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                                       Bardic Beltaine 
                     By "The White Bard", Dragonhart Cove, Phoenix, AZ

              --------------------------------------------------------------

          The BARD should stand to the WEST, unless otherwise specified in the
          ritual.

                  BELTANE RITUAL: May Day
                            -by the White Bard        

          Materials: One cauldron, filled with water
                     a wreath of flowers for the MAIDEN
                     the Maiden should wear white, if possible
                     two wooden swords (optional)
                     a fire, as close to the ground as possible
                     A BARD/GREEN MAN (note: if you have no Bard, then a
                          male to act as Green Man should be chosen either
                          by lottery, or by the Maiden. The Maiden is, of
                          course, free to request a specific person to
                          act as Green Man even if there is a Bard available
                          to the coven.)
                     candles for all, if possible

                  *****************************************

          %  The place of ritual should be set up, away from the gathered 
          %  participants.
          %  It is more than a good idea to manage bathrooms and such like
          %  before the circle is closed. This Mystery is not something any 
          %  of the participants should miss out on!
            
          HPS: Go we now to the sacred place
               And stand within the sacred space
               Turn your minds to sacred things
               And dance with me unto the ring!

          %  HP and HPS lead the coven to the place of ritual by a
          %  spiral dance, ending in a circle around the altar. The
          %  cauldron should be at the south. The Bard/Green Man
          %  dances at the end of the line.

          HPS: Come we forth, with the Spiral Dance
               Within the Lady's radiance
               To celebrate the Year renewed
               And praise the Powers, with gratitude.

               Earth and Water, Fire and Air
               I invoke the Goddess there!
               This night we are Between the Worlds
               To celebrate the year unfurled!

          HP: Earth and Water, Fire and Sky
              I invoke the God on high
              This night we are Between the Worlds
              To celebrate the year unfurled!

          %   The corners shall be called thusly, that all may hear, but 
          %   shall not be called until the HPS reaches that corner on her
          %   circumnabulation.


                                                                            1112

          EAST:   O Guardians of the Eastern Tower,
                  Airy ones of healing power
                  I do summon, stir and call you 
                  See these rites and guard this circle!

                  Come to us and heed our call!
                  By the Power that made us all;
                  By the Power that blesses Thee:
                  Come to us; and Blessed Be!

          SOUTH:  Oh fiery ones of Southern Power
                  Thus I invite you to this tower
                  I do summon, stir and call you 
                  See these rites and guard this circle!

                  Come to us and heed our call!
                  By the Power that made us all;
                  By the Power that blesses Thee:
                  Come to us; and Blessed Be!

          WEST:   Western ones of water's flow
                  Help to guard us here below
                  I do summon, stir and call you 
                  See these rites and guard this circle!

                  Come to us and heed our call!
                  By the Power that made us all;
                  By the Power that blesses Thee:
                  Come to us; and Blessed Be!

          NORTH:  Earthen ones of Northern fame
                  Bless and guard our Power's fane
                  I do summon, stir and call you 
                  See these rites and guard this circle!

                  Come to us and heed our call!
                  By the Power that made us all;
                  By the Power that blesses Thee:
                  Come to us; and Blessed Be!

          %  The HPS shall move to each corner, and say, following each
          %  corner's crying as she moves to the next:

          HPS: So I cast and consecrate 
               This Circle of the small and great:
               By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
               By Rock and Earth, by Land and Sea,
               By Fire and Water, Earth and Air,
               By the Lord, and Lady Fair!
               By Love and Joy and Work and Play,
               All things harmful cast away!
               By lightening's flash, and rain's soft fall,
               By the Power that made us all;
               By the Power that blesses Thee:
               (Cast the Circle: Blessed be!)

          %  On her return to the first corner she shall change the last
          %  line above, and say:  

               The Circle's cast; and Blessed Be!


                                                                            1113

          %  The callers of the corners shall return their tools to the
             altar, and then shall join the circle at their corners.

                  --------------------------------------------------

          %   Here begins the Beltane Mystery

          BARD or GREEN MAN: Thus I invoke the Lady White
                             To come to us this sacred night.
                             By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
                             I show you a Mystery!

          %   The Maiden shall stand beside the HP, who shall hold a
          %   wooden sword. The Bard/Green Man shall approach them, also
          %   carrying a wooden sword, and shall, in mime, challenge the
          %   HP. They shall strike their swords together in three sets
          %   of three blows, then Bard/Green Man shall strike the HP, with
          %   the last blow of his sword, who shall fall as if dead.
          %   (Note: This can be played as a Morris Dance, if so wished.)
          %   If no Maiden and Bard/Green Man are used, then the above combat
          %   may be eliminated, and the HP and HPS shall enact the Mystery.
          %   The HPS' part shall then be spoken by the participants.

