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Lammas: Honouring the Sacred Bee

mythumbnailAugust 2014. Presented for a group of 6 people. Using Silver Spiral standard ritual format 2.1

Materials and Tools:

Ritual broom; an altar in the north quarter with representations of the five elements, a singing bowl, two large offering jars with a bee goddess image and a vine/grain god image if available, blackberries on a plate, a large goblet of mead and liqueur glasses for all participants, an athame, an offering plate and an offering goblet; under or beside the altar: some bee-friendly potted plants and herbs and a large pitcher of lemon balm tea; and one goblet per participant.

Preparation:

While everyone else gathers off to the side, one person sweeps the space with the ritual broom while saying (repeatedly if necessarily):

With purpose and intent, I cleanse this space.

The person who cleansed the space welcomes each person into it one at a time with a hug and the greeting:

Welcome to our sacred space.

To which the person entering responds: Blessed be.

Everyone holds hands and closes their eyes while the ritual leader leads the breathing meditation:

Breathe… [Pause for full breath in and full breath out.] Breathe… [Pause for full breath in and full breath out.] Breathe… [Pause for full breath in and full breath out.] Feel the ground beneath you. [Pause for full breath in and full breath out.] Feel the air around you. [Pause for full breath in and full breath out.] Come home to your body. [Pause for full breath in and full breath out.] Prepare to enter sacred space. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Building Sacred Space:

The space cleanser picks up the singing bowl.

The circle caster picks up the South quarter’s representation from the altar and carries it around the circle clockwise while saying:

We cast this circle in honour of Fire.

All repeat:

We cast this circle in honour of Fire to create and open scared space.

The space cleanser rings the bell.

The circle caster repeats with each of the other elements in clockwise order: Water, Earth, Air, Spirit. After the last circuit, the circle caster says:

The space is set. The circle is cast. Blessed Be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

All turn to face the south and the south quarter caller says:

To the South, I send this call: Fire, bless us with your gift of the Lammas rippening summer sun as we celebrate the sacred bee and every day. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

All turn to face the west and the west quarter caller says:

To the West, I send this call: Water, bless us with your gift of the Lammas quenching warm rains as we celebrate the sacred bee and every day. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

All turn to face the north and the north quarter caller says:

To the North, I send this call: Earth, bless us with your gift of the Lammas fertile dark earth as we celebrate the sacred bee and every day. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

All turn to face the east and the east quarter caller says:

To the East, I send this call: Air, bless us with your gift of the Lammas gentle seeding winds as we celebrate the sacred bee and every day. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

All turn to face the centre and the centre quarter caller says:

To the Centre, I send this call: Spirit, bless us with your gift of the Lammas blessings as we celebrate the sacred bee and every day. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Invocations:

One person invokes the Goddess:

Lady of honey – Queen bee and mother of life and death – Goddesses of our tribes, we invite you to our rite. Blessed Be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Another person invokes the God:

Lord of vine and grain – living, dying, and resurrecting one – Gods of our tribes, we invite you to our rite. Blessed Be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Centre:

Ritual leader:

Honey represents the sweetness of life and has often been food for the dead. Bees live but a short time, but their actions feed us through the year. This Lammas – this season of life due to death; this season of harvest – we will honour the pollenaters that make life possible, especially the bee.

Person who invoked the Goddess:

We send this prayer to the Goddess of the bees, that she may know that we remember and honour her. We pour our libations, that she may be blessed as her creatures have blessed us. We offer our gifts in gratitude of all her children’s gifts to us. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Person who invoked the God:

We send this prayer to the God of vegetation, that he may know that we remember and honour him. We pour our libations, that he may be blessed as his fruits have blessed us. We offer our gifts in gratitude of all his sacrifices for us. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

The ritual leader takes up the pitcher of tea and stands at the opposite side of the circle from the altar:

One at a time, bring your goblet to me and I will fill it from this tea of bee-friendly herbs. Walk to the altar, and pour a libation to the Goddess of the bees in the left hand offering jar, then turn to your left and walk around the outside of the circle back to me. When I refill your goblet, walk straight to the altar and pour a libation to the God of vegetation in the right hand offering jar, then turn to the right and walk around the outside of that side of the circle. This figure eight pattern represents the infinite circle of life and death, and mimics the pattern of the dance of the honey bees. We will repeat until the pitcher is empty. If you feel moved to say a short prayer out loud when you pour your libation, do feel free. As we walk, I invite you to hum or buzz in honour of the bees. 

The ritual leader should start humming as they pour to set the energy moving. When the pitcher is empty and the last libations have been poured, everyone forms a circle again. The plants are placed in a circle in the centre and everyone is given a copy of the lyrics for the charging song:

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Won’t the goddess be so proud of me
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Wow-wee; she’s so fuzzy!

I’m planting for my baby bumblebee
Won’t the goddess be so proud of me
I’m planting for my baby bumblebee
Wow-wee; it’s so pretty!

I’m caring for the baby bumblebees
Won’t the goddess be so proud of me
I’m caring for the baby bumblebees
Because they care for me!

After the song has been sung through and sufficient energy has been raised and directed into the plants, the two people closest to the altar will each pick up one of the two offering jars and pour a small amount into the soil of the plant closest to them. They’ll then pass the bowls clockwise and each person will pour a small amount into the plant in front of them, so all the plants get some water from both jars. Any tea left in the jars after will be saved to be poured into a bee-friendly garden later.

Food and Drink:

One person holds the plate of blackberries while another blesses it:

By the Divine, this offering is blessed, and we share this food in the spirit of community. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

The person who blessed the food puts a couple of the blackberries in the offering plate or bowl and says:

To the gods and goddesses of our tribes.

The food is passed clockwise with each saying to the next: Blessed be.

When the food has been returned to the altar, one person holds the goblet of mead while the other lowers the athame into it and says:

As the athame is to the lover, so the chalice is to the loved, and joined they are one in truth.

The person holding the pitcher pours a portion into the offering goblet and says:

To the gods and goddesses of our tribes.

Then the mead is portioned out into the liqueur glasses and passed out to the participants while saying Thou art God or Thou art Goddess. The recipient responds: Blessed be.

Once all the goblets have been filled and the pitcher is returned to the altar, the ritual leader toasts:

May you never thirst.

All respond with Blessed be and drink.

Devocations:

The same person who invoked the God thanks Him:

Lord of vine and grain – living, dying, and resurrecting one – Gods of our tribes, thank you for your blessings. Go in peace. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

The person who invoked the Goddess thanks Her:

Lady of honey – Queen bee and mother of life and death – Goddesses of our tribes, thank you for your blessings. Go in peace. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Closing Sacred Space:

All turn to face the centre and the centre quarter caller says:

To the Centre: Spirit, thank you for your gifts. Go in peace. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Repeat at each quarter in reverse order: East/Air, North/Earth, West/Water, and South/Fire.

The space cleanser picks up the bell again.

The circle caster walks the circle counter-clockwise to take down the circle. At each quarter point, they pause and the bell is rung. When they step back into the circle of people, the bell is rung one more time and then the circle caster says:

The circle is open, but never broken. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!

Clean Up:

If anyone feels moved to care for them, they can take home one of the blessed plants. All the plants will be kept outside and cared for as sacred offerings.

 
Creative Commons Licence
Lammas: Honouring the Sacred Bee by Melissa Hope is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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