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Lughnassadh 2000

Created by the members of the Sisters of the Silver Branch for Lughnassadh, 2000.

This ritual was focused on skill and creativity. We found inspiration in two sections from the Irish legend of the Second Battle of Mag Tured, the first of which was the coming of Lugh to Tara and his receiving the epithet of “many skilled”; the second section depicted Lugh asking members of various “professions” how they would contribute their skills to the war effort against the Formorians.

Our altar was set up with two red candles and a yellow candle representing the sun. In the center we had carved images of a “grain man” and a floral Goddess. We also had brought symbols our skills and talents for the altar.

Casting the Circle

Judy:

Starting in the east she traced a circle of blue fire clockwise until she came full circle to the east, chanting:

I went sunways to create the circle
With the blessings of the Great Goddess
Who promised to preserve us
Who did preserve us
And who will preserve us
In peace, in prosperity,
In righteousness of heart,
In labor, in love,
In wisdom, and in mercy
All the days of our lives.

Greeting the Quarters

Judy:

Hail unto the guardians of the east
The spirits of wind and breath
Hail to the mind which directs creativity
Hail from the center of the circle

Hail unto the guardians of the south
The spirits of spark and flame
Hail to the force which fuels creativity
Hail from the center of the circle

Hail unto the guardians of the west
The spirits of sea and water
Hail to the desire which drives creativity
Hail from the center of the circle

Hail unto the guardians of the north
The spirits of earth and stone
Hail to the skill which embodies creativity
Hail from the center of the circle.

Statement of Purpose

Susan:

We come together this day to hone Lady Sovereignty and Lugh the Many-skilled. It is said that Lugh instituted this festival to honor his foster mother, Tailltiu, an aspect of the Sovereignty of Ireland. Tailltiu sacrificed herself by clearing the the land so it could be made ready to produce food. Others say that Lugh himself is wounded and later dies, becoming a sacrifice for the bounty of the harvest.

We bask in the glory of the sun and experience its gifts of energy, creativity, fruition, and harvest. Yet none of these are gotten without the giving of our skills and our talents. Our skills and talents are not gotten without the sacrifice of our time for practice and learning.

Invocation of Lugh and the Goddess of Sovereignty

Susan:

Lady Sovereignty, Goddess of the Land, who shows the way of responsible power, who inspires new ideas and turns them into reality through use of our skills, who teaches us harmony with and respect for the land, be welcome here today as we honor skills, abilities, harvests and sacrifices. [Adapted from Caitlìn Matthews, Hallowquest and The Arthurian Tarot Course.]

Lugh, Shining One, Lugh the Many-skilled One, who shows us ways to develop our own skills and capabilities and opens the paths to their highest uses, be welcome here this day as we honor skills, abilities, harvests and sacrifices.

The Central Mystery

Jessica:

Jessica read the two sections of the Mag Tured from which we drew inspiration for this ritual and then asks:

What skill do you bring to the cause?

In turn, we each affirm our talents, skills and abilities and how they serve the Gods.

Blessing of the Drink of Life

[Adapted from Caitlìn Matthews, The Arthurian Tarot Course, p. 117.]

Blessing of the Harvest Loaf

[Adapted from Ian Corrigan, "Lughnassadh Ritual," http://www.adf.org/rituals/celtic/lughnassadh.html.]

Giving Thanks Lugh and Lady Sovereignty

Susan:

Lugh, the Many-skilled One, we thank you for your presence here today. We are blessed by your gifts of energy, self-knowledge, self-discipline, and commitment. May we continue to hone of our skills and use our capabilities for the good of all.

All:

Blessed Be.

Susan:

Lady Sovereignty, Goddess of the Land, we thank you for your presence here this day. We are blessed by your gifts of truth, balance, justice, and abundance. May we continue to foster harmony and balance with the Earth through the growth of our skills.

All:

Blessed Be.

Farewell to the Quarters and Dissolving the Circle

Judy:

Guardians of the north
Spirits of earth and stone
We thank you for your presence here at this rite
Go if you must; stay if you will
Hail and Farewell.

Guardians of the west
Spirits of sea and spray
We thank you for your presence here at this rite
Go if you must; stay if you will
Hail and Farewell.

Guardians of the south
Spirits of spark and fire
We thank you for your presence here at this rite
Go if you must; stay if you will
Hail and Farewell.

Guardians of the east
Spirits of wind and breath
We thank you for your presence here at this rite
Go if you must; stay if you will
Hail and Farewell.

To open the circle, start in the east and trace the blue fire counterclockwise, visualizing that the fire is melting into the ground.