First Harvest- A Happy and Blessed Lammas to You

Painting on wooden drum by Vivienne Shanley, housed at

Lammas, Lughnasadh, First Harvest.  That’s today, August first, here in the Northern hemisphere. It’s one of the four cross quarter days that fall midway between each set of solstices and equinoxes on the wheel of the year.

I’m not Wiccan, but as a nature loving witch, the Wiccan calendar, or Wheel of the Year, really resonates with me.  Just as my mood and magick tends to ebb and flow with the moontides, so does my spirit resonate with the changes of the Seasons. Here in Thornesworld, the Seasons and their changes are not only felt within, but are reflected in the actions and activities of my life.


Lammas comes from the old English phrase “half-maesse” which is roughly translated as loaf Mass, or the bread which was traditionally made from the first grain harvest, which this cross quarter festival commemorates. Lammas is still celebrated among some Christian sects, but it’s origins date as early as c. 2600–c. 2334 BCE related to Tammuz, the Sumerian God of fertility and consort of Inanna/Ishtar.

I don’t grow wheat or other grains here in Thorne’s Garden, (yet), and I didn’t even get corn in this year, but as I see the winter squash, melon and pumpkin vines trailing out longer and longer, harvest the ripe tomatoes, squash and eggplant, carefully cut half of the basil and mint while watching the remainder flower and go to seed for next year, I can easily imagine the golden ripeness of grains ready to harvest.

So, grain grinding, bread making, wheat weaving, beginning the process of canning, freezing, drying the harvests so far; all of these are fitting Lammas activities (not to mention they help me stay on top of stuff before the big harvests coming up!) “But what if I don’t have a garden, if I live in the city, surrounded by concrete and steel, Thorne?” some of you may ask.

Just feel it. Summer has been a time of play and growth in the garden for me, being active and directing my energy outward. It’s not Autumn yet, but First Harvest is when I begin to feel the end of Summer as I begin to look toward Fall. But aren’t you feeling the approach of Summer’s end, just about now? Even if you live in the city?  If you have kids, you’re doing the school clothes and supplies shopping as you get ready for them to start the new school year. I bet you have some end of Summer fun planned for them. Winter clothing is starting to appear in the stores and the Summer stuff is picked through and on clearance. Can you feel it winding down? I know you can. Celebrate with my Elotes recipe, below. (You can fire up that hibachi on the patio!)

It’s too hot to bake bread today, (even though the yummy goodness of a low carb, gluten free, seed loaf is calling to me), but firing up the grill sounds good and elotes would, I think, be a fitting festival food for First Harvest, I think. Southern California eclectic desert witch style deliciousness. (Recipe below the photo).

  1. Pull back the husks without tearing them off and strip out the corn silk, then fold the husks back to cover the corn and rinse well.  Then cover in salted water and soak for at least an hour.
  2. Roast your corn on the grill/BBQ at medium to high heat, in the husk, turning often and trying  not to burn it too much.
  3. Corn doesn’t really need to cook, just heat it thoroughly so everything melts when you get to the next step.
  4. Slather your corn with butter, then mayonnaise.  Then sprinkle liberally with grated parmesan cheese (and yeah, even the stuff in the cylinder from the shelf of the grocery store works GREAT) Sprinkle with red chili powder and squeeze on some lime juice before salting, OR use Tajin, (a chili, lime, salt blend) like I do. Then…

Mouthgasm.  Oh.  It’s true.


Blessed be,


In Light and Shadow,


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