Serenity held Lammas on Saturday August 10 at the Vermont homestead of acting Priest and Priestess Fox and Barley, with guests Coyote, Matt, and Rocco. Joining them were Mare as Seneschal and Matt as Summoner. Festivities really began the evening before, when the officiants gathered in preparation, and Barley, as a personal devotional, brewed a special batch of beer, a barleywine intended to age 1 year, for consumption at next Lammas. Let us hope that Barleycorn’s Finest is indeed the finest… we will know in a year. In addition, the spent brewing grains were incorporated into the dough for the bread man, also crafted that night.
Saturday itself was nothing less than a spectacular day, complete with warm sun, low humidity, and impossibly blue sky. Much of the day was spent outside, enjoying sun, companionship and activities. The craft for the day was tie-dyeing, which was initially intended as a kid’s activity, but was much enjoyed by the adults. As light began to wane, we prepared for our outdoor ritual. Barley led the group in a soul-alignment breathing exercise and a cleansing water rite before the call to worship, John Barleycorn Must Die, began. Fox on mandolin was accompanied by Rocco on guitar.
A canopy tent had been erected as our place of worship, and it was there we cast our circle, calling John Barleycorn and Brigantia. We then processed to the firepit for the working of the circle, which included making sacrifices to the wickerman (whom we dubbed WickerJerry), and to the field. We witnessed the acceptance of the sacrifice as the fire burned, and a spontaneous chanting arose, before the solemnity was broken, and we chose to Always Look on the Bright Side (of death) thereafter returning to the canopy for the Great Rite and closing of the circle.
A harvest feast of Indian cuisine (the national cuisine of Britain) was enjoyed by all, and the rest of the evening included sitting by the campfire, enjoying the night air and the beauty of stillness. A few braved the chilly night and camped in the backyard to commune with the crickets. It was, indeed, a blessed Lammas.