It’s hard to believe, but the Wildwood is now a year old!
We decided to hold our Lughnasadh ceremony on Lindow Moss, as our first ritual together was held there last August, to honour Lindow Man on the 30th anniversary of his discovery.
The vegetation around the Moss has thrived this year – we had difficulty finding the usual gap onto the workings – but unfortunately the peat extraction and drainage continues. There were great heaps of peat waiting to be taken away.
We had our ritual in the evening, under the almost full blue moon. I’d worked it completely around Lugh, since it was his feast day. I felt the need to emphasis the masculine, this ritual being a counterpoint to Imbolc, which is all about the Lady, so I felt justified in honouring the Lord of Light. An apple figured heavily in the rite – hence those on the altar. I got out my blingiest plates and the red cloth to emphasis the sun. The evening was so still and calm I had the luxury of striking a match and lighting the candles first time which felt rather weird. Normally you have the traditional huddle round the flame to keep it alight!
Claire had brought some linen squares with her which we placed on the altar.
“ Textile energy healing spirals. Hand stitched and dyed in natural plant dues, by Textile Artist and friend Kate, she has donated them for use during/after our ritual, the idea being to tuck a few away in discreet places on the Moss and as they slowly decompose, the healing energy lovingly hand stitched into them transmits into the Earth”
These were so beautiful and smelt slightly of patchouli, it was bit of a wrench squirrelling them away as we left!
Claire also brought one of her dolls to grace the altar:
The body is a corn husk, with a poppy seed head and lavender arms. Coincidentally she is dressed in red and gold, although Claire explained that this represented the root chakra and was also to accentuate the feminine. It seems the Goddess infiltrated the ceremony after all!
We were joined by a special guest, the Setantii Bard himself, Badger! Who very kindly gave us a spontaneous recitation of Song of Wandering Aengus by Yeats whilst we were drinking bubbly and eating birthday cake to celebrate our anniversary after the rite.
The Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
William Butler Yeats
Afterwards we had a wonderfully atmospheric walk back to the cars in the dark, under the guiding light of the Bright Mother. What a wonderful evening!
All photos except the altar are used with the kind permission of Claire Gerrard!