Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lughnasadh/Mabon celebrations

So this year we combined two of our family celebrations. We moved on Lughnasadh and just did not feel right missing our traditions and with Mabon also being a harvest festival we thought what the heck we will do them both at once. This works also because the part of Canada that we live in is still in full swing of the grain harvest when Mabon rolls around. So I got to work planning....I decided I still wanted to keep the rituals for both, the games, the feasting and the dance of the Horned God so I designed the itinerary for the day as follows.
Saturday Sept.22
Be at the acreage by noon
Noon - Lughnasadh Ritual
1pm - Games start
           Hammer throw heavy (distance)
           Hammer throw light (accuracy)
           Hunker down (balance)
4pm - Lunch: Chili, cornbread, Crunchy salad, Spinach dip, Watermelon
Games continue after Lunch
          Spear fighting
          Hand to Hand
          Greek wrestling
7pm - Ritual for Mabon
8pm - Supper: Roast Mutton, Buns, Crunchy salad, Apple pie, Cherry torte
After supper Bonfire, drum circle and storytelling.

We started prep a week in advance decorating and getting the yard ready.
4 days before we dug the pit for the pit BBQ 5 feet deep and 8 ft by 5ft
3 days before we started to burn in the pit to prepare the coal bed. we had to burn for 2 days straight to have a coal bed 3 feet deep. The Minions and I did alot of research before we started. There is no room for error when feeding 20+ people.
2 days before we started marinading the meat.
The night before we got the mutton ready and put it in the pit to cook.

All week I asked the Gods to please let us have a beautiful day and I could not have asked for a better one. We woke up the morning of the 22 to a beautiful warm sunny day and started to cook the last minute things we needed for the rituals and feast.

Bread God ready to be baked for the sacrifice


Golden Bread God fresh out of the oven
getting ready for Lughnasadh ritual

Me explaining why we are there. We had over 20 guests join us for our celebrations and for a few of them it was the very first time they had been to a Pagan ritual.

Everyone gets smudged with sweetgrass sent to me by my bestie Darlene
Circle was cast and offerings made to the Goddess, God, Ancestors and Fae

We talk about and give thanks to the God for the sacrifice he is about to make. Then the young men of the family go off to find a suitable sacrifice.

They return with the sacrifice of Grain baked into Bread  made into the form of the God
The Bread God is torn apart in sacrifice to be shared amongst the guests

Then the Harvest Maiden comes forth and offers to share the Gods seed with the land.

The boys share the bread with the circle and the Harvest maiden goes round with the bowl of God sauce for dipping. We go around the circle and share what we have sacrificed this year.
Then one of our favorite parts, The dance of the Horned God! My nephew donnes his horns

Zed only had one lol we were calling him Elliot from the movie Open season

This dance can get pretty crazy. they boys act like stags in rut and dance around as we clap and chant Hoof and Horn. This is a good example of sympathetic magick as the boys energy and acting are offered for to the Earth for its renewal and fertility in the Spring.

Then we sang the circle closed and declared the games started!
First was Hunker down
This is a medieval game that tests balance.

You stand on a small raised platform and hold a rope. Then it is basically tug o war until one pulls the other off their platform.

Light Hammer throw.

This one is all about accuracy

Line up for the light hammer throw :) The games are always so much fun!
Spear fighting

King Connaher dominates in this art

Heavy Hammer throw

This one is all about distance.
Some hand to hand

Both my son and nephew and trained martial artists. King Connaher dominates again.


King Connaher also dominates this sport

My boys play rough
Champion of the games King Connaher!! Makes his mama proud :)

Spectators :)
 Then as night fell we gathered in the Grove again and turned our thoughts to the celebration of Mabon
More smudging and the circle is cast.
Some of our guests

Explaining the significance of Mabon. Giving thanks for the harvest of the fruits and vegetables.
Offerings are made to The God, The Goddess, The Ancestors and The Fae
The cup is shared as we share what we are thankful for. Then we closed the circle and watched the fireworks.
Then it was time to feast!! We dug out the meat and OH MY did it smell amazing!!
We did two legs of Mutton and one shoulder and we only had a small plate of leftovers. The Mutton was so tender it fell off the bone. Mouth wateringly delicious!! We will defiantly do it this way again.

Mabon feast. Roast Mutton with mint jelly, buns, grapes, figs, crunchy Greek salad, potato salad, chicken soup and bannock
 After we feasted we relaxed around the bonfire roasted marshmallows, shared stories and sang. Our family sang Rabbits song for our guests. King Connaher recited the Story of John barley corn complete with Scottish accent. My nephew Spencer recited the prayer to the Horned God and I told the story of Mabon. We had an amazing celebration and I have already started planning for next year :)
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