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Monday, August 4

Our Rainy Lammas

I really think I need to hire a photographer, at least for sabbat days.  I have put serious thought into giving my open-minded Christian neighbor $20 to take pictures of our family rituals and celebrations because I generally forget to, or am participating in the ritual and find it rude to have electronic devices in circle.

The children and I (poor Papa J had to work) participated in a community Lughnasadh ritual two  weekends ago.  The rite involved a bit of ritual drama wherein a character known as "The Harvester" used a scythe to cut down a character known as the "Corn King".  It was terribly fun to watch them enact the chase and eventual 'death' of the spirit of the fields.  When everyone saw the Lammas masks that we had created, I was tasked with creating a crown for the Corn King to wear next year.  I look forward to the project. 

This past weekend, we engaged in a growing tradition of playing games (in the styling of the historical Tailteann Games).  We aren't equipped for chariot racing or anything quite so heavy duty, but we do have lawn games, board games, charades, and other fun activities that cover a range of talents.  Especially when children are involved, you want to make sure you have a few activities that everyone will excel at so that no one feels left out.

We began our Tailteann Games by honoring the gods at our altar.  We had set it up in a bald-spot in the garden.  Doodle Bug donned his Greenman mask (he's been in love with that thing since Midsummer) and smudged all of the participants.

Some adults did not quite feel like competing, but we made them 'honorable judges' and smudged them too.  ;)  They honored the harvest by soaking up some sun and drinking beer.  To each their own.  Haha.

We also smudged the garden and took extra care to point out budding pumpkins and ripening tomatoes to each other.  We admired and showed gratitude to our garden plot.

And then the games began!  Of course, I forgot to take pictures.  We had a stomp rocket, ping-pong, badminton, a frisbee, and  other outdoor games.  When the rain hit, we ducked for cover in the gazebo and converted to games like pictionary and tic-tac-toe.  (When our paper got wet, we played pictionary by drawing on each other's arms with washable markers.  This was highly entertaining.)

We made salt dough 'sun medallions' to hand out to the winners.  We had planned to hold a corny awards ceremony, complete with the Olympic theme playing in the background, but the weather had other ideas.  We were rained out pretty good only two hours or so into our festivities.

We did manage to get some swimming and relaxing in before the thunderstorms hit, though.

Our feast was very basic.  Even though we are vegetarian, not all of our guests are and so we usually cook up some animal meat... except for this time.  I was so impressed with the bounty of the farmer's markets and our own garden that we dined on chickpea salad, braided bread rolls, smoked cheese with fruit, cornbread with raspberry jam, fresh veggies witch dijon dip, and blueberry lemonade.

Of course, we also sacrificed our John Barleycorn.  Doodle Bug made the first cut, slicing off his leg.  He ran out to where everyone was sitting, holding the bread-leg aloft to show off the first cut.  He's really getting into the sabbats and it makes my heart swell :)

We had thunderstorms all night and most of the day on Sunday.  Tonight should be the first dry night and we hope to light our balefire then.  Several of our pet mice have recently passed and they will be sent to the spirit world funeral-pyre style, as well.

 We hope you had a fun Lammas, just like we did!  Love and Light, from the Mama Stacey clan.  Smooches!

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