Ritual Robes vs. Ritual Nudity

Dance of Life VI by Gildir
Looking at old photos of some of the most well-known Pagans and occultists of the past, one will notice that some performed their rituals in the nude (i.e. skyclad) while others preferred robes. Obviously, there are no rules as to how a Pagan should dress in the ritual circle. Yes, some traditions insist on one system or the other, but generally speaking, ritual dress codes are flexible and are easily adaptable to the individual's needs. Also, different authors will have different opinions on this subject. But sooner or later, every Pagan has to ask themselves the question: to work skyclad or robed?

This is a tough question to answer and it is also one that does not have a single correct answer. Every individual has to answer it for him/herself depending on how they feel about being nude in general as well as many other factors. To start things off, I want to ask you a few questions which may help you decide on how you want to perform your rituals (if you already haven't decided). Some of them are very basic, while others may require a bit more introspection.
  1. How will my skin react?
    This is a good question to start with. So imagine you decide to wear robes and find that you can't stop itching from the material you are wearing. This is just impractical. In this case, you're better off without clothes. But then again, you just can't do without clothes in some situations. I have found myself performing rituals on very rocky terrains or in fields covered with nettle where clothes and quality shoes were a must. Your skin can show you a lot more; you will see goose-bumps on it when you get too cold or sweat when you get too hot. Neither is really good so going skyclad or wearing robes can sometimes be conditioned by the temperature. And I think it is pretty obvious that being either too hot or too cold can be a big distraction during rituals which everyone wants to avoid. So if you decide to wear robes, make sure they're warm enough for cold weather or thin enough in case of warm weather. If you're working indoors then you can always adjust the temperature. :) This is the practical side of things that many people tend to overlook.

  2. How will my body react?
    This question, along with the previous one, will help you get to know your body better. For example, if your body feels restricted in clothes/shoes and you can't really move freely because of them, then going skyclad is worth thinking about. Most rituals include quite a bit of dancing around so being able to move freely is important. The opposite can also happen; some people are very self-conscious and feel more comfortable and free while wearing clothes. In this case, nudity can just be a distraction.

  3. How will my mind react?
    Now we come to the tricky part. It is pretty easy to see if you're a bit cold/too hot and if you feel that clothes are restricting you. But what happens when you realize that clothes aren't the only barrier you may have to face? Like I said, nudity may be completely natural and liberating for some people, whereas others will feel embarrassed or self-conscious while being naked in front of other people. Whether or not you will work skyclad in this case depends on your comfort zone. So if you feel that you aren't ready to overcome your self-consciousness just yet, don't force yourself. But if you feel that you're ready to step out of your comfort zone, then by all means go skyclad! The main thing is that you not only feel physically comfortable, but that you also feel mentally and spiritually at ease (and being nude is not easy for everyone).

  4. Who am I working with?
    Firstly, are there any minors present? Usually there won't be, but it's best to just stay dressed in these situations to avoid any awkwardness or legal complications. Secondly, do you trust the people you are doing the ritual with? Trust is an important issue and it's usually difficult for people to fully expose themselves in front of people they do not trust completely. This is why skyclad work is generally restricted solely to coven practices. Rituals performed in larger groups whose members do not have a deeper connection are performed clothed so that everyone can feel at ease and focus on the main point of the ritual.

  5. Where will I be working?
    Of course, if you are going to be working outside, then you have to take into consideration the terrain and the weather/temperature. If the ritual is going to be held indoors, then the temperature, weather and terrain are of much less importance and can be adjusted. But it's also good to keep in mind how private your location is. It's not very relaxing if you decide to work skyclad and have nosy next-door neighbors, or if you feel like your privacy will in any way be invaded during the ritual. This is easily solved indoors by pulling the curtains, but it can be challenging outdoors. Also, try to respect other people's wishes too. There is such a thing as "indecent exposure". Although most Pagans do not perceive nudity as indecent in any way, there are laws which prohibit being nude outdoors. It's also nice to keep in mind, if working outdoors, how other passers-by would feel if they came across a group of naked people dancing around a fire. They may be scared off (which is bad for them), but they may also get a bit to curious and stick around to see the end of the show (which really isn't in the group's best interest). Either way, privacy is a good thing when rituals are at hand. :)

  6. Is everyone fine with working skyclad/in robes?
    When working in a group, it's important to retain equality. If some people are clothed and others are nude, then things get confusing. Most groups prefer that everyone agrees on the system they use. So if everyone agrees to work skyclad, then everyone should be comfortable with this. Under no circumstances should this choice be forced upon anyone! If everyone decides to work clothed, then this should also be fine with everyone. But there are exceptions. I have performed rituals in which one or two people asked if it was ok to take their clothes off if they really felt the need to do so during ritual. So everyone was clothed, but these individuals thought that they might feel the urge to get nude at some point. I was fine with that, but I thought everyone else had to be fine with it too. So they asked all the other participants and everyone gave their consent. The opposite can also happen; everyone is nude and one or two people want to stay dressed. Either way, everyone has to agree that this is ok. In extreme cases, those who singled themselves out like this are simply not allowed to take part in rituals. For example, nudity is mandatory in Gadnerian Wicca and those who don't go with it are not allowed to take part in the ritual. I find this rude and inhibiting but I'll elaborate on this later.

  7. Why will I work skyclad/in robes?
    It is important to be clear on the reasons behind your decision. Basically, it's silly to work skyclad just because you read somewhere that you should. It's also silly to work clothed just because you want a fancy robe. It's important that you know WHY you are doing what you are doing and that it feels right. It would also be nice if the other participants knew about your choice (or the group choice if you all agree to work skyclad/robed). In short, every participant has to know WHAT they are doing and WHY they are doing it.

  8. Do I have any personal reasons for not wanting to go skyclad/robed?
    Many people are perfectly fine with their bodies, do not feel self-conscious or embarrassed and are perfectly fine with other people's naked bodies as well. Still, certain personal reasons prohibit them from going skyclad in the ritual. These reasons may be health-related (in which case the individual should explain the situation to the other participants if it can affect them, but if not, they can simply keep it private). For example, this person may have an allergy or a fever and cannot risk taking their clothes off. These reasons may also be of a different nature. People of dual faiths may find that another part of their personal spiritual philosophy "forbids" them from being nude. In my case, I always work robed for several reasons, one of which is because of my partner. I feel that I have the right to control to whom I show my naked body. As it so happens, this person is my partner. I'm also slightly conservative when it comes to things like this and feel that not everyone has the right to see me fully exposed. I pick and choose these people/this person (as I have done). You may share my feelings or you may not, but just take into consideration all the possible reasons why you may not want to go skyclad/robed.

