PaGaian Lammas – Celebrating an Autopoietic Cosmos

the celebrant

 She Who receives all, transforms all – in every moment

Lammas may be a Seasonal Moment for the recognition of the autopoietic quality of Cosmogenesis [1], the Larger Self whom we are –and the power each thing has to participate directly in the cosmos-creating endeavour” (Swimme and Berry The Universe Story p.75) : it is a powerful thing to recognise, and to be approached with care and respect, especially given the Western scientific-industrial cultural context of denial of this sentient cosmos, and the general ineptitude with the creative darkness. The quality of autopoiesis is celebrated in the PaGaian Cosmology wheel of the year at Samhain also, but now in different relationship with other two qualities (differentiation and communion) at this Seasonal Moment. At Samhain, this quality is the beginning where the new is conceived – in the darkest quarter of the year; now at Lammas, it is the end – after the fullness of Summer Solstice, when things are freshly passed and the dark first appears again. Sometimes it is difficult to tell what is the beginning and what is the end – sometimes not difficult at all.

Lammas is the first Season of the Dark, post-Summer Solstice, marking the entry back into the dark part of the annual cycle, and PaGaian Cosmology honours Lammas as the quintessential celebration for the year of the Ancient Dark One – and mirrors Imbolc’s particular celebration of the New Young One. The rest of the dark part of the cycle celebrates the Dark One’s processes, but this Seasonal Moment is a celebration of Heridentifying Her within us: that we are Her, the Transformation of the Ages – as each being is. All of the dark part of the cycle is associated with the Crone/Old One aspect, yet this first dark part of the cycle is about midwifing the dissolution, the dismantling – mirror again to Imbolc, with it’s theme of nurturing and midwifing the new light/growth.

Lammas is thus the chosen Seasonal Moment for dedication to the Larger Self whom we are: in this cosmology Lammas is particularly expressed as a celebration of Her Creative blackness, this sentience we are immersed in, like fertile black soil. We are constantly immersed in this blackness and it is within us – permeates the Universe within each of us … there is no seam that separates the Universe within and without. In some ways Lammas is at the Centre of all the Seasonal Moments – at the Centre of the whole plot, which seems to me to be essentially about Creativity. The dismantling, the fading away, aging, is essentially about Creativity … and many of us don’t like that plot most of the time: we take it personally – as we ought, to some extent.  We are each a centre of creativity. The passing of things, our passing, is Her Creativity, Her penchant for change, for wasting nothing, for an wholistic efficiency – and it is essential for the future, for future beings. Our harvest is Her Harvest.

In the recent past Goddess religions have been referred to as “fertility cults”  … meant always to demote them – as not real religion: but perhaps Creativity is another word for “fertility”. The Universe is a fertile space and black is the colour of it. We are immersed in this Ancient Creative One – and She is Wise … She – every cell of our body minds – re-members and re-creates what is useful for the ongoing journey. And She is the Old Compassionate One – who receives all, transforms all.

ash and grain

The PaGaian Lammas ceremonial circle is opened in this way:

We have remembered this evening that we are Sacred and Ancient Wise One, that we are the Grain cut for Harvest … that we are the Transformation of the Ages. We have remembered the Dark Sentience, the All-Nourishing Abyss, this Larger Self to whom we belong, in whom we are immersed, and to whom we return. We have dedicated ourselves to Deep Wisdom within, and expressed our hopes. We have remembered that our harvest is Her Harvest.

May there be peace within us and between us.” (all join hands)

All: May there be peace within us and between us.

The circle is open but unbroken . May the Wisdom and Compassion of Goddess – the Mystery – go in our hearts and minds.

© Glenys Livingstone 2014

Photos by Yia Alias


fn 1 PaGaian Cosmology recognises the celebration of three qualities of Cosmogenesis, resonant with qualities of the Triple Goddess. More here Chapter 4 PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion


Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. Lincoln NE: iUniverse, 2005.

Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry. The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era. NY: HarperCollins, 1992.

And further:

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