A Personal Ritual for Beltane

As well as giving honor to the Kindreds, we honor the primary deities Angus Mac Óg and Bláithíne (pronounced Bla-heane, which means “flower face”). Angus Mac Óg, a fertility God, is the son of the Dagda, and is one of the Celtic Gods that help young lovers. As such, he is very appropriate for this holiday. Bláithíne was the wife of Cú Roi (pronounced Coo Roy), a Fennian warrior, and one of the lovers of Cú Chulainn (pronounced Coo Hoolan), an great Irish hero. In addition to her reputation as a wonderful lover, Bláithíne is known as a Goddess of the fields.

Opening Prayer

A short declaration is made about the reason for the ritual:

As I stand here under the stars, I can see all of creation around me.
I come here to give honor and love to the Shining Ones,
the Spirits of Nature and the Ancestors.
(forcefully) I am here to honor the Gods!

Honoring an Earth Mother

Honoring an Earth Mother can be done by giving an offering (flowers, cornmeal or some other natural object) to the Earth while singing a chant:

Chant – As One (author unknown)

As One we join with Her, our Mother.
As One we sing to Her our song.
As One we touch Her
As One we heal Her
Her heart beats with our own as One.
(forcefully) Earth Mother, I honor you!

Bestow a kiss upon the Earth.

Honoring the Bardic Deities

The following is a prayer to honor one of the bardic deities, in this case, Brigit:

As the flame, you enter my being with your spirit. Your presence is with me at all times. You have taught me to know my voice and the power it has over others. You have shown me the powers within myself. Brigit, you are the voice of the bards. You are the words of the poet. I call to you now to be with me. To show me the words, the phrases that are the best, to let me send my thoughts sweetly to the Kindreds. Brigit, I call upon you now to give me the powers of inspiration. Brigit, I call upon you now!

Two-Power Meditation – Earth and Sky

Instructions for the meditation can be recorded on tape and played back during the ritual:

Close your eyes and find that quiet, still place. Breathe deeply. Listen to the sounds of Spring around you. Listen as the Earth comes alive again. Feel your toes wiggle down into the soil. Reach deep down into the Earth Mother. Let your toes become roots, seeking the quiet, warm waters beneath the Earth and then drawing it up, up like the sap in Spring. Up, into your roots, up further still into your legs. Let it pool in your groin. Draw it up your spine, and let it pool in your heart. Up further, to pool in your mind. And still it comes until it flows down and out and back into the Earth

And with that energy of the Earth, flowing in you, look now with your inner vision. Look up to the Sky. Look above. Look all the way to the stars above. You can see the cool energy of the stars. You can see it flowing down from the stars. Down, down to you. And as that energy of the stars flows into you, you can feel it fill you. Fill you to overflowing. And as that energy of the stars mingles with the energies of the Earth moving through you, feel those energies combining, filling you to overflowing. And as that energy moves out, feel it mixing and moving around and around the sacred space. Be at peace.

This is the time when sweet desire weds wild delight. Beltane celebrates the beginning of a bold and virile season, when the God of Nature lustily impregnates the Earth Mother. Life spring eternal, with joy and beauty. Now is the time for the celebration of the powers of life, sensuousness and newness. For richness and plenty now bless the land. This is the time for all things to grow, a time to build, a time to explore. I exult in the glory of the Earth, and celebrate my own strengths.

Establishing the Vertical Axis

One way to establish the vertical axis is by reconnecting the Well, Fire and Tree with their roots to all the other sacred wells, fires and trees in the cosmos. At this time, offerings can be given to each of the three in the sacred center as the words are sung about each. Usual offerings include: silver to the well, oil to the fire, and incense or water to the tree.

Calling Upon the Gatekeeper

This calling is usually done while placing an offering of olive oil to the fire or into the offering bowl:

Manannán mac Lír, once again I call upon you. I ask you to be my Gatekeeper. I ask you to come across the waves in your magical coracle, the Wavesweeper. Come across the waves and open the ways for me. Manannán, I ask you to be my magician, my Druid, and I ask you to hold the ways open for me tonight. Manannán, I give you this offering of fine oil in praise of your wonders and in love of you.

Manannán, once again I ask, let the well open as a gate [pointing to the Well and visualizing a gate, or ring of fire, opening over it], and let the tree open as the connection between all the planes [pointing to the Bile (Irish for “tree”) and visualizing it growing through the gates over the Fire and Well, both up and dow, to all the planes of existence]. (forcefully) O Manannán mac Lír, let the gates be opened!

Acknowledgement of Outsiders

A cup of ale is taken to a location South of the sacred space or room that you are working in, and given to the outsiders after saying:

Once again I call to you, Outsiders. You who stood against my Gods. You from the primordial time. I know that you are still out there. I also know that I harbor, within myself, things that are not needed during this time of ritual. I want to set these things aside. Outsiders, I ask that you help me take these things that I don’t need and set them aside. Those things that are not appropriate for this time of ritual. Outsiders, to you I give this offering of ale to aid me in setting aside all that is not needed at this time.

Kindred Callings

An offering to the Ancestors of cornmeal is sprinkled around the inside of the sacred space or into the offering bowl. A calling is spoken while the offering is sprinkled:

Ancestors, I ask that you be with me tonight. Mothers and Fathers of all, not just of me, but of the earlier inhabitants of this land as well. I call to you tonight and ask you to join with me and lend me your wisdom. (forcefully) Ancestors, be with me tonight!

An offering to the Spirits of Nature of a sweet-smelling herbal mix is sprinkled around the inside of the sacred space or into the offering bowl. A calling is spoken while the offering is sprinkled:

Spirits of Nature, I ask that you accept this sacrifice of sweet-smelling herbs and join in this ritual. Spirits of this land and all the lands around it, Spirits of the Waters and of the Air and Skies above it, I call you to now. I ask that you join with me and lend me your strength. (forcefully) Spirits of Nature, be with me tonight!

