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                               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)
          Fresh-baked bread
          Red Wine
          Cords to bind the Lammas Lord
          Green cloth to cover him
          Lammas Cup and cloth to polish
          "John Barleycorn" music

          Ritual Begins:

          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.


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