Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lughnasad Rains

always the prep before is as much of the ritual as the actual ceremony. Circling the Nemeton finding the cat, singing to the trees, asking questions, crying thanks.beachy things 2011 364lughnasa hallowing the waters 2011lughnasa horn 2011lughnasa sacrifice 2011

we were pretty together in this busy time that is summer. giving thanks in the woods, the silent damp walk over the moss, listening, being aware among the ferns.

beachy things 2011 311

Lugh, O Lugh of the long arm,  O shining one. This half of the year reminding us that winter will come. So in pre-rit we talked about how Bridget lets us know we will survive with the milk of the ewe and Lugh lets us know we have to work hard and to do our best to harvest our crops and cultivate our seeds so that we will survive.

we planned to go to the Nemeton and we did and we planed on the well  as our main gate and it was. But we did have a wee fire in the  massive rain and the beauty of the space was grounding.

beachy things 2011 365

I keep thinking of the green, the rains made them so clear. It rarely works out as planned and that is the trick, not being attached to plans- hard as that is- and then it all works out anyway. But still it is hard not to think, ooh I forgot that, or that sacrifice supposed to be for… Sigh, being in the moment is always the lesson.

beachy things 2011 312

setting up, the baskets of everything, all ready and then the rain so gentle at first we ate our lunch sitting on the deck. plan B getting the fire going in the close to the house fire pit. the rain starts really coming down as Bryan gets the fire lit.

beachy things 2011 324

Food cooking, all ready and then the heavy downpours start. 

beachy things 2011 310

Susan arrives and we have our tea and cookies, out of balance, acknowledging it and laughing about it. Shavaun arrives and it is time to begin. Putting away food, more tea and pre-rit stories about Lugh and the pantheon across cultures. I go outside with the arrival of Kevin and build up the fire till it roars in the rain. More tea and cherry tomatoes and the decision to go to the Nemeton. Ok, through the woods in the rain, no cups for the waters only cupped hands and walk lightly on the moss- the processional tour of the sacred gardens Umbrellas, and coats and carrying the sun sacrifice sculpture we go through the fruit trees and grapes and not in circles around the 5 circle fire pit but straight to the woods across the bridge of iron brought up here by me. Past the growing hawthorn, and and the hazels and the witch hazels. We no longer need our umbrellas under the canopy of the trees. Dear trees, woods of strength, we are so grateful for your spirit and your shade.

beachy things 2011 351  beachy things 2011 359

Lustration from the metal bowl on the rock with no flowers and only the incense carried by Bryan and silence as we pass through the twin trees and the place of deep moss. Through the deep ferns and over the bridge of many grasses and branches and rocks, soft and strong, but making you aware of each step. Bryan set the sun on the giant forked tree at the due East entrance and we circle around and find our place.

beachy things 2011 320

our first offering is for our Earth Mother, all mother, who supports us all. always. We have dried herbs for her, and the directions are there as we know them but only offering my voice. Un-centered  by the rain, by the wiggly boy, the forgotten sacrifice, the disconnect between the gates and the outside of the circle, I try to locate us. We call upon dear Mananan to open our gates, mixing beer with rain and words. Tossing the third wing as offering to outsiders disappearing in the tall grass sedge, and for insider Bridget the cream and rosemary. Though the rain grows stronger, the candle stays lit and while the fire doesn’t burn much Bryan keeps trying and it always has a small flame.

beachy things 2011 326 beachy things 2011 342

all our sacrifice is the right sacrifice regardless of the order or the quantity it is the action of gratitude that is the work.

Milk and cheese and apples and fermented mint tea and wet sticks. Each of us offering our prayers and gratitude and words.

beachy things 2011 328

Bryan didn’t fall off rocks, balancing his way trying to ignite the flames, to hallow our waters, to honor our kindred.

lughnasa ritual 2011

Our omens

beachy things 2011 331

the smoking gates, the plumes of smoke from the fire in the rain.

beachy things 2011 371 beachy things 2011 372

lughnasa post ritual fire 2011

our small  feast of harvest with talk about government and ways and ways out  and the internet and young people and hidden stone circles.

Tea and coffee and sweets and the rain stops.