Day 139: Lammas, Breaking Bread

Breaking bread is a central Lughnassadh custom.  In this ritual, members gather and each attendee bestows personal thanks and good wishes into a central loaf of bread.  One member of this community then holds the bread before the community and breaks it.  Each member then consumes a small portion of the loaf in order to assume its virtues and blessings.  This will be our practice today.

What you’ll need:

  • A whole loaf of unsliced bread
  • Several 4×4-inch squares of blank paper
  • A red ink pen
  • A cauldron or other burning vessel

Gather together a group of magical practitioners or try this on your own.  Use the pen to write down a wish or a blessing for the coming year.  Place the papers in a heavy cauldron or other deep metal container.  Light the wishes on fire.  Hold the loaf above the flames and imagine that the energy of these wishes enters from the flames into the loaf of bread.  While this happens, say:

Hoof and horn, hoof and horn
All that dies shall be reborn!
Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again!
We all come from the goddess,
And to her we shall return;
Like a drop of rain,
Flowing to the ocean!

Break the loaf in half just as the flames begin to die out.  Pass pieces of bread to the participants saying “May we never hunger” or “May I never hunger” if you are alone.  As you eat a piece of the bread yourself, imagine that you become filled with its virtues.

Breaking bread...better with others, okay alone.

I’ve been looking forward to this practice for a few days now.  I like the symbolism it offers:  ingesting your offered and sacralized wishes and blessings makes them a part of your very self.  In fact, I was so drawn to this that I decided to bake my own bread, which was delicious (though it probably could have baked a little longer…so hard to tell with whole wheat!).

My wish was to become a better student and scholar and to be worthy of these titles.  It’s so odd, but having performed this working, I feel more connected–like I have access to those internal abilities to make myself these things and to share them with others.

May I never hunger!  Physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually!

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