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This week's question on Witches' Weekly: How do you feel about animal or blood sacrifices? In terms I’m speaking about using your own blood as a sacred object during a spiritual working, and using all parts of an animal (hunting deer for meat/pelts) rather than solely for ritual sacrifice. Though if you want to speak about plain animal sacrifice, by all means.

No animal sacrifice. Plain and simple. I am a vegetarian, so there is no honorable form of animal sacrifice for me. You may do as you please, as long as you do it with honor and eat or use what you hunt to sustain you. I understand the concept, but I prefer not to practice it.

I hold moon blood to be sacred, but the blood in my veins is just a part of me, no more filled with energy than the other bits that make be a living being. When I raise energy, I transmit it through my hands after it has coursed through my entire being, not just through my blood, but through my nerves and through my breath.

The sacrifice on my altar is a vase of cut flowers, some fruit or seasonal produce.
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!

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