An offering of olive oil to the Gods and Goddesses is sprinkled on the fire or into the offering bowl. A calling is spoken while the offering is sprinkled:

I call now to all the Gods and Goddesses that have not been named, I give you this offering of fine oil and ask that you join with me for this ritual tonight. I ask that you join with me and lend me your power. (forcefully) Shining Ones, be with me tonight!

Calling of the Primary Deities: Angus Mac Óg and Bláithíne

An offering of olive oil is poured on the fire or into the offering bowl, as each calling is spoken:

Now I call upon Angus Mac Óg, son of the Dagda, you who resided at Brú na Bóinne, the modern Newgrange. Agnus the young, I ask you to come and join with me. I ask you to ring your fertility of youth to join with me here in this ritual. And to bring that fertility of youth to my fields to make my crops grow string through the Summer. Angus, to you I give this offering of fine oil and ask you to join with me tonight. (forcefully) Angus Mac Óg, be with me tonight!

Bláithíne, I have named you and so I call you forth. I call with the power within me. I call with my own voice. I use my hands and my being as the bridge across. Bláithíne, I call to you. I have named you blossom. I have named you flower face. You, whose wisdom comes with the fertility of the land. Whose power is in that which shapes the soil. Whose power is in that which causes trees to grow, flowers to bloom. Bláithíne, I call you. I call you forth with the word and with the power within me. Bláithíne, I call you.

Praise Offering

This can be done through offers of song, poetry, story, dance, artwork, etc. You should prepare what you will be offering in advance of the ritual and make sure that it is a worthy offering.

Omen

The omen is usually done with either runes or Ogham cards or sticks (or any other form of divination you feel comfortable using).

Return Flow

Having given offerings to the Kindreds, you hope that blessings will flow back to you magnified many times. The “return flow” is started by holding up a cup of water, juice, beer, or ale. Energize the beverage by visualizing while speaking:

Once again, I turn my vision inward. I look to the area around me, to the trees. I look at the faces if the beings gathered here around this ritual. I listen to the noise they make as they move through the trees. Now I turn my vision upwards, up to where the gate shines above me like a ring of gas gets, a circle of flame. Looking up through that circle, I can see a host gathered there, looking down on me with love. And looking downward through the gate below, I can see the host gathered there, as well, looking up at me with love. Now I call upon all those gathered around and above and below me to take the offerings I’ve made and to return some to me. To give me the bounty of your blessings. A return, a bounty that has been magnified by your wondrous powers.

I can see how the flow of energy and love streams down from above and surrounds me! I can see how the energy fills the cup and spills over. I can see how the cup sparkles and shimmers. Gods and Goddesses, Spirits of Nature and Ancestors, I thank you for this gift in return! (forcefully) Behold, the waters of life!

Thanking the Deities, Bláithíne and Angus Mac Óg

A gift of olive oil is poured on the fire or into the offering bowl, as the parting is spoken:

Bláithíne, I thank you for joining with me and for bringing your fertility to my fields. As this rite is ending, I give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. (forcefully) Bláithíne, I thank you!

Angus Mac Óg, I thank you for joining with me and for bringing your fertility to my fields. As this rite is ending, I give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. (forcefully) Angus Mac Óg, I thank you!

Thanking the Kindreds

Another gift to the Gods and Goddesses of olive oil is poured on the fire or into the offering bowl, as the parting is spoken:

I call once again to the Shining Ones. I thank you for joining with me tonight. As this rite is ending, I give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. (forcefully) Gods and Goddesses, I thank you!

Another gift to the Spirits of Nature of olive oil is poured on the fire or into the offering bowl, as the parting is spoken:

I call once again to the Spirits of this Place. I thank you for joining with me tonight. As this rite is ending, I give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. (forcefully) Spirits of Nature, I thank you!

One more gift to the Ancestors of olive oil is poured on the fire or into the offering bowl, as the parting is spoken:

I call once again to the Ancestors. I thank you for joining with me tonight. As this rite is ending, I give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. (forcefully) Ancestors, I thank you!

Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the Gates

One last time, a gift of olive oil is poured on the fire or into the offering bowl, as the parting is spoken:

Manannán mac Lír, I thank you for coming to me tonight as my magician, as my Druid, and as my Gatekeeper. Now that this rite is ending, I give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.

As this ritual is ending, I ask once again, let the fire be once again fire [pointing at the Fire and visualizing it simply as a candle or small fire]. Let the well be once again a well [pointing at the Well and visualizing it as simply a bowl of water], and let the tree be once again a tree [pointing at the Bile and visualizing it shrinking back down to normal size]. (forcefully) O Manannán mac Lír, let the gates be closed!

Reversing the Two-Power Meditation

This meditation is reversed at the end of the ritual by allowing the energies to move back to their source. Again, you can record the following on tape and play it back during this part of the ritual:

Once again, look about, using your inner vision. The gate has closed down, but the Spirits of Nature are still all around you. They never really leave. You can still see and feel the different types of energies swirling around your sacred space. Take those energies from the Sky into your being and start to move them upwards, back to where they came from. And as they pass through you, keep what you need to remain energized and at peace.

And once those energies from the Sky have left you, look around at the energies of the Earth that still flow around your sacred space. Allow those energies to flow into your being and start to move them downward, back to where they came from. As they pass through you, keep what you need and let the rest go.

Conclusion

Some type of formal closing must be spoken aloud, even if it is as simple as:

As I have given honor tonight, so will I do in the future! The rite has ended!

Source:
The Solitary Druid - Walking the Path of Wisdom and Spirit by Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison, Ár nDraí Féin

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