Lugh's Lugh-au Ritual Write-up Report by entropie

August 2003 Lughnasadh Luau Photos!

Forward: In answer to "WTF?"
Many brains are busy. Some of these brains are making connections between chemicals and body parts at the cellular level, and are coming closer and closer to curing the word's diseases. My brain cells are weaving together threads of things with nothing apparently in common that no one else would spend their brain power on. This ritual was a product of such a process. It all started with Norma and Ed's bathroom. We were commenting on how it has this tendency to collect rubber ducks of different weird sorts, the most recent addition being a "dead duck." Several cups of Norma coffee and subsequent trips to the loo later, I had this mental image of the wheel of the year done with rubber ducks. This image was replaced by the arguably more mental image of a plastic wading pool full of ducks. A wading pool is full of water, which reminded me of a well, and in the distance, a God popped the top on his brewski and proclaimed His interest. Several years ago, at the pagan picnic, GOG, formerly known as Green Man Grove, hosted the main ritual. They did a reenactment of a story about Lugh the many-talented which involved Ed wearing fruit on his head and Erica channeling Lugh and craving a beer. Erica said He had a very frat-boy-like feel
about Him, and imprinted an image that stuck in my head until this summer, when it forced its way out.

Straddling the balance between mirth and reverence, utilizing the inclination that both GOG and I share for taking a structure and seeing how much tweaking I can do with it without losing its shape or purpose completely, with Norma's lack of good sense to tell me "You can't do that!" and incessant commentary from a deity who liked the idea of a party just for Him, this ritual evolved over a period of several months, and numerous trips to Party City. My goal as "Julie the Cruise Director" er- I mean "Druid-in-charge" was to give Lugh a big fun party to honor Him in a style he would truly appreciate, and to focus more on his many wonderful talents than on his getting killed and sacrificed. I think if I were a god, I'd prefer the former.

Location: As none of us could find a suitable outdoor location that also had ample indoor room in the event of inclement weather, we went with GOG's home base- Norma and Ed's living room.

Materials and set-up: Standard GOG bilé was used and "slightly" modified. Faux palm fronds and real coconuts were hung on the "tree" portion, a yellow sun candle was used at the top for "fire", a mini plastic kiddie pool was on the floor for the "well." To address understandable concerns about the pairing of water and hardwood flooring, the pool was filled with play sand, and a neon sand pail was filled with the well water and placed inside the pool. On a beach towel in front of the "well" an assortment of rocks, shells, rubber ducks, and plastic ocean creatures were placed for people to use as a physical representation of their invocation. Beach towels and assorted sunshine garland were strewn about for decoration. People were asked in the invitation to dress festively and think of a "useless talent" to share for praise offerings. Many people came dressed in bright colors, tacky tourist shirts and wore grass skirts or leis.

