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Lammas Festival, 2016

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photo, L. Freebody

This is a new, shorter rite, with a little more emphasis on fun and pleasure, as is appropriate to the time. jc, 7/26/16

 

A Feraferian LAMMAS, or Feast of the First Loaf

and

the Honeymoon of Aphrodite and Adonis

At the Beginning of August, 2016

 

(Have flowers / flower petals and strawberries in a basket for Aphrodite to sprinkle or hand out. Lay out altar with spring water, etc. as necessary for Aval/Apple Communion. Place fruit & flowers around the altar, with a few bowls of sand for the incense sticks and more available.)

 

 

Priestess as Herald - Ad lib welcome, then:

 

This is the season of Lammas – the mid point between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox, when fruit ripens and lovers meander through the orchards and meadows.

Feraferia is a tradition focused on celebrating the earth and wildness, both within and without. In Feraferia we refer to the living spirit of the Cosmos and the Earth as a Kore, which is a Greek word referring to a maiden or daughter type of Goddess. Aphrodite, Persephone and Artemis are all Kore goddesses. Kore is a special focus for Feraferia, since it seems that the qualities of play, caring, creativity and gentle sensuality are exactly what the world needs now. To me, Kore represents the spirit of the earth itself.

 

At this time of year we enjoy the fruits of the harvest. We are grateful to Earth for her bounty. Tonight we will honor Aphrodite the Bountiful, with rattles, drums and dance. With the soft summer evenings that come at this time of year, it is also a time to enjoy the pleasure we have just from having bodies, from being alive and surrounded with the abundance that is all around us. Please take a moment now to think of some thing you might thank our wonderful earth for providing at this time of year. Later on I will ask you to say it out loud, if you are willing to.

(pause)

 

Now please pick out a rattle, drum or other noise maker. We will process out to the stone circle with some rhythm, just a simple "da — da DA, da — da DA" (repeat).

 

Let's go out and circle around the henge.

 

Everyone files out to the Henge with rattles and noisemakers making an ad lib rhythm.

 

We'll use the metaphor of the Moon and Sun for the Goddess and the God. By declaring the Moon Door and the Sun Door open, we will be putting ourselves into their sacred space.

 

 

At the South edge of the circle, Priestess crosses her arms over her breast, right arm over left, hands open and palms down.

 

 

As I open the doors of the Temple, please take a step forward and imagine that you are stepping out of linear, serial time into the Pleridur, the pleroma of space without time.

 

Sun Door, Sun Door!

Oak and Thorn crossed with Holly! Open!

Revealing azure golden Day and archetypal Light.

 

Her right arm and open palm swing out to the right to open the great Sun Door.

 

Moon Door, Moon Door!

Ash and Alder crossed with Willow! Open!

Revealing silver celestial seas of the Mystery Night!

Her left arm and palm swing out to the left to open the Moon Door with etheric force.

 

 

Priestess:

The inner precincts of this circular temple,

Koreion Aralia,

have been opened and unsealed.

May all great and harmonious Spirit Beings

come assist us in our devotions of Love!

 

 

Priestess and Priest enter the circle.

 

 

Facing Northwest or Samhain she intones:

 

In the Northwest, Gnomes of Earth bless all living things

with the flora and fauna of soil.

 

Raise a yellow apple.

 

Facing Northeast or Oimelc he intones:

 

In the Northeast, Nyads of Water bless all liquid domains with Your clarifying moisture.

 

Raise some spiced water and pour it on the fruit around the altar.

 

Facing Southeast or Beltane she intones:

 

In the Southeast, Sylphs of Air bless this whole planet and its surround

with Your purifying air announcing new birth of love.

 

Raise some incense and waft it around the circle.

 

Facing Southwest or Lammas he intones:

 

In the Southwest, Salamanders of Fire bless the core of Earth and all suns

with the essence of cleansing heat.

 

Raise a candle or brazier.

 

 

Priestess:

Zenithides! Great Lovers of the Zenith!

Nadirides! Great Lovers of the Nadir!

Join hands and hips, bellies and lips,

Here upon the White Wedding Stone of Earth,

Beneath the starry shade of the Cosmic Mill Tree,

Where all souls press into the echoing root of Touch,

To embrace living alter and sacred Omphalos,

From Whose shimmering Flesh,

The Four Rivers of Faerie into all Worlds flow!

