Pagan Journeys

Sabbats/Holidays and Esbats => Sabbats/Holidays => Beltane => Topic started by: Fox on April 28, 2010, 12:07:14 PM

Title: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Fox on April 28, 2010, 12:07:14 PM
It is finally warm enough here that I might be able to convince hubby to have a fire in our fire pit (which hasn't happened in a REALLY long time), but I think it is supposed to rain.  Whether we do that or not, I'm definitely feeling pulled to do something, just not really sure what.  If it does end up raining, I may just make it personal quiet time after the kids are in bed.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: AmberRaven on April 28, 2010, 01:24:22 PM
The coven is having a celebration with maybe a small ritual involved.  Nothing to fancy.  Just a get together to enjoy eachothers company
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: LadyOrchid on April 28, 2010, 01:53:11 PM
Beltaine eve on Friday- so once again I have fresh Rowan twigs ready to place at all doors & windows ( entrances) to the house for protection against negative/evil spirits- My son will once again be gathering and then strewing Primroses on the doorsteps to the house entrances to invite in only positive/good spirits. This year has been exceptionally good for Primrose flowers and I shall put some in my evening Ritual bath too.  Under the secret Hawthorn tree-where my little shrine for the fairy folk is located ,I shall leave flowers and honey and sweet  gifts and on Beltaine morning I will be out gathering the early morning dew to sprinkle on everyone for love & luck, apparently I should be bathing in this May morning dew- but how on earth do you collect a bathfull? Think this time I shall throw caution to the wind and go semi sky clad- just me and my robe and smother as much of my skin in the youth dew as possible ( thank goddess we are not overlooked- or I would sure get some very funny looks. Will have a small ritual fire too and lighting it at 8pm GMT as suggested by Moonwillow on another forum- to cleanse and purify. I wish everyone a wonderful Beltaine time. Brightest Blessings for your magical workings.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Eternal Seeker on April 28, 2010, 02:34:41 PM

Our CUUPs group will be having a Beltane ritual and celebration, complete with firepit. As it's one of the times the veil between worlds is tenuous, we will be demonstrating divination techniques as well. I'll be doing a version of Ceromancy. Traditional ceromancy is reading the shapes of candlewax dripped into a bowl of water- this will be Mallomancy, reading the shapes of marshmallow drippings as they roast over the firepit. I will also be bringing an oil lamp to do some shadowmancy.

Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: earthmuffin on April 28, 2010, 07:58:39 PM
Beltane always seems to sneak up on me. I'm doing field work for work on Friday which I could count toward it. It's supposed to be nice here this weekend and I'll probably try to go some sort of nature outing with the kids (hubby works). My older daughter wanted to go look for quartz crystals after the rains-- we know of a good spot on a dirt road so maybe that will be it. We usually attend a May fair at a local Waldorf school that is very Beltane oriented with maypole dancing but that usually doesn't get put on until mid May.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: bluefire on May 01, 2010, 03:33:23 PM
I'll be alone for my celebration today.  An odd sabbat to celebrate alone, but I am going to make it fun anyway.  I'll bring in some lilacs and burn a ritual fire.  Play some music.  I haven't picked it out yet.  Just welcome the growing time of the year.

Fun little family tradition, if any of you want to do this:  Hang cherries in your house to welcome love.  You get the ones with two cherries connected at the stem.  They invite love, passion, and togetherness.  I'm going to hang some on my lilac branches.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: BronwynWolf on May 01, 2010, 04:49:59 PM
We celebrated my niece's first birthday (which was a few days ago) today, with a nice party that included fresh fruit and veg, and a lot of bubble blowing. I may sit outside for a while tonight in solitary, quite contemplation to end my Beltane observances.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: PaganOne on May 01, 2010, 06:43:09 PM
Spent Beltane eve with my New Age group getting to know the new members.  Had a blast.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Fox on May 01, 2010, 09:27:41 PM
I ended up taking an Elderberry bush over to my parents for "May Day".  Taking some sort of plant or flower to my parents is a tradition I started when I first started on this path as a way to celebrate with all my family without it being "Pagan".  I got the idea from stories my mom would tell me when I was younger about how boys used to put flowers on a girl's doorstep that they liked, ringing the bell and running.

The kids stayed at my parents to help in the yard and play while Hubby and I went to a bead show.  After that we all went out for dinner and ice cream.  I'm not certain I'll be awake long enough to do much else after we get the kids in bed.  :whistle:
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: earthmuffin on May 02, 2010, 12:43:58 PM
Fox, I love that give a plant idea. I think I'm gonna steal it.  :whistle:
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Fox on May 02, 2010, 12:53:05 PM
Please do!  It is always fun because it is a day that my mom just never seems to remember that I do something for so it comes as a big surprise each year.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: dragonspring on April 30, 2011, 11:29:30 AM
Bumping this topic for 2011.

So does anyone have any plans this year?  I am going to see my sweetie tonight and we are going to the Serpentstone TN Beltane Gathering next weekend.  There will be workshops, music, rituals, vendors, and a feast! We went to a more intimate gathering last weekend and met some really cool folks who are also going to be there.  I am so excited!

Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Crystal Dragon on April 30, 2011, 12:45:16 PM
We were supposed to go to the Ren Faire with the kids today, but hubby and I are still just sick enough that we're concerned about a relapse if we go ... so we will likely postpone everything until next weekend. :(
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: bluefire on April 30, 2011, 12:52:00 PM
Awww...sorry you are not feeling well, CD.   ()

Funny reading last year's posts.  I had lilacs by this time last year.  Don't yet this year.  The crab apple hasn't even bloomed yet.  Such a hesitant spring this year in Seattle.

But we are supposed to have a lovely day tomorrow.  I'll be outside working in my garden.  I need to figure out what I want to make for family dinner, something fresh and celebratory.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Fox on April 30, 2011, 04:48:52 PM
Blue, I think everything is coming out much more slowly this year hear as well. 

I did my plant gifting to my parents a day early this year.  We had to go out there with the kids for a bit today anyway so we could go and get another tree.  This year I found a Merlot Red Bud tree ( that was just beautiful.  We are supposed to get colder again tomorrow (only in the 50's where we hit nearly 80 today) and potentially rain, so I'm not sure I'll do much else.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Tirya on April 30, 2011, 05:16:01 PM
It was nearly 90 today, so I opted to plant my new purchases tomorrow in between rainstorms, so I'm spending Beltane with some creeping jenny, turk's cap, ox-eye daisy, and blue star creeper. Hopefully the energy of the day will help my ground cover flourish and multiply so it will cover the bare spots quickly. ;)
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: Eternal Seeker on April 30, 2011, 09:15:50 PM

My group had its ritual today; I thought I'd share with you. This is only the outline; like Jazz, there's always a lot of spirit-of-the-moment improv:
Order of Ritual

Spiral meditation and cleansing.
This is a time when the world blooms, the Goddess and the God marry and rejoice, and the thin veil is a good time for cleansing negative experiences, negative thoughts, and negative emotions. It is also a good time for giving thanks for the good experiences as well. This is a ceremony to do just that.

Think back on your experiences since last Samhain. Starting with last winter, think of the events or feelings that made an impression, good or bad. Try to recapture those feelings, and make notes on the paper about them. Try to do this in order, from winter to spring and so on. When you have noted those things you wish to consign to the cleansing flames- or to thank the Divines for- it is time for the next part of the ceremony. Fold the paper into a shape you can concentrate on; or if you wish, I will fold the paper into a poppet for you. For many, it is easier to concentrate emotions by personalizing them; that is why the Gods are made in our image- to make them an easier object of our love or hate. Turning these notes into a poppet you can talk to may make visualization easier for you.

Part II (outdoors):

We speak of the wheel of the year, of the circle of life, but many cultures have recognized life as a spiral. Yes, the seasons turn as a wheel, from winter to spring to summer to fall, around and around- but it is never the same winter, the same spring; each season, though familiar, is a new one... a spiral, making the same turns, but ending in a new place. This labyrinth is a double spiral, representing the time past and the time ahead.

As you enter the spiral, the beginning represents the winter last; as you walk the circle each quarter represents a season of the year. Remember each season in turn, and the events you noted down. Pour all the pent up emotions into your paper or poppet as you do; charge it with the energies these emotions generate. Try to empty these emotions so completely into the paper that you are left as clean as that paper was before you began.

As you enter the center, there will be a table with a cauldron and a fire. Set fire to your paper and drop it into the cauldron, calling to your Goddess: "(name of Goddess), take these thoughts and feelings from me, and do with them what you will; let me enter the new year a clean slate." Then cross the center space and reenter the spiral labyrinth from the other side.

As you leave the inner circle, you are in the Spring. Reflect as the path takes you around on the seasons that will come, and how you would like them to go this time. You may well pass those going the other way, on the way in- reflect on how different the same season looks from the perspective of the different year. May you leave the labyrinth with a new understanding of the passing of the year- and of yourself!

The call to ritual
Let all who would celebrate the season gather nigh!

I do not call quarters, but all five elements, in five directions: North, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest. As the two greatest lakes on Earth, Superior and Michigan, lie Northwest of us, I place Water in the NW. As the Mojave Desert, one of the hottest on Earth, lies Southwest of us, I placed Fire there. As we are 36 degrees North, the majority of the Earth lies south of us, so I placed Earth in the remaining southern leg, Southeast. As the prevailing winds blow East and West, I placed Air in the Northeast. That places Aether, or Spirit in the North. I do not call them in a circular manner, but alternatively, as one would when drawing a Pentagram, beginning with the North:

Aether, Anima, spirit of life that is within all things, we call to you to help us remember that all things are connected, that all is Stardust. Blessed be.

Earth, cradle of life, source of strength and stability, grant us these grounds for our purposes tonight and make them sacred. Blessed be.

Water, source of life and soothing spirit, we call to you to cleanse this place, as your rains cleanse the Earth. Blessed be.

Air, sustainer of life and spirit of intellect, we ask that you loan us wisdom tonight. Blessed be.

Fire, spark of life and spirit of passion, we call to you to lend passion to these proceedings tonight. Blessed be.