  9. Am I comfortable with the general feeling of things?
    If there is anything at all bothering you about the situation, then you should address this. Speaking from personal experience, it's best not to go through with something if it doesn't feel quite right. If you have any concerns before the ritual, ask whoever is in charge for details, instructions or simply express your feelings to them. If you feel awkward being skyclad/dressed in this situation, express this also. If you feel that you are being pushed into being nude/dressed, then my suggestion is that you simply don't continue. I believe that nothing should be forced on any participant in a ritual. Groups that force ritual nudity/robes, at least in my opinion, also force a certain belief onto others. Not everyone has to share every belief and not everyone has the same idea of comfort. Such restrictions can only stifle the soul and result in people feeling uncomfortable and/or unnatural and the ritual ultimately turning out much worse than it could have if everyone had felt at ease. 
Now that you have asked yourself these questions (and hopefully answered them), it's time to take the next step. Many Pagans feel that it isn't very "Pagan" to be dressed during rituals, whereas others will feel the opposite way and believe that robes, as ritual tools, play an important role in rites. I will try to explain both sides of the story so you can get a better picture.

Going Skyclad (or Being in the Pagan Spirit)

Joseph Tomanek - Nymphs Dancing to Pan's Flute, 1999
Most Pagans who prefer ritual nudity to ritual robes believe that being skyclad is the most natural state humans can be in. The very meaning of the phrase "skyclad" implies that we are clothed (clad) only by the sky, stars, moon and Sun. Therefore we cannot hide anything from the gods or our fellow humans. Nudity is a state of honesty, originality and purity which, from this perspective, can only be tarnished by clothes. Nudity is our most natural, but also our most vulnerable state. By being nude around other people, we show trust towards them and open up to them as well as nature in general. Nudity leaves no space between the individual and nature leaving one fully exposed and open towards the universe's positive energy.

Pagans ultimately worship fertility and nature. The human body is an epitome of both and should therefore be celebrated and set free. If we truly celebrate nature as Pagans, then we should also worship our body. Women should learn to worship their curves as they worship the Mother Goddess and men should learn to worship all their attributes as they look up to the Horned God.

This viewpoint implies that clothes hinder the exchange of energy between humans and basically any other existence (be it plants, crystals, animals, other humans or the universe itself). Clothes may also, according to some, mask the individual. If we wear certain clothes, we can completely change the way we look, hide our imperfections and emphasize our attributes. Basically, we can effectively lie to other people about our appearance. Just as clothes can mirror our feelings and taste, they can also protect us from the outer world, both physically (from rain and the scorching Sun) and mentally (by putting a layer between us and what we fear/dislike). So according to this viewpoint, being nude is the only way to express the true self, to be truly honest with the God/Goddess/gods, other human beings and ourselves. But what about the other side of the story?

Robes as Ritual Tools

Druids celebrating at Stonehenge
Some Pagans believe that ritual robes, much like a Shaman's ritual mask, are a powerful ritual tool which helps the practitioner to "step through the veil" between this world and the next. When a Pagan puts on their ritual clothes (which don't necessarily have to be robes) and/or jewelry, they change their persona and get themselves "in the ritual mood". Robes make you aware that from that point on, you are working on a ritual; they help you focus on the goal of the ritual thus adding to its overall energy. This can only benefit the ritual and anyone participating in it.

Ritual robes and jewelry can also help define the role that each participant plays in the ritual (the High Priest/High Priestess, Maiden, Holly King/Oak King etc.). They can also largely help in setting the mood. To elaborate, many practitioners change their ritual robes or certain details on them depending on the festival or any other occasion which is being celebrated. So, for example, many will wear golden-yellow shades when celebrating the summer solstice to emphasize the strength of the Sun. Seeing so many people in such uniformity (without all the negative connotations) can really have an impact on you.

In defense of this viewpoint, robes can also be adjusted so that no hierarchy is imposed. Nudity does make everyone equal in a way, but robes can be used to achieve the same effect. The only thing that is necessary is for no robe to be "better" than any other. This may sound complicated, but it really isn't. Most Pagans won't get their robes embroidered with gold thread or covered with precious stones. Materials are usually simple and many robes are even homemade. Also, hierarchy is kind of inevitable if the group follows the typical ritual form where a Priest and/or Priestess lead the ritual. Whether or not the participants wear clothes won't change this fact.

According to some, clothes of any kind obstruct the energy flow both within the circle and without it (for example, when energy is being sent in the form of the cone of power from the practitioners towards the universe). That is to say, clothes are a barrier for ene and therefore aggravate any ritual work. I personally don't think that this is true because I have performed many rituals both clothed and skyclad and have not felt the slightest difference. Also, if material things such as clothes really did hinder the energy flow, no Pagan would perform rituals indoors because, according to this theory, both walls and roofs, and even windows could be energy barriers. I believe that energy can easily overcome material things and that any kind of physical "barrier" does not present a problem.

In addition to this, ritual robes can draw one's focus to the main purpose of the ritual be it with their colors, decorations or merely by putting them on. Ritual nudity, on the other hand, can cause distraction if the practitioners are not used to nudity. The naked human body comes in all shapes and sizes and can truly be fascinating. It's only natural to stop and look. This may cause discomfort among members and draw attention from the main point. Then again, ritual robes can also distract you if they are impractical (if you step on them, if the sleeves are too long, if the material is easily flammable, if the material is coarse or itchy etc.) so it's really up to you.

Of course, many more arguments can be found for both sides of the story, but I believe the main thing is that you feel comfortable about what you are doing and how you are doing it. If wearing ritual robes makes you feel uncomfortable, then get rid of them. If ritual nudity makes you feel uncomfortable/distracted for any reason, then perform your ritual clothed. If you are working in a group, it's also important to take into consideration other member's thoughts. It is ideal if everyone agrees to stick to one system (skyclad/clothed), but if everyone agrees that exceptions can be made, then I guess they can be made.

The topic of this post isn't really all that simple, though. Some practitioners choose to work skyclad in some situations and clothed in others. For example, I used to work skyclad when I did solitary rituals and always worked clothed in group rituals. Others will do the exact opposite because it suits them better. Someone else might work skyclad during the summer months (so during Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane and Litha) and clothed during the winter months (during Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain and Yule). Some believe that wearing your ritual robes "empowers" the garments in a way (fills them up with the ritual energy making them all the more powerful with each use) and therefore insist on wearing them during every ritual. It all depends on what makes more sense to you.

