Lammas celebrates the harvest, and the beginning of summer’s end.
In the southern hemisphere, Lammas falls on February 2, which is right in the hottest part of the year for most countries in this part of the world.
Lammas is the celebration of the harvest, and all things related to hops, hay and wheat, so the drink of the season is beer or ale (and fruit juices for non-drinkers and children). This is also the time of stone fruit (such as plums, apricots and peaches) and tropical fruit (mangoes and bananas) – and all of these foods can be incorporated into a feast to celebrate Lammas.
Lammas group ritual
For this ritual you will need:
• A web of strands drawing outwards (the radii of the web, like the spokes of a wheel) should be prepared, with enough strands so that a member of the Circle can hold one each. The strand needs to be three times the length of the final web circumference. There should also be four strands, one of each of the elemental colours, attached from
the centre of the web.
• a large bunch of very ripe grapes is required, preferably red. If red grapes cannot be found, rich red ripe plums will do instead.
• enough beer, ale or apple cider for all the members of the Circle
• a large silver or steel bowl
• a loaf of home-baked bread or damper. In the making of the bread, each member of the circle should stir the mixture, always anti-clockwise, a minimum of three times. The bread should still be warm when the ritual begins.
Set an altar in the center of the Circle, and on it lay the grapes and bread.
Set the beer/ale/cider before the altar, and set out enough mugs for each member of the Circle.
Cast the Circle in the following way:
Wind, Fire, Sea, Stone
Breath, Flame, Wave, Bone
As I will, So it be done!
As I will, so it be done!
This circle is cast! Time has no meaning here.
This circle is cast! No harm can come to us here.
We are between the worlds.
The High Priest/ess says:
Now is the time of Lammas
Time to acknowledge the web of life that surrounds us
Time to acknowledge the web of life that nourishes us
Time to give thanks, to draw the harvest in
And to acknowledge that the web we weave
Also weaves us within its strands.
Each of the Circle members now takes up a strand of the web radius threads, and holds it tight.
They move in close, so that the Circle members have made the Circle as small as possible. The four quarter Priest/esses hold threads in the colour of their element – yellow for Air, red for Fire, blue for Water and Green for Earth.
The Air Priest/ess says, as s/he begins to weave the yellow thread:
The element of Air
Draws us together with communication
Draws us together with speech, with song, with writing
Yet Air is just a single strand of the web…
The Fire Priest/ess says, as s/he begins to weave the red thread:
The element of Fire
Draws us together with passion
Draws us together with creativity and the uniqueness that separates and binds us
Yet Fire is just a single strand of the web…
The Water Priest/ess says, as s/he begins to weave the blue thread:
The element of Water
Draws us together with emotion
Draws us together with our feelings, our empathy that build our community
Yet Water is just a single strand of the web…
The Earth Priest/ess says, as s/he begins to weave the green thread:
The element of Earth
Draws us together with strength
Draws us together with wisdom and knowledge and integrity
Yet Earth is just a single strand of the web…
As each strand is passed around the Circle, counter-clockwise, the Circle member repeats the line:
‘[Element] is just a single strand of the web’
Thus the web builds.
When each colour has worked its way back to its guarding Priest/ess, s/he ties it off and cuts the remainder.
Air Priest/ess: And so the web of Air is woven
Fire Priest/ess: And so the web of Fire is woven
Water Priest/ess: And so the web of Water is woven
Earth Priest/ess: And so the web of Earth is woven
The Web is now gathered and placed in the silver bowl, and covered over with spring water.
Each of the Circle members then ventures forth, and anoints him/herself with the web waters.
When all are anointed, The High Priest/ess pours the remaining web water on the earth, saying:
From Air, and Fire, and Water, and Earth we return her goodness to the land. Blessed be!
All: Blessed be!
The High Priest/ess then takes up the grapes, and says:
Fruit of the vine
of Air, Fire, Water and Earth
In Her name
Return to her again!
She crushes the grapes with her hands, letting the juice run over her palms, then places her palms on the earth, leaving behind the remnants of the grapes as an offering.
The High Priest/ess then takes up the Bread, blessed it, and offers it around the Circle with traditional blessings. Her assistants then pass around the beer/ale/cider, and pour cups of it for all, with traditional blessings.
Finally, the Circle is closed:
By the earth, by all fleshly beings
By the water and all creatures that drink from Her
By the fire, and the shining spirits of the Bright Ones
By the breath that gives all life
By earth, by water, by fire and by air
Bright ones, depart in peace from this place.
This circle is open, yet unbroken
Merry meet, merry part,
And merry meet again
So mote it be. Blessed be.