Lughnassadh Ritual and Games

Saturday, August 4, 2018
Games Begin at 1 pm; Ritual at 4 pm
Lakeview Grove, North Park (North of Pittsburgh, PA)

Join the Druids of Sassafras Grove for our 26th annual Lughnassadh ritual and games! This is the time of year when we traditionally honor the union of the King and the goddess of Sovereignty, as well as personal and community skills and work. This year, our ritual theme is Sovereignty through Adversity, honoring the goddess Macha and celebrating aspects of personal sovereignty.

Our land is characterized by the convergence of our three rivers. In keeping with Sassafras tradition, we will gather the waters to be blessed during the rite. Please feel free to bring a sampling of your local waters (and be willing to name those waters during this part of the rite), and a small container to take a portion of the combined sacred waters home with you.

Another Sassafras tradition is the concept of the Work. This isn’t referring to work as in our jobs or careers or areas of study, but Work as in our spiritual work, our lessons for this lifetime, or the work that is aligned with our soul and/or higher self. Thus, Work.

Macha is the Sovereignty Goddess of Ulster, the northern province of ancient Ireland. Her sovereignty role links her with the land, the king, battle, horses, stewardship, fertility, and the Otherworld. Honoring our personal sovereignty means honoring each of these aspects within ourselves as well. In this rite, we will do so through a pathworking experience for all ritual participants. In preparation for this working, please consider the following questions prior to the rite. All of the questions are variants of ‘Who Are You?’ because, in order to claim the power of our own sovereignty, we must first know ourselves. In finding this we follow Macha’s example and her stories:

Otherworld: Who are you? Who do you come from Who are/were your people?

The land: Who are you? What have you sacrificed for the Work?

Battle: Who are you? What do you fight for?

Horse race: Who are you? What challenge have you overcome?

The King: Who are you? Who is your ally in your Work?

Stewardship: Who are you? What are you responsible for?

Fertility: Who are you? What Work will live on when you are gone?

In each example, ritual participants will need to answer the question aloud, drawing on the power of the spoken word declared before the Kindred and the community to define each aspect of our personal sovereignty.

Schedule of Events:

12pm: Welcome and preparation

12:30-1pm: Games begin

3 pm: Ritual begins

Post ritual potluck picnic


Wat to Bring:
An offering to Macha. Particularly appropriate offerings include symbols of your Work, symbols of your personal strength or expertise, whiskey, or grain.

Please bring your local waters, from a river, stream, or lake, as well as a small container to take some of the combined waters home with you.

A camp chair or blanket to sit outside

A dish to share at the potluck

Feast Gear*

Water and sunscreen

Annual Lughnassadh Games

Adults compete for the title of Grove Champion while children can earn prizes!
Adult competitions:
1) Brewing/Cooking: Bring pre-made items of your own creation to be judged. Your cooking entry, if you wish, may later also be your potluck contribution.

2) Wheel of Fortune: Spin the wheel and solve the lore-themed puzzles.

3) Corn Hole: Show off your throwing accuracy in this harvest game.

4) Art Contest: Dazzle us with your artistry create a watercolor painting on a coffee filter. Entries can be used as offerings to the fire.

5) Plinko: Play this “Price Is Right” based game outdoors to rack up the most points.

While alcohol is permitted at this event, glass bottles and containers are not allowed at this site. Please plan accordingly.  Sassafras Grove expects all guests who choose to drink alcohol to do so legally and responsibly.

Our rites and events are free and open to the community, but we do rely on the monetary donations of those who are able to defray the cost of space rental and ritual supplies.

For more information about this event, Sassafras Grove in general, or our parent church Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), please feel free to email us at

Directions to Lakeview Grove

Enter North Park via McKnight and Babcock Boulevard; Turn east off of McKnight onto Babcock. Follow Babcock onto Pearce Mill Road; Turn Right (uphill) onto North Ridge Road; follow North Ridge Road uphill past many smaller groves.  Lake View Grove will be on your left, near a crest in the hill. There is ample graveled parking, but the Grove itself is not visible from the road.  For a map, please visit the Parks Web site at:

Plant a Tree! Over the next year, Sassafras Grove will be collecting cash donations to be used to plant trees through the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of the Earth Mother. For just $2.00 we can plant a tree in a National Forest! So if you have an extra dollar or two, please consider donating. We’ll keep you updated quarterly on the planting progress!

*Feast Gear-In order to reduce the amount of paper plates, plastic utensils and other disposable items we are using, we encourage folks attending our events to bring their own feast-gear for pot luck.  We’ll still have some plates and utensils available, however, we feel we need to make a greater effort to be kinder to the environment and Mother Earth and ask you to join us. We are, after all, tree-hugging dirt worshipers 🙂


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