The harvest sabbats have begun!
August 1st is the beginning of the harvest season celebrations. It is the first harvest and the harvest of the grains. The crops being brought in are corn, wheat, barley, etc. We typically make a bread man and use him as a symbolic sacrifice to ensure the harvest for next year. You can find lots of things on the internet about Lammas with a quick Google search.
Harvest season also means the season of sacrifice. It is when you give up something so that others can benefit and grow. John Barleycorn is sacrificed so that there can be bread and grains to make it through the winter and seed enough to grow again next year.
The Lady also takes a sacrifice. The Lord willingly offers himself up so that the land can be bountiful in the next year. And while he does so willingly, she takes his life. She slits the throat of her lover and grieves so that the people may live. His blood is spilled on the fields, blessing them and giving them life again.
This is not an true and physical act. Some covens use the bread man and cut him open letting his seed filling spill on the ground. Some covens build a wicker man and burn him, spreading his ashes on the ground. Our coven uses the bread man technique.
Lammas is often confused with Lughnasadh. Both are on the same day but are two very different celebrations. They are not interchangeable. Lughnasadh is the funerary rites and celebration of the life of Lugh's foster mother Tailtiu. These were games and feats of strength and strategy.
And so the Wheel turns...
All the best,