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Beltaine 2005 Liturgy

0: The Sacred Grove is arranged as described. The celebrants hallow the Grove; the Fire is lit, the Well is filled, the Tree is blessed.

Purpose

Today is Beltaine, the Hinge of Summer, the Day of Blessings. Now the earth grows green again, warmed by the power of the Sun and the Waters' cool strength. Shoot has become bud and bud is flowering as all life burns with the kindling of love's fire. Now we rejoice in the heat of May, and look forward to the greater heat of summer.


Procession

With singing ("We Approach the Sacred Grove"), arrive and circle the hallows deosil. The Druids complete the sigil, then give the opening prayers.

Fire and Water: Seer draws water from the Well and Bard lights a censer from the Fire. They quickly cense and asperse the company as they enter.

Opening Prayers

A: Universal Spirit: Senior Druid speaks:

You who are without name
You who are without gender
You who are without form
Spirits which exist in all Creation

We, the Children of the Earth
Call out to you
And ask that you bless this work and our lives.
So be it.


All: So be it!

B: Earth Mother: All kneel and touch or kiss the earth. The Seer speaks:

Feel her touch in the wind;
Taste her nectar in the air;
See her breath in the rippling water;
Smell her perfume in the trees and soil;
Hear her voice in the stones.

The Earth is her soul,
And Life is her prayer.
She is all there is,
And all there is is part of her.

Blessings to the All-Mother.


All: So be it!

C: Awen: The Bard invokes, saying:

Power of inspiration that attends us
Voice of the Fire of Wisdom,
Voice of the Well of Inspiration

I call on you to place the clear heart in us
Come into our hearts' shrine
Guide our rite in the way of Truth

O power of inspiration in this holy place
O power of inspiration at this holy time
So be it!


All: So be it!

Purpose And Precedent

As the ancients did before us, so we do now, and so our descendants may do in the future. We have come into the Grove to worship as they did, to offer to the Ancestors; to offer to the Nature Spirits; and to offer to the beloved Shining Ones. In elder days the feast of Beltaine was a day of power and duty, when every fire was extinguished and every clan held fast to its luck for the coming season. The folk left their work and went into the fields and the greenwood. They roved among the blossoms and made love to one another to celebrate the Power of Life. They went into the Groves and made their worship of the Goddesses and Gods that sustained them.

Today we honor Sirona, Lady of the enchanted Well, the erotic power of renewal. Today we honor Belinus of the Sun, the enchanting life of the Earth. Today we kindle new flame in ourselves as we dance beneath the Maypole.

Purification 

Outdwellers: An offering is made to the south of the Grove, saying:

Those whose purpose is cross with ours,
You whose harmony does not match our voices,
Be you God, Goddess, Spirit, or Giant,
We ask that you accept this gift
And trouble not our working.

Likewise we acknowledge within ourselves
All those things that would cause disunity

We contemplate these ills and enemies
And for this sacred time
We set them aside!



Grove Attunment

Take a moment to find the center of your mind, body and soul. Let us begin to open our minds to Magic, to the presence of the Gods. Begin with your body. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, balanced and upright. Shake out your arms and shoulders. Let gravity pull you evenly toward the Earth, as you release the everyday tensions in your flesh.

Now, begin to breathe deeply and regularly. With each inbreath fill your lungs slowly and completely. With each outbreath empty them entirely. For a moment, simply watch your breath. In and out . . . Slowly . . . Completely.

Now, as you continue to breathe deeply and regularly, imagine, feel that roots are springing from the soles of your feet, reaching down into soil and stone, down to the World below you. A strong taproot slides down, going deeper and growing stronger, down to touch the cool, dark waters beneath the Earth. The dark, cool, magnetic powers of the land.

