A Druid Bealtaine Ritual, 2004 Moonpath Chapter of CUUPS
Composed by Valan, The Druid
(materials from assorted sources listed at end of document)

PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENTS:

The ritual site is arranged with a fire circle as the center. Torches mark
the cardinal points. The processional enters from a gate in the north-east 
of the circle. 

Sacrificial items, (“ale”, oatmeal, sea-salt, flowers, Scented Oil)
oil lamps
Rune bag
Blessing cup
All these are set on altar draped with Spring colors.
ADDITIONAL PROPS:
Large bell
Several lighters (1 for each quarter, and Firestarter material)
2 small firepots ready to light, brands to light them from main fire
4 juices and small cups
Quarter torches and small altars (each quarter dresses their altar)
Branches for each quarter to hold
Dozen sparklers for circle casting
Big bucket of water.
Short phallic rod (that Aengus has on his person)
A small hole to be dug for the rod in the North

Celebrants:
Valan
Spel  (with Horns)
Mr. Y
May Queen - Jessi
Angus - Jeff
Quarter teams (3 in each team)
Fire  Keeper - Nereus

Spel:  (When everyone is in big circle)

As we approach the sacred grove
With heart and mind, flesh and bone,
Join us now in ways of old. 
We have come home.

Join now for the Druids Pledge:
(all)
We swear by Peace and Love to stand
Heart to heart and hand to hand
Mark, Oh Spirits, hear us now
Confirming this, our sacred vow.

Statement of purpose and precedent:

Mr. Y

Welcome to the offering rite of Bealtainne, 
the Hinge of Summer, 
the Day of Blessings. 
Now the earth grows green again; 
Warmed by the power of the Sun.
Shoot has become bud 
and bud is flowering 
as all life burns 
with the kindling of love's fire. 
Now we rejoice in the heat of May, 
and look forward to the greater heat of summer.

As the ancients did before us, 
so we do now, 
and so our descendants may do in the future. 
We are come into the Grove to worship as they did, 
to offer to the Ancestors; 
to offer to the King and Queen of the Sidhe (pronounced “She”)
to offer to the Nature Spirits; 
and to offer to the beloved Shining Ones. 
Today we honor Aine, (pronounced “En-ya”)
the Queen under the Mound, 
the erotic power of renewal. 
Today we honor Aengus the Harper, (pronounced “Angus”)
the enchanting life of the Earth. 
Today we kindle a new flame in ourselves 
as we dance among the Bealtainne fires. 
And tonight, may we practice the Rites of Love 
in whatever way our spirit may guide us, 
to sustain the Power of Life!

Invocations to earth and sea and sky

Valan:  I am a child of the earth, the sky and the sea.
        I am your daughter, answer unto me.


Spell
Hertha, O beloved Mother Earth From whose dark womb is born all green and
growing things, To whom all life descends in death's darkness, We honor
you as our forefathers did before us. Offering this precious drink;
which was born of your bounty, We pray that you accept our gift and bless
and uphold this rite.

(Spel pours “ale” onto the earth beside the firepit.)

Mr. Y 
Tiwaz, O beloved Father Sky From whose bright heaven comes the wind,
the rain, And the lightning which first gave spark to life itself.

We honor you as our forefathers did before us. Offering this precious grain,
which was born of your bounty, We pray that you accept our gift and bless
and uphold this rite.

Mr. Y takes a handful of oatmeal and casts it across the fire.

Firestarter
Njord, O beloved Guardian  of the Sea, whose gentle breath fill the sails
of those who ride your waves.

We honor you as our forefathers did before us. Offering this precious
sea-salt, which was born of your bounty, We pray that you accept our gift
and bless and uphold this rite.

Firestarter
(Takes a handful of sea-salt and casts it across the fire.)

Sacrifice to the outsiders 

Valan

Ancient and dark ones; unseen, unsightly, and unloved
We make this offering to you
You twisted and misshapen
You cold of heart and dim of mind
Take this offering and trouble not our rites.

(She takes the Blessing cup and 
pours “ale” onto the earth, outside the circle.) 

Establishing the sacred centers:

(At this time the FIRESTARTER kindles the central fire ablaze.
(MUCH DRUMMING!!!!!)

Spel:

In ancient times fire, man's greatest tool and nature's fiercest weapon,
defined the meeting place of the sacred and the profane, the heart of the
home and of religious ceremony. Therefore, when we come together to
celebrate the rites of our ancestors, we light a fire. We light this fire
as the center of our circle, the symbol of the ancient ways, and as a means
by which our sacrifices may be conveyed to the realms of the gods.

