Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Ok, so to hold ceremony tonight here's a simple circle that I highly recommend because it will give you insight into the corners as well as a good, solid base to expand from.
Have handy a knife that is special to you, a goblet with wine and a piece of bread. If the space has not previously been blessed, have a small dish of salt on the altar too. You'll need the following candles: green, yellow, red and blue. (white candles will work if you don't have colors. scentless is best. if you want to help invoke the aid of color, wrapping it (without knotting it) in thread of the proper color works really well)
With the bonfire in the center, and the knife in hand, walk to the North and greet her. Thank her for the element of Earth, and for the grounding and stability which she brings. As you say this, point the knife at the ground and light the Green candle.
Moving right, walk to the East. Greet her and thank her for the element of Air and the knowledge she brings. Thank her also for bringing the Spring Maiden to us, and the breath of Sunrise each day. As you say this, point the knife at the ground and light the Yellow candle.
Move to the South, greeting her and thanking her for Fire, and for strength and passion - especially on this Beltane night. As you say this, point the knife at the ground and light the Red candle.
Move to the West and greet her. Thank her for Water, and for the depths of wisdom she brings. Thank her for the purification of the snows of winter and the rain that feeds our crops. As you say this, point the knife at the ground and light the Blue candle.
Then, returning to the fire, thank the Goddesses and Gods who join you, as politely for their aid and wisdom in this celebration. Also welcome and thank the ancestors for being present.
Now for the Beltane part! Beltane is about rebirth, about sexuality and passion, about moving from crone to maiden. This is the opposite of Samhain - Samhain is about death, moving from mother to crone, closing in and preparing for long months indoors. Beltane is about opening the doors and windows, reconnecting with Spring and with the Maiden. It is about getting back outside, touching the Earth again and feeling the birth of plants within us. We put away the bitter dark of winter and open up to the sweetness of spring. So when you're thinking about what the holy day represents, think about the fact that our ancestors would drive the livestock between two bonfires to cleanse them of the winter and lovers would jump the fires to rekindle their passions. Think about what that means to you today, how you honored today and what you wish to invoke inside your circle. Think about each of the elements and how they work together to bring forth crops and livestock - and how they nourish us through their presences every day. Have your circle meditate on the meaning of the holy day and what rebirth is taking place in their own lives - or what rebirth they wish to enact in their lives. This is a celebration of life - if part of our lives feels dead, this is the cardiac cart to revive it! I'm big on visualization. Every Beltane I take a few minutes at some point during the day, close my eyes, and see before me all the aspects of my life. I move them around, weighing them and feeling the life of them. I look for the colors they show me, and take note of that. I look at the color that my spirit shows me, and look for the dark places - places that need more life or pieces that should die off, things that I really just need to let go so that they can be nourishment for other aspects of myself.
Once you feel the end of the ceremony approaching (and you will, just relax into it) take the goblet, lift it to the sky and thank the Goddess for her gifts. Thank the Elements for their gift of wine. Take a sip and pass it to each around the circle. Then take the bread, lift it to the sky and thank the God for his gifts. Thank the Elements for their gift of bread. Take a bite and pass it to all around the circle. Put the remainder of the bread on the altar with the wine.
Have everyone present raise their hands toward the sky and thank the Goddesses and Gods for being present, and ask that they be ever present in your lives as you leave this circle and the Wheel of the Year turns on. All turn toward the North, arms raised, and thank her. Do the same with the East, South and West.
The ceremony is done and the circle is dispelled. Extinguish each candle, starting at the North and moving as when calling the circle. Take the remaining bread, soak it in wine and cast it under a bush as an offering to the animals who are familiars of the Gods. And have a great Beltane!
Posted by Aaradyn at 5:30 PM