I imagine my Irish ancestors must have celebrated Lúnasa with a huge bonfire, singing, feasting and drinking ale and Offering of First Fruits. Maybe a great great great grandmother of mine would have gone to visit a holy well.

I woke up this morning knowing that I would mark today by gathering medicine making supplies and beginning to prepare my syrups and ciders that will carry my family through the winter. Having just lost my father only five days ago, the grief is still too heavy for me to feel any merriment for the harvest, although I’ve done well this year with my small herb garden.

Many of you won’t know this, but the Irish maintain Lúnasa actually began as a funeral feast, for the God Lugh wanted to commereate the death of his foster mother Tailtiu. She is a Goddess symbolic of the dwindling harvest that feeds the people. Funeral games were held in her honor each year in County Meath. They were similar to the ancient Olympic Games. It seems fitting this old Gaelic festival is a funeral feast for I will always think of my father’s passing on this day.

May the long time sun

Shine upon you

All love surround you

And the pure light

Within you

Guide your way on

~ song by Snatam Kaur

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