Cleanse area with besom.
Cast the circle in your usual manner.
Cleanse and bless the participants in your usual manner.
EAST - water
All Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, the powers of water. The tides of the ocean, where all life began, the rivers and streams that feed and nourish the earth. When we thirst, let your tears fall upon us as gentle rain. Thou art the dark sea from which all life comes, and unto which all life returns. We call you now to aid us in our rites. So Mote It Be.
SOUTH - air
All Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, the powers of air. The gentle breezes that soften winter's chill and the cleansing force of the gale winds. Oh, ye of the South Wind, place of storms and breath of life. In the coolness of the breeze we hear your sighs, and in the rushing of the wind. We call you now to aid us in our rites. So Mote It Be.
WEST - fire
All Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West, the powers of fire. The spark of lust which leads to all Creation, the Sacred Fire of Life. Flame of power, burning bright, giving guidance in the night. Love is the inner spark, the light that burns without flicker, the amber glow within. We call you now to aid us in our rites. So Mote It Be.
NORTH - earth
All Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North, the powers of earth. The womb of the Earth Mother, dark protection of the new seed. The shelter of the stag and the new born fawn. Carpet of fallen leaves be our bed. The soil that is the flesh, the mountain that is the breast, and the earth that is the bone of the world. We call you now to aid us in our rites. So Mote It Be.
(At this time the watchtowers have been called in and we now prepare to call upon the Gods and Goddesses. We have called upon a Goddess and God from each direction for this ritual.)
Oh, Goddesses of all beginnings, Cybele, Astarte, Yameya, Isis, be among us now in your aspect as Maiden of the Forest and Sea. The fair one who brings joy and new life to break the winter's stillness and silence. Oh virgin child of sunrise, wild mistress of the hunt, Artemis of the mountains, and Aphrodite of the oceans, we ask that you join us if for but a moment to witness our rites and bless your hidden children. Blessed Be.
Oh Goddesses of nurturing and fulfillment, Bridget, Demeter, Cerridwen, Diana. In full knowledge of the seed that you bear, we await your life, your freedom, and your light, as part of all light that flows eternally. You, the mirror of the whole kindred, of star, of stone, and of greenwood tree. Turn life's great wheel and make us ever better from life to life to life. We ask that you join us if for but a moment to witness our rites and bless your hidden children. Blessed Be.
Oh Warrior Gods of protection and virility, Osiris, Llew, Pan. Oh laughing God of the greenwood, with your pipes and cloven hooves, shepherd of creatures free and wild. Beyond the doorway of time and out into the night, in search of mystery and the wonder of light. Crackling with energy under our skin, red lion roaring, pulses racing, we are open - Come in! Join us, if for but a moment, to witness our rites and bless your hidden children. Blessed Be.
Oh Father Gods of death and hunting, Cernunnos, Ra, and Herne. Even as you dwell within the temple of death, so you dwell within the Secret Seed, seed of the grain, seed of the flesh, hidden of the earth. For you are He who is the gatekeeper at the end of time, we hear the thunder of your hooves upon the shore. You are He whom all must face at the appointed hour, yet you are not to be feared, for you are father, brother, lover and son. We ask that you join us if for but a moment to witness our rites and bless your hidden children. Blessed Be.
(At this time it is appropriate if you wish to do a maypole dance to go ahead to this section on erecting the pole and doing the dance. If the dance is to be done at another time, then go straight on to the lighting of the Bel fires.)
HPS - Before we begin this glorious age old dance of the maypole, it is customary to bless and consecrate both the pole, which is the representation of the God's regenerative life force, the phallus, and the earth, which represents the fertility of the Goddess, the vagina.
(dig the hole now if it is not already there.)
(pour a libation of oil or wine into the hole)
Earth Mother, may this offering prepare you to receive this symbol of your consort, our Lord.
(the men bring the pole in, marching in a rhythmic manner, two steps forward, and rock one step back, as is usual in a courtship! It is also appropriate for them to grunt. They turn the pole over to the HPS)
Blessed be this tree, vehicle of our Lord, which shall soon enter our Mother the Earth.
(at this time all ladies come forward and rub the oil all over the pole, chanting is appropriate, as are other more suggestive sounds! Each person then comes forward and ties a ribbon to the end of the pole, the color of the ribbon should have significance to the person. The pole is then erected into the earth, with as much flourish and noises as is deemed appropriate to those present.)
This is a time for joy and a time for sharing. The richness of the soil accepts the seed, and now is the time that seeds should be spilled. Togetherness brings joy and abundance fills the Earth. Let us celebrate the planting of abundance. All of you friends look upon the pole, seeing in your mind's eye the pure life force rising through it from the earth, blossoming overhead, and cascading down through us...flowing out from us to the Lady's world beyond...Look...and see Life!
