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Per request, here's the Lammastide ritual I put together for Thelema Lodge, which we performed last night.
It's something of a distillation of some ideas I've held for a long time, as well as incorporating two kinds of Celtic myth, the Dream of the Rood, the Havamál, John Barleycorn, and (not surprisingly for me these days … ;) Parsifal. With the little Thelemic twist at the end. All the not obviously quoted poetry in it was written new by me for this, except for the Goliard song (whose title is “Regulus”), which I wrote longer ago than I like to think, and actually has music too. Hope y'all like.
The temple is opened in Fire, and with the Call of the 25th Aethyr.
The celebrants enter in procession: Bríd, bearing an amphora; Gronw, bearing a loaf of barley bread; Lugh, bearing a spear. Gronw sets the bread on the altar, where already are set a shrouded cup and an ear of grain. Bríd stands to the West, Gronw to the South, Lugh to the East.
It is said that there were four treasures which came into the island of Eire through the Tuatha De Danaan. And these were they: the Stone of Fál, which cried aloud when the true high king stood upon it; the Cauldron of the Dagda, from which none came away empty, but which would not boil for the timorous; the Sword of Nuada, which could draw blood from the wind, and dealt wounds from which none might heal; and the Spear of Lugh, which was so ardent it had to be kept in a vessel of water, or it would burn down the hall in which it was kept.
“Thus doth the fire of the sun temper the spear of Mars, and thus shall he be worshipped, as the warrior lord of the sun.”
“Let the stars be burnt up in the fire of my nostrils! Let all the gods and the archangels and the angels and the spirits that are on the earth, and above the earth, and below the earth, that are in all the heavens and in all the hells, let them be as motes dancing in the beam of mine eye!”
Thereupon Gronw rose up from the hill which is called Bryn Cyvergyr, knelt on one knee, and cast the poisoned spear at Lleu. It struck him in the side, so that the shaft stuck out of him but the head remained inside. He uttered a horrible scream then, and took flight in the shape of an eagle until they lost sight of him.
There's an oak that grows on a high plain;
Rain wets it not, nor does it rot;
It nourished a score of torments.
In its top is Lleu Llaw Gyffes.
The young hero stripped himself – that was God almighty –
strong and stout-minded. He mounted high gallows,
Bold before many, when he would loose mankind.
(Gronw takes the spear and mimes stabbing Lugh with it along with Bríd's narrative)
I know I hung
on the windswept Tree
through nine days and nights
I was struck with a spear
and given to Odin,
myself given to myself
They helped me neither
by meat nor drink
I peered downward,
I took up the runes,
screaming, I took them –
then I fell back.
The heights were mine, and mine the fires thereon,
and all the gifts and treasures of the sun
mine to bestow as freely as the light;
but in men's eyes I changed – and these were gone.
In me their angel warrior they scried;
they drew my spear to pierce the dragon's hide –
but we are one, that ancient drake and I,
and smitten so with my own spear, I died.
That hero who once suffered on the tree,
this spear it is that smote him bitterly;
Odin, and Lleu the skilled, th' Anointed One,
Rose on the Rood impalèd – I am he!
Self-slain, with this, the spear that I have made,
for age on age I have this Passion played –
the spearhead tempered in my own heart's blood
and will its thirst for me e'er be allayed?
Again from off my breast it breaks the seal,
again it works my woe for others' weal,
my offering of blood poured out again;
truly this is the wound that will not heal.
Who shall against my suffering prevail?
This Lance may be slaked only in the Grail –
who, then, shall end its longing, and likewise
my sacrifice unending, my travail?
Now there comes an Angel with bright wings, that is the Angel of the 25th Aire. And all the aire is a dark olive about him, like an alexandrite stone. He bears a pitcher or amphora And now there comes another Angel upon a white horse, and yet again another Angel upon a black bull. And now there comes a lion and swallows the two latter angels up.
(Bríd takes up the ear of grain)
Behold: I tell you a mystery.
(She whispers to each person in the circle in turn, “The Lance and the Grail are one.” She touches Lugh's side with the grain.)
What wounded you now heals you of your wound;
The Lion roars; your sacrifice is ended.
Be never more the hero ever-dying;
be rather now the ever-borning child.
I see this weapon pour with holy blood,
in yearning for that other, kindred fount
which wells within and flows out from the Grail.
The Lion roars; no more shall it be hidden:
open the shrine, and let the Grail be seen!
(Lugh uncovers the cup; Bríd pours out her amphora into it; she and Lugh pass the bread and cup among the people during the following.)
Long the Plough in nightly circle
carved its furrow in the sky;
now the Sun will grip the sickle
curved around the Lion's eye.
Mill of heaven, every hour
grinding seasons out as flour
high above the harvest plain,
turns in beauty, never slowing
as the rigs of corn are growing
tawny as a lion's mane.
Slashed and broken, burned and boiled,
Barley dies four times in all.
Yet is death's dominion foiled
when it's drowned in alcohol.
Barley's blood is joy in measure,
first-fruits are the Lion's treasure,
drunkenness the Lion's price.
Who accepts the Lion's ration
knows full well the pain and passion
in the barley's sacrifice.
Furze is blooming in the meadow
luring bees to their desire;
gold becrowns both sky and furrow,
splendid with the Lion's fire.
We will dance to pipe and tambour,
deep we'll drink in gold and amber,
drench our limbs in Eros' brine.
Warm hearts in the Lion's favor
shall the dregs of summer savor
heady-sweet as honey wine.
And life shall triumph as the barley is cut down,
and the night dissolve inside the cup we pass around.
Ale is flowing and bestowing
wonder and delight on us.
Leo rises and advises
Sol now rules through Regulus.
Once everyone in the circle has had a communion, Lugh administers to Gronw and Bríd, and then the celebrants process out in the reverse order they came in, except with Lugh bearing the cup and the last of the bread, Gronw the spear. The temple is closed.
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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Here is one I wrote for Lammas, that we've been performing at Scarlet Woman Lodge for the last couple of years.
Love is the law, love under will.
Oops. I mis-scripted that tag.
Here is the link to the Lammas ritual we've performed at Scarlet Woman Lodge for the last couple of years.
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
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