Beltaine Ritual, 2015
Moonpath Chapter of CUUPS
Composed by Ash the Silent
(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,)
flowers, Tree, Well,etc. Rune bag.Blessing cups, sage
All these are set on altar draped with Spring colors.

ADDITIONAL PROPS:
Gong, Sage
Several matches (1 for each quarter, and Firestarter material)
2 Beltaine torches ready to light,
4 juices and small cups
Quarter torches and small altars (each quarter dresses their altar)
Palm Branches for each quarter to hold
Sacred Well
Sacred tree

Celebrants:
Valan					FireKeeper - Ricky
Spel  (with Horns)			Keeper of the Sacred Well – 
Story sage: D’elf			Tree Tender – 
Sage smudger:				Circle caster -
Quarter teams:				(3 in each team)

Processional:  Quarter teams first, then Spel and Ash the Silent, 
the May Queen and consort, then everyone else will start on porch 
and proceed through  memorial garden, through archway made from 
quarter folks’ palm fronds.

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

(Note to Smudger:  When all are in the circle, go to main altar and 
    put smudge stick on altar in ashtray)

Spelcastor:
For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Opening:

Ash:
As we approach the sacred grove 
with minds and hearts, flesh and bone,
Join us in the was of Old – We have come home.

Statement of Purpose and Precedent:  

Spel:
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 “Aye-sir” and the “Van-eer”
to offer to the Nature Spirits; 
and to offer to the beloved Shining Ones. 
Today we kindle a new flame of HOPE and new beginnings  
as we dance among the Beltaine fires. 
And tonight, may we practice the Rites of Love 
in whatever way our spirit may guide us, 
to sustain the Power of Life!

Ash:
Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.

Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.  

Ash:  We will now have the:
The Keeper of the Well (KW) (The “Well” is on the west altar.)

 (Walk to microphone, 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) (The “Tree” is by or on the North altar.)

(Walk to microphone. Lift the “tree” on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.)

(Reading taped to container)

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 will go to microphone and 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.)

Ash:  Let the drums begin!   

Much DRUMMING and cheering!!!!!

OFFERINGS:

Ash:
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.

Spel:

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 home. 
Spel tosses branch on fire.

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

May we pray with a good fire!
ALL: 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 as soon as the two arrive:  
perhaps while the speaker is speaking.)

Eastern caller: 
I summon now, the power of Air, and all its Creatures

Owl who knows, Raven who talks
Far-flying Goose, far-seeing Hawk
Quail the humble, Wren the king
Crane to dance, Thrush to sing
Lark who revels, Loon who weeps
Jay who scatters, Buzzard who reaps
This is the Air I conjure, 
and this is the birth of the world.

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.) 

Southern caller:
I summon now, the power of Fire, and all its Creatures

Drake who hoards, Kirin who gives
Angel heals, Chimera reaves
Coal the slow, lightning the quick
Salamander, power's wick
Soul who praises, Gryphon scorns
Phoenix dies to be reborn
This is the Fire I conjure, and this is the birth of the world.

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 others proceed to West.) 

Western caller:
I summon now, the power of the Sea, and all its Creatures

Whale who chants, Dolphin who speaks
Clam content, Salmon who seeks
Pike who rages, Shark who mourns
Walrus steadies, Carp transforms
Seal who gathers, Crab the lone
Otter wave-borne, Eel in stone
This is the Sea I conjure, and this is the birth of the world.

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.) 

Northern caller: 
I summon now, the power of the Earth, and all its Creatures

Cat who conjures, Sheep who dreams
Deer who worries, Boar who schemes
Mouse who teaches, Horse who learns
Hare the playful, Goat the stern
Stag who guards, Puma who preys
Wolf who wanders, Bear who stays
This is the Earth I conjure, and this is the birth of the world.

Hail and Welcome! 

(Caller goes back to the North.)

Sacrifice to the Outsiders: 

Spel:
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 rite.

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

Ash:
We have called to the quarters, now let us open the gates.
 
Opening the Gates:

Ash:
Oil and Incense are added to the fire:
"Mannanan Mac Lir, Keeper of the Gate, We ask You in reverence, 
to keep our passage safe. 
Part the mists of the Worlds Beyond here, 
Keep us safe, and keep us near.

Spel:
And now we’ll have the story sage.
DRUMMERS:  Drum her in!

Story Sage:
Listen well, to my tale:  it is the story of the Irish God of Love, 
young Aengus. (EEn-gus)

Aengus is the poet, the lover, the romantic, the god of mysterious groves 
and dark pools, not the demon lover but the dark and mysterious one.
He appears as a man with long dark chestnut-colored hair in a deep green cloak 
and high brown boots. He wears a loose white poet's shirt, 
and a heavy belt with a jeweled sword. 
He has a chiseled face and bright emerald green eyes. He looks both 
artistic and tragic, a poet and a dreamer who has seen war and suffering.
There are many tales of his bravery and true heart, but none so touching 
as the one of him and his true love, the maiden Caer.

One evening as he slept, he dreamed of a maiden so beautiful 
he fell deeply in love with her. He had his men and all the guardians 
of the the kingdom look for her, but in vain. Finally, she was found, 
under a wicked gaes (gesh), or curse. She and 150 other maidens had been abducted 
and chained together in pairs on the shores of the lake of the Dragon's Mouth. 
These girls were under a spell where they all would change to swans on the eve of Samhain. 
Aengus was told he could marry Caer if he could identify her in her swan form. 
So on Samhain eve, Aengus turned into a swan and found her. 
They flew off together, singing beautiful music that enchanted all who heard
 – thus making their escape.

Hear his words on Love:
I am the god of love, 
new love, 
lost love, 
love that might have been,
love which has been lost and found. 
My spark is in the woman watching the sails of the tall ships 
seeking her beloved's return; 
the child's wonder at a sky full of stars; 

I am the passionate god, 
the artist and the poet, 
the wild horse seeking freedom, 
and the man who fights danger for the sake of his family.
I am intense emotion, 
subtle beauty, 
and the longing and tragedy which shapes and colors lives. 
I am love and joy, 
sorrow and anger, 
and beauty that comes from reflection on these – 
these are my paints and my canvas. I am an artist in many worlds.  
What is missing is nowadays, is first, 
the love of life, 
and second its transformations. 
I am the guide of love and longing, and I fill the sky and the heart with stars.

Story sage fades back…


OMEN TAKING:

 Ash:
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.


Blessing Cup:

Spel 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!

Spel:
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, 

Ash 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:

Spel speaks:

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

Fire Tender, please lights the Torches.  Drummers – drum!!!!!

Ash:
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!

Drums drum joyously!!!
 
(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!)

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. 
May truth and honor be your friend and lucky be your days
I'll hold you dearly in my heart, I'll hold you in my mind
And though our branches grow apart, our roots shall be entwined.

Ash:
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.)

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
© 2020 MoonPath CUUPS. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

Return to Ritual Page