7 Late Summer Rituals For Celebrating Abundance & Transformation

Spiritual Coach & Ritual Researcher By Barbara Biziou
Spiritual Coach & Ritual Researcher
Barbara Biziou is a spiritual life coach and two-time author of The Joy of Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals. She holds bachelor's degrees in both Art History and Psychology from NYU, and has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Oprah.com.
Woman standing in a grassy field and enjoying the late day summer weather

In the northern hemisphere, August is a month that many people spend cooling off on the beach or barbecuing in the backyard. Yet, we forget that the month historically signaled the start of the harvest season and the time to collect the first crops of grain, wheat, and oats.

In Northern Europe, there is a tradition to celebrate the beginning of the harvest on or around August 1 with a Lammas celebration. Sometimes called Lughnasadh after the god of craftsmanship, this Christian holiday falls midway between June's summer solstice and the autumn equinox in September. Many Native American tribes also acknowledge the harvest around this time. Some tribes in the southeastern United States celebrate the Green Corn Ceremony, which is tied to the ripening of the corn crops, with dancing, feasting, and religious observation.

To acknowledge this special time of year, here are some ideas for rituals you can use to check in with yourself and do an internal harvest of sorts:

1. Build a harvest-inspired altar.

Decorate your altar with corn, zucchini, grapes, a loaf of bread, or whatever foods signify the harvest for you. Add some sunflowers, marigolds, or meadowsweet, a sacred herb of the Druids, to promote love, peace, and joy.

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2. Practice gratitude.

Lammas is the celebration of this first grain harvest, a time for gathering in and giving thanks for abundance. The next time you eat corn on the cob, a great bagel, or quinoa, take the time to say thank you to Mother Nature for the gift.

3. Celebrate love.

This time of year has long been popular for handfasting ceremonies, a ritual where lovers would join hands and declare themselves united, sealing it with a kiss. If you're in a relationship, consider practicing this small vow renewal with your loved one. If you are not in a relationship, you can do this as a vow to love and accept yourself in the coming year.

4. Clear some space.

As we slowly move toward autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in the southern), it's worth asking what old things we can part ways with to make way for the energy of a new season. Maybe it is a bad habit, a project that no longer has any juice, or clothes that do not fit you physically or energetically. We tend to cling to what is familiar, even when it does not serve us. Make a list of what you are choosing to release, then bless it, burn it, or cut it up.

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5. Set a harvest intention.

What is one of your main intentions for the next six months? The following ritual can add another layer of significance to your harvest goals:

  1. Get a husk of corn and cut off the corn kernels.
  2. Write your harvest intention on the husk and pick a few corn kernels to represent your hopes/skills/gifts. 
  3. Wrap the corn kernels in the husk and tie the bundle in ribbon or string, knotting it seven times. Each knot represents the support that you'll need to manifest the intention. 

6. Broom your way to abundance.

Choose a small broom or a bundle of twigs to serve as a symbol of home. Then, tie a green or gold ribbon around the top of it to represent abundance and prosperity. Tie in a sprig of mint for protection, prosperity, and healing.

Take your broom to the outside entrance of home or apartment, focusing on your intention for this next season. Turn slowly three times in a clockwise direction, then start to sweep toward your door saying, "May abundance be a constant friend, by my hearth till winter's end." Do this three times.

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7. Thank your neighbors.

Create a special harvest basket filled with fruit, bread, and seasonal vegetables. Add a poem, a note of appreciation, and anything else to make it special. Give one to a friend, neighbor, or your postal delivery person. This affirms that you do not take abundance for granted and have enough to share with others.

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