Lammas / Lughnasadh Ritual Guide For Covens

Wiccan Lammas / Lughnasadh Sabbat Ritual Guide For Covens

Ritual Preparation:
  • Gather the necessary tools
  • Select two candles for your altar, one in a shade of green, the other a shade of yellow or gold.
  • Select four additional candles for the elemental quarters. Select a color that represents the energy of that quarter, i.e., blue to represent Water in the West and red to represent Fire in the South.
  • Choose your favorite ceremonial broom.
  • Choose your favorite serving trays or dishes.
  • Set aside your ceremonial cakes and wine on the serving trays. And a special decanter to hold the wine. If you don't partake of wine, use your favorite grape juice for the harvest ceremony. Some people like to make juice from the fruit they have gathered and use this as the wine for the festival. Apple cider and corn bread really are a nice combination and a perfect example of offerings for this festival.
  • Select a bell, you might want to add a decorative ribbon or wrap a vine of flowers around the handle to coincide with the colors of the harvest festival.
  • Choose a gift for honoring the God/Goddess on this harvest day. One of our favorite methods of gift giving on this Fire festival is to burn incense. We select a few stalks of the herbs we collected from the harvest, like sage and lavender. We set them out in the sun to dry for about 1-2 weeks prior to the festival. Then we conduct a small general ceremony to bind the herbs together into a smudge stick with cotton yarn. The yarn is wrapped tightly around the herbs in a clockwise spiral. The stick should be about 4-6 inches long, and then set it out in the sun again until the day of the festival. We light this smudge stick as our offering of energy and sweet odors to the God/Goddess.
  • A decorative pillow or rug to lie or sit on for your meditation.

Prepare Ritual Space
Clean the area, not just energy wise but dust and vacuum your space. If your space is outside, you might clean any fallen branches, weeds or even clear any animal indications that may have been deposited in the area. The most important part is to clear and cleanse the space.

Prepare Body
It's just as important to prepare yourself as it is your space. On the day of your ceremony take a shower or bubble bath. Make sure your ritual clothes (whether a robe or just jeans and a t-shirt) are clean. Take time to have a meditation to align and prepare your energies for the spiritual work ahead.

Open The Circle
The Priestess should find compass North, where the ritual will begin with calling in the quarters starting with the North. Set your circle according to the directions. If you are conducting the ceremony alone, you might chose to use a rope of natural fibers to outline your ceremonial circle. If you're performing the ceremony in a coven, mark the location of the quarters so everyone will know where to stand when the circle is drawn. The Priestess should guide everyone through the steps for setting up a Door Between the Worlds by raising the vibration of the group and/or area.

Close your eyes and imagine a divine white light emerging from the solar plexus of each person and then raising up toward a center point over the circle. Many call this establishing a "cone of power". Imagine this light spinning clockwise rising your energies and awareness. If you're a solitary witch, you will imagine the light beginning at your solar plexus and then moving out to fully encompass your ritual space. Each Quarter Master will then be directed to call the Watchtowers or Elemental Quarters it's usually the choice of the Priestess, but each person should call upon the same force. Some witches call Angels, Spirit Guides, or just the elements. It's up to you or your coven, just as which direction to start with is up the individuals. Many witches begin with the North, where others begin with the east.

Facing North The 1st Quarter Master States:
"All Hail to Thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the North, the powers of earth. cornerstone of all elements, sand and granite, quartz and crystal, from the fertile fields to the cool wood lands, bring us your steadfast power. We the children of the Harvest invite you to join in our Sabbat. So Mote It Be."

Light the Northern candle and ring the bell once.

Facing East The 2nd Quarter Master States:
"All Hail to Thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the East, the powers of water. The rivers and streams that nourished the harvest, fed our emotions, and helped to ripen all that we are about to reap. Let us drink deeply of the honesty of our friendships. We, the Children of the Harvest invite you to join our Sabbat. So Mote It Be."

Light the Eastern candle and ring the bell once.

Facing South The 3rd Quarter Master States:
"All hail to Thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the South, the powers of air. The gentle breezes that make the fields dance, as well as the thunderous hurricanes that energize the atmosphere, and us! Inspire us to reap the benefits of all that we have sown in our lives. We the children of the Harvest invite you to join in our Sabbat. So Mote It Be."

Light the Southern candle and ring the bell once.