I can only urge you to make the decision for yourselves. If anyone says that you HAVE to work nude, or that you HAVE to wear clothes, I would stop and think about whether I really want to work with these people. Why work with someone who just wants to strip your freedom of choice from you? This kind of behavior can only lead to distressing situations. Some people will only see ritual nudity as a perverse excuse to see other people naked. This is a form of abuse and must not be condoned...just a warning.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. I hope that you make the one that feels right for you and that you enjoy your rituals whichever way you decide to do them. :)

Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat


Paganska praksa: kvaliteta prije kvantitete

Većina paganskih okupljanja kojima sam prisustvovala su bila malena; deset to petnaest ljudi najviše. Naravno, bilo je onih gdje je bilo i mnogo više ljudi, ali po mom mišljenju, takva okupljanja su bila znatno manje emocionalna, ispunjavajuća, energična i duhovna. Neobična stvar se dogodi kada se tako velika skupina ljudi okupi. Čini se da se energije konstantno kreće u takvom okruženju i lako se osjeti da svi nisu međusobno dobro upoznati. Ovo rezultira u raštrkanoj i nejednakoj energiji zbog čega skoro svaki ritual, ili magijski rad koji se izvodi u takvom okruženju ne dostigne svoj puni potencijal. Drugim riječima, kvaliteta rituala se smanji.

Razlog zbog kojeg sam odlučila pisati o ovoj temi je taj što većina ljudi danas vjeruje što je više ljudi na nekom okupljanju (tj. što je veća kvantiteta), to će sve bolje ispasti. Iako ovo vrijedi za tulume, barem u većini slučjeva, nije baš tako kada su u pitanju religiozna/duhovna okupljanja. Kada odete u neku crkvu, moskvu, ili sinagogu, vidjet ćete golemu količinu ljudi na okupu, ali samo jednu osobu koja vodi kongregaciju. To je zbog toga što je većina organiziranih religija osnovana na nešto drukčijim principima od paganizma. U paganskim ritualima postoje Visoki svećenik i Visoka svećenica koji vode ritual, ali svaki sudionik igra važnu ulogu, pridonosi doživljaju, ali još važnije pridonosi i energiji rituala. Svećenik i svećenica mogu imati "pomoćnik" (ovisno o sabatu), ali čak i kada nemaju, svaki sudionik znatno utječe na ishod rituala. Na tipičnoj katoličkoj misi, na primjer, svećenik vodi kongregaciju i iako svi prisutni pjevaju i ponavljaju ponekad za njim, nisu onoliko aktivni u svojoj vjerskoj službi kao što pagani misle da jesu tijekom svojih rituala. Trebam ovo pojasniti kako me ne biste krivo shvatili. Ne govorim da je način na koji organizirane religije vode svoje vjerske službe krivi već da je naprosto drukčiji od paganskog sistema. Razlog ovome su različiti svjetonazori, doktrine i raznorazne formalnosti. Pagani vjeruju da svećenik i svećenica nisu jedini koji mogu stupiti u kontakt s Božanskim, ili s energijama univerzuma; svatko to može napraviti. Svećenik i svećenica možda imaju nešto više iskustva i mogu imati prirodni dar za vođenje i organizaciju, što im daje određenu prednost, ali ovo je druga tema. 

U paganskim ritualima uvijek postoji jedno, ili dvoje ljudi (tj. svećenik i svećenica) koji vode obred. Moja percepcija njihove uloge jest da oni nisu vođe u tiranskom ili diktatorskom smislu. Oni su poput dirigenata koji drže orkestar na okupu i vode sve članove u istom smjeru. Ovo znači da je njihova uloga važna, ali opet ne bi bilo glazbe bez orkestra tako da svaki član grupe također igra važnu ulogu.

Mislim da je ova analogija vrlo prikladna jer kao što svaka osoba u orkestru ima poseban talent, ili svira određeni instrument, tako svaka osoba u ritualnom krugu ima određenu energiju i radi na drukčiji način. Ovo me dovodi do glavne teme ovoga posta. Pošto se svaki paganski ritual vrti oko energije (usmjeravanje energije ka određenom cilju, kontroliranje energije itd.), od velike je važnosti paziti kakvu se energiju pušta u ritualni krug, bilo to kroz sudionike u ritualu, ili kroz entitete koji se evociraju tijekom samog obreda. Negativna energija generalno nije dobrodošla u krugu. Kada ja izvodim rituale, bilo to sama, ili u grupi, uvijek pročistim krug i svakoga tko u njega ulazi, a uz to se uvijek izjasnim da su samo pozitivna energija i čiste namjere dobrodošle. No uvijek postoje neke prepreke. Ne dovodi svatko sa sobom isključivo pozitivnu energiju. To ne znači da su oni zli, ili da imaju loše namjere, već da samo postoji neki višak energije koji može omesti ritual. Zapravo, takvi ljudi uopće ne moraju biti svjesni ovoga. Ali oni koji jesu svjesni to moraju riješiti.

U procesu skupljanja ljudi za ritual, mnogi se uzbude i kažu "da" svakome tko se želi pridružiti makar se nikada nisu upoznali. Ovo znatno olakšava pristup i sudjelovanje u ritualima onima koji nisu baš spremni na njih. Kada govorim o spremnosti, mislim na mentalnu i duhovnu spremnost. Tijekom bilo kakvih religioznih, ili duhovnih aktivnosti, mnogi nauče dosta toga o sebi, svom okruženju i drugim ljudima kroz introspekciju i meditaciju. Oni bivaju ispunjeni energijom koja dolazi iz univerzuma, ljudi oko njih, ili prirode uopće. Mnogi se također suoče sa svojim strahovima, priznaju svoje komplekse, pomire se s određenim problemima, ali ujedno shvate i brojne lijepe stvari. Ovo sve može djelovati silovito i može preplaviti osobu pa ona treba biti mentalno i duhovno stabilna kako bi se nosila s time na ispravni način. Ne želim zvučati bahato, ali nisu svi jednako stabilni i zreli za ovakve stvari. Ovo je jedan od razloga zbog kojih većina paganskih skupina ne dopušta pristup maloljetnicima i zbog čega inzistiraju da osobno upoznaju svaku osobu koja se želi priključiti. Ne impliciram da sam ja zrelija od drugih već samo da je određena doza zrelosti i stabilnosti potrebna za nastaviti na duhovnom putu. 

