At Lunasdal in early August, about 60 folks met for our annual ritual at the stone circle at Glenwood Farm. In September about 30 gathered for the Fall Equinox celebration, including some tending of the Trees in the Sacred Grove there.
The Green Man – a Lughnasad Tradition
by Juniper Talbot
In our family tradition, Aidan and I use parts of our Yule Tree in different ways for the eight seasonal Celtic holidays – Yule, Spring Equinox, Beltaine, Summer Solstice, Lughnasad, Fall Equinox and Samhain.
At the Summer Solstice, we create a Green Man out of branches from last year’s Yule Tree, woven together with vines. We then pick summer wildflowers and decorate him while we sing a song we wrote.
Green man, green man, formed of vines
In your body, flowers we entwine
Green Man, green man joined with the maid
Summer starts on your wedding day.
There is a secret hollow woven into his back, and as we approach Lughnasad, the Festival of the First Harvest, we ritually bake bread and tuck a small loaf inside this secret hollow. Since the First Harvest celebrates the reaping and cutting down of the growing things, we offer the Green Man to his Funeral Pyre and watch him burn, as we sing a song we wrote.
Tongues of flame, fire is burning
Ashes remain, the wheel keeps turning
Tongues of flame, old things burning
Ashes remain, feel peace returning
When the burning is complete, the small hidden loaf of bread is brought forth from the ashes, and we share in the nourishment of the Bread of Life, born from the Green Man’s sacrifice.
by Chris LaFond
In mid-September, about thirty members of EarthSpirit gathered at Glenwood Farm to celebrate the Fall Equinox, the coming cooler weather, the tipping of the seasons, and to tend the trees in the Sacred Grove. Of all our seasonal celebrations, this is the one that is a “working ritual.” Following the Sacred Land Walk, we process up the mountain to the Grove Shrine that EarthSpirit has been cultivating for many years. We spend time with each of the trees, and as part of our ritual, weed and mulch them, especially the smaller ones. We sing, dance, share food from our abundance, and socialize.
This year was a warm overcast day, perfect for doing a little gardening. Our Fall Equinox ritual is a good reminder that “celebrating” the Sacred Earth without giving back to her can sometimes be a somewhat empty gesture. The effects of climate change and global warming were obvious this year, in the condition of the trees and the amount of water available to them. But we adjust where we must, both in tending our groves and gardens, and in our own advocacy for the overall Web we are part of.
We plant and tend trees, often not for ourselves, but for the Earth and those who will come behind us. We are part of a Web of Life that has stretch from time immemorial, and will continue well beyond our own time here.