Celebrations of the Year: Reflect and Grow!
(Mike DePung — Post 180)
Why have humans through history insisted on celebrating special holidays or feast times? What a waste, isn’t it? No, they are not, not at all, and this time of year marks a feast holiday that is not widely known in the modern world.
The first of August marks an important Celtic and Christian feast time, and it has actually increased in recognition as Celtic lands have celebrated the feast of Lugh, more widely in recent years. The Christian feast day is known as Lammas, or Loaf Mass.
The one element the two feasts have in common is they are celebrations of the beginning of harvest, a time when grain crop gathering starts. Grains are often ground into flour to make bread loaves, hence Loaf Mass, Lammas. That work of changing an element like grain into another form also symbolizes transformation; therefore, the Celts looked on this feast as a time of transformation — putting off the old form and working into the new.
How about that? We all need to examine our lives: what old forms need to be shed? Maybe methods and ways that offer no positive energy for our lives any more indicate the work of ego in keeping us conformed, safe, and stagnant. This, then, is a time of fellowshipping with our own heart, of gaining perspective that allows us to live core Self and express life purpose. Even though this celebration is directly tied to an ancient agricultural society, the implications are just as directly tied to our lives, symbolically.
I do not intend to write some full anthropological paper here; I simply want to give the sense of the continuing need and significance of being brought to face basic human qualities, characteristics, and needs unchanging throughout time, even in our “advanced” civilization of abundance and technology, you know, the one in which we have disassociated ourselves from nature and engaged in a perpetual state of war.
We need to remember basic human needs, and the negative aspects of society are more often than not a result of hanging onto old forms that no longer serve us, forms that become institutionalized in governments. The deepest, truest solution always starts with individuals awakening to the call of their own heart. This feast day of Lugh and Lammas ushers us into this mindset, if we allow it.
The six major celebrations of the Celtic year were all at times of seasonal and astronomical change. Spread throughout the year, they presented regular opportunities for reevaluations of self and society. Not a bad idea, much more relevant than seeing what gifts others buy us. Don’t get the wrong idea, though; I love gifts!
However, I love more a continuing discovery of Self in order to grow in peace, love, and unity in order to learn, progress, and create. And part of my creative efforts focus on helping others discover and express core Self. At this time of the feast of Lugh, we should set aside a specific time to consider what egoic old forms are holding us back from that sort of positive growth.
It’s a great time for celebrating other activities with friends that the Celts did during this season. Because Lugh was also the god of all skills, athletic-type competitions were held. We can enjoy games or activities with friends. However, you do it, leave some time for self-reflection after friends are gone. Old, ego patterns often emerge during such times, which is not bad, but is helpful if we identify them so we can grow.
Onward and Upward!