 

 

 

 

Gathering before Aphrodite

and Pledge of Allegiance to the Trees

 

Priestess:

We gather to honor the generous spirit of Aphrodite who has given us the flowering fruit trees, a rainbow sanctuary where we hope that all species may mingle in peace.

 

Let us make an allegiance to the flowering fruit tree, the horticultural basis for creating a sustainable society.

 

As the great poet John Muir said, "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."

 

Fruit is the serpent – entwined Staff of Life – the Caduceus of fleet-footed Hermes, the Healer and Guide of the Dead – Who leads us to transformations where we may re-enter the abode of Aphrodite, the beautiful. EVOE APHRODITE!

 

Let us embrace around the fruit and flowers in the center and send rays of love to plants and animals throughout the world. As these blessing rays circle the planet, may they bless all growing things in these eco-systems. EVOE!

 

Will everyone present please HUG the people on each side of them and imagine you are sending out rays of love to all the trees and plants of the world. Now we will honor Aphrodite the Bountiful and her partner, Adonis, with an Ode.

.

 

 

Ode to Aphrodite and Adonis

 

A priest/ess or celebrant:

 

Iridescent-throated Aphrodite,

Deathless child of Zeus,

Enchantress, I implore you,

Come to us.

 

Once before, skimming down the paths of the sky's bright ether

You came to us over the earth's black bosom.

 

Swiftly--then you stood with sudden brilliance,

Goddess, throned in splendor, before us.

 

 

Flaming beauty, quell our longing.  Glowing Aphrodite,

who arouses sweet desire in the Gods

and who subdues the race of mortal humans,

and birds, who fly in the sky, and beasts,

All that move on dry land and sea.

 

Decked in gold, Aphrodite, lover of smiles,

Rush to us, leave behind fragrant Cyprus.

Make your way with greatest of ease, high among the clouds.

Arrive here, in our land famous for golden hills and craggy coastline, nurturing Mother of Beasts.

Following you come gray wolves and lions with fierce looks, fawning on you;

Bears too, and nimble leopards, who steer around the devouring deer.

Seeing them, you put pulsing desire into their hearts.

They go off in pairs and sleep together in the softly shaded nooks.

 

Come now, energetic Adonis, of meadows, green and yellow.

Come with urge and passion along the rocky river bend.

 

Ares, Hu, strong Cernunnos, your horses gallop madly.

Come, red-headed Mars

Come to embrace your heavenly queen.

 

 

 

 

Priestess directs all to turn to a bower in garden where the two statues stand behind a curtain. Assistant pulls back the curtains to reveal the statues.

 

 

Mysteries of the Sacred Honeymoon

(Bowls of fruit, and bowls of sand (for the incense sticks) stand before the statues. )

 

Priestess:

EVOE APHRODITE AND ADONIS

 

Whose Honeymoon spirit expands

to include all

in the glorious sweet presence of Aphrodite.

 

Two glasses have been placed on small tray. One contains red liqueur, (Pomegranite Liqueur) and one green liqueur (Midori with a sprig of Lemon Balm).

 

Priest:

Partake of the red bittercore –

 

the seed of fertilisation

and enjoy the sweetness of desire in the Name of Adonis.

Priestess:

 

Partake of this green minted chaparral,

the green thicket of Her Sacred Passion –

and feel the pulse of attractinon

Throughout your body in the Name of Aphrodite.

 

A priest and priestess pass around the trays of liqueurs. Each celebrant tastes both liqueurs.

 

 

Ode to Aphrodite

 

Priestess: (chants)

 

Goddess of Love and Sensuality

We seek thee out in canyon woodlands,

In chaparral and flowering fruit groves.

Oh! Aphrodite – so kind and beautiful.

Come forth, come forth, come forth!!!

 

 

Ode to Ares

Priest: (chants)

Ares, Hu, Cernunnos

Of meadows and the plains

Hurrah for Thee –

Great God of Lust and Joy,

Great God of Lust and Joy !

 

 

Priestess and Priest exchange a kiss and embrace. They hug or blow kisses to the celebrants..

 

Priestess:

We send playful kisses to you

to inspire your remembrance of the ecstasy of fiery Eros. Now please take an incense stick as an offering of gratitude for the bounty of the harvest, and place it before the icon of Aphrodite or Adonis. Even while the priest  and I are speaking of Aphrodite and Adonis, please say out loud something that you appreciate that Aphrodite has brought now, at the beginning of harvest. Then returning to your spot, while we continue to recite odes to Adonis and Aphrodite.

