The direct rays of the mid summer sun mature and mellow as its declination sinks. The earth and atmosphere have warmed enough to maintain the golden glow that is the perfect temperature for ripening. In the transformative warmth, green turns to gold, fruit sweeten and the time of harvest begins.
The dark reaper, whose power is growing by the day, now undertakes her first task. Sickles are sharpened and the sacrifice is made; death comes to the proudly golden corn king, who has been fed by the Sun and Earth, so that we may be fed in our turn. Such a task was surrounded in olden days by ritual and ceremony; the king’s rebirth the following spring was dependent on their efficacy. Potent, manly strength would be in demand during the weeks to come when the harvest had not only to be reaped but also stacked and stored safely for winter use and so it was that tests of strength and skill were held in honour of Lugh of the Shining Spear, the Celtic god of light who gave his name to this festival’s alternative title of Lughnasadh. If arm-wrestling is not to your taste, then weave a corn dolly from stalks of corn and keep it to carry the life spirit through the winter or make a special loaf of bread, to be enjoyed in a Lammas or loaf mass feast. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy it whilst basking in a warm glow of satisfaction at the reaping of your bountiful harvest.