30 April, 2010

Beltane

May Eve and May Day or Beltane is one of the four fire festivals in the wheel of the year.  It is a celebration of the sexual union between the Lord and the Lady and is the point where the Lady becomes pregnant with the Lord and he will be reborn at Yule.  The May Pole is the most prevalent symbol of Beltane, but there are other ways to celebrate the coming together of the Goddess and the God.  Even though I'm not a technically a solitary, building a Maypole at my parent's house is not exactly feasible, so I needed a few alternatives.  So, I opened up my copy of Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and found a much more do-able ceremony for Beltane.
If you do not own Cunningham's Guide for Solitary Practitioner, I strongly recommend getting a copy.  It was one of the first three books I purchased when I started my "official" path last summer.  Of all the rituals I've read for Beltane, his is my favorite.  He recommends celebrating in a forest or near a living tree and then cast your circle.  The rest of the ritual is posted below:
Create a small token or charm in honor of the wedding of the Goddess and the God to hang upon the tree.  You can make several if you desire.  These tokens can be bags filled with fragrant flowers, strongs of beads, carvings, flower garlands - whatever your talens and imagination can conjure.  Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer and cast your circle. 
Then, say the following blessing:
May the powers of The One,
the source of all creation;
all-pervasive, omnipoten, eternal;
may the Goddess,
the Lady of the Moon;
and the God,
Horned Hunter of the Sun;
may the power of the Spirits of the Stones,
rulers of the elemental realms;
may the powers of the stars above and the Earth below,
bless this place, and this time, and I who am with You.
Invoke the Goddess and the God:

Gracious Goddess,
You who are the Queen of the Gods,
the lamp of night,
the creator of all that is wild and free;
Mother of woman and man;
lover of the Horned God and protectress of all.
Descend, I pray,
with Your Lunar ray of power
upon my circle here!


Blazing God,
You Who are the King of the Gods
Lord of the Sun,
master of all that is wild and free;
Father of woman and man,
Lover of the Moon Goddess and protector of all.
Descend, I pray,
with Your Solar ray of power
upon my circle here!
Stand before the altar and say, with wand (or hands) raised:

O Mother Goddess, Queen of the night and of the Earth;
O Father God, King of the day and of the forests,
I celebrate Your union as nature rejoices in a ritous
blaze of color and life.  Accept my gift, Mother Goddess
and Father God, in honor of Your union.
Place the token(s) on the tree.

From Your mating shall spring forth life anew;
a profusion of living creatures shall cover the lands,
and the winds will blow pure and sweet.
O Ancient Ones, I celebrate with You!
Enjoy Cakes and Wine and close the Circle.
Blessed Beltane Everyone!

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