The friends of the Crossroads gather in a circle in the hay field – they have come together in peace and harmony and in the spirit of love and friendship…young and old, male and female, black and white, deaf and hearing…from all different backgrounds and from all different paths. They come to celebrate this day, to give thanks to the deities, and to pray for continued abundance in their own lives.
The Lughnasadh altar has been decorated with fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, and flowers in honor of this Sabbat of the First Harvest. Candles are lit at each of the four elemental points – yellow for Air at the East, red for Fire at the South, blue for Water at the West, and green for Earth at the North.
Ocean stands in front of the altar, and using American Sign Language while speaking at the same time, she begins the ritual:
“We have come together in this field to celebrate the Sabbat of Lughnasadh. On this day we give thanks to the Lady and the Lord for their blessings at the first harvest. We wish to give thanks for the bounty of the fertile earth, and to feel ourselves a part of the never-ending Wheel of Life. Let us come forward now, and make our offerings.”
One by one, friends of The Crossroads step forward to the altar, stating their offerings, and leaving their gifts of baked goods and delicious dishes to honor the Goddess and the God.
Once the offerings are finished, the drummers take their places near the altar, and pick up their instruments. Together they begin to play, and the rhythm of the beat can be heard and felt by all in the circle.
Ocean moves around the circle, swaying and dancing in accompaniment to the music. Suddenly she grabs Wolf Wind’s hand, and pulls him into the circle to join her in the dance. Wolf in turn pulls Crystal Dolphin in behind him and the three of them continue around the circle, holding hands and dancing to the beat of the drums. Crystal pulls Gobae into the circle behind her, and Gobae pulls Birch in. On it goes, each Crossroads participant pulling another individual in, as one by one, everyone joins in the Spiral Dance. Birth, death, and rebirth…growth, change, and evolution…all of these are symbolized by the spiral, as the friends of the Crossroads weave the everlasting Web of Life. The musicians continue to play, as Ocean continues to lead everyone through the ancient magick of the dance, calling out to the Ancient Ones, sending our energy out into the universe…
The drums begin to die down, and the dance is coming to an end. The group forms the circle once more, and as the music stops, everyone sits down in the field, grounding themselves to the fertile earth beneath their hands and feet.
Ocean picks herself up, and dusting off the skirt of her golden linen dress, again addresses the circle:
“We have danced the Sacred Dance, and sent our energies out into the world. Let us now honor our deities in their aspects as the Grain God and the Corn Mother.”
Wolf Wind steps forward to the altar and picks up the chalice of wine. Holding it up to the sky, he speaks while Ocean signs:
“Blessed be the bounty of the harvest, fruit of the womb of the Goddess.”
Ocean turns to the altar and picks up the athame. Holding it up to the sky, she speaks while Wolf Wind signs:
“Blessed be the bounty of the harvest, seed of the loins of the God.”
Crystal Dolphin steps forward and stands next to Ocean, who is holding the athame, and Wolf Wind, who is holding the chalice. As Ocean lowers the athame into the chalice, Crystal both speaks and signs:
“Blessed be the harvest, manifestation of the Sacred Marriage of the deities.”
“Blessed Be the fruitful Corn Mother! Blessed Be the God of the Harvest!”
Wolf continues to hold the chalice as Ocean turns back to the altar, and places the athame upon it. Crystal then picks up one of the many loaves of bread that has been offered by friends of The Crossroads. Holding it up the sky, she gives a silent blessing to the Spirits, and then turns to face the circle, holding the loaf in her hands. She speaks while Ocean signs:
To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the stars:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to hurt, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silent, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
The Lady and the Lord hath made everything beautiful
in their time.
Let us all rejoice, and do good in our lives.
Let everyone eat and drink,
and let us all enjoy the fruits of the harvest,
for it is the gift of Goddess and God.
Crystal hands the loaf of bread to Ocean, and together Ocean and Wolf Wind move around the circle, offering the loaf of bread and the chalice to each Crossroads friend. The participants break off a piece of bread and eat it, and then take a drink from the chalice of wine. After completing the circle, Ocean and Wolf Wind offer each other the bread and wine, and then place them both back on the altar.
As Wolf Wind lights the spirit candle on the altar, Ocean addresses the circle one final time:
“We have come together here in name of the Lady and the Lord, as Friends of the Crossroads, to honor them during the Sabbat of Lughnasadh. May this circle represent the spirit of The Crossroads, and may we each honor the seasons in our own lives, and celebrate our own individual harvests. So Mote It Be.”
Circle responds: “So Mote It Be!”
Please feel free to join in this ritual by leaving a comment with your own offering, prayer, blessing, or wishes for this Sabbat.
Blessed Lughnasadh to all of my friends here at The Crossroads.