Saturday, August 10, 2013

High Holy Day Essay: Lughnasadh

I began my year of High Day celebrations on Lughnasadh, celebrating with a group called Pagans of Nebraska.  The ritual was typically Wiccan, beginning with a sage smudge to purify those entering the circle.  Once everyone had entered and formed the circle, four people standing at the quarters called the four elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth.  Then a man and a woman standing in the center of the circle called on the God and Goddess respectively, and thanked Them for the gifts of the harvest.  After the leaders had finished, they went around the circle distributing water and cinnamon bread to the participants.  Then the God and Goddess were thanked again and bid farewell, and the elements were similarly thanked.  The circle was closed and the participants free to socialize.
This was my first foray into public ritual, and honestly I didn't much enjoy it.  There seemed to be very little energy; possibly due to the poor reading of many of the invocations, or the seemingly disinterested and cellphone-glancing participants.  The ritual leader at one point had to stop and turn off his cell when it rang in the midst of the ritual.  The setting also left much to be desired; a little green patch of grass between two parking lots, a rather busy road, and a brick building.  All in all, I was rather disappointed in the experience.

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