Ono što imam reći će nekima možda zvučati pesimistično, ali se meni doima realističnim. Zamislite da nezrela, ili mentalno nestabilna osoba dođe na ritual (iako su ovo relativni pojmovi, ali sam sigurna da razumijete što želim reći). U najgorem slučaju ta osoba može doživjeti mentalni, ili živčani slom. Nešto manje dramatični ishod je da je ta osoba prisiljena suočiti se s nekim problemom i na kraju ga u potpunosti krivo protumači jer nije dostigla onu razinu zrelosti koja je potrebna da ga se u potpunosti shvati. Ali mi kao ljudi imamo tendenciju gledati najgori mogući ishod i poduzeti potrebne mjere opreza, pa vas stoga molim da se ne uvrijedite na moje komentare. 

Stoga, ako pojedinac koji nije još spreman sudjeluje u ritual, vjerojatno će najviše učiniti štete sebi. Ali oni također mogu utjecati i na druge. Govoreći djelomično iz osobnog iskustva, mogu uzrokovati osjećaj nelagode, ili usporiti organizaciju, ali mogu ujedno uzrokovati i potpuni energetski potres time u potpunosti mijenjajući ishod rituala. Mnogi ljudi s takvog rituala mogu otići s osjećajući se nestabilno, neispunjeno, umorno i rastreseno. Ovim osjećajima, opet generalno govoreći, nema mjesta u paganskim ritualima. Ukratko, svatko treba biti oprezan po pitanju koga se pušta u ritualni krug zbog sebe, ali ponajviše zbog drugih sudionika. 

Naravno, ja nisam psiholog i nisam kvalificirana osuđivati ičije mentalno, ili duhovno zdravlje, ali vjerujem da bilo tko tko ima imalo zdravog razuma može vidjeti kada nešto "ne štima" s osobom, ili kada su nezreli. I ja sama mogu biti čudna ponekad, kao što može svatko, ali postoji velika razlika između ljudi koji su blago ekscentrični, ili neobični i potpunih čudaka. 

Vrste ljudi koje sam do sada upoznala u paganskim krugovima se ne mogu lako kategorizirati. Iako jesam upoznala stereotipne hipije, muževne asatruovce, feministički nastrojene štovateljice Božice, mlade gotičarke koje se zanimaju za wiccu itd. Ali sam također upoznala mnogo mnogo više ljudi koji se ne uklapaju ni u jedan stereotip. Većina njih su vrlo obični ljudi, ali su neki bili potpuno suprotni. Kada sam upoznala potonje, a upoznala sam nekoliko vrlo neobičnih ljudi, osjetila sam jaki osjećaj nelagode od kojeg nisam mogla pobjeći. Takvi ljudi ponekad imaju samo neobični pogled, ali često im piše na čelu da su čudni. Kako god bilo, lako se osjeti da nešto nešto nije kako treba. No, većina ovih ljudi je imala dobre namjere i nikome ne bi naudili, barem ne namjerno, ali nemaju kontrolu nad svojom energijom. Upravo to može uzrokovati probleme za vrijeme rituala.

U osnovi, kada govorim o kvaliteti, mislim upravo na ovu kontrolu koju osoba ima nad svojom energijom, nad cijelom svojom osobnošću, svojim djelima, mislima i osjećajima. Ako većina ljudi u ritualnom krugu ne može kontrolirati ono što radi, onda će nešto sigurno poći krivo.

Moje iskustvo mi govori da su kvaliteta i kvantiteta obrnuto proporcionalne u većini slučajeva. Stoga će kvaliteta rituala opadati kako se broj sudionika povećava. Ovo neće biti slučaj ako svi, ili barem većina sudionika u ritualu zna što radi i zna kako kontrolirati svoju energiju, djela i tako dalje. Ali i dalje postoji problem nesloge po pitanju energije. Čak i ako svi sudionici znaju što rade i imaju kontrolu, možda nisu svi međusobno upoznati, možda nisu svi dovoljno opušteni, a možda jednostavno nisu dovoljno kompatibilni...sve bi se ovo trebalo uzeti u obzir. Zbog ovoga svi tradicionalni koveni imaju maksimalno trinaest članova. Ovo regulira broj ljudi što im omogućava da se zaista zbliže, postanu poput obitelji i rade efikasnije. Kada je previše ljudi u krugu, teško je upoznati svih, a još je teže uvjetno rečeno "natjerati" svih da rade zajedno, uskladiti i organizirati sve te pogoditi pravo vrijeme.

Većina ljudi s kojima sam ja radila se slaže da je kvaliteta važnija od kvantitete. Zapravo, čak će čak pet kvalitetnih praktičara (pod "kvalitetni" mislim da znaju što rade, da se međusobno dobro poznaju i imaju sve pod kontrolom) raditi mnogo bolje nego pedeset ljudi koji su se tek upoznali i kojima je sve što rade novitet. Barem me je ovako naučilo moje dosadašnje iskustvo. Ako su vaša iskustva govore drukčije, onda bih vrlo rado poslušala ono što imate za reći. Stoga ostavite komentar i izrazite svoje mišljenje. Uvijek uživam u kvalitetnoj raspravi. 

Stoga do idućeg posta,
vaša Witch's Cat


Pagan Practice: Quality over Quantity

Most of the Pagan gatherings I have attended have been rather small; ten to fifteen people at most. Of course, there have been a few when there were many more but, in my opinion, those gatherings weren't nearly as emotional, fulfilling, energizing or spiritual. A strange thing happens when such a large group of people comes together. Energy seems to constantly move about and you can sense that not everyone is well-acquainted. This results in energy being scattered and unequal and basically every ritual or magical work that we try to do doesn't reach its full potential. In other words, the quality of the ritual diminishes.

The reason why I decided to write on this topic is because many people nowadays believe that the more people there are attending a certain gathering (i.e. the larger the quantity), the better it will all turn out. While this may be true for parties, at least in most cases, it isn't always so when it comes to spiritual and/or religious gatherings. When you go to a church, mosque or synagogue, you will see a vast number of people in attendance, but only one person leading the congregation. This is because most organized religions are based on slightly different concepts than Paganism. In Pagan rituals, there may be a High Priest and a High Priestess leading the ritual, but every participant has an important role and adds to the entire experience and, more importantly, to the energy of the ritual. The Priest and Priestess may have "assistants" (depending on the Sabbat), but even when they don't, everyone influences the outcome of the ritual. At your typical Catholic mass, for example, the priest leads the congregation and even though they sing and repeat something every now and then, they aren't as active in their religious service as Pagans see themselves as being during their rituals. I have to elaborate on this so you don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that the way in which organized religions hold their services is wrong, just that it is different from the Pagan system. This is due to differences in worldview, doctrine and even formalities. Pagans believe that the Priest/Priestess are not the only ones who can come into contact with the Divine or the energies of the Universe; everyone can do this. The Priest and Priestess may only have a bit more experience and may have a natural gift for leading. But this is another topic.

