From Lughnasadh to Aedrinia

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The Pagan group I belong to is egalitarian.  The way we work out how we do the holidays (some would say sabbats) is that each of us who are among the more active members, call dibs on hosting one or two holidays.  Since I know quite a bit about Lughnasadh and Imbolc, having once been a Celtic Reconstructionist of sorts, I usually host those two holidays.

However, in the past couple of years, I’ve lost my enthusiasm for Lughnasadh.  This is why… Here in northwest Arkansas, there’s not a lot of grain growing, so the grain harvest theme of Lughnasadh doesn’t have the same meaning for us that it would for people close to this type of agriculture.  Also, Lughnasadh is also a celebration of “first fruits”.  Where we live, many types of berries become ripe well before August.  So what meaning does Lughnasadh hold for us?  Then I was re-reading the section on Lughnasadh in “Celtic Rituals” by Alexei Kondratiev and was reminded that there a lot of traditions associated with this holiday that are not directly related to harvest.  One theme that caught my attention was the ‘end of summer heat’ symbolism.  Summers are really hot here in the Ozarks, but by the end of August, it does let up a little, at least in the mornings and evenings.  So we moved our ritual to when it is seasonally appropriate for out climate, and we have emphasized the themes that are relevant to our climate and culture.  The name Aedrinia means, according to Alexei, ‘the end of the heat’.  Even if the heat hasn’t subsided when we have our ritual on the last Saturday of august, we intend to enact the sympathetic magic to make it so.

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