Something really interesting has been happening, or at least I have just started to pay attention. I have heard from several people, read on several blogs and Pagan magazines, and just generally felt over all Lammas confusion. In 'general Wicca' Lammas is known as the first harvest, but does that apply to everyone all over the world?
Obviously people that live in the Southern Hemisphere are not about to celebrate their first harvest. They are rolling along right towards spring, so there is half the planet that "harvest" does not work for. Modern Wicca's roots stem from England. The seasonal patterns in England (although not too far off) are not in alignment with the seasonal patterns in Northern California. So it seems reasonable to think that the harvest they are experiencing in the 'motherland' (so to speak) is not the same as the harvest I am experiencing right now.
Looking at Sonoma County, California where I currently call home, the main agriculture is hay, apples, and of course, grapes. If you were to look around here today there are lovely, warm, golden, bundles of hay wrapped up in blocks all over the fields waiting to be thrown into the backs of trucks and carted away for the abundance of local cows to dine on. We are definitely in the hay harvest. But the apples and grapes are still one to two months away from being ready to eat (or drink). I suppose this means for us here in Northern California this would be the first harvest, with still more to come.
What is amazing and beautiful about Wicca or modern Paganism is the rule of anarchy. The only real rule is that there are no rules. Maybe there are some basic threads, but beyond that it is pretty much anything goes. Which leads me to this thought.....if August 1st doesn't fit into your idea of harvest time, then figure out what it does fit into. Whether the fruit is ripe on your local vines or not, the earth is pregnant with possibilities right now. If your apples are not ready to eat just picture them growing on the trees as a telling reminder of the harvest that is soon to come.
On a personal level for Lammas, we all have our own 'inner gardens'. Now is a good time to do some personal tending. What is ripe in your personal garden? What is ready to harvest? What plants have taken over and need some pruning? What weeds have you been ignoring that need to be pulled? I plan to take some time over this Lammas to tend to my own internal garden. Not only to get rid of the weeds, but to remember all that I have brought to fruition.
However you end up celebrating....Have a very Happy Lammas.