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Mabon: Mushrooms

mythumbnailSeptember 2013. Presented for a group of 5 people, using standard ritual format draft 2.0. Used research and ideas from this blog post.

Materials and Tools:

Standard: Ritual broom, central candle, representations of the elements, a bell or singing bowl, ritual food on a plate or in a bowl, a pitcher of beverage, an athame, one goblet per participant.

Ritual Specific: Ritual food: mushroom pate and crackers; drink: bubbly water, and a copy of Banana Slug String Band’s “Singing in Our Garden” CD.

Notes:

In our group’s new standard ritual format (still a working draft), a few things are up to the ritual leader: The quarter to start both the circle casting and the quarter calls in, whether or not to include the fifth element of spirit, a few words in both the quarter calls and the invocations, and whether to devoke in the same order or reverse order. In this ritual, we will start the quarters in the west in honour of autumn, we will include spirit, we will devoke in reverse order, and the ritual specific words are in italics within the standard calls and invocations.

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 bell or singing bowl.

The circle caster picks up the west element representation from the altar and carries it around the circle clockwise while saying:

We cast this circle in honour of water.

All repeat:

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

The space cleanser rings the bell.

The circle caster repeats with each of the other elements in the following order: earth, air, fire, and 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 west and the west quarter caller says:

To the West, I send this call: Water, bless us with your gift of life-giving rains as we celebrate the Autumn Equinox 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 nourishing soils as we celebrate the Autumn Equinox 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 fertile winds as we celebrate the Autumn Equinox and every day. 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 warming sunshine as we celebrate the Autumn Equinox 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 mystery as we celebrate the Autumn Equinox and every day. Blessed be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Invocations:

One person invokes the Goddess:

Lady of the dark and damp places, Goddesses of our tribes, we invite you to our rite. Blessed Be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Lord of the creepy and crawly things, Gods of our tribes, we invite you to our rite. Blessed Be.

All repeat: Blessed be.

Centre:

Opening speech:

People like dualities: animal versus plant, light versus dark, day versus night, life versus death, creation versus destruction. The things inbetween are often honoured or feared as magical, as the proper place and time for witchcraft and other boundary crossings. The Autumn Equinox is an inbetween time, a moment between summer and fall, between light and dark.

The ordinary mushroom is an inbetween thing. The mushroom is part of the fungi family: not animal or plant. In fact, mushrooms are more closely related to people than to plants; we share a common ancestor 600 million years ago. The mushroom we can see is but the smallest part of an organism that exists primarily underground, spreading far and wide. And mushrooms grow on death, decomposing and breaking down while creating better soil and food.

Fungi are also miracles of connection. Mushrooms that are miles apart may be part of the same being. The largest organism on earth is believed to be a honey mushroom in Oregon that is more than 2000 acres in size and may be anywhere from 2000 to 8000 years old.

Prayer:

Close your eyes.

We send this prayer to all the decomposers; to the fungi, the germs, the worms, and all the unappreciated organism that are crucial for our world’s health. Without them, the whole earth would be buried several feet deep in debris. Thank you, creepy crawley and dark and damp things, for taking what is dead, for taking what is corrupt, for taking what is unneeded, and, through your unseen and mysterious processes, turning it into life and fertility again. Thank you for breaking down death to make space for life.

Blessed be.

Meditation:

We will do a meditation to connect ourselves and create a space where what is unneeded or unwanted in ourselves can be placed to be transformed. If you don’t want to reveal what it is you are giving, you will be able to say “Into this space I give it to be transformed.” After we’ve declared what we don’t need, we will do some trance chanting.

Think about something about yourself that is unneeded and unwanted.

(Pause.)

Feel your body on the ground. Feel the energy in your body. Feel the energy flowing from your tailbone up your spine to the crown of your head. Feel the energy flowing from the crown of your head down your spine, down to the soles of your feet. And feel the energy flow back up from your feet, up your spine, up to the crown of your head. And then let the energy flow down, down from the crown of your head, down your spine, and down into the earth below you. Feel the soil, loose and dark and moist, beneath you. Let your energy flow down into the dirt as roots. Let your roots grow through the soil, deep into the soil. Feel the energy from the earth flow into your roots. Feel the energy flow up your roots, up your spine, and up to the crown of your head. Then feel the energy flow back down from the crown of your head, down your spine, and down your roots, deeper and deeper. Let the roots grow, spreading in a net out through the ground beneath you. And when you see other roots, know that it is each other, and let the roots intertwine. Let energy from the earth flow into your roots and let it flow up, up your roots, up your spine, up to the very crown of your head. And then let it flow down again, down from the crown of your head,down your spine, down your roots, down into the shared roots where we are all connected. Let the energy flow through the shared roots, growing deeper and growing outward.

We are deeply connected, like individual mushrooms that are all part of one larger organism. Into this safe shared space, we can put the unneeded to be broken down, to be decomposed, and to be transformed by our shared self.

Into this space I give (negative quality or characteristic or habit) to be transformed.

(Give each person time to make their own statement.)

See what has been given sitting in front of each of us, then let them sink into the soil to be broken down and transformed by our shared roots.

Chant to a state of light trance until the chant naturally stops. “Come and Be One”/“Unity Trance” by Freedom and Tyo:

Come and be one
Become one
Be one
Be

Grounding:

Let the energy flow back up your roots and let it fill your body. Feel your body, alone and individual. Feel your body, sitting on the ground in this place and in this time. 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.] When you are ready, open your eyes.

Food and Drink:

One person holds the plate of food 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 food is passed clockwise with each saying to the next: May you never hunger. / Blessed be.

When the food has been returned to the altar, one person holds the pitcher 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.

As the pitcher is passed clockwise, each fills their neighbour’s goblet 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 leader toasts: May you never thirst. All respond with Blessed be and drink.

While everyone relaxes and enjoys more food and drink, play Banana Slug String Band’s songs “Dirt Made My Lunch” and “Decomposition”.*

Devocations:

The same person who invoked the God thanks Him:

Lord of the creepy and crawly things, 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 the dark and damp places, 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 for all quarters in reverse order: South/Fire, East/Air, North/Earth, and West/Water.

The space cleanser picks up the bell again.

The circle caster walks the circle counter-clockwise to take down the circle. 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!

* Banana Slug String Band’s “Singing in Our Garden”.

Creative Commons Licence
Mabon: Mushrooms by Melissa Hope is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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One Response to Mabon: Mushrooms

  1. Pingback:We're Made of Mud and Magic | Mushrooms for Mabon?

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