Aug 012011

We try to mix up how we celebrate the season. This is just one of the many celebrations we’ve done for Lughnassadh.


The Sacrifice of John Barleycorn

We take a loaf of bread and wrap it many times in heavy aluminum foil. Then using paper mache, we turn the loaf into a head. Add a stuffed body and you have John Barleycorn. Some of our most moving rituals have centered around passing John from person to person, as each expresses their thanks for the sacrifice being made. John is then thrown on the fire (while we sing “Hoof and Horn”). After the outer covering has burned away, we remove the head (bread), unwrap it and eat it as an offering from the Gods. We also sing the traditional song, ” John Barleycorn”.

  2 Responses to “Celebrating Lughnassadh”

  1. You know what, I’m very much incilned to agree.

  2. Great to see you posting your peranosl progression The mysteries that can get pursued by looking into timekeeping seem profound. Demonstrating, as you have, that one can immerse oneself into a schema that might offer illumination in elemental/seasonal, planetary and astrological pursuits, shows a depth of connection possible, of living out ones path. I applaud you!You seemed relieved, albeit in jest: That you weren’t propagating any heresy towards PJC’s 8 fold model But one can’t help wondering about the adoption of Gaelic words, concepts and traditions, names of months from Irish culture, into the nebulous neopagan movement.Can we wonder if messers Nichols and Gardner were simply ignorant of Irish language, during the early years of regained Irish independence. Assuming a forgotten component of culture, consigned to the past.In any case, neo pagan dogma seems to insist on these borrowings. Whilst initiates of Wicca, The Obod etc as well as the wider community of those that identify as neopagan, have found much joy and inspiration in the adoption and adaption of seasonal rites; the rich cultural resources of the Gaelic speaking cultures seem largely ignored and unexplored, which seems surprising to me. A treasure trove awaits, those that step beyond the dogmatised, ideas of the 1950s nudists Each of us, I suspect, can pursue mysteries and magic as best we are able and as we can. I for one am happy to see someone questioning, exploring and synthesizing ones own unique take’ and flavour.With every good wish and with respect,Keoki

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