Beltaine at MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
April 30, 2005
A Ritual preceded by a Seasonal Enactment

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The Seasonal Enactment, staged off the porch.

Composed by Valan the Druid

Earth and Sun (Emily and Anthony)
Narrator  (Saille Honor)
appointed candle-lighter/bell ringer  (Angelica?)
Quarter teams with palm fronds  (12)

Bell
12 yellow candles, Sacred Bic
BIG Incense
Annointing Oil
Toasting cup
Little altar with cloth (or a handy picnic table!! With cloth)

Saille:
In many lands, May Day is a joyous feast celebrating the return of the Sun, the fertility of the Earth, and most of all, hope for a fruitful bounty.

It is a festival for lovers, as it celebrates the marriage of the Mayday goddess, wed to the brilliant virile Sun. Together they renew the earth, and the circle of life begins anew.

On this day the Sun returns to strength, and Earth is roused from her fast sleep, and all the signs of her awakening shall proclaim this glad event, and great rejoicing attend their nuptials.

(Bell sounds 1 X and 1 candle is lit:  appointed candle-lighter/bell ringer)
Saille:
What is this sound
And what this light
Bringing an end
To sleep and night?

The bell is rung again, and another candle lighted
The bell is rung again, and another candle lighted
The bell is rung again, and another candle lighted
Till all are lit.



Saille:
Whence this music?
Whose this flame?
Who wakes the Earth to life again?

(Sound of knocking)
Saille:
Who is it knocking?
Who would come in?
She knows him still
Her lord, the Sun!

Saille:
Let her prepare
Her flesh most faire
For his  desire
Whose flesh is fire.

(Minions  from quarter teams raise her up and anoint her hands, arms and face. The others fan her with palm fronds.)

Saille:
Unbolt the door
For he is here:
Now lead him forth
To greet his Earth.

(Two minions go over to the Sun, to lead him to Earth)

(Sun makes his “entrance” and pauses, 

Saille:.
Now the youthful Sun does enter
Once again his dear Earth’s chamber;

(Sun then goes to Earth. The minions surround and hide the couple with their fronds)

Golden flames proclaim her lover
Soft she wakes beneath his fervor
Strong he shines in amorous fever
Quick to win her passion’s favor
Fire to fire they cleave together
Kindling Spring, conceiving Summer,
Joined forever and forever
Through dark Autumn come, and Winter.

(Now the Minions stand back and lay their fronds  on the ground so they make a big ring around the Sun and Earth)

Saille:
This, the circle  of the sun
This, the circle of the Earth
This, the circle of his flame,
This the circle  of her faith
A circle of green, a crown of Fire
Turned to the circle of their desire
A pledge of Love, a marriage  ring
To bind a king, to bind a Queen.

Saille: raises a toast:
Here at the marriage of sun and earth
Drink to them both
Eternal health.

(Sun and Earth, Minions encircle the waist of another with palm fronds)

As may as possible say, with Saille:
We are the Sun
We are the Earth
Circles of Fire
Circles of flesh
Spring is our marriage
Spring is our bed
So in the Spring
Our souls are wed.
Joined forever and forever
Though dark Autumn  come,  and Winter.

Silence…. and Bell tolls joyously!!!

The quarter teams pick up their fronds and each picks up a candle from the altar. They proceed to the sidewalk path towards the labyrinth and line up close to the porch.

Here is the order:

smudger, who goes FIRST.
2 Grass seed distributors (with vessels of seed)
Minions with Palm fronds 
Woman who won the Leaf Game (“May Queen”)
Spel and Ash the Silent
Everyone  else

Saille: We will  line up for the procession – please take your places behind the folks with palm fronds!

The quarter teams line up where the path spills out of the Memorial garden, placing their candle in front of their feet on the ground. They raise their fronds up in an arch for us to walk beneath. The smudger  is at the far end and wafts smoke about – not a thorough  smudging, please!!!Grass Seed folks give each participant a handful of seed.

Spelcastor and Ash lead the procession around the circle –  all the way back to the start.  Then they go to the altar. 

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                              Beltaine Ritual 2005
                                   Moonpath Chapter of CUUPS
                                 Composed by Valan, The Druid
                      (materials from assorted sources listed at end of document)

PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENTS:

The ritual site is the large field with the fire pit. Torches mark the cardinal points. The processional enters from the north-east of the circle. 

Sacrificial items, (“ale”, branch of flowers, grass seed)
oil lamps, Ygdrassil, etc.
Rune  bag
Blessing cups
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 round ground torches ready to light,
sage
4 juices and small cups
Quarter torches and small altars (each quarter dresses their altar)
Palm Branches for each quarter to hold, and candles
Sacred Well
Sacred tree
Big bucket of water.
Basket of Golden Apples for Idunn
Celebrants
Valan
Spel  (with Horns)
Idunn - Donovan
Quarter teams (3 in each team)

Fire  Keeper - Ken 
Keeper of the Sacred Well – Big D
Tree Tender – Fionn
Offerant – little d.
Sage smudger:
Seed Distributor:
Processional:  Quarter teams first,  then Sage smudger, the grass distributors, then the MayQueen and consort,  Spel and Ash the Silent,then everyone else will start on porch and proceed through  memorial garden, through archway made from quarter folks’ palmfronds.


