athenagrey: (Default)
It's nearly August, and this witch's thoughts turn to thanksgiving. Yes, we start our harvest festivals now.

We are approaching the festival of First Fruits. Some call it Lughnasad, and observe the ritual sacrifice of the God of Grain. This is a traditional chant:

Hoof and horn,
Hoof and horn,
All that dies
Shall be reborn.

Corn and grain,
Corn and grain,
All that falls
Shall rise again.

As a Goddess woman, this doesn't quite align with my views.

Goddess is abundance, generosity, sharing and nurturing. Where there is abundance, there is no need for sacrifice. We celebrate Her bounty and are embraced by Her nurturing. We use Her gifts joyfully, and joy becomes our gift back to Her.

This year I plan to celebrate by enjoying the abundance of the greenmarket, and by sharing the bounty with friends. The fruits of my creativity this year will be on the altar along with the fruits and vegetables of the season.

My personal harvest is beginning in abundance this year. I have seen once again that Magic works. I have finally found my artistic 'voice' as a weaver (and if you don't know about that, you haven't been reading my blog, Http://www.tromp-as-writ ).

I wish you the blessings of the harvest. May yours be as abundant as mine!
athenagrey: (Default)
Blessings on the first harvest.

Today is Lughnasadh, the first of three Wiccan harvest celebrations. Traditionally, this is the time to harvest grain and to pick the first fruits. This is the time to make bread and honor the sacrifice of the grain that keeps us well-fed. I will be making a simply delicious dill and cheddar beer bread from Farmgirl Fare.

In our lives, the plans we made in the darkness of winter should be nearing completion. We still have to pay attention to the details, but this is not an ideal time for going off in a radically new direction. This is the right time for making the absolute best of what we have in front of us.

My plan for this year was to have no plans. I promised myself some unstructured time to experience the joy of living in the moment. I sowed the seeds of randomness and impulse. What has grown from that?

I am growing a healthy crop of knowledge and appreciation for fine teas and tisanes.

I have made connections with the local Wiccan community. Sometimes it has been frustrating, and other times enlightening. That's how it feels to grow.

I am spending time with people who matter to me.

I am tasting joy.

Make hay when the sun shines. Make love when it rains. When you are fully present in the moment, you know what you should do.

What are your first fruits of the season? What are you beginning to harvest in your life?
athenagrey: (Default)
The question of the week at Witches WeeklyWhat method do you use to plan through rituals or spellwork? (such as a ritual outline, etc) Give a brief rundown of how a particular ritual for you goes. I'm not big on method, or very formal when it comes to ritual, but this is the general approach I take to our household rituals.

For the sabbats, I spend some time reviewing and researching until some aspect of the celebration leaps off the page and grabs me. This becomes the focal point of the ritual, and everything else evolves from there. We don't usually do spell-work at the sabbats. They are pure celebration.

I made these notes as I prepared for Lammas:
-bread holiday
-decorated wells
-thank Goddess for harvest
-thank elements for their contribution to harvest
-celebrate in early afternoon
-wheat and sunflowers decor
-ale
-John Barleycorn song

Created floral arrangements for the front door (sunflowers and wheat) and for the altar (just wheat)

It was too hot to spend time at the altar on Lammas eve, and we ate a light feast of bread, cheese and ale at the small table in the studio, close by the A/C. Thanked the Goddess for the harvest and set aside a libation. I think we brought the vase of wheat in with us, and just visualized the altar in the hot, sunny room.

By Lammas morning, I figured out that we were going to have brief outdoor ritual focusing on the libations and thanks for the harvest. We would circle around the well in the center of our formal garden (not a working modern well, but the original farmhouse well. It has been capped, but still has the stone basin and wrought iron fittings. Most of our outdoor rituals take place there. So, we picked up the bowl of bread, the mug of ale, and we each took a stalk of wheat.

On the way downstairs and into the garden, I was free associating on the harvest and the elements. I was going to offer bread and ale at each direction, and offer the wheat to the Goddess at the center.

And that is how I plan a ritual.

I didn't write down the actual words I said, but this passage from my Journal

Praise for the grain

We broke bread and poured a libation of ale...

In the NORTH, to honor the soil that nourishes the crops.
In the EAST, to honor the air that sweeps across the fields.
In the SOUTH, to honor the sunlight that causes crops to grow.
In the WEST, to honor the summer storms that sweep across the fields.

We came to the well in the center of the circle, and offered stalks of wheat to the Lady.

Blessed be the harvest!
athenagrey: (Default)
Ritual was simple, sincere and short today because of the HOT weather.
We broke bread and poured a libation of ale...
In the NORTH, to honor the soil that nourishes the crops.
In the EAST, to honor the air that sweeps across the fields.
In the SOUTH, to honor the sunlight that causes crops to grow.
In the WEST, to honor the summer storms that sweep across the fields.
We came to the well in the center of the circle, and offered stalks of wheat to the Lady.

Blessed be the harvest!

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