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(August 1)
by Scott Cunningham

Place upon the altar sheaves of wheat, barley or oats, fruit and breads, perhaps a loaf fashioned in the figure of the Sun or a man to represent the God. Corn dollies, symbolic of the Goddess, can be present there as well. Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand before the altar, holding aloft the sheaves of grain, saying these or similar words:

"Now is the time of the First Harvest,
when the bounties of nature give of
themselves so that we may survive.
O God of the ripening fields,
Lord of the Grain,
grant me the understanding of sacrifice as
You prepare to deliver
Yourself under the sickle
of the Goddess and journey to the
lands of eternal summer.
O Goddess of the Dark Moon,
teach me the secrets of rebirth as the Sun
loses its strength and the nights grow cold."

Rub the heads of the wheat with your fingers so that the grains fall onto the altar. Lift a piece of fruit and bite it, savouring its flavour, and say:

"I partake of the first harvest,
mixing its energies with mine that I may
continue my quest for the starry wisdom of perfection.
O Lady of the Moon and Lord of the Sun,
gracious ones before Whom the stars halt their courses,
I offer my thanks for the continuing fertility of the Earth.
May the nodding grain loose its seeds to be buried in the Mother's breast,
ensuring rebirth in the warmth of the coming Spring."

Consume the rest of the fruit. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast (Cakes and Ale). The circle is released.

Lammas Lore

It is appropriate to plant the seeds from the fruit consumed ib ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Goddess and God. Wheat weaving (the making of corn dollies, etc.) is an appropriate activity for Lammas. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. The foods of Lammas include bread, blackberries and all berries, acorns (leached of their poisons first), crab apples, all grains and locally ripe produce. A cake is sometimes baked, and cider is used in place of wine. If you do make a figure of the God from bread, it can be used for the Simple Feast.

Note: Scott Cunningham calls this holiday Lughnasadh, i changed it to Lammas because that is the Name I use for this holiday.

Book of Shadows © 2001, Dana (Huntress of the Dark)