Valan

O sacred fire that consumes and transforms
Ancient enemy and first-born friend of humankind.
Accept this offering of flowers
Become for us the living door to the heavens
The manifestation of the Shining Ones .
And the path of our return to the ancient ways. 

(Valan tosses branch on fire.)

Mr. Y
O sacred bough of fragrant memory 
May your sweet, rising smoke
Reach the halls of the gods.

May we pray with a good fire!


Invoking the quarters

(3 per team. 1 speaks, one has a Bic, 1 holds branch. Later,
they are charged with passing out and juice and cups to their quarter:
sunwise.

The East quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to east. The Eastern
torches are lit.

Eastern caller:  I summon, stir and call ye up
Mighty ones of the East
Ancient powers of air
Powers of wonder and imagination
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome!  Caller goes back to the East.

The  Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to South. The Southern
torches are lit.

Southern caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Mighty ones of the South
Ancient powers of Fire
Powers of Passion and Transformation
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome!   Caller goes back to the South.

The West quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to West. The Westerm
torches are lit.

Western caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Mighty ones of the West
Ancient powers of Water
Powers of Love and  Compassionate Healing.
And I call our Ancestors, who dwell in the West
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West.

The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to north. The Northern
torches ares lit.

Northtern caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Mighty ones of the North
Ancient powers of the Earth
Powers of Fertilty and Form
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North.

Casting the Circle
Valan:

We have called to the quarters, now let us CAST the circle.
I will start by placing my left palm to the upraised palm
of the person on my left.
Then I say 
“Hand to Hand I cast this circle.”

They, in turn do this to the person on their left,
till the whole circle is cast.
Keep your palms together till the final binding is proclaimed.
(Valan starts with Spel, he does Mr. Y, etc….)
(DRUMMERS:  Keep a strong beat!!)

When all are joined Spel says:
“It is joined.” 
We can now drop our hands. Next, please chant with me
as the quarter teams pace the edge of our sacred space:

“We cast this circle with sparks and fire
To raise our energy higher and higher!”

“Ready, quarter teams?”

(At this point, the one of each quarter teams light a sparkler.
Another picks up the lamp and proceed sunwise a full revolution.
(before the 1st sparkler goes out, the other quarter person lights
a second, etc. Never should the sparklers fail till the quarter person
has circled once and returns to her home station.)

We all chant as they pace the circle.

Honoring the Patron Powers

A cloaked woman emerges, stands to the north with head bowed and cloak closed. 
Mr.Y speaks:
In elder days, Erin the goddess, was the mother of clans, called Aine,
(pronounced “En-ya”) queen of the noble ones. Aine mated with mighty men
and from them she bore many peoples. As each of them grew old,
she would renew her youth and love again.

So for us, is the living earth The Goddess, who grows old with the winter
and renews her youth in this merry, magical time. With each of her
renewings she brings the flowing of new life, the erotic blossoming
of every kindred, not just for the continuing of clans, but for the
delight and regeneration of all beings.

Aine the ancient  (pronounced “En-ya”)
Calleach the mighty (pronounced Kall-eé)
Bones of the Earth
Answer your children

Mother to maiden
Winter to summer
Root into blossom
Answer us, changer!

Flow now the waters
All hearts rejoicing
Laughter and loving
Bounty and blessing

Now in the hinge-time
Wise ones are calling
Show us your wonder
O maiden of May!

all: Aine, accept our sacrifice! (pronounced “En-ya”)

V. makes an offering of scented oil is made to the Fire. 
Jessi removes her cloak to reveal a young maiden. 
All cry: Hail the Queen of the May!

The May Queen speaks, saying:
Let the goddess of Earth hear our call as I hear it! 
Blessings upon all who honor the Shining Ones.
In this season of renewal we do honor to the goddess Aine,
(pronounced “En-ya”)
the bringer of Life, who  stands at the gate of the Sidhe! (pronounced “She”)

Spel speaks:
Surely it is true 
that when the maid of May appears 
in any place 
or any heart 
the delight of love cannot be far behind. 
In Erin the power of love's joy was worshipped in Aengus, (pronounced Angus) 
He is the golden harper, 
whose music wakens longing and fulfillment 
in mortal hearts. 
He is the silver voice, 
calling all to come away from earthly care 
and join in the joy of May. 
Now let us welcome the young lord. 

