Dedicant Study: Lughnasadh 2006
For Lughnasadh 2006 our Grove went to the forest preserve in Oak Park to the same place we went last year. Two trees had fallen in one of the recent storms and formed almost an enclosure around our little corner of the preserve making the space almost grove-like. To add to this, as we entered this “grove” a deer was seen in the forest surrounding us and this was thought to be a good omen especially in regard to the nature spirits.
As this is August in Chicagoland inevitably there were large gatherings of people in the preserve with us that day, having picnics and playing games. This actually augmented our experience as Lughnasadh was first celebrated as funerary games for Tailtiu, the foster mother of Lugh so the sound of shouting and laughing was not the distraction it could have been.
As well as the tree and well and images of the Gods, we prepared the altar with offerings of ale (actually some very nice French hard cider), fruit and bread for Lugh, and a new addition, a spear that Anne bought at Starwood this year. Later in the Rite she symbolically speared the eye of Balor with it, reenacting Lugh’s winning strike at the Cath Maige Tuired (Balor’s eye being in this case a heel of bread and unfortunately one of
‘s nice cloth napkins.) The rest of the rite followed the standard ADF liturgy structure. The main focus of our Rite was on thanksgiving for the Harvest, praise of Lugh, offering the sacrifices (the bread, ale, fruit, and Jeremy offered grain), and the taking of the Omen. For the Omen our grove uses Tarot cards in a threefold spread, past, present, and future. The cards the Seer drew were the 10 of swords, the 5 of Wands, and the Empress. She interpreted this to mean that while we had suffered sorrow (which we had), we were looking ahead to the future, and the future held the blessings of the Earth Mother (and boy do we need them!)
After the Rite we feasted of course! We had sandwiches and Jeremy’s delicious homemade pasta salad and
made a really tasty fruit crumble that was very appropriate since it combined fruit and grain perfect for a Lughnasadh celebration.