LUGHNAPALOOZA!! A Punk Rock Lughnasadh
(Grove of the Other Gods, August 5, 2006)
From Ed (GOG grove scribe):
Many of our Druids have been creating ritual MP3 playlists-- lists of songs they like that
reflect the order of Druid ritual. This helps them to learn the order of ADF ritual, and also
to go through a ritual in their heads as they listen to the playlist. It was cool to do a full ritual
with a song list, and (for me) a punk song list made it even better.
Annie was our organized and insanely capable Druid-in-Charge and ritual liturgist. A brief
verse and the chorus of each song were played after each invocation. Invocations were
spontaneous and were inspired by the flow of energy created by the songs and previous
invocations. The result was a heady celebration of Lughʼs pride, reverence, mirth, and
We used the story of “Lugh at the Gates of Tara” -- except we translated it to “Lugh at the
Gates of Club Tara.”
35 GOGers and guests got their hands stamped at the door. Grove member Chuck drew
down an amazing and fantastic Lugh who told us the true story of the Magh-Tuireadh
Battle of the Bands (filling in for Patty, who broke her arm the week before).
From Annie (Liturgist and Druid in Charge):
Recently, I've been thinking about this concept of energy work by means of loud, fast
music. I played around with what to call it: "punk gnosis," "punk rock apostasy"? I settled
on "Punk Draoicht," which (and please correct me if I'm wrong) means "punk Druidry" and
is pronounced "punk RY-ock." I even made a design of it (attached to this email) ready for
This ritual is nicknamed "Punk Rock Lughnassadh," but it refers to any kind of music that
you identify with and are able to immerse yourself in. Punk rock is my own genre of choice,
but in some ways it is also a parallel of Paganism. Punk is dead, some say, and others say
"Punk's not dead, it just deserves to die." Yet it's undeniable that the appreciation for
flipping the bird to the status quo lives on -- maybe not in any of the so-called "punk" of
today, but in the hearts of those who lived or wished they lived in the late seventies and
early eighties' revolution. Just like the Gods and the Paleopagan religions of old -- the
words might not mean the same thing to us, the actions might be done differently, but the
intent is still there and will always be for anyone willing to listen to the old songs.
Bouncers (willows) were Jenniforensic, Bob, and Matt. Kitchen witch was Norma.
For photos: http://www.othergods.org/rituals/lugh-06-palooza.htmll
ANNIE'S RITUAL SCRIPT AND PLAYLIST
Procession: Lining up and getting hand-stamped at the door.
Opening Chimes: Two trash can lids, banged together three times.
Statement of Purpose: "We are here to honor the Gods. Old ones who give life to
everything that is, lend us your presence." Brief discussion of ritual and holiday.
Earth Mother: Siouxsie Sioux & The Sex Pistols - Steppin' Stone
(Invocation: Tricia, “You crazy kids.”
The Earth Mother also got to pee standing up as part of Her offering.)
Meditation: (Nej- reminiscing about the Melody Bar and punk.)
Horizontal Directions: Dead Kennedys - This Could Be Anywhere
(Invocation, Matthew: pointing to clubs and bands in different directions in the
Well: Sex Pistols - Submission (Invocation: Jeff)
Fire: The Clash - London's Burning (Invocation: Sue)
Tree: The Misfits - In The Doorway (Invocation: Maggie)
(A board with “Tree dammit” written on it.)
Gatekeeper (Manannán MacLir appearing as “Manny Overboard”): The Dictators - Two
(Invocation and gate opening: Jenniforensics)
Outsiders: The Misfits - I Turned Into A Martian (Invocation: Jeff, “Punk is dead”)
Muse (Brigantia of the Brigands, those tattooed punk warriors):
The Ramones - Sheena (Brigid) Is A Punk Rocker (Invocation: Ed)
Ancestors: S.O.D. - The Ballad of Jimi Hendrix
(Invocation: Marc, old clubs gone away, dead musicians)
Nature Spirits: 999 - I'm Alive (Invocation: Hillary, Punk is a spirit)
Gods & Goddesses: The Dead Pets - We're Coming Back
(Invocation: Daphne, how the deities hold us together)
Main Invocation (Lugh Samildanach):
Lugh at the door of Club Tara
(As at the gates of Tara, Lugh was asked by the bouncers at the door what he brought
to the club. With each statement, the bouncers answered that the club already had a
bass player, a lead guitar, a drummer, a roadie, a bartender, etc... Then Lugh
announced that he could do all of that, and more):
Lugh: Chuck (drawing down Lugh)
Bouncer 1: Matthew
Bouncer 2: Bob
Guest List Checker: Jenniforensics ("Sorry, I don't see a Lugh on this list....")
