Lughnasadh Solo Ritual
by Maria Ede-Weaving
Ritual Statement: I celebrate the bright fertility of summer and the festival of Lughnasadh. We give thanks for the long easy days of light and warmth, the rich colours of nature’s abundance, and the first harvest of grain. We also honour the reaping of our own harvest, grateful for its nourishment and for the seeds of our future life and potential.
Calling the Goddess: I call upon the Goddess as Mother of the Earth’s Blessings – Lady of the Harvest – whose cornucopia overflows with the abundant gifts of life. We are your children; the warmth of your womb and your powerful embrace are each the safe harbours of our lives. We sense your nurturance and strength guiding us; we feel your unconditional love and acceptance upholding us. For you are our protector and provider, cradling us in your comfort and grace, nourishing us with your bounty and love. From your breast flows the Milky Way that feeds our inner lives; we eat of your body and grow strong; we draw from your immense creativity the ability to birth our own dreams, as you have birthed the world.
Great Mother, at this Lammas time, when we are blessed by your many gifts, hold us in your peace and open us to the home within and all around us. We open our hearts and being to you golden, loving presence. You are loved, honoured and welcome here.
Calling the God: I call upon the God as the Spirit of the Corn, Green Man grown golden with the sun’s warmth. We honour you as the joyful harvest – the swollen and sun-filled grain – given selflessly from your own body to feed us, your children. We honour you as the one who faces death without fear, who guides us upon the path towards rebirth and renewal; he who knows deep in his being that death serves life and that both serve us upon our journey. Please be present to bless our ritual, that we might give thanks for your sacrifice and your nourishment. Great Staff of Life, we open our hearts and being to your presence. You are loved, honoured and welcome here.
Take a loaf, hold it up and say:
This is the blessing of the Harvest Mother and the Corn God:
The soil is sacred.
Food is sacred.
We are sacred.
I give thanks for the life cut down in harvest, for its generous sacrifice, that we might be nourished.
Break off a piece of the loaf and say:
Within me the life cut down is reborn.
Eat the piece of bread, meditating on gratitude. Then say,
Mother and Father of the ripened corn whose generous heart brings a harvest of peace and prosperity, grant that the seeds of our future will be our nourishment and happiness; through your wisdom may we learn true gratitude for life’s abundance. Show us your precious gift of hope, for your greatest teaching is of rebirth: with harvest comes the death of the corn, yet in the midst of death we are fed and sustained by the glowing seeds of new life.
Journey to the Mother Meditation:
Close your eyes and centre yourself.
You find yourself at the foot of a hill; it is shaped like the great rounded belly of the Earth Mother. It is glowing with the golden light of ripened corn in the sun. Above you is the wide arch of a cloudless, blue summer sky. The sun’s heat relaxes you and fills you with joy.
You notice before you a path through the corn. Follow this path until you reach the summit of the hill. You now find yourself on top of the great pregnant belly of the Earth Mother. On this summit – like the Goddess’s navel – is a crop circle, the stalks flattened and woven into a beautiful spiral pattern. The circle’s circumference is decorated with sheaths of corn, barley and wheat, each interwoven with red poppies, blue cornflowers and yellow and white corn chamomile. Amongst the sheaths and flowers are corn dollies of all shapes and sizes. The circle is vibrant and alive with a magical energy that makes your body tingle.
At the circle’s centre sits the Great Mother of the Harvest. Her hair is the gold of ripened corn and grasses, woven with poppies and heads of grain; her eyes are the blue of cornflowers. She is dressed in a gown of shining gold and is heavily pregnant, an overflowing cornucopia resting against her swollen belly. She smiles at you and beckons you to the centre of the circle. You walk to her and sit at her feet. You feel from her a deep, enduring and unconditional love. This powerful emotion pours out of her and flows into you, nourishing your whole being, wrapping round you like a golden blanket of support, concern and care. You bask in the warmth and comfort of her powerful love.
You lie at her feet, feeling the support of the earth beneath you; feeling the strength of the Harvest Mother’s love enveloping you and soothing you. You close your eyes and hear her voice speaking to you. You answer her with the first thoughts that come to your notice. She asks you,
‘What within you is seed?’ You answer her.
‘What within you is chaff?’ You answer her.
‘What is the blessing of your harvest?’ You answer her.
Remember all that you have shared with her.
She kisses you as a blessing and you thank her for all that she continues to give you. She tells you that she is with you always and to call on her whenever you need mothering love, nourishment and healing. You leave her and the circle, walking the path down the hill until you reach the bottom.
Open your eyes and come back to the circle.
Thanking the Goddess and God:
Harvest Mother, you take the seed inside your dark soil womb – your granary – protecting it so that it may continue to be the living spark of all future harvests; with your love and guidance may we too
hold safe our future potential. We give thanks for your deep love and for your presence in our circle. Bide well in our hearts always.
God of the Golden Seed, you teach us that food is sacred, that precious life has been sacrificed that ours might continue to flourish; through your wisdom may we learn true gratitude. May we also learn the mystery of sacrifice itself: a clearing of the ground that new life may grow, that new nourishment may come. We give thanks for your harvest gifts and for your presence in our circle.