During Pagan rituals, there is always someone (one or two people i.e. the Priest and Priestess) leading the ritual. My perception of their role is that they are not leaders in the tyrannical or dictatorial sense. They are like conductors holding the orchestra together; guiding them in the same direction. This means that their role is significant but then again, there would be no music without the orchestra so every member of the group plays an important part.

I think this analogy is quite appropriate because just as each person in the orchestra has a special talent and plays a specific instrument, so does every person in the ritual circle have a certain energy and work in a different way. This brings me to the main topic of this post. Since every Pagan ritual is centered around energy (directing it in a certain direction, controlling it etc.), it is very important to take into account the kind of energy that is admitted into the ritual circle, be it via the participants of the ritual or the entities that are invoked during the ritual itself. Negative energy is generally unwelcome in the circle. When I perform rituals, either by myself or within a group, I always cleanse the circle and everyone coming into it but also make it clear that only positive energy and pure intentions are welcome. Although there are always some obstructions. Not everyone carries only positive energy with them. This doesn't mean that they are bad or ill-intentioned, just that there is some excess energy that can be a hindrance to the ritual. In fact, they may not even be aware of this. But those who are aware have to sort it out.

In the process of gathering people for a ritual, many get excited and say "yes" to anyone who wants to join in even if they have never met before. This makes it quite easy for people who aren't quite ready for rituals to participate in them. By "ready" I mean mentally and spiritually ready. During any religious or spiritual activity, many people learn a lot about themselves, their surroundings and other people through introspection and meditation, they are filled with energy that comes from the universe, from the people around them or nature in general. Many even face their fears, admit complexes, come to terms with certain issues, but also realize many nice things. All of this can be overwhelming and one has to be mentally and spiritually stable in order to handle it the right way. I don't mean to sound all high-and-mighty or overbearing, but not everyone is equally stable or mature for such things. This is partly why most Pagan groups don't admit minors and why they insist on meeting anyone who wants to join them. I'm not implying that I'm extremely mature or anything like that, but just that a certain level of maturity and stability is needed in order to continue on a spiritual path.

What I have to say may sound pessimistic to some, but I see it as realistic. Imagine if an immature or mentally unstable person came to a ritual (although these are relative terms, but I believe you understand what I mean).  The worst-case scenario could be that they go through a nervous or mental breakdown. A slightly less dramatic view is that they are forced to confront a certain issue and end up misinterpreting it because they haven't yet reached the stage of maturity that is needed to comprehend it. But we as humans tend to look at the worst possible outcome and take precautions, so please don't take offense at my comments.

So if an individual who is not ready for such things takes part in a ritual, they will probably cause themselves the most harm. But they may have an impact on others as well. Speaking partly from personal experience, they may spread unease or simply cause organization to go a bit slower, but they may also cause a complete energetic earthquake making the ritual work out differently than expected. Many people may end up leaving the ritual feeling unstable, unfulfilled, tired and shaken up. These feelings should, again generally speaking, not be a part of Pagan rituals. In short, everyone has to be careful who they let into the ritual circle for their own sake but more importantly for the sake of the other participants.

Of course, I am not a psychologist and am not qualified to judge anyone's mental or spiritual health, but I believe that anyone with a bit of common sense can see when something "isn't right" with a person or when they are a bit immature. I myself can be a bit weird, as can everyone, but there is a big difference between being slightly quirky or eccentric and being downright strange. 

The kinds of people I have met so far in Pagan circles cannot be easily categorized. But I have met your stereotypical treehugger, masculine Ásatrú, feminist Goddess-worshiper, Goth chick who is into Wicca and so on. But I've also met many many more people who don't fit into any stereotype. Some of them are your average Joes (or Janes) and some of them were the complete opposite. When I met the latter, and I have met a few very strange people, I couldn't help but feel uneasy around them. They sometimes just have a strange look in their eyes, but they sometimes have strange written all over. Either way, you can sense that something's amiss. Most of these people were good-intentioned though and wouldn't cause any harm, at least not on purpose, but they don't have their energy under control and this is what can cause problems during rituals.

Basically, when I talk about quality, I am referring to the control which a person has over their energy, their whole persona, their actions, thoughts and feelings. If the majority of people in the circle cannot control what they are doing, then something is bound to go wrong. 

What my experience tells me is that quantity and quality are inversely proportional in most cases. So the quality of a ritual will diminish as fast as the quantity grows. This isn't the case if all, or at least most of the participants in the ritual know what they are doing and how to control their energy, actions and so on. But there is still the issue of discord in terms of energy. Even if all of the participants know what they are doing and have control over it all, they may not all be acquainted, they may not be relaxed enough around one another, they might simply not be compatible....all things that should be taken into consideration. This is why most traditional covens are made up on thirteen members at the most. This regulates the number of people thus enabling them to really get close, become like a family and work more effectively. When there are too many people in the circle, it's hard to get to know everyone and it's even harder to get everyone to work together, harmonize everything, organize things and get the timing right. 

Most of the people I have worked with agree that quality is more important than quantity. Actually, even five quality practitioners (by "quality" I mean that they know what they are doing, know each other well and have things under control) will work much better than fifty people who have just met for the first time and are new to the whole thing. At least this is why my experience has taught me. If your experience is somewhat different, then by all means, leave a comment and voice your opinions. I'm always open to a good discussion. 

