Kindling the Fire at Home & in the Community

Blessed Beltane!

This weekend we celebrated, with much fanfare, the beauty of Beltane. We took a lot of photos with the Maypole… ribbons blowing in the breeze.

Rowan & I lead this ritual. It was our first time to lead together & was a lot of fun! We had so many ideas when we were brainstorming that it was hard to narrow down what all we wanted to do, but we managed to do nearly all we had planned. As with any ritual, we realized a little modification & improv was needed in order to get done so that the CUUPS group could hold their ritual after us. So the river stones we intended to decorate for the fae had to be put off for another time. Instead, we offered cookies, sweet wine & flowers.

The ritual was really beautiful. As I said, we made sure to make offerings to the fae (so not to anger them), danced the Maypole & paid homage to the nine sacred woods by utilizing the re-vamped nine sacred woods that Rowan came up with for our area. (Check out her post on it here!) Some of the things we did to make this ritual special were: using a besom to “sweep” the circle doused in peppermint oil, starting the fire in the pit with pieces from each of the nine sacred woods, having our circle mates enter the circle after ritual cleansing of their hands in magnolia, sweetgum & jasmine infused water and we raised energy not only around our usual circle, but incorporating the circle around the Maypole as well dancing a figure eight. This time in order to invoke the elements we used a guided meditation and the sounds of earth, air, fire & water, which was lovely. All of these things were fresh ideas Rowan & I came up with. They made the ritual feel very sacred and connected… exactly what we were hoping for.

Much like our New Moon ritual in March, our Beltane ritual seemed very focused on fertility in my interpretation. While this sabbat is generally very strongly connected to fertility and love, it felt even more so for me, as I’ve recently been taking steps to regulate my hormones through the help of modern medicine in an effort to become more fertile. It’s become a central priority for me and I’m ever hopeful that someday Jay & I will find ourselves planning for the arrival of a new baby. In keeping with the theme of fertility during ritual, Rowan and I carried out the ceremonial Great Rite with the athame & chalice. We decided that Beltane was the perfect time to perform this ceremony and chose to really make a bit of a production out of it. I was veiled and faced Rowan as she said a few words to explain the Great Rite to our circle mates (many of them never witnessing it before)… then I knelt down on the ground, veiled and waited for Rowan to reveal my face. As I knelt down on the ground I thought about the significance of merging the energies of the God & Goddess. As she lowered the athame into the chalice, I visualized the sexual union of the God & Goddess.  It was really powerful.

The highlight of the ritual though, was definitely the Maypole! We couldn’t get enough photos of us by it, draped on it, kissing it… it was a lot of fun. Not to mention dancing it was amusing to say the least. With many first timers, it took us a little bit to really get a good rhythm going, but once we did… we were unstoppable! We had the ribbons woven so well that it was hard to find enough slack to weave the flowers in between the ribbons, but we found a way to make it work (as evidenced by the photo above!). It turned out really beautiful after we were done decorating it. I think everyone was pretty proud of the collaborative work it took to dance the Maypole together and the symbolism wasn’t lost on anyone.

As with many Pagan circles, ours is predominately women, but we do have a few men and they were feeling REAL close to the Horned God standing next to the Maypole. There were many hilarious displays of channeling the Horned God on the part of the men in circle. Much to the delight of Raven (who’s love is on the left) and I (my Jay is on the right), as we knew they would certainly need to properly release some of that carnal energy. I don’t know about Raven, but I was happy to oblige Jay since they he was full of playful energy.

It has certainly been a good time bringing in the May this year. I couldn’t have spent it with a greater group of people. As the days, weeks & months go by, our circle is becoming a very solid family unit full of love, friendship & humor. I look forward to the time I spend with my circle mates, both in teaching circle, ritual and in social settings. Many of them have become some of my best friends and I cannot imagine my life without them.

Here’s to bringing in the May with loved ones! Wishing you all a fertile year full of prosperity & amazing sexual energy!



One response

  1. Pingback: Beltane 2012 « Rowan Hale

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