Friday 31 July 2020

Lammas: Time for Protection from Covid and Corvids

Lammas, as well as being a time to celebrate the start of the harvest, is also when we must protect the crops we have gathered and the gains we have made so far in the year.

I once took part in a Lammas ritual in which people brought wheat, corn and barley to place in the centre of the circle along with bread and ale for a celebration feast. They then stood, hand in hand in around the harvest produce. Others, however, took the role of crows. I was one of them. We were outside the circle, trying to break in and steal the bounty. Despite it being theatrical in nature, it turned into something of a boisterous game, with the crows trying to find the weakest link to break in. There was cawing from us, and shouting from those in the circle.

But then drums rolled, and protection was called for to strengthen our defences. In the case of the ritual, it was an invocation of deities who traditionally help at harvest-time. Now, at Lammas 2020, it is Covid more than Corvids we need protection against. Hence my picture of masks at the top of this post - one of which has a fantastic crow on it and the other a black cat.

They arrived for me in the post yesterday, and were made for me by Kate Dicey, a friend who is very talented at sewing. She used the Olsen pattern, which is free. Kate co-runs a costume-making business called Jolly Dicey. I will feel very protected wearing one of my lovely masks when I have to go to the post office and supermarket later on, although hand washing and social distancing are also still important.

At the Lammas ritual, the Goddess charge ended with the message that all creatures need to eat for nature to be in balance. The crows were invited in to the circle to take their fair share of the food, beside the people. When it comes to the coronavirus, however, let's keep it out of our social circles and send it packing.

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