Aengus the harper  (same guy as Tristan: Jeff)

I am Aengus the harper
Son of the Dagda,
Whose staff is the strongest.

Born of enchantment
The son of the Mother
Singer, enticer
Delighter of maidens

Sap in the branches
All making merry!!

All: Aengus accept our sacrifice! 

V.  maskes offering of scented oil is made to the Fire.

He whips out a stout, small phallic rod. It is passed from woman to woman
(he hands it to the woman on his LEFT side:  NOT the MayQueen.
(a Northern quarter attendant will be prepped to “play” ( The rod is
passed from woman with much merry jesting, kissing of the pole, etc. ...
The May Queen (who gets it last) then places the pole in the Earth
(in a pre-made hole), saying:

Awake, O King-To-Be! Enter now the maiden Earth and bring joy and blessing
to us all!

OMEN TAKING:
Valan

The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice.
May our prayers go clearly and without hindrance to those we have praised.
A favor requires a favor; a song another song, and a gift given requires
a gift in return. This is the law of ancient times, alike between man
and man and mankind and the gods.  We have offered our gifts to the gods
and we ask them in return for knowledge of what tomorrow will bring.
Will our lives be renewed and our Summer fruitful?

I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know our Fate.

The youngest draws and Valan interprets a rune. If an, unfavorable omen
is drawn, the participants are asked to meditate on the gods' message
and consider how to respond individually.

Blessing Cup
Mr. Y raises the Blessing cup filled with juice.

Ancient and mighty ones we honor you. Having established the bond
of hospitality with the gods, what the gods have given to us we
distribute freely. Behold the drink of the gods!

All:

Behold the drink of the gods!

Mr. Y
We will pass out cups. Please wait for the toast to be made before drinking!

Starwind:  Sings lovely song.  (When she finishes it, there is much drumming
at this time)

Quarter teams pass out cups and pour juice.


When all have a drink, 

Spel says:

When we give, we receive and are blessed.
What we share will be shared in return.
Those we praise in joy will respond in our need.
We are kin to the gods when we drink their mead.



The Beltainne Blessing Fires

Valan Speaks:
Now as we stand filled with the power of our Goddess and God, let us work
the spell of the Beltainne fires to drive away ill and bring us luck
in the coming summer.

The MayQueen and Aengus (Jeff)
Two fire-vessels are brought out (they are under the North quarter altar)
and placed next to each other so folks can pass between them walking,
West to East. These are lit after being placed on the ground.

Mr. Y says:
We kindle these magic fires
In the presence of the mighty ones
In the power of the lovers

Rise as the warmth of summer's sun
This Beltainne day
Kindle within each of our hearts
A flame of love and wit and might
To friend and foe and all beings
Bring peace and beauty to the land
As life begins anew. 

Step lightly in the dance and leave your winter cares behind
Receive the blessing of the shining ones
As you pass between the faery fires
Dance now, in the joy of May!

Dance and pass between the two fires!

(everyone dances and passes between the 2 fires, players start the lines!
The MayQueen and Aengus (Jeff) go first: Pass through to the East. Then,
the Northern quarter-attendants follow. They beckon those at the
North-Northwest to follow.. Everyone circles sunwise, passing between
the fires.
Much  drumming  at this time!)

Spel:

Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid the gods and elements farewell;
to go or to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to watch over us
and guide us on our path.

Bless, O great ones 
true and bountiful
Ourselves, our kind (pronounced kind, rhymes with sinned) 
and our friends
May the Waters of Life sustain us
May the Fire of Passion enliven us
From day to day through every turning moon
From season to season
Through all the sacred year.
Let the seeds of Spring, shoot and bud
And let our lives blossom with the May.
By the magic of the old ways
Let all our blossoms come to fruit!

V says:
Let the fire be flame. (gong)
Let the well be water. (gong)
Let all be as it was before. (gong)
This rite is ended. (gong)

Fire-keeper  extinguishes the fire with water
(Big bucketful of water = big smokey finale)

Starwind:  Starts the Merry Meet song
Everybody claps and sing and hug.

***********************************************

References, blessings and credits to: 
Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit
M.M. Sutton, Ph.D, Druid Magic
Sirona Knight, Celtic traditions,
Emma Restall Orr, Spirits of the Sacred Ground
C & J. Matthews, Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom
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