My eclectic ritual group, Gaia’s Circle, celebrated its 5th Lughnasadh today! We first gathered on Mabon of 2009, and I’m really quite proud of the beauty we have created together over the years. The group takes turns hosting and writing, and one of the members was really excited for the chance to write what she called “a proper Celtic ritual for Lugh.” She writes the most beautiful liturgy, and the ritual was pretty stellar.
|Gaia, Berkana, and Beith|
We began with a little processional to the ritual space, some light smoke cleansing with cedar, and then the lighting of the hearth fire. My friend’s tradition is Ár n Draíocht Féin (ADF) which means “our own Druidry.” The ADF ritual structure is totally different from what I do as a Neo-Wiccan, so her rituals are always a unique treat.
She asked if I’d like to offer the prayers to the Star Goddess and Celestial realm, as well as to the Earth Mother. I was very pleased to do both. (Very fitting for a Space Witch!) In preparation for these tasks I learned a little bit about Tailtiu (Tall-Chew), who was Lugh’s foster mother. She is said to have died from exhaustion after clearing Ireland’s lands so people could farm. In her honor, Lugh founded the festival, games, and holiday of Lughnasadh.
My Druid friend did some really cool things with the elements and chanting, and we learned about Crom Dubh and Lugh. Crom Dubh protects us and preserves us, but sometimes this can perhaps be a bit overwhelming and a little-too self-preserving, protective but holding us back at times. Lugh inspires us with his wit and skill, and with his blessings all things are possible. Both Gods were given gifts and honor during this ritual, reminding us to protect ourselves, but not to compromise our daring and magical potentiality.
We also enjoyed mead and corn bread, had an anointed champion who will protect the luck of the group with them throughout the year, and we had a huge feast. We had pazole (a ceremonial soup traditional to Mexico), salads, veggies, cheese, wine, watermelon and a special treat of caramel corn. It was a lovely time to catch up with friends and also welcome new ones, too. I’d never really worked with Lugh before, or Tailtiu or Crom Dubh, and it was great to learn about another pantheon, their stories, and their traditions. (I’m sure my Celtic ancestors were very pleased, too.)
I’ve been a bit melancholy and anxious these days, vexed about the various Pagan groups I’m in, some Pagan and personal projects I’m working on, sad about not having a job, etc. But this ritual helped me to appreciate the protective touch of Crom Dubh, the sacrifice of Tailtiu, and the skill and wit and inspiration of Lugh.
After the ritual, I went home with this song on my heart (from Sharon Knight and T. Thorn Coyle)