Breathe deep, and with each inbreath draw the Earth Power up through your roots. Feel it flowing into your feet, tingling and energizing. Rising up from the Earth . . . into your legs . . . rising up through your legs . . . feel it pool in your groin. Breathe deep, and draw the Earth Power up your spine . . . rising through your belly . . . rising through your heart . . . rising up to pool in your head . . . Filling and energizing you . . . rising still to fountain out the crown of your head and flow back to the Earth. Flowing back out through your head and hands, to return to the Earth.

So are you now filled with the Power of the Earth.

Now imagine, feel, that from far overhead, from deep within the turning Wheel of the Sky, a single ray of light shines down, out and down to bathe your body and your spirit in the warm, electric Sky power. Shining down over your head . . . over your heart . . . over your loins . . . touching and warming the Earth Power.

Everywhere the light touches becomes bright, shining like the sun on the water. Now, raise your shining hands to the Sky and let the Earth Power flow into your hands. Feel . . . see . . . your hands brighten and energize with the combined Powers of the Earth and the Sky.

So are you now the Sacred Pillar, the World Tree, the vertical axis of all the Worlds.

Now, reach out to those beside you. Join your shining hands together. Let the Waters and the Light merge and flow through us all . . . the Power flowing upward from below . . . the power flowing downward from above . . . through each and all of us . . . making us one light, one depth, one united and Sacred Grove.

At one with the cosmos and at one as a grove - we are, as a community, greater than the sum of our parts. We stand as a grove in a forest of trees, one folk.

The waters support and surround us
The land extends about us
The sky stretches out above us.
At the center burns a living flame.
May all the Kindred bless us.
May our worship be true.
May our actions be just.
Blessings, and honor, and worship to the Holy Ones.



Fire, Well And Tree

Offerings to the Sacred Center. The seer positions herself at the well, the bard at the fire, and the Senior Druid at the tree. Offerings are placed given when the song states:

Chant: Portal Song

CHORUS
By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky
We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high.

Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,
Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,
Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,
Come we now to the Well, together we sing:

CHORUS

We will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,
We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,
We will kindle a Fire, A light 'neath the Moon & Sun,
We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar.

CHORUS

Gather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,
Gather we at the Tree, Below & Above,
Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,
Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love.

CHORUS (with gusto)

Opening The Gates

The Senior Druid makes an offering to the Garanus, the Crane, saying:

Garanus,
You who stand between the realms,
Open the ways for us.
Guide us as we walk in your holy ways,
Guide us as we walk the Sacred Road.
Share your magic with us,
Ward us as we travel to meet the Kindred.
Garanus, accept our sacrifice!


All: Garanus, accept our sacrifice!

An offering of oil is given to the Fire. The Senior Druid then conjures the Gates, making an opening triskel on the Fire and Well, saying:

Now, Garanus
Join your magic with ours

And let the fire open as a gate,
Let the well open as a gate,
Let the tree be the crossroads of all Worlds.

Open as a road to our voices and to the Spirits.
Let the gates be open!


All: Let the gates be open!

Kindred Offerings

The druids make proper offerings to each of the Kindred, standing at the fire.

Ancestors
(Seer)

The Children of the Earth call out to the Mighty Dead.
Hear us, our Ancestors, our Kindred.

To all those whose bones lie in this land,
Whose hearts are tied to it,
Whose memory holds it;
Ancient tribes of this place,
We offer you welcome.

To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers,
Our own beloved dead,
Blood-kin and heart-kin,
Ancient tribes of our blood,
We offer you welcome.

To all those elder wise ones who guide their people,
Poets and seers,
Judges and magicians;
Wise women and men of ancient days,
We offer you welcome.

So, O Mighty Ones
We call to you as our kin,
In the love of the All-Mother,
To join in our magic.

Come to our fire, Spirits
Meet us at the boundary
Guide us and ward us as we walk the elder ways.


Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!

(an offering of food and/or drink is made onto the ground or into a shaft)

All: Ancestors, Accept our sacrifice!

Nature Spirits
(Bard)


The Children of Earth call out to the Spirits of this Land.
Hear us, companions and teachers!