Clear Opening: Norma sounded a conch shell which effectively got our attention and set the tone.
Statement of Purpose: "We are here to honor the Gods"
Honoring the Earth Mother: Nora honored the Earth Mother, reminding us how large rocks eventually can be worn down and become the grains of sand on the beach.
Meditation: Jenniforensic led us to leave our mundane cares behind, relax and get into our ritual head space beginning: "Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip..."
Horizontal Directions: Ed oriented us in time and space, particularly pointing out places like Cape May, Bermuda, Acapulco, Rio, people sailing in boats all around us... and ending up with us being " in the center of the universal party."
Invoking the Well: Betty hailed water in all its forms and spoke of how essential it is to our survival, because if there was no water there would be " water, beaches, nothing!" We sang a stanza from a Harry Belafonte song, "We come from the water, living in the water, go back to the water, turn the world around!"
Invoking the Fire: Vigil spoke eloquently hailing the fire as the fire of inspiration and of its many other forms. We sang, "We come from the Fire, living in the Fire go back to the Fire turn the world around"
Invoking the Tree: Lady Sue hailed the tree reminding us that without the tree they are just a well and fire, that the tree makes them complete and connected. We sang,"We come from the mountain, living' on the mountain, go back to the mountain, turn the world around."
Invoking the Gatekeeper/Opening the Gates: Jenniforensic hailed Manannan mac Lir, our grove gatekeeper, and appreciator of a good party. She turned the well, tree and fire into gates, and asked Manannan to let the gates be open. We sang our "traditional" song for Manannan, (phonetic version) "Shu-leen a Wanannan, Walk with us, Manannan.(3x)"
Offering to the Outsiders: Norma spoke to/for the Outsiders, commenting ."hmmm . Nice party!" She managed to coax them out for a beer, and some time later managed to return. Whether or not she was completely alone is up for debate. ;)
Invoking our Grove Muse: Akasha Deb hailed Brigid, the muse of Grove of the Other Gods. Norma led us in the "traditional" GOG song for Lady Brigid, also known as "that fire us, fire us, fire us up" song.
Invoking the Ancestors: Wandering Al hailed the Ancestors, injecting a more somber tone by telling us the stories of the two funerals he had recently attended. He invoked the Old ones, and those who burn out too soon. We sang a tropical Ancestors song to the the tune of Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet: "Wastin away again in the Summerland./ Searchin for my lost mortal coil./ Some people say that there's a reaper to blame, but I know, it's nobody's fault."
Invoking the Nature Spirits: Sandrock invoked the various creatures of Nature for us. She knelt by the bilé and talked about Them as she placed plastic animals on the "beach" around the well with a delightfully fae-like concentration and intensity. We sang "Fur and Feather and Scale and Skin..."
Invoking the Gods and Goddesses as a Class: Hillary invoked the Deities, ending with the comment "When you have a God in your pocket it's all about Them! " She then invited everyone to invoke their own personal gods verbally or physically. a number of people put creatures on the "beach" or in the well to represent their beloved Gods. We sang: "We are of the Spirit, truly of the Spirit, only can the Spirit Turn the world around."
Main Invocation: Entropie invoked Lugh, the guest of honor for this sabbat. She told of Lugh and his many talents, and the wonderful things we have because of Him. She invited him to come, hang out, have a beer, stay later for some food, enjoy himself and not to worry about that part that comes after... (alluding to him being sacrificed and killed in subsequent myths) and we sang a version of the They Might be Giants song "The sun is a mass of incandescent gas,/a gigantic nuclear furnace/Where hydrogen is built into helium /At a temperature of millions of degrees/Yo ho it's hot, the sun is not/A place where we could live/But here on Earth there'd be no life/without the light it gives/we need its light/we need its heat/we need its energy/without the sun/without a doubt/there'd be no you and me."
Offering of Praise: Lugh was known as the god of many talents. If he had that many, chances were they weren't all equally useful at all times. In that spirit, and in the spirit of honoring one who probably could use a good laugh at this time of year, participants were encouraged to share their many talents of debatable usefulness as praise for Lugh. We had a full recitation of all of the presidents of the United States, The Crowley Frozen Dessert Haiku, ear wiggling, tattoo-baring, ass-bell-ringing (look ma! no hands!), and many rounds of Monty Python songs. There was also a reading of a prose piece about sexual assault and the responsibility of all people, especially of other men, to look after the women in their lives, and to strive to better themselves and humankind, which, again, injected the inescapable element of danger and sacrifice inherent in the holiday.
Seeking the Omen: The Omens were Greek letters drawn on pieces of tropical-themed fun foam cutouts. The letters when properly arranged almost spelled out "pizza." The meaning the omen readers drew from this was "Eat drink and be merry, For..." well, you know how that ends!
The Waters of Life: Jenniforensic and Entropie hailed the waters of life both with the traditional ADF liturgy ("of what does the earth mother give us that we may know of her bounty?") and a wondertwins-inspired version involving an athame and a ron-jon surf shop penlight "Waters of life powers...ACTIVATE! Form of ... ice! Shape of.... a cube! BEHOLD! the Waters of Life!" Cubes of the Waters of life were scooped into the dixie Cups of Life by Cecily, Nora and Chris, and distributed by Hillary, Betty and Gene.
Hail and Farewell: All honored and distinguished Kindreds were thanked and wished well on their way home. Manannan was thanked for His hard work, and the gates were officially closed.
Feasting: There were many tropical and picnic-inspired foods and of course, lots to drink. To paraphrase G. Love and the Special Sauce, we "like cold beverages, uh huh- stick it in the fridge!"