(start the music, and dance the maypole! For directions, see the intro file)
(can now light the Bel fires)
HP - Now, as in ages past, it is the pleasure of the Lord who longs for the touch of His Lady, to light the Bel fire, as a signal to all, that this is the season of Beltane! Tis spring now, and the time for all of field and forest to be fertile!
(he lights the fire, and the HPS comes up to him holding a long green scarf)
HPS - Now, as in ages past, it is the pleasure of the Lady to
arouse the passions of the Lord, to cause the sap in the
trees to rise, to cause the very breath of the earth to sigh
(she teases him with the scarf)
Come, my Lord, and let us be together once again!
(she drops the scarf at his feet and quickly walks or runs away, not too fast. The HP picks up the scarf and follows her, she does not allow him to catch her too quickly, and if possible, other young ladies block his way. Finally after traversing the circle at least 3 times, he catches her and they kiss.)
(the HPS then hands the scarf to another young lady, who goes around the circle till she sees a man she likes, and drops the scarf at his feet, he then chases her in the same manner. This can go on as long as wanted.)
(Can do the Great Rite now, or after jumping the fire.)
HP - The Bel fires are a symbol also of purifying energy, and
also the energy of the fertility of this season.
"Nine woods in the Bel fire go
Burn them fast and burn them slow"
Oak for the God
Birch for the Goddess
Fir for birth
Willow for death
Rowan for magick
Apple for love
Grapevine for joy
Hazel for wisdom
And Hawthorne for purity and for the May.
(at this time dance the spiral dance, chant, sing, and jump the fire.)
(can do the Great Rite now, if not done after the scarf chase.)
THANK THE GODS AND GODDESSES
Great Goddesses of all beginnings, Cybele, Astarte, Yameya, Isis. Grant that our beginnings be fertile and fruitful. The beauteous Sacred Queen in the full knowledge that times of joy shall return always, as lusty as before. Virgin Queen of the Sea, and of the desert, and rain, and of the deepest untouched forest. As you leave, fill our hearts with your light and love. Blessed Be.
Great Goddesses of nurturing and fulfillment, Bridget, Demeter, Cerridwen, Diana. Grant us your patience and guiding wisdom. Both within and without, fill our souls with rebirth, that we may walk a little further, reach a little higher, that we may strive for the far horizon. Thou art the the cauldron of inspiration and the womb of the immortal mother, and as you leave, fill our hearts with light and love. Blessed Be.
Great Gods of protection and virility, Osiris, Llew, Pan. Grant us your determination and bravery. Prince of twilight, pearl grey warrior, with a silver foot, go silently as long as the moon shall rise and the star shall turn. For we are ever a star, to us is given the secret of the Winged Flame. Oh, keeper of the Sacred Forest, as you leave, fill our hearts with light and love. Blessed Be.
Great Gods of Death and Hunting, Cernunnos, Ra, and Herne. Grant us the promise of renewal, that through death we are reborn. You reign supreme within your lands. Give us fair woodlands and green fields, blossoming orchards and ripening fruits. Your seed that is sown in spring will become the flower of the harvest. As Nature flourishes, so also do we. All upon the Earth is at one with the Divine Union, the fruit of magick. As you leave, fill our hearts with light and love. Blessed Be.
(We have a simple prayer at this point which states that we have honored the Great Ones, your group can do something similar here, or skip right to dismissing the quarters.)
DISMISSING THE WATCHTOWERS
EAST - water
Hail to thee Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, the powers of water. We thank thee for the life- giving nourishment you have given to Mother Earth and the crops. Soft is the rain that gently falls upon the fields beneath, it patters down so gently that it hardly bends a leaf. We bid thee Hail and Farewell, as you depart to your mighty realms, and harm ye none on your way. So Mote It Be.
SOUTH - air
Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, the powers of air. We thank thee for life-giving breath, and the wings of our thoughts, wishes, and dreams. As you blow the staleness of winter away, help us fill our lungs with the freshness of clear skies and clear minds. We bid thee hail and Farewell, as ye depart to your mighty realms, and harm ye none on your way. So Mote It Be.
WEST - fire
Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West, the powers of fire. We thank thee for the flame of passion, and the cleansing Balefire. Blessed warmth give comfort and brightness and strength. Though these flames of the material world be darkened, they shall ever burn in the worlds beyond. We bid thee Hail and Farewell, as ye depart to your mighty realms, and harm ye none on your way. So Mote It Be.
NORTH - earth
Hail to thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North, the powers of earth. We thank thee for the stability in our lives which grounds us and gives us strength. Rock of life, salt and granite, ever-living, blessed planet, green grass, and leafy tree, vines as trailing hair, may you bring peace back in to the world. We bid thee Hail and Farewell, as you depart to your mighty realms, and harm ye none on your way. So Mote It Be.
Open the circle. Group Hugs!!
"A Witches Bible Compleat" by Janet and Stewart Farrar
"Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham
"Magickal Rites from the Crystal Well" by Ed Fitch
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