Lammas, or Lughnasadh in Irish Gaelic, is the festival that takes place on August 1st or the full moon closest to this date.
This festival, which has Pagan roots, lies halfway between the other Wiccan Sabbats of Litha and Mabon. It is a time to celebrate the first harvests and marriage.
Lammas, which translates to “loaf mass,” was first noted as being celebrated around 921 CE. In historical times, Lughnasadh was commemorated with four weeks of celebration running over the last two weeks of July and into the first two weeks of August.
In recent times, it is more common for individuals to celebrate Lughnasadh (translating to the marriage of Lugh) on the evening of July 31st, moving into August 1st.
This festival is a time for gratitude and hope for the future, and people celebrate it with feasts and gatherings. As the days grow shorter and we draw closer to autumn and winter, you may be wondering what those seasons have in store for you and may be feeling pensive about what the last few months have taught you.
Calling on the Universe for guidance at this time and doing a tarot spread can help you gain more insight into what has been learned and what is yet to be learned.
Read on to learn how to do your own 5-card Lughnasadh tarot spread.
Starting Your Lammas Tarot Spread
Begin by deciding on the best area to complete your spread in, making sure there will be no interruptions or distractions and that you feel relaxed and comfortable.
Next, ensure that you have everything that you need before you start – a tarot deck that you have cleansed, a drink, a pen, some paper, a candle, and perhaps some crystals.
Although the latter items in the list are up to the individual, I would recommend having a drink as your energy levels can alter when drawing tarot, something to write down what insight you are getting from the cards, and a candle (particularly one with warming harvest scents such as cinnamon) as this can help create the right energies for the spread.
Ground yourself by taking some deep breaths and, once you feel ready to, shuffle your cards. As you close your eyes and shuffle, allow the warm energies of the candle to be felt through all your senses and let that warmth wrap itself around you, encouraging you to feel embraced in gratitude.
Feeling appreciative whilst shuffling your cards will help guide your spread, as this time when we are celebrating harvests is a time for giving thanks to what the Earth and Universe allow us to experience.
Even if we perceive experiences as being negative, we can still practice gratitude for those experiences as they will have educated us.
Laying Out Your Cards
When you feel ready, you may draw your five cards. Remember to allow the appreciative and hopeful energies of this festival to flow through you when you are asking the cards which one you should draw for each question below.
When you are laying out your cards, position them so that they create a “+”, beginning with card 1 at the top, then lay cards 2, 3, and 4 underneath card 1 (positioning card 3 directly underneath card 1), and finally laying card 5 at the bottom (directly underneath cards 1 and 3).
For card number 1, you are asking, “What have I been taught that I can give thanks to the Universe for during the spring and summer?”. You are calling on the cards here to show you what the Universe has tried to teach you during the past few months.
For card number 2, you are asking, “What harvest can I expect to reap during the upcoming months?”. With this card, you are asking what the Universe has in store for you in the months ahead.
For card number 3, you are asking, “What tools do I need in order to enhance and retain what I harvest?” Here you are seeking answers about where you need to focus your energies to ensure that you reap exactly what the Universe has in store for you and that you are able to keep it.
For card number 4, you are asking, “What areas are still ripening that require my patience?” You are calling on the cards to show you what areas are still developing that may be in the developmental stages.
Finally, for card number 5, you are asking, “What message does the Universe have for me as the days grow shorter that will give me encouragement as we move into autumn and winter?” Here, you are acknowledging that darker days are ahead and that you want words of encouragement from the Universe to guide you through the last few months of the year.
When drawing each card, ensure that you focus on the question at hand. Remember to feel thankful to the Universe whilst asking it for its guidance.
Take your time and make sure you are tapping into your intuition when sensing the relevant card to answer each question. If you are new to tarot, I usually recommend noting your feelings about what the card means in relation to the question when you first draw it, before looking up the card.
After You Have Laid Out Your Cards
As I touched upon above, make notes when you draw the cards – what did you get from the card? What did it make you think and feel? Once you have completed your spread, go back to this and see what impression you get from the cards as a whole.
Next, if you are new to tarot (or even if you are not), you may want to look up what each card indicates. How does the meaning of the card correspond with what you sensed from the card?
Your intuition is key here in reading the cards – whilst a book can tell you what the card usually means, your intuition should give you the best idea of what the card is trying to give you.
Nothing should feel rushed, so take as much or as little time as you need to receive all the information from the Universe and to really feel any emotions that have arisen during the reading.
Appropriate for all readings, but especially during this time of gratitude, be sure that you thank the Universe, as well as your guides and the cards.
Proceed to release the reading to the Universe, confirming that you trust its guidance and are appreciative of the messages you have received. Be gentle with your cards as you put them away safely, and continue to take deep breaths.
Some individuals find their energy has been altered during a reading, which is perfectly normal. Listen to your body as it, too, deserves thanks from you, and it knows what it needs.
Complete a Lammas tarot reading is a wonderful way to celebrate as the year ages. A tarot spread can give us the time and space to appreciate what has been learned in the preceding months and what is still to come.
There are many ways you can celebrate this Lammas or Lughnasadh, and completing a tarot spread is just one of them. However you are spending this Sabbat, I wish you joy.
Why not take a look at my guide on doing a Mabon tarot spread next?
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