John Barleycorn is alive and well

373

OUT OF THE BROOMCLOSET

Despite countless holidays, real or invented, being converted to shopping opportunities, and agriculture being forced out of New Jersey by the building of unattractive “townhouses” (lacking a town in which to dwell), there are still a few free-range celebrations, fine excuses for a summer gathering of friends. Throw in an interest in Alice Waters and the slow food movement, and you have the perfect combination to honor the first harvest festivals, Pagan or not. 

Lammas (loaf mass), or the Gaelic Lughnasdh (commemoration of Lugh), celebrates the first, or earliest permissible harvests being brought in from the fields, and falls on July 31 to August 1, or when the Sun enters 15 degrees of Leo (August 5 this year), or the first full Moon of August (also the 5th this year, but this date is variable). A complex of symbols surround this period.