Song: The Boomtown Rats - Lookin' After Number One
Lugh enters, tells story of the Magh-Tuireadh Battle of the Bands
Sex Pistols: Greatest Rock and Roll Swindle
Energy-raising popcorn throwing and slamdancing.
Effigy Chomp (Lugh bread man with cherry tomato balls and a stick of sweet corn)
Soundtrack for the consumption of the effigy (group praise):
They Might Be Giants - Why Does The Sun Shine? (Sung live)
Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies
Hüsker Dü - Sunshine Superman
Omen (Played on shuffle out of 500+ songs) (Readers: Tricia, Maggie, Monika):
We got as omens:
Flogging Molly - Salty Dog (Manannan?)
Skid - Into the Valley
Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device
Waters of Life:
“And of what does the Earth Mother give that we shall know of the continued renewal of
THE WATERS OF LIFE
and from whence do those waters come?
FROM THE BOSOM OF THE EARTH MOTHER, THE EVERCHANGING ALL
and how do we honor this gift of life?
BY PARTAKING OF THE WATERS
and has she given forth of Her bounty?
YOU BETCHA ”
Pourers and passers-out pour and pass out waters (99 Waters of Lugh on the Wall...)
Thanks & Gate Closing [and the theme song of the rit]: The Mekons - Sound of the
This Rite is Ended.
JOURNAL OF THE ORIGIN OF LUGHNAPALOOZA
"Lughnasadh at the Grove is generally a time of silliness and merriment. Though this is my
first Lughnasadh shared with others, I have heard stories and read write-ups that place this
Holy Day in the realm of the ridiculous, with a loving, sanctimonious manner. Lugh was
always a special God to me because of His many special talents and abilities, which I
share in number though not really quality. The first time I drew Lugh, sometime in high
school, He had dark curly hair, a very cool fedora-like hat, and a wonderfully devious smirk.
That image has stayed with me and though I have since drawn Him in more appropriate
garb and facial features, the mental image of Lugh as this wickedly smart yet mischievous
God has remained with me.
I started developing an interest for what I call “old school punk”, stuff from the seventies
and early eighties like Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys, and found somehow that Lugh was
there in the flippant lyrics and egotistical words. A bored doodle in my Calculus class
blossomed into a sketch of Lugh as an old school punk rocker: leaning back against a
graffitied wall, His ripped jeans and knee-high booted legs crossed, His beat up leather
jacket over a dingy white t-shirt, a lit cigarette in His smirking mouth. Very cheeky, very
edgy, very, well, Lugh.
This impression gained physical form in February with my best friend Patty there to confirm
it. I was listening to my iPod on shuffle a week or two before a Flogging Molly (FM) concert
when three FM songs came on in a row, a very rare occurrence. Certain bands correspond
with certain Gods I work with, and FM is Lughʼs favorite band. I closed my eyes, mentally
asked Him what He wanted, and opened my eyes to see a beer advertisement. Well, I
knew what that meant.
Since I was below the drinking age I asked Patty to help me with the libation and we
poured out a beer for Lugh and His drinking buddy, Manannán. My original concert buddy
dropped out at the last minute and before she knew what was happening, Patty and I were
on our way to the show.
The trip to Starland was worthy of an epic in itself, but what was truly worthy of retelling
was one of the opening acts, The Dead Pets. They were a British ska band. The lead
singer looked just like Pattyʼs and my mental image of Manannán, and their trumpet player
was Lugh. It sent chills down our spines – the good kind of shivers, of course – and she
and I are still talking about it today. The greatest part was when they sang certain lyrics that
spoke directly to Patty's and my heart: "Weʼre coming back, we're coming back, we're
coming back to you, and we're never gonna go away again. Hold on a little longer, try a
little harder, 'til we all get there together in the end. So remember! You have got someone,
you've got a friend - and you'll never walk alone again." I still get shivers from those simple
words. Sometime after the show, which was the best I had ever been to, I started thinking
about recreating that energy in a ritual setting. The Grove is notorious for having unusual
themes for certain rituals, Lughnasadh included. Why not have a punk rock Lughnasadh?