While you might be confused, I will explain that this blog post for the Pagan Blog Project could have easily been delayed to L is for Libation but I wanted to take it in another direction...
The third path of the Gardnerian 8-Fold Way is the path of Drugs, Wine, Incense.
Drunkenness is a part of this path in that many cultures use alcoholic libation as a part of rituals to celebrate, incite frenzy, relax, sedate, and subdue the participants and the deities and spirits they are working with.
Alcohol dates back to the beginnings of civilization. The Egyptians commonly drank a beer-like substance made from grain and honey. Christian monks are said to have perfected the art of fermentation in making ale, mead and beer as well.
Drunkenness in Rite
Many rituals even call for alcohol. When I received by attunement to Sekhmet Sekhem, the ritual called for an elixir made from my beer of choice blended with pomegranate pips to stain it red (thought I'm sure a red beer in itself would have worked just as well). The beer was necessary in order to satiate and sedate Sekhmet and her fury.
Alternatively, my Anubis Seichim attunement did not call for libation but if it had Laughing Dog beer has one in His name.
The traditional offering in a Wiccan rite is cakes and Wine, though many covens substitute the wine for grapejuice, there are many who hold to the tradition of using actual wine. The wine itself can vary on the type of ceremony. Red wine for Mother Goddess or for the Sun God and White for Lunar rituals. Also, there are some wines that lend themselves by brew or name. For harvest festivals like Lughnassadh or Mabon, consider a wine off this list of Autumnal wines. Sometimes even the name is helpful as in Menage a Troi for a trinity celebration or even a 3 person handfasting ritual.
While many covens may frown upon drinking before, during or even soon after a ceremony, ritual, spell, etc (especially those who have adolescents or AA members in their group) if you coven does welcome or tolerate this, be sure to tell them that you have been drinking if you are part of their ceremony - its always good to be courteous.
Ceremonial Potions or Libations from the Crone's book of Charms and Spells
1 oz brandy, 2 oz sweet white port, 1 tsp honey
2 oz anise cordial, 1 oz vodka, 1 tsp white sugar syrup
Love or Passion Libation
1 oz cherry brandy, 1 oz peach brandy, 1 tsp honey, sprinkling of cumin powder
Libation for Renewed Vision or Intellect
1 oz mint cordial, 2 oz white gin, 1 tsp sugar syrup
Libation for Beauty of Mind and Body
1 oz apricot brandy, 2 oz sweet Madeira wine, 3 drops almond extract
Libation for Triumph over Death
1 oz blackberry brandy, 1 oz sweet red port, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz apple brandy, 2 oz apple cider, 1 tsp honey
To fight drunkenness
It is said in gem lore that wearing or carrying amethyst will protect the bearer from excessive drunkenness. Because of this, it is the gem of those who belong to Alcoholics Anonymous and other rehabilitation groups.
The very word Amethyst means "Not Drunk"
There is a ancient myth about Bacchus turning a young maiden to stone, and in remorse, he poured wine on the statue, staining it purple and creating amethyst. Goblets of Amethyst were said to prevent the drinker from being overwhelmed by the drink’s spirit.
The stone brings calmness and clarity to a mind otherwise clouded with confusion or libation.
The ivy wreath, like the amethyst, was associated with Bacchus, and the ancient Romans thought that wearing this wreath could prevent intoxication.