Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh started yesterday for me.  Weretoad had to work but I still wanted and needed to attend Muin Mound Grove.  I had committed myself to make the main offering - a doll of Tailtiu, Lugh's foster mother.  It is because of her that we celebrate Lughnasadh.  The story goes that she cleared the fields for agriculture and, after that, died*.  Lugh declared Lughnasadh as a feast day in her honor.  It was a day when the tribes gathered, judgements were made, and games played.

Because Weretoad worked, I drove all by myself to East Syracuse.  I'd never done that alone before.  It was a harrowing experience for me.  I even managed to get lost and called my husband, sobbing out of fear.  Pathetic, I know.  Worry not!  I reached my destination alive and well**!  I made it to the business meeting (where I was officially elected to be the new secretary) and played some games with the other ladies***.  I won the contest of strength but that's only because I was able to hold a yoga pose for a long time.  Candee was the ultimate champion, however, because she was able to accurately answer the most riddles and toss a nice, if modified, caber.

The ritual went well.  It felt faster than usual, but that was probably because we had such a small turnout.     Tailtiu was placed in the sacred fire and we all grew quiet as she burned.  It's always very moving to watch as a piece of art is willingly given to the Gods, but this is the first time that I sacrificed a piece of my really elaborate art.  I put a lot of work into her and everyone thought she was lovely, for which I was grateful.  I'm really proud of how she came out.

I had to leave shortly after the ritual to make it to Watertown in time to fetch Weretoad, so no yummy potluck.  Hubby and I came home pretty late and crashed into bed.

Today was very relaxing.  To celebrate Lughnasadh, we had a picnic lunch under a couple trees followed by a short nature walk.  We studied the local plants and observed some lovely insects.  I later went out by myself and took a short trek in the forest.  I left an offering for the local spirits, gathered some small pine cones, a few rocks, and some sticks to practice carving.  I also found this lovely specimen.  It looks like a variety of fly agaric, perhaps amanita formosa or amanita guessowii.  I have always wanted to find fly agaric in the wild, and to find it when my interest has been most intense and on a high day was truly a blessing.  I felt little guilt taking this one as it was half-eaten and unlikely to reach maturity as a result.  I wanted to bring it in, properly identify it, and sketch it in my journal.  I'm pretty certain it is fly agaric, but being that I have next to no experience in mycology, and have not done enough research on using it in trance, I only sketched it before putting it back outside as an offering.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to see a fresh fly agaric in person.  I've been able to look at some dry specimens before, but this was a real treat.  After I dug it up, I left a small offering to its spirit and built a little dolmen in the area where I found it.  There are likely to be more and I would love to take a photo of a fully formed mushroom (if it isn't devoured by the slugs first...)

So I think I had a very blessed Lughnasadh indeed!  I hope all of my readers had a lovely, fruitful day.

 *As much as a deity dies, of course. ;)

** The experienced must have really upset me, though, because shortly after getting there, I had a coughing attack.  

*** Strangely, no men came to the ritual.  Skip was away at a meeting, so it was just us hens!  There was something strangely witchy and gratifying about an all female ritual...  

( For My LJ Friends: )


  1. I think you're right! What a pretty little guy ^^
    Here's a page from a website I find handy when it comes to mushroom ID:

    Glad you had a good Lammas ritual; it somehow seems fitting that you found a yellow mushroom. I always associate this holiday with sunflowers going to seed, ripe tomatoes, and golden grain in the field. A happy color for a happy holiday lol

  2. Thanks for your reply and the website! That will be very helpful to me in the future. You know, I hadn't considered the color of the mushroom in regards to the holiday. You are so right about the appropriateness!

  3. aw thanks! :) it just kinda clicked in my head is all.
    Happy 'shrooming!