To all our allies,
Kindred of stone and stream,
Crystal and fertile soil,
Pools and every water;
Earth-kins,
We offer you welcome

To all our allies,
Kindred of the growing green,
Herb and flower,
Shrub and mighty trees,
Root and stem and fruit.
Green-kins,
We offer you welcome.

To all our allies,
Kindred of fur and feather and scale
All who walk or fly or swim or crawl
Animal-kins,
We offer you welcome.

So, O Noble Ones
We call to you as our allies,
In the joy of life upon earth,
To join in our magic.

Come to our fire, Spirits;
Meet us at the boundary.
Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.

Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

(an offering of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets is scattered around the nemeton's edge or hung on the tree)

All: Nature Spirits, Accept our sacrifice!

Deities
(Senior Druid)


The Children of Earth call out to the Shining Ones.
Hear us, eldest and brightest!

To all the Shining Ones,
First children of the Mother,
Wisest and mightiest,
Loving and comforting;
Gods and Goddesses,
We offer you welcome.

To the Goddesses and Gods of this place,
Ancient and powerful,
Known to us or unknown;
Gods of this place,
We offer you welcome.

To all the deities of those here gathered,
You whom we worship,
You who bless our lives;
O patrons and matrons,
We offer you welcome.

So, O Shining Ones,
We call to you as our elders,
In reverence and love,
To join in our magic.

Come to our fire, Shining Ones;
Meet us at the boundary.
Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.
Deities, accept our sacrifice!

(an offering of scented oil is poured on the fire)

All: Shining Ones, Accept our sacrifice!

Key Offerings

Senior Druid speaks, saying:

Welcome to the Gods and Goddesses, the Mighty Dead and the Noble Sidhe! 

To all of you who have gathered at our fire, we pray you join us in worshipping the patrons of this holy rite here in our sacred grove.


The druids now give the descriptive invocations of the patron powers of the rite.

Turning to the well:

Sirona, Lady of the Waters!
Hear my words as they resound in the well!
From you springs youth in this time.
From you springs life,
The erotic blossoming of every kindred,
Not only for continuation,
But for the delight of all things!

Your song is the potential for all things!
You bring the healing power of summer
to cover over the scars of winter!
You drive the renewal of the world
through your cool, chaotic waters.

Place in our hearts a deep well
of creativity and fertility!

Sirona, Healing Lady!
Let us dress your Well
The opening of Earth
The access to the Underworld!

Sirona, give us your love!


All: Sirona, give us your love!

Turning toward the fire:

Belinus, Sun King!
Hear my words as they arise on the fire!
From your fire comes our internal flame!
From you comes warmth and love!
We ask your blessings be upon us
Ever increasing
As we raise our voices to you!

You draw the wheel of the sun across the sky
Burning brighter and hotter through the coming summer!
Bring warmth to our hearts as you do to this world.
Outshine fear, loneliness, and depression
And bring us faith, fellowship, and hope!

Place in our heads a bright fire of inspiration!

Belinus, Lord of Light!
Hear the intentions of our hearts
As they are lifted to you
By the fire's vigor!

Belinus, give us your light!


All: Belinus, give us your light!

Praise Offerings:

Each person is invited to call deities or others.

Carmen's Dedicant Oath

Final Sacrifice and Omen

The druids prepare the final offerings and say:

So we have given of our love and our wealth
To the Powers, that they may know our intentions.

Now let our voices arise on the Fire
Let our voices sound in the Well
Let our words pass the boundary to the Otherworld.

Lord and Lady,
We give you our love
Our respect, and our devotion
as we pray you...

Belenus, Sirona, accept our sacrifice!


All: Belenus, Sirona, accept our sacrifice!

Piacular Offering
an offering of incense, oil and silver

Patrons of this rite,
Gods and Goddesses,
Holy Ancestors,
Spirits of this place:
If anything that we have done here has offended you,
If anything we have done here has been incomplete,
If anything we have done here has not been in the proper manner,
Accept this final offering in recompense.