So until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat


Roščići od badema

Ovi roščići su se pokazali savršeni za ezbat! :) Bili su mi primamljivi prvenstveno jer su maleni pa ih se može lako i brzo pojesti tijekom rituala. No simbolika badema je iznimno prikladna za slavlje punog Mjeseca jer je u više kultura u prošlosti badem, odnosno bademov cvijet, bio simbol plodnosti, a puni Mjesec kao takav simbolizira najplodniju fazu Božice - aspekt Majke. Ali plod badema sam po sebi podsjeća na joni (hinduistički simbol za ženstvenost i ženski spolni organ). A nije potrebno uopće ni govoriti o simbolici polumjeseca. Svi ovi faktori su imali utjecaja na moj odabir ovog kolača za posljednja dva ezbatska slavlje. Pošto su svi imali pozitivne komentare, odlučila sam podijeliti recept s vama. :D

Potrebno je:

  • 200 g maslaca
  • 1 žumance
  • 90 g šećera u prahu
  • prstohvat soli
  • 100 g mljevenih badema
  • 1 vanilin štapić (ili 1 kesica vanilinog šećera)
  • 300 g brašna
  • naribana kora 1 naranče
  • 80 g kristalnog šećera


  1. U posudi električnim mikserom izmiješajte omekšali maslac, žumance, šećer u prahu, sol, bademe i vanilin šećer/vanilin štapić (u slučaju da po prvi put radite s vanilinim štapićem, vrijedi napomenuti da je potrebno izvaditi srž štapića, a ne ubaciti cijeli štapić u smjesu. Dakle, prvo na pola izrežite štapić uzdužno i rastvorite koru. Potom nožem ostružite vaniliju iznutra i ubacite u smjesu). Pomalo dodajite brašno.
  2. Zamotajte smjesu u prozirnu foliju i stavite u frižider na pola sata.
  3. U međuvremenu izribajte koru jedne naranče i pomiješajte s kristalnim šećerom.
  4. Zagrijte pećnicu na 175°C.
  5. Lim za pečenje obložite papirom za pečenje.
  6. Izvadite smjesu iz frižidera i oblikujte roščiće (veličina ovisi o vama). 
  7. Pecite roščiće 10-12 minuta dok ne porumene (ali pazite, jer često s donje strane znaju dosta porumeniti a gore ostati bljeđi pa pripazite da vam ne izgore od ispod). 
  8. Kada su gotovi, roščiće uvaljajte u smjesu naranče i šećera. Ako ih pustite da odstoje u posudi s tom smjesom, poprimiti će predivnu aromu do sutradan.
Predlažem da poslužite roščiće uz neki lijepi voćni sok, ili uz mlijeko. Odlični su i mekani narednih nekoliko dana, makar ne sumnjam da će ih se pojesti već isti dan! ;)

Almond Crescents

These crescents ended up being perfect for our Esbat celebration! :) I first felt drawn to them because they are so small so they can be eaten practically in one bite during any ritual. But the symbolism of almonds also goes well with full Moon celebrations since several past cultures saw the almond, or rather the almond flower as a symbol of fertility and as you may well know, the full Moon represents the most fertile phase of the Goddess - the Mother aspect. In addition to this, almonds themselves resemble the yoni symbol (a Hindu symbol of femininity and the female sex organ). And it is unnecessary to discuss the symbolism of the crescent shape in Paganism. All of these factors affected my decision of choosing this cake for my last two Esbats. Since all the feedback I got was positive, I decided to share the recipe with you. :D

You Will Need:

  • 200g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 90g powdered sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 1 bag of vanilla sugar i.e. 9g)
  • 300g plain flour
  • orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • 80g sugar

How To Prepare:

  1. Using an electric mixer, mix together softened butter, yolk, powdered sugar, salt, almonds and vanilla in a bowl (if this is your first time using vanilla pods, if you have decided on them rather than the vanilla sugar, it's important to note that you don't put the whole pod into the mix. You first have to cut the pod in half lengthwise, open it up and scrape out the vanilla beans into the mix). Add flour little by little and mix it all well.
  2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
  3. In the meantime, grate your orange and mix the zest with the sugar.
  4. Heat your oven up to 175°C.
  5. Line your baking tray with baking paper.
  6. Get the dough out of the fridge and form small crescents (their size depends on your preference).
  7. Bake the crescents for 10-12 minutes until they get golden-brown (but be careful, they can get very brown very fast on the bottom and can remain quite pale on top so just take care not to let them burn on the bottom).
  8. When they are done, roll the crescents int he orange-sugar mix. If you leave them to sit in it overnight then they will really absorb the aroma nicely. 
I recommend you serve some milk or orange juice to go with these cookies. They are great and can stay soft for days, although I don't doubt that they'll be all gone by tomorrow. ;)


Sretan Lughnasadh svima!

Iako su neki slavili Lughnasadh, odnosno Lammas 31. srpnja, ili 1. kolovoza, drugi ga slave danas, a neki će ga slaviti tek za koji dan. Pa za vas koji ste ga odlučili slaviti malo kasnije ove godine, moram vam izaći u susret i reći da se i ja još nisam u potpunosti prilagodila ovom razdoblju godine. No imamo sreće, jer astronomski gledajući, Lammas tek pada 7. kolovoza ove godine. Naravno, tradicionalni datumi se trebaju uvriježiti pa stoga većina ljudi slavi ovaj blagdan zadnji dan srpnja, ili pak prvi dan kolovoza, no po mom mišljenju se tradicija ponekad može zanemariti.

U ovom slučaju, razlog zanemarivanja tradicije je astronomija. Naime, datumi većine paganskih praznika su usklađeni s kretanjem, odnosno pozicijom Sunca u odnosu na Zemlju. Lughnasadha se slavi po samoj sredini ljeta, a nju astronomski obilježava Sunčev dolazak na 15° Lava (odnosno, astronomski datum Lughnasadha ove godine je onaj dan kada Sunce dođe na 15° Lava). Da objasnim; ako pogledate ovu tablicu, primijetit ćete da je zodijak zapravo krug od 360° koji je podijeljen na 12 zodijačkih znakova. Svaki znak zauzima 30° kruga (npr. Lav se nalazi između 120° i 150°). Naravno, Sunčev položaj, kao i položaj zvijezda se mijenja cijele godine u odnosu na Zemlju. Stoga se Sunce "kreće" po zodijačkim znakovima/zviježđima. Onog dana kada Sunce "dođe" na 15° Lava se slavi sredina ljeta, odnosno Lughnasadh. Ove godine je taj dan 7. kolovoza. Dakle još imate prilike slaviti ako niste! :D

Postoji više razloga zbog kojih sam ja odgodila svoje slavlje. Očekivala sam ljeto kao svako drugo; sunčano, uz mnogo kupanja na moru (jer živim na moru), puno druženja (jer nema fakulteta), godišnjih odmora i općenito odmor od ostatka radne godine. Izgleda da je priroda neodlučna ove godine jer, barem u mom kraju malo pada kiša, pa je pakleno vruće i onda se opet spoje nebo i zemlja i tako ciklično. Uz to je iznenađujuće mnogo ljudi još na poslu, većina mojih prijatelja i kolega još moraju učiti za jesenjske ispitne rokove, a nekako i nisam imala prilike odmoriti do sada. Sve u svemu, ne doživljavam još ljeto. Stoga sam odlučila obilježiti tradicionalne datume malenim stvarima, a proslaviti Lughnasadh za nekoliko dana.

