Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Form A Circle - The Circle of DragonFyre's Lughnasadh / Lammas ritual

I tried to locate a link for this one, but apparently I have had it stashed for too long, I couldn't find anything : ( I've noticed it doesn't follow the usual "rules" - a good quality, if you ask me :)

* The Circle of DragonFyre's Lughnasadh / Lammas ritual *
From Circle of DragonFyre's Book of Shadows,

Lughnasadh. August 1. (pronounced "loo-nus-odd") means "the commemoration of Lugh". As Lunasda or Lunasdal ("Loo-nas-duh", "-dul"), it is Scottish Gaelic for Lammas. This is the celebration for increase of material supply. It is also the time of sorrow, for the season of growth is over and the year must surely die.

The altar

A small loaf of corn bread is placed on the altar. The High priest should have a crown of holly combined with ears of a grain crop. The women may wear grain-crop chaplets (wreaths). The altar should be adorned with sheaths of grain, corn stalks, apples, wild berries, and other seasonal flowers. The cauldron, decorated with sheaths of grain and flowers, is by the East candle, the quarter of rebirth. A Corn Dolly should be made and placed on the altar with the old one. The old Corn Dolly should be burned in symbolism of the sacrifice of the Corn King, and the new one saved for the coming year's prosperity.

The ritual

The High Priestess leads the coven in a spiral dance with an old British pagan song. Then the HPS says:

"Oats and wheat and barleycorn,
Let resound the harvest horn!
Peas and beans and rye and maize,
Blessed be these harvest days!"

She then casts the Circle in the usual manner. The High Priestess stands at the North of the altar and says:

"I do hereby invoke Thee o' loving Arida,
Mother of all things.
As Thy Laws are, so shalt they be.
Great is the Mother who has given us such tools as shall till the earth.
Great is the Mother who makest us grow with Her knowledge
and breathe whilst we are asleep."

HP says:

"Hear Ye, O' my people.
The ploughland is heavy with the golden wheat of life,
the cattle are bound,
good substance fills the house,
fair women are in their homes,
and with just laws,
good men rule in wealth and prosperity.
The boys go gladly with the girls in flowing dances,
and gamble and frolic in the turf's sweet flowers."

The HPS stands at the North of the altar, and says:

"Now is the season of Lammas, the time of the first harvest. Let our thanks be known to the Gods by welcoming them into our hearts that they may fully appreciate our sacrifice! God of the ripening fields, Great Corn King, Grant us the understanding of sacrifice as you prepare to deliver yourself under the sickle of the Goddess and journey to the lands of the eternal summer."

The High Priestess lays the old Corn Dolly in the fire of the cauldron, and continues:

"Goddess of the Dark Moon, teach us the secrets of rebirth as the Sun loses its strength And the nights grow cold."

She then holds up the new Corn Dolly for all to see, and says,

"Blessed be!".

All repeat. She then picks up the small loaf from the altar and holds it for a moment just above the bowed head of the High Priest. She then goes to the middle of the Circle, holds the loaf up high in the direction of the altar and invokes:

"O Mighty Mother of us all, bringer of all fruitfulness, O Great Father of us all, harbinger of the harvest, we do thank thee for thy abundant gifts of fruit and grain, flocks and herds, and children to the tribe, that we grow to be mighty.

The High Priest rises and says:

"I am a battle-waging spear; I am a salmon in the pool;I am a hill of poetry; I am a ruthless boar; I am a threatening noise of the sea; I am a wave of the sea; Who but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolemn?

The High Priestess then gives him a piece of the loaf and takes a piece herself; they both eat, and she replaces the loaf on the altar. High Priestess and High Priest then lead a ring dance. All say:

"Hoof and Horn, hoof and horn,
All that dies will be reborn!
Vine and grain, vine and grain,
All that's cut shall rise again!"

They build up the pace so that it becomes more and more joyous, until the

High Priestess cries:

"All in the Circle, down!"

and everybody sits. Proceed to Cakes and Wine as usual. Dissolve the Circle in the usual manner. The remaining portion of the loaf becomes part of the libation along with the last of the cakes and wine.

(Ritual Adapted from: The Book of Shadows - Lady Sheba, 1971, pgs. 91, 137-141; and Eight Sabbats for Witches - Janet & Stewart Farrar, 1981, pgs. 111-115)

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