Thursday, August 03, 2006

The corner of the year

When is Lammas?

Predictably, Lammas/Lughnasadh postings popped up on Pagan e-lists and blogs on the 1st of August. But that is just what the calendar says. Astronomically, according to the online astronomical calculator, it comes at 1541 hours GMT on August 7.

But I think it's when the hummingbirds start to leave, and the mewing cries of the juvenile black-headed grosbeaks diminish in the oak brush around the house. Or when the Cordilleran flycatcher fledglings from the nest on our front porch are suddenly gone one morning, after standing outside the nest the previous day checking out their new feathers.

That day--let's call it "bird Lammas"--was July 30th.

Today brought cooler weather and a splatter of rain before noon: "weather Lammas." I remember a friend who lived in Florence, Colorado, telling how the high temperatures seemed to drop a little on the first of August, and she was right, for eastern Fremont County.

If you are timing a ritual, then I suppose you want to watch the astronomical times. But otherwise the corners of the year are more like mini-seasons than single days or nights.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Frostbeard said...

I don't think ritual timing need be tied up in astronomy. The natural indicators you mentioned are much better, I think.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Julie Oryan said...

Today we had Moth Lamas in Oak Run, CA.

A HUGE hatching of moths coming up from the ground - soon to be followed by the arrival of the Dragon Helicopter Squad of moth-eating dragon flies. Well, at least that's what Mom is saying - we haven't seen them yet.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous linda rosewood said...

Yes, I agree that the natural indicators are the better for the timing of rituals--but when you're scheduling them around softball games, weekends, and somebody's birthday party the calendar day ends up being expedient--which sort of makes it all less sacred and more like a social obligation.

In northern california, the half-holidays seem like the "first day of" holidays and the solar holidays seem to indicate the "middle of" the seasons. Here in Santa Cruz, the fog is a little less thick and a little less frequent, and the pink "naked ladies" lilies pop up all over. I think it is called the Amaryllis.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Morgan LeFay said...

I think calculating Celtic Sabbaths on Astronomical signs is like calculating Astrological signs with precession. If Aries starts on 21st March which is
Spring/Eostra Sabbath, there make no sense celebrating before or after, even if Vernal Equinox is not in that position any more...

10:07 AM  

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