(Note to quarter teams:  Hold onto your Palmfronds till after you call quarters. Then place them down before your altar)

Spelcastor:  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:  
Valan:

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 Aesir and the Vanir
to offer to the Nature Spirits; 
and to offer to the beloved Shining Ones. 
Today we honor Idunn (EE-Dune)
Who holds the Apples of Youth, the Golden Apples of the Sun,
And her consort, the Sun himself. 
Today we kindle a new flame in ourselves 
as we dance among the Bealtaine 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 Moon, earth, sea and sky.
        I am your daughter, hear my cry.

The Keeper of the Well (KW) By the West – the “Well” is on the west altar
Walk  to Fire Pit, Raise “well” bowl on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to lower bowl)

KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. 
Sacred waters flow within us. 

Folk: Sacred waters flow within us. 

KW will then asperge the firepit and the Druids from the bowl. 
. Place  “well” on  main altar (much drumming at this time)



The Tender of the Tree (TT)  From the North – the “Tree” is by or on the North altar
Walk  to Fire Pit, will lift the “tree” on high 


TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. 
Sacred Tree, grow within us. 

Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us. 

TT will then lower the tree.

TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree, 
Flame and flow and grow in me!

TT proceeds around the fire with the little Tree and then places it on  or near  the main altar. (much drumming at this time)


The Fire Tender (FT) will first say:

FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. 
Sacred fire burn within us. 

Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. 

FT starts the fire.

Valan:  Let the drums begin!   Much DRUMMING and cheering!!!!!

OFFERINGS:
Spelcastor:

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.

Spelcastor:
O sacred bough of fragrant memory 
May your sweet, rising smoke
Reach the halls of the gods.
May we pray with a good fire!

Little d.  
(ask everyone to cast their grass seeds to the winds)

We cast these seeds upon the wind
Gifts to the mother
Who has given us all.

They hold for us HOPE.
Hope for a fruitful season
Hope for blessings and plenty.

Mother Earth, Ready thy warm womb of joy
Quench the cold white frost of your Winter
In the warm waters of your Spring
We shall become your children
Therefore, be thou our Mother,
Now in this season of joy
Now in this season of  Birth!


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 as soon as the two  arrive:  perhaps while the speaker is speaking.

Eastern caller: : I summon, stir and call ye up
Maiden Goddesses of the East, sacred to Air!
May your wind swirl around our heads
Clearing and purifying, 
Carrying sweet scents!
Hail and Welcome!  Caller goes back to the East.

(All the Eastern team lays their palms in front of their altar)

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 as soon as the two  arrive:  perhaps while the speaker is speaking.

Southern caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Maiden goddesses of the South, sacred to  Fire.
Bring us your Warmth and Passion.
Lead us to ecstatic fulfillment!
Hail and Welcome!   Caller goes back to the South.
(All the Southern team lays their palms in front of their altar)

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 as soon as the two  arrive:  perhaps while the speaker is speaking.

Western caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Maiden goddesses of the West, sacred to  Water.
You who  rule the fluid depths of our emotions
And I call our Ancestors, who dwell in the West.
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West.
(All the Western team lays their palms in front of their altar)

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 as soon as the two  arrive:  perhaps while the speaker is speaking.


Northern caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Maiden goddesses of the North, sacred to earth.
Be our guide in all things of Natire and the essence of  this earthly plane.
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North.
(All the Norhern team lays their palms in front of their altar)
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 

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. Everyone, do  thusly; 
Then we’ll all say 3 X: 
“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 Spelcastor, he does with the person on his left, etc….)
(DRUMMERS:  Keep a strong beat!!)

Honoring the Patron Powers
Spelcastor:
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 Idunn 
(pronounced EE-Dune)
the bringer of Life, who holds the Golden Apples of Youth and Immortality.

Through the gift of her fruit, all is renewed,
Through the gift of her fruit,
Hope springs eternal.

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. 
She has  come to delight us with a special poem for this joyous day!
Welcome EE-DUNE!

(Enters Idunn from the North, bearing golden apples)

Idunn:
Mayday!  Delightful day!
Bright colors play the vale along.
Now wakes at morning’s slender ray
Wiild and gay the blackbird’s song.

Now comes the bird of dusty hue,
The loud cuckoo, the summer-lover,
Branchy trees are thick with leaves,
The bitter, hostile time is over…

Through the wild harp of the wood
Making music roars the gale –
Now it settles without motion,
On the ocean sleeps the sail.

Men grow mighty in the May,
Proud and gay the maidens grow,
Fair is every wooded heights,
Fair and bright the plain below..

Loudly carols the lark on high
Small and shy his tireless lay,
Singing in wildest, merriest mood,
Delicate-hued, delightful May!

Idunn goes back to the North.

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
Spelcastor 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!

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

Quarter teams pass out cups and pour juice.

When all have a drink, 

Valan says:

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

The Beltaine Blessing Fires

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

Set up the fire pots 
Two fire-vessels are brought out (they are under the South quarter altar) and placed next to each other so folks can pass between them walking, clockwise. These are lit after being  placed on the ground.)

Spelcastoe says:
We kindle these magic fires
In the presence of the mighty ones
In the power of renewal

Rise as the warmth of summer's sun
This Beltaine 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!

(South team lights fires)

(everyone dances and passes between the 2 fires, South  quarter team: start the lines! Pass through to the West. They beckon those at the South-SouthEast to follow.. Everyone circles sunwise, passing between the fires. 
Much  drumming at this time!)


Spelcastor:

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!

Valan 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 smoky finale..
Start the Merry Meet song
Everybody claps and sings 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
Jennifer Reif, Marline Haleff,  The Magical Crone

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