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The Covenant of Gaia Church of Alberta announces...
Category: Public Circle
What to Bring: please bring a potluck dish to share after ritual
Price/Donation: suggested donation of $5 per person
Acct. Id: 420973
Event Id: 86045
When: Jul. 27th. 2013
Where: Calgary, Alberta
Please join us in celebrating Lammas 2013
Event Details: Lughnasad
This is the beginning of harvest, time to thank the Deities for a successful year and to celebrate. This is one of the Cross-Quarters, the date set by convention to August 1.
In our ancestors' time, there were limited means of storing produce, so fruits had to be dried or pickled, grain harvested and stacked in shocks, hay piled in stacks and the cows allowed to graze among the stubble. This was a crucial time of year. If you don't have enough stored away, you might starve this winter. Today we have markets year round and there isn't much danger of not having food this winter if you don't store things away. Yet there is something about watching one's freezer and cold room fill with yummy things to brighten the winter doldrums.
In harvesting the grain fields, a common method was for a group of farmers to join forces, since harvesting is hard work and there may be some specialised equipment that would make the job easier, but the equipment is too expensive for each farmer to own it. Such co-operative efforts still exist in rural Wales. The horse drawn reaper was owned by one and the group would gather to help each other harvest in turn.
The fields are harvested toward a corner, not the back and forth, or round and round methods we see with mechanised farming today. The rationale is that the fertility of the ground is in the grain. By harvesting toward a corner, the fertility is concentrated in the last stems. These are harvested carefully to bring the fertility with them. This is the origin of the Corn Dolly or the Corn Maiden, where the last of the grain is formed into a roughly humanoid figure and treated as an honoured guest at the feast that marks the end of the harvest. Today Corn Dollies are made in many elaborate shapes, from humanoid figures to cornucopias and fans. In order to ensure that the fertility returns to the fields, the Corn Dolly is burned in the Bealtaine Fire and the ashes scattered on the fields.
This also the time of John Barleycorn, the subject of song and story. He is a form of the Vegetative or Green God, who is dies and is reborn each year. He is the male form of the Corn Maiden. He is born, grows to manhood and is killed as the grain is harvested. He is transformed, however, after the harvest: he becomes bread and more importantly to our ancestors -- beer.
What can we do at Lammas? Consider growing your own grain, in a part of your garden, so that it will be the last thing you harvest and making a Corn Maiden. Or donate part of your garden's produce to some place like the food bank or a shelter for women or the homeless. Although many people donate to such places at Christmas, it is perhaps more appropriate for us to give to these charities at Lammas, the time of harvest and plenty.
Welsh Folk Customs, Trefor M. Owen.
Little Sir Hugh, a folk-song adapted by Steeleye Span.
Event Location: Church in Calgary in Calgary
Event TIME Details: Ritual starts promptly at 7:30 pm
Directions: Please contact our Meet'n'greet coordinator for further information on location of our rituals.
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