Facing West The 4th Quarter Master States:
"All Hail to Thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the West, the powers of fire. The warmth and strength of the summer sun brings forth the abundance of this sultry season. Give us the courage to take that which we have wanted and fought for in our lives. We the Children of the Harvest invite you to join in our Sabbat. So Mote It Be."

Light the Western candle and ring the bell once.

Invocation To Spirit
The Priestess should guide everyone through the steps to:

Call your personal Spirit Guide and solicit their assistance during the ritual. Your personal guide can assist you to maintain focus and concentration during the ritual as well as, aid in your tasks within the circle. You might call upon them like this:

"(State your guides' name), I call upon your guidance and love to assist me during this spiritual celebration to help me maintain my focus, energy and alignment for divine purpose and work."

Light a candle for your guide and ring the bell twice.

Call your deity and solicit their assistance aligning yourself with the deity. In most covens the High Priest/Priestess will summon the deity. In other covens each person will call upon their chosen deity and align their energies (this is the method we prefer most. It empowers each individual instead of setting one person above the rest). Which ever you prefer light a candle for each deity you summon upon the altar and ring the bell three times for each deity called.

"I believe in the spiritual existence of myself as a perfect image of (deity's' name). In this reflection that is my physical embodiment, I align myself and my faith in the supreme guidance of my soul with the ancient powers and wisdom of (state the deity's name once more)."

State Your Purpose
The Priestess should state the intent of the gathering. For a Sabbat you'll state your purpose of honoring the harvest, as well as, the God and Goddess of the harvest. You'll continue by blessing the cakes and wine for the ceremony.

You might say something like:

"We have come to honor the nature kingdom, the abundance of the harvest and nurturing of the giving mother earth. We/I honor the prosperity given by the Father God and the many blessings of provided through our harvest of plenty."

Honor The God/Goddess
The Priestess presides over the steps to honor and dedicate the items for the festival.

Perform manual and visionary tasks by pulling in images of the Sun God, and the Goddess of Abundance. Imagine the rays of the sun touching the fields and helping your garden to grow. Imagine the energy of the Goddess touching the vines and stalks causing them to bloom and bear forth their fruit, flowers and vegetables. You should state your honor and gratitude, something like this:

"To the shining God of gold and sun we offer our thanks and gratitude;
To the Goddess of plenty and fertilization we give homage to your love and light.
For the harvest we have reaped and beauty you have provided we honor you both on this your night of Lammas."

Light the candle you chose to represent the Yule festival and ring the bell seven times.

Dedicate Offerings
Whether you're conducting a ritual of honor or for work, you should present an offering that is commensurate with the event. We like to make an offering of energy through a fragrant bouquet. We light the smudge stick we prepared and allow the sage and lavender to blaze for a few moments. We say part of our prayer, then blow out the flames and allow the incense to continue to smolder. Then we complete the prayer and place the incense in a special holder, we like to use a brass bowl shaped in the fashion of a miniature cauldron.

Finally, because this festival is one of a harvest and new beginnings, we like to add a bowl or several bowls of seeds that we will use to plant in the spring.

For the prayer itself, hold the smudge stick in your left hand and light it with the right. Then hold up the burning stick to the God with both hands and say something like this:

"We offer this gift as a symbol of our love and thanks to Lammas; We honor the Fire God and his rays of light that bring forth the harvest."

Lower the smudge and blow out the flames, allow the stick to smolder. Again with both hands hold the stick up to the Goddess)

"We share the fragrance of this offering with the Goddess of Abundance We honor the elements of rain and fair weather that she has given to nurture our garden."

Set the smudge in the bowl and retrieve a bowl of seed, holding it up to the God/Goddess;

"We give thanks for the abundance of our garden; And we share in the blessings of these seeds for gardens yet to come."

Replace the seeds on the altar and ring the bell nine times.
{We try to allow at least 2-3 of our plants go to seed before the harvest just for this purpose.}

For Honoring
Partake of cakes and wine that you have set upon a platter. For this festival, an offering of bread or cakes baked with the grains from your harvest is a perfect way to honor the God/Goddess.

(Some covens like to serve the cakes upon small dishes, while others prefer to hold the cakes in their hand. Which ever you chose, the cakes should start on a platter for the dedication. The wine starts in a special decanter and is poured into ceremonial goblets. Once again different covens have different rituals. Some provide individual cups, much like silver shot glasses, while others insist each witch bring their own goblet.)

To dedicate your cakes and wine, hold the plate of cakes up using both hands and say something like:

"On this eve of Lammas we come to honor and share in our bounty. We offer these cakes made of corn and this wine made of apple."