          %   The Maiden moves to the East. The Bard/Green Man moves to the
          %   North.

          HPS: Cunning and art she did not lack
               But aye his whistle would fetch her back!

          MAIDEN: Oh, I shall go into a hare
                  with sorrow, sighing and mickle care
                  And I shall go in the Lady's Name
                  Aye, until I be fetched hame!

          BARD/GREEN MAN: Hare, take heed of a swift greyhound
                          Will harry thee all these fields around
                          For here come I in the Lady's Name
                          All but for to fetch thee hame!

          %   The Maiden moves to the South. The Bard/Green Man moves to the
          %   East.

          HPS: Cunning and art she did not lack
               But aye his whistle would fetch her back!

          MAIDEN: Yet I shall go into a bee
                  With mickle fear and dread of thee
                  And flit to hive in the Lady's Name
                  Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

          BARD/GREEN MAN: Bee, take heed of a red, red cock
                          Will harry thee close thru door and lock
                          For here come I in the Lady's Name
                          All but for to fetch thee hame!

          %   The Maiden moves to the West. The Bard/Green Man moves to the
          %   South.

          HPS: Cunning and art she did not lack
               But aye his whistle would fetch her back!


                                                                            1114

          MAIDEN: Yet I shall go into a trout.
                  With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt
                  And show thee many a merry game
                  Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

          BARD/GREEN MAN: Trout, take heed of an otter lank
                          Will harry thee close from bank to bank
                          For here come I in the Lady's Name
                          All but for to fetch thee hame!

          %   The Maiden moves to the North. The Bard/Green Man moves to the
          %   West.

          HPS: Cunning and art she did not lack
               But aye his whistle would fetch her back!

          MAIDEN: Yet I shall go into a mouse
                  And haste me unto the Miller's House
                  There in his corn to have good game
                  Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

          BARD/GREEN MAN: Mouse, take heed of a white tom-cat
                          That never was baulked of mouse nor rat
                          For here come I in the Lady's Name
                          And -thus- it is I fetch thee hame!

          %   Bard/Green Man walks to Maiden and takes her hand. They
          %   both move to the Cauldron, and face HPS.

          HPS: Cunning and art she did not lack
               But aye his Song has fetched her back!

               Old Winter's dead, the Lady reigns
               And Summer has returned again!

          %   Bard/Green Man and Maiden both wet their hands with water
          %   from the Cauldron, and sprinkle it on the HP, who comes to
          %   life again.

          HP: Cunning and art I do not lack
              But aye Her Cauldron will bring me back!

          %   Bard/Green Man and Maiden both move to, and jump, the fire.
          %   Here ends the Beltane Mystery.
          %   Note: This Mystery is the more historically correct "Great Rite."

                  ------------------------------------------------

          %   If there is a May Pole, it should be erected by the men -only- at
          %   this point, and all dance around it, alternating male and female
          %   to raise the cone of power as outlined below.
          %   A normal cone-of-power may be raised, for growth and healing:

          HPS: In a ring we all shall stand
               Pass the Power, hand to hand.


                                                                            1115



          HP: As the year is given birth
              Build the Power; root to Earth

          HPS: Pass the Power, hand to hand
               Bless the Lady, bless the Land

          HP: Bless the Lord, and bless the Skies
              Bless the Power that never dies!

          %   The above four verses should be repeated three times, (or
          %   as many as needed to fully wrap the pole) and then the HPS
          %   should say:

          HPS: By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree:
               Let the Power flow out and free!

          %   All should release, at this point.

                  ------------------------------------------------------

          %   Such coven business as must be transacted may be done here.

                  ------------------------------------------------------
          %   The Circle is opened.

          HPS: Thus I release the East and West
               Thanks to them from Host to Guest
               Thus I release the South and North
               With "Blessed Be' I send them forth!
               The Circle's open, dance we so
               Out and homeward we shall go.
               Earth and Water, Air and Fire
               Celebrated our desire.
               Winter's cold is gone away
               Now it is the Day of May.
               By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
               Our circle's done; and Blessed Be!

          COVEN: Blessed Be!

          %   All spiral dance out from the Circle, jumping the fire as
          %   they go. HP and HPS lead, with Bard/Green Man and Maiden
          %   taking care of bringing the Bel Fire into camp. Allow the Bel
          %   fire to burn out on its own, if possible, otherwise put it
          %   out with the water from the Caldron. Disposal of the water
          %   otherwise should be to pour it at the roots of a tree.
          %   All participants may take fire from the Bel Fire to take home
          %   with them, cook over, or whatever, before it is extinguished.

              ----------------end of Beltain ritual: the Bard--------------


                                                                            1116


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