Ako ste se vi odlučili za isto, ili ako čitate ovaj post naprosto zbog informacija, voljela bih vam preporučiti nekoliko stvari koje možete raditi za ovaj blagdan. :)

Pošto je Lughnasadh primarno praznik prve žetve, odnosno žetve žita, slavi se urod. Priroda se u ovo vrijeme žrtvuje kako bismo mi mogli jesti njezine plodove i nastaviti živjeti. Dakle, biljke umiru kako bismo mi preživjeli. Stoga ovaj praznik ujedno ima i žrtveni aspekt. Pagani u ovo doba godine slave Boga koji se žrtvuje. Za Mabon (jesenski ekvinocij) se vraća u utrobu Božice, za Samhain (31.10.) umire, a za Yule (zimski solsticij) se ponovno rađa.

Naziv praznika, Lughnasa, se prevodi kao komemoracija Lugha, ili pak igre/skupština Lugha. Već sam govorila o Lughu u prijašnjem postu, tako da ovdje ne bih previše govorila o njemu. Postoji više teorija o etimologiji imena ovog božanstva. Neki smatraju da dolazi od latinske riječi lux (svjetlo), drugi od lucus (gaj), ili pak od keltske riječi lugio (zakletva). Nedavne teorije se sve više priklanjaju posljednjoj etimologiji koja ukazuje na to da je Lugh bio božanstvo, odnosno zaštitnik zakletvi, a ne božanstvo svjetlosti i vatre kao što se do sada mislilo. Ovo se veže uz značenje imena blagdana. Naime, prije spomenute skupštine ukazuju na običaj skupljanja naroda na ovaj dan (vrijedi naglasiti da se ovaj blagdan prije slavio isključivo na području Galije, Britanije i Irske). Na ovim sastancima je bio običaj rješavati plemenske probleme, organizirati poslove (a time i sklapati ugovore, što je tada značilo davati zakletve umjesto pisati ugovore), utrkivati se i prakticirati druge sportove, izvoditi rituale koji će osigurati dobar usjev u sljedećim mjesecima, skupljati plodove prirode (žito, plodove mora, razne vrste bobićastog voća, jabuke, ili bilo kojeg voća koje je u ovo doba zrelo) i tako dalje.

Ovi sastanci su ujedno bila i velika slavlja kada su se održavali sajmovi da ljudi pokažu svoje proizvode i vještine te da se druže. Također su se ljudi okupljali na posebnim mjestima; na vrhovima brežuljaka i oko svetih bunara. Slavilo se na mnoštvo načina; hranom, pićem, igrama, natjecanjima, a čak su se sklapali i privremeni brakovi koji su se mogli raskinuti nakon "probnog perioda" od godine i jednog dana. Ljudi su imali vremena slaviti jer je većina ljetine već bila skupljena, a stoka se izvela na ispašu. Konačno je došlo vrijeme za uživanje u plodovima svog truda. Gozbe su bile najlogičnija posljedica goleme količine skupljene hrane, a bile su i ostale jedan od popularnijih načina slavljenja važnih događaja.

Stoga, ako imate vremena i volje proslaviti Lughnasadh na prikladni način, možete:

  • slaviti urod i hranu koju imate (pa čak i donirati višak hrane za one kojima nedostaje)
  • slaviti božanstva žetve, a posebice žita
  • meditirati na konceptu žrtve i biti zahvalni na žrtvi koju priroda svake godine daje kako bi se održala prirodna ravnoteža
  • igrati igre i održavati natjecanja (pogotovo sportska)
  • skupljati plodove prirode poput jabuka, bobica, žita itd. i provesti malo vremena u kuhinji (posebno istaknuti običaj u ovo doba je pečenje kruha...ipak se radi o žetvi žita)
  • raditi ukrase od žita i drugih darova prirode koje možete naći u ovo doba godine; uglavnom se rade žitne lutke, ili Lughnasadh narukvice od bobica (iako su njih prije uglavnom izrađivali momci kako bi ih mogli pokloniti svojoj voljenoj)
  • paliti krijes; ovo je bio uobičajeni dio ovog slavlja prije, a najčešće bi se zapalio na vrhu brda odakle su se mogle promatrati zvijezde (još jedna lijepa ideja)
  • zaželjeti želju u nekom bunaru koji ima posebno značenje za vas, ili istaknutu povijest u vašem kraju
  • izvesti prikladni ritual zaštite jer je ovo razdoblje pogodno za to
  • organizirati piknik, ili neko drugo druženje u prirodi s vašim bližnjima; Lughnasadh je ipak blagdan kojeg, kao i svaki drugi sveti dan, valjda proslaviti u lijepom društvu uz dobru hranu
Zaista postoji još mnoštvo načina na koje biste mogli proslaviti ovaj blagdan, ali ću daljnje razmišljanje prepustiti vama. Ako vam nedostaje ideja, preporučuje knjigu Lammas, Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest od Anne Franklin i Paula Masona, a uz to vam dajem i nekoliko slika za inspiraciju.

Želim vam svima sretan i blagoslovljen Lughnasadh! :)

Vijenci su prikladni ukras za svaki sabat,
samo je pitanje koje ćete biljke uzeti za svoj.
U ovom slučaju je aranžman napravljen
od pšenice i lavande.
Sušenje bilja (posebice začinskog) je isto
uobičajena praksa za ovo doba godine
kada se skuplja što je više moguće uroda
tla za nadolazeću zimu.

Uvijek možete pokušati izraditi žitnu luku. Ona
može biti jednostavna poput one na ovim crtežima...
...ili prilično komplicirana poput ove ako
imate vremena i volje joj se posvetiti. :)

Možete ubrati voće (zapamtite, ovo je također
i sezona grožđa)i uživati u njemu....
...ili peći kruh pa unijeti malo ugljikohidrata ;)

A uvijek se možete pozabaviti s ukrašavanjem vašeg oltara ako odlučite izdvojiti malo vremena za ritual :) Pa evo nekoliko ideja:

I za kraj jedna lijepa pjesma...

Happy Lughnasadh!

