The Corn Play (Lammas Ritual)
Coven of the Morning Star and Stella Maris Coven
Lammas Lord Crown (Wheat, Rye, Corn, fruit and flowers)
Corn Queen Crown (Wheat, Rye, Corn etc)
Cords to bind the Lammas Lord
Green cloth to cover him
Lammas Cup and cloth to polish
"John Barleycorn" music
Priestess and Priest cast circle and invoke quarters
(Lammas Lord and Corn Queen remain outside circle).
A gateway is cut, and everyone calls to the Corn Queen to
enter the circle:
Queen of the Corn, Queen of the Fertile Earth; come to us now,
for we have need of you & etc.
The Queen enters, and then leads the call for the Lammas Lord
to enter the circle.
God of the Meadow, God of the Hill, God of the Corn and of our
True Will, come to us now, for we adore you & etc.
The Lammas Lord stands in the centre of the Circle, and is
washed by the women (each Priestess takes the aspergillus in
turn, and asperges the Lammas Lord - Corn Queen first).
Then each one polishes the Lammas Cup, which is returned to
the altar, and filled with red wine. (Corn Queen takes cup and
cloth to each person).
Then the Queen stands before the Lammas Lord and says:
To kill the King
(Coven: For what purpose kill?)
To feed the land
(Coven: What feeds the land?)
The blood of the King
The honour of the King
The life of the King
Two priests step forward, and bind the Lord's hands behind his
back, and tie his ankles together. NB: do not knot the cords,
as the Lammas Lord must be able to extricate himself from the
The men all turn and face outwards from the circle. The Corn
Queen takes her athame, and the cup of wine, and "cuts the
throat" of the Lammas Lord, catching his blood in the chalice.
The women help the Lammas Lord to the ground, and cover him
with the green cloth. His crown is placed upon the bread, on
the altar. A female Elder stands at the head of the Lammas
Lord, and a Maiden stands at his feet. They are his mourners.
The men turn back into the circle, and the Corn Queen leads
the weaving dance to "John Barleycorn". When the music
finishes, all stand facing outwards (including Elder and
Maiden). The Lammas Lord removes his binds and cover, and
silently makes his way to the altar. He takes up the bread and
wine, and leaves his crown on the altar. He returns and stands
centre. The Corn Queen acknowledges the mystery of the re-born
"Behold the Mystery! The grain, the crop, the food."
As she speaks, everyone turns and faces in once more.
The Queen steps forward, and kneels before the re-born grain
saying again, "behold the mystery". She rises, and drinks from
the cup. The "Lammas Lord" breaks a piece of bread for her,
which he gives to her as she hands back the cup. She walks to
the altar, and dips the bread in the honey. Then the next
person steps forward, and repeats her actions. Then each in
turn until all have knelt to the re-born grain, and had some
wine, bread and honey. It is important that the Lammas Lord
does not speak throughout the ritual.
The circle is closed, and the feast begins.
This ritual is freely adapted from a traditional ritual
practised in the north of England.
Next: Food For Thought (Some notes for Coven Leaders)