Lunasa: Celebrating the Harvest Season with Joy and Climate-Sustaining Action
We must honor Earth as long as She is able to provide for us. It is our duty as magical, healing beings.
Basic Lunasa Facts
Lunasa is an ancient Celtic sabbat that celebrates the abundance of the Earth.There is a special festival that occurs in many parts of the world to honor the harvest season. This festival, traditionally held on August 1st, marks the beginning of the harvest season and showcases Her bounty.
Lúnasa is pronounced loo-nuh-suh or loo-nuh-sah, and is derived from the Irish word Lughnasadh, which means “the commemoration of Lugh”. Lugh is a revered god associated with arts, crafts, and agriculture.
Autumn harvest festivals around the world
In pagan and witchcraft traditions, Lusana is a time to honor and give thanks to the Earth, the sun, and the gods and goddesses associated with harvest and abundance. Rituals and ceremonies may involve offering prayers, making offerings to the land, and creating altars adorned with colorful fruits, grains, and flowers.
Although Lúnasa is deeply rooted in Irish traditions, similar celebrations are observed around the world.
A Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Communities make special “moon cakes” which invite the light to return in the coming year. In Ghana, Papua New Guinea, and Nigeria, the Yam festival celebrates staple crops with feasts, parties, and parades. The celebrations may vary, but the underlying theme remains the same – gratitude for the abundance of agriculture.
Sabbats as a revolution against the Climate Apocalypse
Earth’s healthy seasons become more and more disrupted as the climate catastrophe advances. This is why it’s of utmost importance to continue to celebrate sabbats. Our collective energy will keep the memories and hopes of a healthy Earth alive.
Beyond the Vote
Of course, we can and should vote. But that is a sweeping answer I hear whenever I have a conversation about the climate shift these days. "Vote like your life depends on it!" Yes, yes that is true. It is our right and duty to vote, no matter how manipulated our politicians are, or how rogue our Supreme Court.
But I am not the only one who has noticed that politicians lack power. It’s corporate entities and consumers that feed them that make the biggest impact. It’s the private jets flown by the elite, and also the economy class seats purchased by the rest of us. It's the animals we consume and our love of Target. It’s our lack of time and energy, and the apathy that comes with.
How are we supposed to heal the planet when we are struggling to save a penny, pay student debts, or find a job that affords us a one-bedroom apartment? When we are working two to three jobs to keep up with our failing economy? Most of us only have the time to vote, if that.
Honoring Earth at the Sabbats with Kind and Deliberate Action
This is why I suggest tiny personal changes with each passing sabbat. I actually struggle to even find the time to hold my magical rituals at the sabbats.
Our beloved planet is in a chaotic period of transition that’s shifting our seasonal patterns. At this point in history, it’s important to not only celebrate each traditional sabbat and seasonal marker, but also to actually take action that casts spells of healing energy on the earth. It is time for revolutionary action.
This energy and healing comes from our spellwork, yes, but much of our impact can be made on a practical level.
It’s overwhelming to think of all of the things we do to contribute to our carbon footprint each day. We are modern humans no matter how many spells we do to protect our planet. I have bipolar disorder and have first hand experience diving too deep into my sustainability goals. It can be easier to make one or two small changes each sabbat that last will build over time.
At one sabbat, where you might purchase coffee in a to-go cup, use the cutest travel version you can find. Add a compost or yard waste bin to your waste service at the next sabbat, and switch to thrift shopping the next. It’s up to you and what you feel would be easy to integrate into your life. But the sabbats give a manageable amount of time to adapt to each change. We are creatures of habit, afterall.
How to Celebrate Lunasa
The beauty of Lunasa lies not only in the celebration of the harvest but also in the reminder of the interdependence between humans and nature. It teaches us to appreciate the fruits of our labor, both physical and metaphysical, and to be mindful of the importance of sustainability and nourishing our communities.
As we embrace Lunasa, we can reflect on the harvest in our own lives. It can serve as a metaphor for the achievements we have made, the goals we have reached, and the personal growth we have experienced. Just as farmers reap the rewards of their hard work, we too can celebrate our own harvests, big or small.
We can celebrate the achievements in sustainability that our collective has accomplished as of late. Electric cars are plentiful, carbon capture projects are springing up everywhere, and meatless alternatives are ever more popular.
Witches, who typically honor the Earth in the majority of their rites and rituals, are also gaining more respect and releasing the stigmas we face, a sign that the collective consciousness is in seek of a spiritual connection to Earth.
So, whether you find yourself in the heart of Ireland, a bustling city, or a rural community far away from any Celtic influence, take a moment to acknowledge the harvest season and the abundance it brings. Embrace the spirit of Lunasa and allow it to instill gratitude, joy, and a connection to the natural world. Let us cherish our harvests and celebrate the bountiful cycles of life while we can.
Simple Ways to Celebrate the Lunasa Harvest Season
There are many easy ways to celebrate a harvest sabbat, if you can find the time to honor them. At Lunasa, we can work with Lugh and seasonal crops to craft a connection between us and our planet. I also love this video by one of my favorite YouTube witches, HearthWitch.)
Honor Lugh, god of arts, crafts, and agriculture by investing time into simple handicrafts. Woodworking, fiber arts, basket weaving, etc.
Go fruit picking at a local farm. Use those fruits to make pies, preserves, and canned goods for your pantry.
Host a dinner for your closest friends, and for the menu focus on foods that are currently in season in your area. If you can, visit a farmer’s market to procure your produce. Make eye contact with the farmer or farm rep as you exchange coin for
Get a haircut and sprinkle the clippings in a garden. Local birds and fauna will find it and use it to build their cold-weather shelters.
Write a letter to yourself, listing and detailing the progress you’ve made towards accomplishing your goals since you set them as intentions earlier in the year. Even if you simply managed to stay alive, harvest energy involves acknowledgement and gratitude.
Decorate your altar with an early fallen leaf.
Choose your sabbat sustainability commitment. This sabbat, I’m planning to contact my HOA and propose that our community add yard waste to our services.
Read about the rest of my Pagan Wheel of the Year.