Goddess, Great Mother, this is your honeymoon season, we ask that you come and share your joy with us. Blessed be.

Horned God, flush with new power, we ask that you share your waxing strength with us. Blessed be.

Casting of the circle
All spirits that be, witness that we summon our will and encircle this place, defining a sacred space for our proceedings tonight. Let the circle be a barrier to those of ill will, and a beacon to those filled with hope and joy. Thus three times we say, Blessed be. Blessed be. Blessed be.

Cakes and Ale
Summoning a vision
Everyone be seated. Get comfortable. Relax and close your eyes. If you know a mantra, repeat it in your mind as you start to control your breathing: in... out... a regular rhythm. Let the tension run down your body like rain, from your head, across your shoulders, down your legs, and out, leaving you completely relaxed as you continue the steady rhythm of your breathing...

As you get more comfortable, reach out with your feelings, down through your feet... feel the power of the Earth beneath you, and reach for it, touch it, draw strength from it... feel your body warm with the Earth's energy. Keep reaching, and you will find there's more there... images... sounds... are they recorded in the Earth, or in our memories? It doesn't matter, they are there, reach for them.

Follow me to a place, a place that's green with Spring. I don't know whether it's Istanbul or Belfast- no matter, it's there, green and beautiful... the year is- the past. There is a clearing, bright with new grass... you can smell things flowering, feel the Sun, the cool breezes. And you can see people, too, hear voices. You can't quite make out what they're saying, but you can hear the tone is happy, excited; there is spontaneous laughter.

You can see that they have built two bonfires, side by side, and somehow you know that these are for the God and the Goddess, side by side to celebrate their marriage. You can see people walk between the fires, sometimes carrying possessions or animals, and you know somehow that they are doing this to cleanse themselves and their things in the holy fires. You smile as you see that some adventurous youths have made a small mound of Earth before the fire, and are using it to run and leap through the flames with infectious enthusiasm.

Once cleansed, you see these folk gather together, speak words, sing, share refreshments. You can feel the community, the sharing. You see the people move to another party of their grove, and you can see a tall pole erected, streaming ribbons- a Maypole.  Most take a ribbon; a few have primitive drums, stretched skins on wooden frames; bodhrans, other shapes, and they start to drum a complex rhythm. The others start to sing and dance.

As the dancers laugh and slide past one another, weaving the ribbons, you take particular notice of one of the drummers... or it might be more accurate to say that she takes notice of you, because the veils are thin, and she is sensitive. She is older, hands scarred and roughened with years of work, face lined with age and exposure to the elements- but her eyes are merry, and her lips are smiling.

As you exchange glances through the veil, you suddenly realize that she is your ancestor. It might be the eyes that told you, or perhaps her profile as she turned her head reminded you of your mother... but whatever it was, you know that it's true. Somehow, through the miles and the centuries, she sees you and she, too, knows it's true. Without breaking the rhythm of the drum, she looks into your eyes, and opens her mouth to speak- listen to her words...

(a minute of silence)

The veils grow deeper; it is time to return to our world.

Thanking of the Goddess, God, and Elements
MOTHER GODDESS, we thank you for your gifts; stay if you will, go if you must. Blessed be!

HORNED GOD, we thank you for your gifts; stay if you will, go if you must. Blessed be!

And the same for each element in turn:

Closing words

A poem by JHuger

The day we learned that
The Sun doesn't go around the Earth,
The sunset was still beautiful.

The day we learned that
Evil spirits don't make us ill,
The sick still suffered.

The day we learned that
Our hearts are not where we feel,
We were still in love.

Our world is not a conjurer's trick.
Knowing how it's done
Doesn't make the magic go away.

Releasing the circle
We have returned to the mundane world, but the circle remains unbroken. Blessed be.

The dance of the Maypole, divinations, and consumption of mass quantities.

Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: dragonspring on May 01, 2011, 02:23:22 PM
Very nice!  I really like the vision seeking meditation. 
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: bluefire on May 01, 2011, 05:38:20 PM
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: earthmuffin on May 01, 2011, 10:39:34 PM
Thanks for the ritual, ES. I actually spent some time out of doors today tending some plants and my livestock. We had fabulous weather.
Title: Re: Any plans this year for Beltane?
Post by: vordan on May 01, 2011, 10:45:16 PM
We decided to have ours at the local state park and have a picnic with the ritual. The only problem was that it has been raining almost nonstop for over a week. We had as a backup plan renting a shelter which after calling every number associated with the park ended up being a lesson in why people make fun of government employees. Scouted out 2 of them a few days before Saturday and picked the most remote. High Priestess gets sick day of ritual but no worry we have the feast at her place so she can share it with us and then the rest of us drive out to park. Arrive at park to discover Boyscouts camping at our chosen shelter but decided to hike back into woods and have ritual figuring that while the Boyscouts might help with a fire, parents of aforementioned Scouts might be upset by pagan ritual. Hiking back into a woods where massive rains have been falling for a week proves challenging but we press on. We arrive at a beautiful wide spot overlooking the lake, have a simple ritual surrounded by the call of woodpeckers and mourning doves. It was so peaceful and beautiful everybody decided they had a wonderful time, mud and all.