject to abuse.

Such was the fear of such magical retaliation and excessive poetic demands on their patrons, that the Convention of Drum Ceatt in 575 was called to limit poetic powers.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: August 22 Muin Reply with quote

In the Irish tree alphabet, the letter M is represented by muin, or black berry, which is about to fruit at this time of the year.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: August 23 Inauguration of Kings Reply with quote

Lughnasadh is the time of the inauguration of kings.

The Celtic rites of sovereignty were performed on hills where the candidate, chosen from the ranks of the royal kindred, would be raised up in front of the clan and acclaimed, often by setting his foot into the ancetral footprint in the rock, as at Dunadd in Argyll, or by sitting upon an inauguration stone, like the Stone of Scone.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: August 26 Dichetul do chennaib Reply with quote

Dichetul do channaib, or psychometric divination was one of the Three Illuminations or prophetic skills required of an ollamh of poetry in Ireland.

By placing his hands or a wan dupon a person or object, he gained knowledge through his fingers and could name and tell the history of that person or object.
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