Beltane Ritual Reflections

I performed my Beltane rite on the day itself, May 1, with my husband.  He recited various parts, like the Two Powers attunement, honoring the Earth Mother, and honoring the Ancestors.  The Nature Spirits were the Beings of the Occasion for this ritual, which was done using ADF’s Core Order of Ritual using my Vanic outline.

The Outdwellers received an offering of plain black tea, Nerthus (our Earth Mother) received flour, Kvasir received plain filtered water (for Inspiration), Freyja (our Gatekeeper) received honey, the Ancestors received rosemary, the Vanir received oats, and the Nature Spirits received a Love Spell tea blend (with black tea, peach pieces, peach flavor, and calendula petals) in addition to lavender.  The reason the Nature Spirits received two offerings will be explained in more detail later.

The ritual started out well.  As my husband read the lines for the Two Powers attunement, I felt the Two Powers flowing into me.  We lit each of the Three Kindred candles as we honored them.  We didn’t use Freyja’s candle for this ritual since she wasn’t the main being honored.  Since the Nature Spirits were the Beings of the Occasion, we honored the Ancestors, then the Vanir, then the Nature Spirits.  We didn’t use a set prayer to honor them.  I spoke from the heart words that seemed to be appropriate to connect them with the Beltane season.

My reasoning for honoring the Nature Spirits for Beltane is simple.  We can see and feel them waking up all around us at this time of year in this area (Indiana).  Birds are chirping, blooming flowers fill stores, and lots of wildlife abounds.  I wanted to honor their awakening and abundance.

The first offering we made to the Nature Spirits was the Love Spell tea blend. Unfortunately we had forgotten to bring it into the room before the ritual so my husband ran to the kitchen to grab it. We also used this blend for the Prayer of Sacrifice.  The first card we drew for the Omen question, “Are the offerings accepted?” was the Door reversed, which means closed doors, endings, inaction.  I took that as a no.  My husband suggested they might like something different, so we offered a large quantity of lavender buds.  I reshuffled the Wychwood Oracle deck and drew the Omen below.

XX – The Dagger, XXVII – The Lady, and XXIV – The Wand, all upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

This time, the Dagger (upright) was drawn when we asked if the offerings were accepted.  The Dagger is a sign of protection, justice, and assertion, so I interpreted this card as a yes.  The Lady answers the next question, “What blessings are offered?”  The Lady represents strength, dignity, and patience.  Finally, we asked, “What further guidance do the Kindreds offer?”  Our answer was the Wand, which means focus, intention, and spirituality.  All in all a very good omen!

For the Waters of Life, we both just had filtered water since we didn’t have any alcohol on hand.  This is the same reason Kvasir got water as well instead of beer.

This was a very good ritual!  I am pleased with the Omen and how it went, despite forgetting the Love Spell tea blend before the ritual started and having to go get it in the middle of ritual (and having to make a different offering).  I don’t recall if I felt much of anything besides the Two Powers during the ritual other than just a feeling of peace and joy.

Blessed Beltane!  May we revel in the fertility of the Earth Mother and the abundance of the Nature Spirits!

 

Advertisements

A UU Beltane

I was asked to host a Beltane ritual at the Unitarian Universalist church I attend shortly after the normal service this past Sunday.  Leading up to the ritual, I was so thrilled simply to have the opportunity to provide ritual to the congregation in a very public setting.  Mostly I was excited to share my faith with others and to show them what Paganism is about.

This ritual was very similar to the one performed on Sunday that I wrote about here, with some small tweaks.  I added a final offering after the participant offerings to provide a climax to the ritual.  We also had everyone kneel down and touch the Earth Mother as we called Her to ritual.  We also asked the children attending to wave their faery wands they had made earlier to help us call them.

In my opinion, the ritual went very well–much better than the one on Friday.  The larger number of participants (about 7) probably helped things.  I also feel that the final offering provided a much needed “high point” to the ritual.  Almost everyone after the ritual said they enjoyed it and thanked me for it.

The picture of the Omen won’t post correctly, so I will simply write about it here.

The first rune I drew was Kenaz, torch.  I see this rune as a rune of transformation and purification.  The second rune I drew was Berkano, birch.  Berkano is symbolic of the Earth Mother and new beginnings.  The last rune drawn was Sowilo, sun and strength.  All in all, this is a very positive Omen that points to the warmth of the Sun, reverence of the Earth Mother, and a new beginning due to some transformation.

I am so glad I was able to give my church family a glimpse of my world.  I hope I have blessed them as much as I feel they have blessed me.

Blessings, Rosemary

Beltane Blessings!

Today I hosted a Beltane ritual with my husband for a new friend and our roommate.  Beltane is a celebration of fertility, but we chose to celebrate the Faeries since kids were originally planned to be present.  (They couldn’t make it.)  Here is a picture of our altar after the ritual; I forgot to take a picture before:

20150501_182840

I am in love with this fabric; it is simply perfect for Beltane.  It is also silky and floaty, which the picture doesn’t convey–perfect for honoring the Faeries.

To begin, I said words to open the ritual and create sacred space, offering some thyme mixed with lavender to the fire.  Our guest said the prayer for honoring the Earth Mother and made an offering of bread.  I then called the Ancestors and tossed some mugwort into the flames.  Our guest called the Nature Spirits (offering thyme and lavender) and Deities–my husband poured some wine into the fire for their offering.  I honored the fairies with fruit & nut trail mix.

After personal praise offerings, I took an Omen for the ritual asking what blessings were offered to us.

20150501_182846

The rune on the left is Ingwaz, a rune of fertility–perfect for Beltane.  In the middle is Hagalaz, hail; I see it as transformative from harm to healing.  Finally we have Sowilo, sun and strength.  All in all, this is a very positive Omen for Beltane!

I called for a blessing into a bowl of water and sprinkled everyone with it, including myself.  We then thanked everyone we had called in reverse order, returned to ordinary space, and ended the ritual.

I will elaborate more on the ritual script on Sunday, after I perform it for the congregation at the Unitarian Universalist church I attend.  I prefer to keep the script private until then to have more of an impact on attendees.

The ritual was simple but beautiful.  I enjoyed it, and I look forward to performing it for my church.

Blessings, Rosemary

Beltane blessings!

May 1 is usually celebrated among Pagans as Beltane, a festival of fertility and whimsy.  Now is the time to acknowledge the life and fertility all around us in Nature, like flowers blooming and animals nesting.

I acknowledged this High Day by pouring offerings of coffee outside to the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones.  Next week my fiance and I will celebrate with a formal ritual.

May all areas of your life be in bloom!

Victoria