Although some people celebrated Lughnasadh/Lammas on July 31, or perhaps on August 1, some people are celebrating it today and some may have chosen to celebrate it in a few days' time. Well for those of you that have decided to celebrate a bit later this year, I wanted to sympathize with you and say that I myself haven't yet adjusted to this time of year. But we're in luck because, astronomically speaking, Lammas occurs on August 7 this year. Of course, the traditional dates should be taken into consideration, which is why most people celebrate Lammas on the last day of July, or the first day of August. But in my opinion, tradition can sometimes be disregarded.

In this case, the reason for disregarding tradition is astronomy. To elaborate, the dates of most Pagan celebrations are compliant with the movement, or that is to say the position of the Sun in correlation with the Earth. Lughnasadh is celebrated at the midpoint of summer and this day is astronomically marked by the Sun reaching 15° Leo (that is to say, the astronomical date of Lughnasadh is when the Sun reaches 15° Leo). Let me explain further. If you look at this chart, you will notice that the zodiac is actually a circle of 360° which is divided into 12 zodiac signs. Each sign takes up 30° (e.g. Leo is situated between 120° and 150°). Of course, the position of the Sun as well as the position of the stars in correlation with the Earth changes throughout the year. So the Sun "moves" across the signs of the zodiac/the constellations. The day when the Sun "reaches" 15° Leo, the midpoint of summer (Lughnasadh) is celebrated. This year, that date is August 7. So you still have a chance to celebrate if you haven't yet! :D

There several reasons why I postponed my celebration. I expected this summer to be like any other; sunny, a lot of time spent on the beach (since I live near the sea), time spent with friends (since there is not college), plenty of vacations for my working friends and some R&R in general from the rest of the hectic year. It seems like nature is a bit indecisive this year because, at least where I'm from, it starts raining, then the Sun comes out again and it's like being int he desert, and then, before you know it, it starts pouring again. This just goes on and on. In addition to this, a surprising amount of people are still at work, a lot of my friends and colleagues still have to study for autumn finals and I feel as though I personally didn't have enough time to relax up to now. All in all, I'm having trouble getting into the summer mood. This is why I decided to mark the traditional Lughnasadh dates with small things and actually celebrate this Sabbat in a few days.

If you have decided to do the same, or if you're reading this post simply for information, I would like to suggest a few things that you can do for this festival. :)

As Lughnasadh is primarily a harvest festival (more specifically the grain harvest), this is the time to celebrate the crops. Nature sacrifices itself at this time of year so that we may eat its fruits and continue to live. So basically, plants die so we may survive. This is why this festival also has a sacrificial aspect. Pagans celebrate the God who sacrifices himself. At Mabon (the autumn equinox), he returns to the Goddess' womb, dies at Samhain (October 31) and is reborn at Yule (the winter solstice).

The name Lughnasa is translated as the commemoration of Lugh, or as the games/assembly of Lugh. I have already mentioned Lugh in a previous post so I won't go into too much detail here. There are several theories regarding the etymology of this deity's name. Some think that it comes from the Latin word lux (light), others believe it comes from lucus (grove), or perhaps the Celtic word lugio (oath). Recent theories are mostly in favor of the last etymology which points to Lugh being the god or perhaps the patron of oaths, rather than a deity of light and fire as was presumed up to now. This is connected to the meaning of the festival's name. The aforementioned assemblies reflect the old tradition which included the people coming together on this day (it is worth noting that Lughnasa used to be celebrated only in Gaul, Britain and Ireland). During these assemblies, it was customary to resolve any tribal problems, organize business (and therefore enter into contracts, which then implied giving oral oaths rather than signing written documents), race, practice other sports, performs rituals which will ensure a good harvest in the following months, gather the fruits of nature (grain, seafood, different types of berries, apples, or basically any fruit which is ripe at this time of year) and so on.

These meetings were also huge celebrations when fairs were held so that people may show off their products and skills as well as simply socialize. People also gathered in special locations, most notably on hilltops and around sacred wells. They celebrated in many ways; with food, drink, games, competitions and even "trial marriages" that lasted a year and a day were performed on this day (though they could be annulled after this period). People had time to celebrate because most of the crops had been gathered up to this point and the cattle had been taken out into the fields. Finally, the time to enjoy the fruits of labor had arrived. Fests were the most logical result of the huge amounts of food that were stocked up, but they were and have remained the most popular way of celebrating any important event.

So if you have time and are willing to celebrate Lughnasadh in an appropriate way, here are some ideas:
  • celebrate the yield and food that you have (you can even donated some food to those who are less fortunate than you)
  • celebrate harvest deities and especially grain deities
  • meditate on the concept of sacrifice and be thankful for the sacrifice that Nature gives every year in order to keep the natural balance
  • play games and hold contests (especially in sports)
  • gather fruits of the earth such as apples, berries, grain etc. and spend some time in the kitchen (an emphasized part of this Sabbat is the practice of baking bread since this is the what harvest after all)
  • make decorations from what and other gifts of the earth that you can find this time of year; typically, corn dollies are made, or Lughnasadh berry bracelets (although these were usually made by young men who gave them to the women they were courting)
  • light a bonfire; this was a popular custom back in the day, it was usually lit on a hilltop from where everyone could do some stargazing (another nice idea)
  • wish a wish in a wishing well, or basically any well that is of meaning to you, or is an important part of the local history
  • perform an appropriate protection ritual because these are very nice for this time of year
  • organize a picnic or some other kind of nature gathering with your loved ones; Lughnasadh is a holiday after all which, like any other sacred day, is best celebrated in nice company with nice food
There really are many other ways in which you can celebrate this Sabbat, but I will leave further brainstorming to you. If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, I recommend a book called Lammas, Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest by Anne Franklin i Paul Mason and I also give you some wonderful pictures for inspiration. 

I wish you all a happy and blessed Lughnasadh! :)

Wreaths are an appropriate decoration for
any Sabbat; it is just a matter of which
plants you will choose for them
(the one in the picture is made of
lavender and wheat).
Drying herbs (especially spices) is another
normal practice for this time of year when
everyone gathers as much of the earth's gifts
 as they can for the oncoming winter.

You can always try to make a corn dolly. It can
be a simple one like in these drawings...
...or quite a complicated one like this if you
have the time and patience to make it. :)

You can pick fruits (remember, this is also the
beginning of grape season) and enjyo them....
...or bake bread if you feel like carbs. ;)

And you can always have a bit of fun with decorating you altar if you decide to set some time apart for a ritual. :) So here are some ideas:

And here's a nice song to end with...