 

Each celebrant places their incense while both poems are read at the same time.

 

Priestess: (Recites Hymn to Adonis while moving around the circle.)

 

Ares, Mars, Adonis, Hu, Cernunnos, infuse us with the joy of attraction. Appear with impact and boldness in green pastures, where great hoofed beings roam wild and free. Come! Mighty Horned God of plains and prairies. Activate our courage and hardiness. Protect our planet from pillagers and despoilers, and protect us from their malicious manipulations… Help us peacefully establish the Queendom of the Gods on Holy Earth! Adonis! Tender yet passionate Lover, soothe our flayed spirits! Appear as the dashing Cavalier, who grants us exuberant life !

 

Confer upon us, Oh Ares, the blessings of drive so that we may achieve our goals in service to the Goddess–given–Gods. Come forth as Ares of infinite Virility and Potency without limit in any way.

When Your triumphant Trumpet and hailing Horn resound through field and meadow, let our untamed souls and unfettered natures roam playfully and with gay abandon, as cool breezes of the late afternoon invigorate our muscles. The romantic spirit enters to entice You to troubadour courtship and refinement… Come with your blessings, Divine One! Divine Lover; come!! Come with Ardor, Sentiment, and Love!

 

Evocation of Aphrodite

Priest: (While while moving around the circle.)

 

Aphrodite, Venus, Astarte, Tanit, empassion our bodies – temporal and eternal with your intense beauty. Oh! Beauteous One of flowering groves, orchards, and deciduous forests, the exuberant overflow of rainbow tapestries, woven by Your Damsels of Divine Display…. Come…. Sacred Butterfly come to pollinate our world with compassion and love. Come opulently! Come lushly! Come with unlimited mercy! You, whose caress unites proton and electron, male and female, species with species, planet with planet, galaxy with galaxy. Come, Great Cosmic Courtesan. Let us partake of your splendor. Appear in your evergreen realms of chaparral and canyon woodland, where we shall linger on your opulent bosom.

 

Aphrodite – most ancient Goddess of Bliss, whose flamenco guitar, clacking castanets and jangling tambourines are heard in the soothing heat of late afternoon near glittering pools of water lilies and shade of luscious orchards and groves. Come – Beloved one! Come forth! Come!

EVOE APHRODITE – the Bountiful – COME!

 

 

When everyone is done placing their incense, have everybody pick up and shake their rattles to rouse the Goddess:

Aph-ro-di-te!

(repeat)

 

 

Now Aphrodite appears from behind veils at the back of the Moon Platform, dressed as the Goddess herself.

 

Aphrodite: I am Aphrodite Anadyomene (A – NA – DI – Ó –ME – NE), foam born in mists of evening from oceanic shoals of Amphitrite most profound. I am Aphrodite, most beautiful, most generous, most sublime. No one can resist my gaze. My charms bewitch souls both ethereal and earthy – hearty and hale, sensitive and delicate… With longing I subdue the wild beasts, and pair by pair, the lion with eyes of flame, the heavy-footed bear, the grim-eyed wolf retreat together down to the darkness of the glens.

 

I stand spinning cosmic fibres into mortal thread and so transform strands of Being into Creation, for I want to see all worlds proliferate with many life-forms, which shall come together in praise of me, their Golden Queen.

(She steps into the crowd. Face the first person and bless, ad lib as desired)

 

I bless each of you... I bless you with the stars of the night sky... (turn to each next person) ... and I bless you with the fulfillment of your dreams... and I bless you with the joy of your creativity.... and you, I bless with inner peace... and I bless you with bubbling joy... and I bless you with the rapture of love... and you I bless with deep insight..... and I bless you with the gift of inner confidence... and you I bless with wisdom.... and I bless you with much knowledge.... and I bless you with cosmic awareness... and you, I bless with inner joy, ... and you, I bless you with the knowledge of your divine self...

 

(continue and improvise intuitively on a per person basis til all have been blessed.)

 

In the time when My Evening Star rises, rest on grand cushions of rich brocade and listen to the longing of the nightingale and the whispering of the cricket as the night captures you gently in Her arms. Rest and dream of Isis so fragrant while fireflies syncopate their lights in response to the pulsing of the stars.

