I came across a passage in a James Reese novel entitled BOOK OF SHADOWS about a celebration held on August 1st, called Lammastide (lam-es-tid). Since August 1st is my birthday, I decided to Google Lammastide and see what came up. This is what I found:
Lammastide is the first Celtic harvest. In Scotland it means the season of lammas. Derived from the old English word hlafmaesse (loaf-mass) its also the feast of St. Peter's Chains, which celebrates the deliverance of St. Peter from prison.
When I emailed this information to one of my sisters she emailed back, "So, does that mean you want a llama for your birthday?" I wasn't quite sure if it was the same type as the animal, since it was spelled lamma and not llama, so I Googled lamma.
LLama (the animal type) did come up, but I discovered something more.
The Encyclopedia Britannica online and Wikipedia says:
Lamma - a protective female diety of the Mesopotamian civilization. The Mesopotamian's cosmology seems to have been seen as a genealogical system of binary opposites being considered male and female, and through sacred marriage, hieros gamos, giving birth to successive generations of divinities. Lahamu and her brother/husband Lahmue were twin dieties born from the chaos that was created by the merging of Apsu (the watery deep beneath the earth) and Tiamat (the personifcation of salt water).
These twin dieties were never mentioned separately and are called the "muddy" or "the hairy ones", the title given to gatekeepers of the E'Abzu temple in Eridu. They are the parents of Anshar and Kishar, who in turn were the parents of the first gods. Lahamu is sometimes seen as a serpent, and sometimes a woman with a red sash and six curls on her head.
Now, where is Mesopotamia?
The Looklex Encyclopedia online says:
Mesopotamia is a region in the middle east lying between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and between the Zagros and Anti-Taurus mountains in the northern end, and the Arabian plateau and Persian Gulf to the south, corresponding to modern day Iraq, eastern Syria and southeastern Turkey. The name 'Mesopotamia' comes from the Greek and means "between rivers".
The most important ancient civilization in the region were first the Sumerian, then the Babylonian, then the Assyrian.
The folklore spread, obviously from generation to generation and then passed around from culture to culture, because Lammastide is celebrated by the Celtics.
Fascinating to see and realize we're all connected in some way.
I identify with the Christian version of St. Peter being freed from his chains and delivered from prison. Living as a disabled individual, sometimes my body (not able to do what I want it to) makes my mind feel like I'm being held a prisoner. But my faith and perserverence in living my life to the fullest and accepting each day as a gift from the Lord, keeps me balanced and positive. So, I will celebrate that aspect of my birthdate's origins.