Ring the festival bell three times, then walk up to each person in the circle and allow them to take a cake from the tray with the right hand. Make sure there's one or two cakes left for the God/Goddess. When everyone has received a cake, hold it in both hands and raise it up to the God; then say:

"With the partaking of this cake I take into my body the essence of, the God of the Sun, Light and Grain. I align my spirit and soul with the physical well being of my body and mind; As is the teacher and bridge builder between the earthly and divine worlds."

Each person eats their cake.

With your right hand grasp the neck of the decanter. With your left hand hold your chalice and pour the wine. When everyone has their share of wine, each person raises their goblet to the Goddess and says:

"With the partaking of this wine I take into my body the essence of the Goddess, I align my soul with the nurturing life and the love of abundance."

Each person drinks half their wine, then holds the goblet up again.

"We ask the God of the Harvest and Goddess of Abundance to accept this wine as our offering of honor and thanksgiving on this the festival of Lammas."

Some people like to pour the remaining wine from the goblets into a large cauldron. As a symbolic gesture that we are all one and all part of the divine. Some covens go a step farther and light the wine, allowing it to evaporate into the ethers through the flames. And others add to the ceremony and pour the wine onto the ground, making a circle and pentagram with the liquid.

The Priestess should guide everyone through a brief meditation. No matter what your ceremony is for, we believe you should add a moment of meditation to the event. In this altered state a witch can contact the God/Goddess and engage them in a private ritual.

You can use this time to thank them for the gifts they brought you, the enjoyment you had tending the garden, sharing the harvests with your family and so on. In our view, the Sabbat ceremonies are not the time to ask for something for you yourself. This is a time of honoring what the God/Goddess has already given you. You might ask for clarity of vision or better understanding of the messages they provided you with the growth of the garden and the tasks you were given to maintain and enjoy it.

Conclude your meditation by closing your chakra centers.

Thank The Deities And Spirits
The Priestess should guide everyone through a statement of thanks. This is one of the more important steps to any ritual. You spent a good deal of time asking for their assistance, calling the quarters, your personal spirit guide and the deities, so be polite and spend time thanking them as well. Here's a simple example:

Stand facing the alter, hold your hands together as if you are praying, only open the top slightly at the thumbs as if you're making a bowl with your hands. Then state:

"I, (state your magic name), thank the God, Goddess, Divine Spirits and the Watchtowers of the Four Corners for watching over this ceremony of Lammas. By the light and love of All that Is, we honor the blessings we have received on this day. Many blessings to each and all as we walk along the path of enlightenment forever."

Close The Circle
The Priestess should guide everyone through a process of closing the circle. Mentally and verbally close the circle. You don't want to leave the gateway between worlds open for several reasons. You could be inviting forces you don't necessarily want around you. You can also be maintaining a state of heightened perception. While this is great for ceremonies and ritual work, it isn't necessarily good for daily activities. If you find yourself saying "I feel out of it today", then you need to close your senses and get grounded. This is another reason for closing the circle.

Imagine the "cone of power" you established at the beginning of the ritual, slowly coming down and dissipating back within the solar plexus of each person. Move to the center of the circle, holding a ceremonial sword or knife. Starting in the North, turn counter-clockwise and state:

"We give thanks to the God and Goddess once more. We honor each other in this state of divine experiences. And we close this circle that binds us to spirit, and can never be broken."

Snuff out the candles (don't blow them out). Some people like to leave the two ritual candles burning during the night until they burn out by themselves. Then, if they last, you use these two on the next day of the festival as you continue our honor of Lammas.

We prepare a special meal and invite family or friends to join us. These two candles are placed as the center-piece of the table. If the original candles have extinguished before the meal, we will light another candle from the flame of the original; allowing all candles to burn as long as they can.

Physically close the circle by exiting over the broom. Pick up the broom and sweep away any energy that may have been left over.

Clean your working area and prepare your offerings, gifts and candles for burial. If there are any cakes left over from the ritual, set them outside for the animals and spirit folk. Pour out any left over wine on the ground. Once again some people like to pour out the drink in the shape of a pentacle. Wash all dishes and clean all tools.

Ritual Is Concluded
Finally, some people like to share their experiences during the ritual. Some even carry the festival on and hold a party to share in some of the fruits, vegetables and breads they labored over. For the solitary, now is a good time to record the events and make notes about what you felt, what you did and didn't do that you might like to do next time.