Now, I depart, but the memory of Aphrodite – Most Beloved – Most Adored - shall linger in your tissues till My next gracious Epiphany. Farewell, enjoy My feast – the bounteous overflow of My Evergreen Generosity! Enjoy....Enjoy…..

 

Aphrodite showers all guests with flowers or petals then retreats behind the veils.

 

Priestess:

Aphrodite has blessed us with her bounty and with her grace. Let us enchant her in turn with a circle dance. Dance with me - dance for Aphodite!

 

Repeat after me,

 

 

 

HAIL APHRODITE, EV-OEE PAN!!

 

 

 

HAIL A-DON-IS , EV-O-EE PAN!!

 

 

 

(repeat ad lib).

 

All chant and circle around, raising the energy to a peak of energy, then ground it.

 

 

Apple Communion

 

Priestess anoints foreheads of the Celebrants with drops of essential oil first. Rose oil is a good choice.

 

Priest:

This scent represents the Breath of the Maiden –

Essence of Intelligence and Empathy.

 

 

 

Priestess: Lifts candle.

 

Priest:

This flame represents the Blood of the Maiden –

Essence of Passion and Compassion.

 

 

Priestess: Lifts fruit; apples for Lammas.

 

Priest:

This fruit represents the gift of the Maiden’s Flesh -

Essence of Proportion and Beauty.

 

 

Priestess: Pours out the cup of spring water onto the grass.

 

Priest:

This spring water represents the Milk of the Maiden –

Essence of Mercy and Tenderness.

 

 

Priestess: Holds up Flower.

Priest:

What is the Quintessence of the Maiden’s Soul?

The Holy Fascination of the supremely Alive and Beautiful.

 

 

 

Priest:

What is the penultimate of the Maiden Spirit?

Innocent childlike love.

 

Priest and Priestess seal with kiss.

 

Priestess: Shows Korythalia in the mode of Eleusis.

 

Priest:

And what is the Will of the Maiden?

This Korythalia branch is for life ever-lasting,

Delicacy and Joy for the unique as well as the Universal.

 

 

 

On a tray she is a small bowl with peaches and a big, beautiful glass full of virgin spring water slightly touched with herb or spice.

 

Priestess lifts up the tray and says:

Ambrosia of trees – Quintessence of Fire and Earth –

Eonic Body of the Maiden.

By Her Love freely given and with harm to none

thine own body become.

 

She pass the tray around the circle; each places a piece of peach in their mouth.

 

She lifts up the crystal Bowl of spring water

 

Nectar of springs, Quintessence of Air and water –

Eonic fountainhead of the Maiden.

By Her Love freely given and with harm to none,

thine own fountainhead become.

 

She passes the Grail bowl around the circle; all take it and swallow a sip.

 

 

Kore Prayer

 

Recited by all celebrants, while holding hands in the circle.

 

Priestess: (guides)

Oh holy Maiden!

Of the kindling quick,

Of merging mist and mazing echo,

The innocent bounty of the trees

Bears thy faerie flesh, of wildness,

Wonder, magic, mirth and love.

Thy beauty seals our bridal with all life.

The dance of thy Green Pulse

Unfolds all bodies and all blessings

From Earth’s fragrant form.

 

Grant us therefore the blessings of life everlasting

In Paradise all-surrounding

In rapture of love ever-new!

 

Priestess: (twirls alone and sings)

Evoe Kore Kai Kouros!

Evoe Potnia Kai Potnios!

Ev-a-ee-yo!

A-wee-ya!

 

Closing of Temple, Four Cross-Quarters and Center

 

Priestess:

I will now close the Temple.

 

This side – to the left – of Taurus-Leo

Is concealed.

The other side – to the right – of Scorpio–Aquarius

Is also concealed.

The Gates of Koreon Aralia are closed

Till the next revelation.

The spirits of all the cross-quarters

Are asked to dance back to return to their nether realms and their own dimensions

Till their next revelation.

So May it Be.

 

 

May I suggest a group hug? Lets chant an open Ooom together.

 

Lead in a group hug and AAAhh--OOO--MMM chant

 

Priestess:

The Aval Communion is completed, the Temple is sealed –

the Bacchanalia begins. Listen to the music and be of good cheer.

 

(Lead the celebrants to the Feast)

 

 

 

 

 

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