Decorating your home at Lammas
When decorating homes and altars it can be a good idea to use things that are reminiscent of the first harvest of the year. Sheaves of corn can be displayed. A loaf baked in the shape of a man and crowned with ears of corn can be used to represent the God, and the effigy placed on a platter.
The Goddess might be shown by a bowl of earth or perhaps even corn dollies. Seasonal fruits can also be put out, such as strawberries, bilberries and early apples.
A floral display could be made from poppies or cornflowers.
A good color for the altar cloth might be a sunset red, showing that the light of the God is still vibrant but in its decline; red is also a color strongly associated with sacrifice.
Those Witches who wish to use the figure of the Holly King may also want to place some leaves or twigs from this tree on the altar.
Perform the Opening of the Temple as usual.
Pick up a sheaf of corn. Hold it in front of you and say something similar to the following:
“King corn now is dead,
Cut down by our scythes,
But his Spirit lives on and enriches our lives.
The Lord’s grain is pounded and made into bread,
Loaves that we bake will keep us well fed.
Thanks be to the Great God who gave up his life! Praise be to the Goddess who ensures we survive!
King corn now is dead,
Cut down by our scythes,
But his Spirit lives on and keeps us alive.”
Pick up the platter with the bread man on it. Using a boltine (or knife other than your athame) cut the bread into pieces. It is quite appropriate to spread on butter or even have a piece of cheese to hand if desired. Eat some of the bread and as you do so contemplate what this act symbolizes for you. Think about what has gone into its production in terms of the interaction of Goddess and God forces, the action of the Four Elements, as well as how the grain was turned into flour and the whole bread making process. Today it is often forgotten just how important bread is to human beings of many different cultures and epochs. There have been periods in history where entire empires have been placed under threat when this staple food was unavailable  and even today, in countries that are poor, it is critical to the survival of many people.
“I consume this bread and as I do so I consciously connect with the energies that went into its making. Sown in the ground, watered from the skies, the grain strove ever upwards towards the light so that I may eat and survive. I give thanks for the fertility of our Goddess the Earth and the heat of the Sun. In harmony they provide all that I need. May the grain now be scattered in the four winds and find its resting place deep within the Great Mother, there to grow again in the many years ahead. So mote it be.”
Any magical work that is pressing can now be undertaken.
At the end, there is time to enjoy the rest of the bread and any fruit that was displayed on the altar.
Finally, close the temple.