Lammas is here. It has begun at least and will probably be going on for a couple of weeks yet. I am one of those people who takes their cues from the landscape around them rather then a diary, though diaries can be handy when planning a get together in advance.
I have not long gotten back from the Pentacle Lammas camp. I spent two nights in woodland in Tring, Herts. with about 20 others. It was a very relaxed and chilled out affair – no set ritual, no strictly run workshops. A number of activities were available if people wanted (cord making, drop spinning for instance) though nearly everybody was content to just sit about the fire, drink tea and coffee and just ‘be’. I lead the Corn King making again (I’m getting a damn sight better with each one) and this year he turned out to be a 7 ft monster who took an age to burn. I put that down to the slightly damp wheat, damp atmosphere and also slight under ripeness of the grain too. In the end, he went up in flames; the King is dead! long live the King! I feel that something like the making, burning and ash scattering of an effigy of this sort can be as valuable and spiritual as a full on ritual. A thought that occurred to me is that we walk a cycle through the year; the profane wheel as it is whilst alongside us revolves the mythic or sacred cycle. At certain time we step aside and walk the mythic one alongside the gods. This sideways step can be done with ritual or it can be done by pulling the two paths together and living the mythic strand. I see the Corn King work as that pulling together. I see it as ‘doing’ rather then sitting at home, waiting till the 1st of August and holding a ritual. Getting out there and gathering grain, fashioning an effigy and watching him burn contemplatively holds far more depth, value and meaning.