****Please note this a Druidic ritual, NOT a Hedgewitch Ritual.
© Shauna McShane, 2008
Altar is set up with wine and cakes, symbols of the elements, and the Well, Fire and Tree. The Chalice and Athame are added. The May Pole is set up nearby.
Purifying the Space
In the Center of the Circle, sprinkle salt nine times on the ground while saying:
"With Earth we bless for our rebirth!"
Take up the Water dish and sprinkle nine times around the Circle, while saying:
"With Water we bless our sons and daughters!"
Light the incense, and hold it above your head, walking around the Circle while saying:
"With Air we dance without a care!"
Take the candle around the Circle, while saying:
"With Fire we kindle our desire!"
Pour water from the jug into the well while saying:
"Flora, Lady of the Flowers, we pour this water to Your Well, May the tides of rivers and lakes now swell. Bring us the cleansing of the flowers of the earth, Through water that brings about our rebirth. So be it!"
Pass the well around so each person can wash their hands in it to symbolize self purification.
Light the fire in the cauldron while saying:
"Pan of the fields and fauna, hooved God of Passion, We light this fire in sacred fashion, Purify us through flames of lust, Through Balefires, fertility You entrust! So be it!"
Each person may walk up to the flame and toss a handful of purifying incense into it.
Offering to Outdwellers
Ale is poured into the Outdweller's bowl, and a piece of cake is placed in, as the Warrior says:
"Spirits of the day and night, Spirits who may disturb this rite, May the Fae of Beltaine quell your might, So we may perform our ritual tonight."
"So be it."
Offerings to Well, Fire and Tree
Silver is offered to the Well while saying:
"Sacred waters of the well, Fountain upwards, our souls fill. Sacred waters of the deep, Let your powers flow beneath our feet."
"Sacred waters fill our souls."
Oil is offered to the flames while saying:
"Sacred fire of all creation, Power of our transformation. Bringer of purity and of light, Sacred fire burn within us this night."
"Sacred fires burn within us."
The Tree is censed and sprinkled with Well water while saying:
"Sacred Tree, of chaos and order, Bring these two worlds together. Creator of magic, growing tall, Sacred Tree, grow within us all."
"Sacred Tree, grow within us."
Statement of Ritual Intent
"The celebration of Beltaine includes many symbolic and ritual acts. This is a time of joining. Trial marriages were performed on this day, couples would go a-maying to bring fertility to crops, cattle were driven through Balefires to ensure their fertility. Flowers were collected for decorating, and wreaths were worn by maidens and men alike. The Maypole, a phallic symbol, would be danced around with ribbons, symbolizing the enveloping of the male within the female. Today we honour Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, fertility and beauty. We also honour Pan, the goat-footed God, who represents lust, passion, fertility and wildness."
Opening the Gates
Oil and Incense are added to the cauldron:
"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. So be it."
All: "So be it."
Offerings to Ancestors and Kindreds
A bit of food or drink is added to the fire:
"Ancestors of old, ancestors of all, We ask You now to hear our call. Kindreds and Fae, Otherkin and Sidhe, With us we ask You to be. Gods and Dead, and Mighty Sidhe, Powers of Earth, Air and Sea. We honour You with reverence and peace, By Fire and Well and Sacred Tree."
Offerings to The Deities
Offering of wine is held up towards the sky while saying:
"Beltaine is a time of fertility! A time of joining, sexuality and balance. We make this offering to Pan!"
Hymn to Pan:
"Lord of Earth, of Forest and Field, Of all the fruit and flowers we yield, Goat-footed God of Arcady lore, We feel Your Might to our very core. Lust of the Satyr, the horns of Your head, We see You take the nymphs unto Your bed. Pan of the Forest, and Pan of the Field, Lord of the Vine, before You we kneel! The Maypole awaits Your glorious dance, And might You bring us blessings, perchance! Springtime is here, and fertility is nigh, As couple a-maying, in fields they do lie. By seed and root, by bud and stem, We call You now, again and again! Be with us Pan, on Beltaine night, Bring with you Lustiness, and full delights! Hail to Pan!"
Everyone: "Hail to Pan!"
Offering of flowers are held up towards the sky while saying:
"Beltaine is a time of fertility! A time of joining, sexuality and balance. We make this offering to Flora!"
Hymn to Flora:
"Oh Maiden, Flora, Lady of Delight, We call to You on Beltaine night! Lady of flowers, of fruit and of field, Of all the harvests and crops that we yield. We feel Your blessings, your strength as our core, As You open Springtime's heavy door. Lady of herbs, of freshness and flower, We dance around Your sacred bower. Lady of lustiness, of diminuitive gaze, We bring you songs, to You we praise! Flora, Fauna, Goddess of Delight, We ask of You the second sight! Bring us flowers, bring us grain, Fertility brought forth, phallic rain! By leaf and twig, and root and bow, Join us in our dance, here and now! Hail to Flora!"
Everyone: "Hail to Flora!"
Man and woman stand before the altar. Woman is holding the chalice, while the man plunges the athame into it. They then say:
"The Sword, the Blade, the Athame and spear, I fill you now, and hold you near. God to Goddess, and Man to Woman, Heart to heart, and hand to hand."
"The Grail, the Cup, the Chalice and womb, For you to fill, I chant this Rune. Goddess to God, and Woman to Man, Heart to heart, and hand to hand."
"Goddess, Maiden, Woman Divine, I invoke my right to call you mine. Priestess, Nymph, Lady of May, Accept my love on this Day, As I now unite with thee, As I so will, so mote it be."
"Horned Lord, Sage, Man Divine, I invoke my right to call you mine. Priest, Satyr, Lord of May, Accept my love on this Day. As I now unite with thee, As I so will, so mote it be."
The athame is removed from the chalice, and the man tilts the chalice so the woman man take a sip, then hands the chalice to her and she tilts it for him. They kiss on the lips, then pass the chalice to everyone else to drink.
May Pole ritual
Everyone takes a turn anointing the pole with oil, proclaiming what they wish to be blessed with. (Example: "I ask for good health!") Each person then takes up a ribbon, and the dance is started, over and under, as music is played or drumming is done.
Thanks and Closing
"We have been blessed by Flora and Pan. We have given our offerings, and received blessings. We have honoured the Sidhe, the Ancestors and the Gods. But it is time to return to the mundane world, with joy in our hearts, and knowledge of the mysteries of Beltane. May we carry the knowledge and blessings given in this sacred Grove into our every day lives. O Flora and Pan!"
All: "We thank you!"
"Sidhe and Ancestors"
All: "We thank you!"
"Ancestors and Kindred"
All: "We thank you!"
Closing the Gates
"Mannanan Mac Lir, Gatekeeper, Guide and God. We thank You for guiding our way."
All: "We thank you!"
"May the gates be closed, May the fire be flame, May the well be simple water, May this space be mundane. Let the gates be closed."
All: "Let the gates be closed. So be it."