The Seasonal Rituals
A Saxon Lammas Celebration

The ceremony begins with a hammer-hallowing 

      Copyright © 2001 Anna Franklin and Paul Mason

As everyone gathers for the festival, the Mead Bearer, with goblets of mead, greets them. The altar is set up in the north and covered with a cloth.

The ceremony begins with a hammer-hallowing (equivalent to the Wiccan circle casting with an athame). The circle is invoked with Thor's hammer (a symbol in the shape of an inverted "T"), consecrating the place of ritual. First the circle is drawn on the ground with the hammer. It must be big enough to contain all the celebrants. It is usual to start in the east and work clockwise around the circle. A branch dipped in water is then used to sprinkle and purify the circle.

The quarters are then invoked with the hammer by the gothi (priest). Beginning at the east, the cardinal points are invoked:

East:
I invoke Austri, guardian of the east. Welcome spirits of the winds.

South:
I invoke Sudri, guardian of the south. Welcome spirits of fire.

West:
I invoke Westri, guardian of the west. Welcome spirits of the rivers and sea.

North:
I invoke Nordri, guardian of the north. Welcome spirits of earth.

The priest goes to the center of the circle and places the hammer there, saying:
I create here a link to Yggdrasil and the nine worlds. Welcome here all gods. Welcome here all spirits. Welcome here all men and women. Let no one disturb this sacred place hallowed with Thor's sign and now under the protection of the Thunderer.

Priestess:
I welcome the spirits of this land here on Lammas Eve.
She pours an offering of mead on the ground for the local spirits of the land.


Priest:
Now is the time when Loki's Brand rises each morning with the sun. The heat
of the Dog Days is upon us and the corn dries and ripens in its intensity. Sit's
hair is golden in the sunlight and ripe for shearing.

Priestess:
Erce, Erce, Erce, Earth Mother.,
May the almighty eternal lord
Grant you fields to increase and flourish
Fields fruitful and healthy,
Shining harvests of shafts of millet,
Broad harvests of barley,
Hail to thee, Earth Mother of Men;
Bring forth now in God's embrace,
Filled with good for the use of man.


Priest:
This is the season of sacrifice when the corn dies so that we might have bread.
This is the season when the dying god hangs on the tree to outface the abyss
and bring back knowledge. Odin hung upon the great ash tree Yggdrasil for
nine days and nine nights, pierced with a spear. He gave up one of his eyes for
the secrets of the runes.


Scald:
I declare I hung on that windy Tree
Nine full days and nights.
Pierced with a spear and offered to Odin:
Myself to mine own self given.
High on that Tree of which none know
From what roots it rises to heaven.
None refreshed me then with food or drink.
As I peered right down into the deep;
As crying aloud I lifted the Runes
Then fell back from the abyss.
Nine mighty songs I learned from the great
Son of Bale-thorn, Bestla's sire;
I drank a measure of the wondrous Mead
with the Soulstirrer's drops I was showered.
Ere long I bore fruit, and throve full well.
I grew and waxed in wisdom;
Word following word; I found me words.
Deed following deed; I wrought deeds.
Hidden Runes shalt thou seek and interpret,
Many symbols of might and power
By the Great Singer painted, by the High Powers fashioned.
Graven by the utterer of gods.
For gods graved Odin, for elves graved Dai:n,
Dvalin the Dallier for dwarfs,
All-wise for JOtuns, and I, of myself.
Graved some for the sons of men.
Dost know how to write, dost know how to read?
Dost know how to paint, dost know how to prove?
Dost know how to ask, dost know how to offer?
Dost know how to send, dost know how to spend?
Better ask for too little than offer too much
Like the gift should be the boon:
Better not to send than to overspend.
Thus Odin graved ere the world began: Then he rose from the depths and came again.
The drinking horn is filled and passed again. As each person drinks, they may say something in praise of the season, about the nature of sacrifice, or share an insight about the runes.

Priestess:
On this Lammas Eve we give the gods thanks for the first fruits of the harvest.
We break this loaf and offer it to them.


Priest:
Thor, the Thunderer, we thank you for your protection.

Priestess:
Sif, the golden haired, we thank you for the grain harvest.

Priest:
Frey, we thank you for the beasts of the field.

Priestess:
Freya, we thank you for your love and gentleness.

Priest:
Odin, our father, grant us knowledge and justice.

Priestess:
Frigga, our mother, grant that our lives may be fruitful.

Priest:
All goodly powers grant us blessing!
As each blessing is pronounced, the fragments of the loaf are thrown to the winds. Those present then solemnly consume the rest ofthe loaf


Priestess:
The rite is over. Let the feasting begin! 


 This Lughnasadh ritual, plus a lot more, can be found here: 


Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

     by Scott Cunningham
Cunningham's classic introduction to Wicca is about how to live life magically, spiritually, and wholly attuned with nature. It is a book of sense and common sense, not only about magick, but about religion and one of the most critical issues of today: how to achieve the much needed and wholesome relationship with our Earth. Cunningham presents Wicca as it is today: a gentle, Earth-oriented religion dedicated to the Goddess and God. Wicca also includes Scott Cunningham's own Book of Shadows and updated appendices of periodicals and occult suppliers

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