Beltane Ritual No.2 ~ For a Couple or Solo
by Maria Ede-Weaving
Ritual Statement: We come together to celebrate the festival of Beltane. This is the time when sweet desire weds wild delight. The promise of spring and the power of the waxing year meet in the greening fields and forests, and all life rejoices under the warm sun. The tree of life is twined in a spiral web of colour and nature is renewed.
Call of the Goddess: We call upon the Goddess as Lady of the Heart’s Blossoming, please come to us as Divine Lover, sacred flower that opens to the bee. Set fire to our bellies with your joyous heat and animate our bodies with the blissful energy of your love. We honour you as Queen of the May, Lady of Life and Love, naked and radiant with the power of your desire; apple and hawthorn blossom in your hair; you skin the scent of bluebells. Show us the joy of union, the exquisite unfurling of body, mind and spirit. Teach us that the treasure of your Yoni is truly precious, a place of inspired creation and pleasure, the gateway to life.
In your heart burn the fires of love, both the love of self and of others. Holds up your mirror and reflect back to us our true beauty and worth. Teach us that when we gaze at our reflection, we see your beautiful face, body and being; may we never forget that your beauty is our beauty, that in valuing and loving ourselves, we are honouring and loving you. You are our creativity, striving always for joyous union with the world and others; you are the needy heat of desire; powerful self-love and the passionate love of others. You are ecstasy, sensuality and deep connection; the intimacy of skin upon skin. Be with us and bless us with your presence.
Call of the God: We call upon the God as Lord of the waxing earth and sun; vibrant spirit of the wildwood whose green blood fires our hearts. You are the moist fingers of outstretched leaves and your vibrant growth is the tender hand that moves upon the body of the Goddess. You are the warm kiss of sunlight, the heat of passion and the dance of life. Teach us that the treasures of your Sacred Phallus are not violence, senseless aggression or abuse but strength, passion and reverence. We thank you for your energy and vigour.
Great Spark of Light and Life, as bluebells cover the woodland floors; apple and hawthorn trees blossom and everywhere grows lush and green, your desire intensifies. You hear the voice of the Goddess deep in the greenwood and with joy answer her call, drawn by her glorious scent, striving to merge and surrender to the bliss of her embrace. You are the heat of passion; the sweet pain of yearning; the reverence that true intimacy and love inspires. Through you we are transformed by desire; we open to the mystery of another; we die to our separate selves and become the ecstasy of life. He touches us with your urgency; move us with your need; take us to the core of ourselves. Be with us and bless us with your presence.
The Thurible, The Crucible, The Chalice and The Temple:
There should be a mirror placed in the centre of the circle; a thurible, incense and your invocation to the Beloved placed in the east; a cauldron or heat proof dish in the south; a chalice with some oil – and a floral essential oil added to it, in the west and a pentacle or stone in the north, along with pen and paper.
The ritual should start in the centre of the circle. Each person is the Self in search of the Beloved. The Beloved is not only our lovers, it also the Divine and our Deepest Self. The journey of love is the search to be in perfect union with the Beloved, the Self and the Divine.
In turn, each performs the following:
Sit in the centre of the circle, facing each other. The first person holds a mirror up before the second person.
Study your face; look deeply into your eyes – What do you see there? Open to your vulnerability, witness the hurts, the failings, the mistakes; the pain you have caused and the pain that has been inflicted upon you; see you self-loathing and your regret. As you truly see these make no harsh judgement about them but allow your heart to feel compassion for the frailty of your humanity and of those that you love. Stay with these feelings; look deeply into the face before you. Gaze at your body, witness particularly those parts that you harshly criticise; look deeply and see where life’s struggles have marked and scarred you, where old pain and hurt might be locked away in flesh and bone. Once again make no harsh judgement but open and soften your heart; let compassion flow towards your body and your whole being.
Now, look even deeper into the face in the reflection; focus on the opening of your heart; call in your compassion and say,
The journey of love is both blissful and painful; its path moves through landscapes of intense beauty and wastelands of loss and betrayal. Love knows all seasons; it is the tender green shoot amongst the wreckage; it is the churning uncertainty and the stillness at the heart of chaos. Love is fingers entwined in the darkness; the soft touch of the future on your cheek; it is a song once lost, now remembered…and when it comes, it changes everything.
Walk to the east and say,
Love is a Thurible: it is an invocation, an offering of loving words given freely. It is a communion, the willingness to listen and understand; a request to be heard and understood .It is the conscious shaping of our thoughts for good; it is words of kindness and the wisdom of lessons learned.
Place incense in the thurible and read your specially prepared Invocation. It is your love poem to the Beloved.
When ready, walk to the South and say,
Love is a Crucible: It is the healing fires of transformation; the desire that shakes us to our core and the passion that fuels our actions; it is the willingness to take a risk, the courage to love regardless of the pain of the past; it is the release of our victimhood and the embracing of our strength.
Write on a piece of paper all that needs to be released and transformed, anything that you feel is stopping you from loving fully. Burn this in the cauldron.
When ready, walk to the West and say,
Love is a Chalice: It is the inexhaustible source within us; the giving and receiving of love in the flow of exchange; it is the trust to share our vulnerability and show compassion and empathy; the honouring of the ebb and flow of feeling; the blessing of tenderness.
Anoint yourself with oil with an X – first on your forehead, then on your heart, then on your pelvis. Visualise these marks as pure, healing light sinking down into your mind, heart and body and spreading until the light brightens every cell. See the tight bud of a rose in each of the three places you have anointed and as you feel the light spreading, see the rose petals unfurl and feel you mind, heart and body blossoming and opening to the healing power of love.
When ready, walk to the North and say,
Love is a Temple – It is a commitment to the manifestation of love in our lives and the lives of those we love. It is the body as sacred space that houses the divine; it is a holy garden that we tend – the seed, blossom, fruit and falling leaf of our love that we consciously work with and honour.
Read aloud three changes you are committed to make – firstly in your relationship with your lover, the second in your relationship with your Self and the third in your relationship with the Divine.
The second person now returns to the centre and holds up the mirror for the first person and they enact the whole sequence for themselves.
When ready, return to the centre. Sit or kneel opposite each other, as close as possible. Each place a hand on the heart of the other person, your other hand should be placed on top of their hand. For a full five mins sit in silence looking into each other’s eyes. Hold their gaze, open yourself to this person; try to feel fully any discomfort or emotion that this intimacy brings up.
After five mins, one of you say the following,
What sound was that? I turn away, into the shaking room.
What was that sound that came in on the dark?
What is this maze of light it leaves us in?
What is this stance we take,
To turn away and then turn back?
What did we hear?
It was the breath we took when we first met.
It is here. (Harold Pinter)
Kiss and embrace.
Goddess and God of the healing fires of love and passion, we thank you for your blessings. Through your wisdom may we blossom abundantly; may the qualities of reverence and desire guide us to our true selves and may we grow strong and vibrant in the warmth of your love.