The Banners of Lleu & Blodeuwedd
On Saturday, June 22nd, the far-flung members of Serenity Coven and Grove gathered on the Rochester Commons for our annual Litha celebration. The weather was appropriately clear, and the sun was blazing overhead. Fortunately, the trees provided adequate shade. The altar was barebones, as candles would not cooperate in the summer breeze, but the gods were represented by heraldic banners made specially for the occasion.
The focus of our ritual was the marriage of Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Blodeuwedd, the sharing of the boons of life, the bounty of the earth, the warmth of the summer sun, and of family. The ritual was officiated by Morning Star (Priestess), Stormcrow (Priest), Arianthe (Seneschal), and Fox (Summoner). Also in attendance were Barley, (who provided the amazing wedding cake in lieu of the usual fare), Mare, Laughing Shadow, Dreaming Bear, Drumming Turtle, Ro, and our guest Coyote.
The barebones Litha altar
We started off the season of Music and Dance with a break from the usual singing, to dance, dance, dance our little hearts out (and our tired little feet off). Our Call to Worship kicked off the festivities with a wedding procession by dancing arches to “Solstice Call,” by Gaia Consort. We did a Barn Dance to cast the Circle to the tune of “Get Me to the Church On Time,” from the musical My Fair Lady, and danced the Migldi Magldi to Serenity’s adapted version of “Turn the World Around,” originally by Harry Belafonte.
Since we in Serenity can’t resist the opportunity to crack a good joke now and again, the Statement of Intent included the Twuwy Impwessive Mawwage speech from The Princess Bride.
“Mawwage…is what bwings us hewe togewwah, today!”
The invitation and marriage of Blodeuwedd and Lleu Llaw Gyffes were performed silently and reverently while Peter Gabriel’s “Book of Love” played softly in the background. Wedding rings were graciously provided by Fox and Barley for the occasion, the couple got lei’d by all attendants (Oh myyy!), and the flame of love was literally present when athame pierced chalice.
Of course, we couldn’t have a marriage without more dancing!
In celebration of the union between Sun and Earth, we danced the Lazy Robin to “Come to the Dance,” by Emerald Rose (a truly exhausting feat, and there was absolutely nothing lazy about it!), and the Heel-Toe Polka to “Dance, Dance, Dance,” by the Steve Miller Band (now affectionately known in the group as the “Slide, Slide, Slippity Slide Song”).
A perfect Little Lleu and Blodeuwedd
When it came time to give gifts to the Gods, King Math provided the couple with the palace of Muir-Y-Castell and the cantrefs of Dinodig, Eifionydd, and Ardudwy, to reign there forever as King and Queen of Summer’s Light. However, these were not the only gifts granted to Lleu and Blodeuwedd. Arianrhod made her final appearance to give a wedding gift to the newlyweds, the gift of prophecy; Even as the sun rides at his peak, so too must he begin his decline, and the seed of darkness germinates in the Summer’s Light. One word alone fulfills the prophecy of the forgotten mother: Gronw.
The bride and groom granted their boons of brightness, life, and bounty upon the attended guests, and we all sealed those gifts in the Earth by dancing the Tarantella. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any footage of that dance, and it was a shame, because after much trouble in practice the night before, we finally nailed it in ritual.
The feast was served as a picnic in the park, and it was as bountiful as it was glorious.
Blessing of the Feast
A most merry time was had by all, and just like the Solstice itself, the only shame of it was that it had to eventually draw to a close.
(P.S.: We’re still in the process of editing all the video footage we took of the festivities. As soon as we finish with that lengthy process, we’ll post some videos!)