All are led to send their energy through the gates to the powers, meditating on the deities and the nobles. Then Senior Druid speaks:

Having sacrificed to the Powers
Let us open to them
Asking what blessings they offer us in return
And the needs they have of us.


1. Have our sacrifices been accepted?
2. What do the Gods offer us in return?
3. What further needs to the Gods have of us?

Omen is taken as usual. The seer then interprets the omen, leading the company to contemplate the things they would ask of the powers, especially as suggested by the omen. Company re-centers in preparation for the blessing.

The Blessing

A: The litany of the waters:

The Senior Druid and four Grove members approach the center. The Senior Druid elevates the vessel with waters and begins the litany:

Senior Druid speaks:

Ancient and Mighty Ones we have honored you
We pray you honor us in turn
For a gift calls for a gift
Hear your children:

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!


All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

We thirst for the Waters of Wisdom
The Waters of Bounty
The Waters of Rebirth

From the Well of Wisdom
From the Spring of Renewal
From the bosom of the Earth

Hear us:
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

We open our hearts to the Great Ones' blessing
We stand in pride, honor and friendship
With all the Powers of the Worlds
Hear us and answer us now:
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

B: Hallowing the waters:

Ale is poured into the horns and elevated as the Senior Druid speaks:

We draw blessing from the Cauldron of Blessing
We pour the Waters of Inspiration
Behold the holy Cup of Magic
The outpouring of Blessing from the Great Ones

When we share the draught of the Gods
We drink in wisdom, love and strength
To do as we will in the worlds
In service to the Shining Ones.

Hear us Shining Ones:
Hallow these waters!

We, your children, rejoice in your gift
Bless our spirits and our lives
With love, magic and bounty
As we drink these sacred waters.

Behold the Waters of Life!

All: Behold the Waters of Life!

Each of the four Grove members takes their portion of the Waters to one of the four parts of the circle, and the horns are passed and all drink as a proper hymn ("Pour the Waters") is sung.

The circle is brought back together, and all are re-grounded and centered.

Work

Now let us join together to celebrate the blessings the Gods have bestowed upon us!

Procession to the Maypole

Maypole Dance.

The circle is brought back together, and all are re-grounded and centered.

Closing

When all is done, the druids lead a resettling, then begin to close the grove, saying:

The Great Ones have blessed us
With joy in our hearts
Let us carry the magic from our sacred Grove
Into our lives and our work.

Each time we offer to the Powers
They become stronger
And more aware of our needs and our worship.

So now as we prepare to depart
Let us give thanks
To all those who have aided us.

O Belenuns, O Sirona, We thank you!


All: We thank you!

O Gods and Goddesses of elder days, We thank you!

All: We thank you!

O Spirits of this land, We thank you!

All: We thank you!

O Ancestors, our Kindred, We thank you!

All: We thank you!

To all those Powers that have aided us, we say again...

We thank you!


All: We thank you!

Druids renew the company's centering once more, signaling the return to common awareness and ease of access to the centered state. Then any unused offerings, return flow, incense, water etc. is given to the earth, saying:

Mother of all
To you we will return all we leave unused
Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite.

We thank you!


All: We thank you!

The druids go to the center. They speak:

O Gatekeeper, warder of the ways
For your presence and power
Your guiding and guarding we say...

We thank you!


All: We thank you!

Druid makes the closing sign over the hallows with the wand, saying:

Now by the Keeper of Gates and by our magic
We end what we began.

Now let the Fire be flame
Let the Well be water
Let the Tree be only wood
Let all be as it was before
Let the Gates be closed!


All: Let the Gates be closed!

Go now, Children of the Earth
In peace and blessings
The rite is ended!


The bard leads a proper chant as the company processes out of the Grove ("Walk with Wisdom").

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