Beltane – Bringing in the Sidhe

By Z.L. Bennett

May 6, 2007

 

I. Preparing the Nemeton and Participants

Outdwellers are to be treated with before the rite begins.

 

- Sound cue – (chime 3x3)

 

Purification of Space  (PD purifies space with sage and salt water as Druids call the following.)

 

Calling on the Protector:

Bold Lugh, Great Hero, Bright Bladed Steed,

Flawless form of shadow and light -

Golden seed and spear, you bear the gifts that sustain us.

Samildanach, of the sure hand and strong arm,

Your people call on you at this most sacred time

To ward us in our steps, forge right alliance, and defend us from harm.

 

We offer this in friendship and gratitude.  (offer red ale)

 

PD: Dear folk of the Old Ways, you may now enter the Nemeton.

 

Procession – Song: Come we Now as a People (by Ian Corrigan)

 

             Come we now as a people,

            Together, to gather at the sacred well.

            Come we now as a people,

            To gather in the warmth and the light of the flame.

 

 (The decorated maypole is brought in during the procession and is also purified along with the participants as it is carried in – it is also planted in the ground at this time in its designated area).

 

- Purification of Participants as they enter the Nemeton

 

- Opening Statement and Precedence

 

     PD:  We belong to the gods and the gods belong to us, so let us pray with a good fire.  Let us offer with a full heart, knowing that when we do, we nurture our connection to them and support the very gods themselves.  In remembrance, we strengthen their powers.  In honor, we balance the worlds.  In love, we bring peace and keep the Old Ways alive and present. 

 

     Brothers and sisters, welcome to this Nemeton and welcome to this celebration of Beltane, the magical time when the veils between the worlds are thin and the cycle between the seed and the harvest, the waiting and the manifesting, touches one upon the other in a pleasurable, blissful embrace as new lovers do. 

 

-  Earth Mother

PD:  We must first begin my acknowledging the source of all life, our dear Mother of the Earth and of all peoples. (Drums play heartbeat rhythm.)

 

D:  Though you are called by many names, Great Mother,

      Today we call you as Boann, the truth in our deepest yearnings,

      O mother of Immortal Legends and Bright friends,

      We honor you, for the verdant beauty that lies poised all around us.

      We honor you, for you sustain us with the sweetest of milk, guarding our way.

 

      Join us here in the pulsing rivers within us, around us, beside us, above us,

      and below us.  Know our true offering of love in this place.

      Radiant Mother, accept our offering!   ALL: Radiant Mother, accept our offering!       

      (Offering of 3 flowers or rosewater - at each hallow or at the center)

 

-  Powers of Inspiration

 

PD:  Let us now ask the Powers of Inspiration to aid us in our rite.

 

D1: A Brid, Exalted One, who puts prayers and praises in our mouths,

       Your fiery pearls float upward from our bellies, hearts, and tongues.

       May we be inspired by your presence, in worthy deeds and honeyed songs,

       For glory and honor arises from you, the smallest part and the total sum.

    

       Bright Lady, you bring such peace that your praises are chanted everywhere,

       And so we praise and call you here, Lady of the Forge-fires,

       That we may honor you and speak truth to the Kindred, guided in your beauty.

 

Imbas upon us!  A Brid! Join us here and accept our offering!   All: (Repeat)

 (offering of oil or clarified butter is made)

 

II. Opening of the Grove

 

- Grove Attunement – Two Powers and the mists

 

- Statement of Purpose

 

 PD:  We have come here today to celebrate Beltane and to honor Aengus, the god of lovers, and Ainé, the Faery Queen.  Our rite’s purpose this day is to forge a deeper alliance with the sidhe and the spirits of the land in this time, their time, for the veils are thinnest and the faery folk are very near. The Noble Ones are gentle, sensitive folk most of whom are willing to connect with us if we but treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve and approach them with an open heart.  

 

     So, today we will offer up a woven tapestry of joy and love at our Maypole, to all those hidden folk who balance the worlds, and, as is tradition, we will dance between the healing faery fires of Beltane to gather in more fully the blessings of the Kindred and this most fertile season.

 

- Honoring the Hallows (Well, Fire. and Tree)

 

PD:  Let us begin by honoring the hallows from which we make offering and by attuning ourselves to the worlds.

 

(The following Portal Song will be sung by the participants as separate celebrants come forward to offer to the hallow being sung about while quietly saying their own hallow honors and then making an offering to them. – Well (silver) – Fire (oil) – Tree (incense and water).

 

Portal Song (by Ian Corrigan)

Chorus:

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky

We stand like the World Tree rooted deep, crowned high.

 

1.  Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,

     Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring.

     Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,

     Come we now to the Well, together we sing.

 

(Repeat Chorus)

 

2.  We will kindle a Fire, Bless all with harm to none,

     We kindle a Fire, and offering pour,

     We will kindle a Fire, A light ‘neath the moon and sun,

     We will kindle a Fire, our spirits will soar.

 

(Repeat Chorus)

 

3.  Gather we at the tree, the root and the crown of all,

     Gather we at the Tree, below and above,

     Gather we at the Tree, together we make our call,

     Gather we at the Tree, in wisdom and love.

 

(Repeat Chorus)

 

-    Attuning with the Airts and/or Land, Sea, and Sky*

(A spear or staff is brought forth to direct energy from the center to each direction.)

 

May there be peace in the East, source of Fertility and Prosperity.

May there be peace in the South, source of Beauty and Magic.

May there be peace in the West, source of Eloquence and Wisdom.

May there be peace in the North, source of Courage and Strength.

May there be peace in the Center, the axis of all Worlds, source of Sovereignty and the Sacred Threshold.

 

And May there be peace in Land, and Sea, and Sky, body, mind, and spirit (with spear or staff a triskel is drawn overhead in the center of the Nemeton with the following words)

The known (1st spiral of triskel drawn), the unknown (2nd spiral of triskel drawn), the realms that are far beyond our reach (3rd spiral of triskel drawn), and those that are all around us (a large circle deosil drawn above).

*Inspired and taken from work by Ian Corrigan

 

-  Opening of the Gates

 

PD:  Now that we have prepared ourselves and this place, let us open the portals for our work.  We call upon our Gatekeeper Mhannain Mac Lir.

 

D:         Masterful Prince, ride your gilded chariot, and come gently to us.

            Piercing the elegant blue of seductive, turquoise seas

            Deep in the dappled mist of ancient spiraled threes,

            Where the breath holds still, in the journey.

           

            In your rich velvet cloak slipping silently ‘round

            The eternal lands of famed heroes’ mighty deeds,

            Move toward your seekers here and open the mystery,

            Where moonlight shines from the islands of silvern apple trees.

 

            We hear the spraying waves roll in the hushed wind of your hair,

            Bells and horns announce you from the trembling branches near the bay.

            Fine-formed one, ward our steps, part with ease the boundaries’ way,

            Where all worlds do flow as one, and let us now, together, open the gates.

 

           (During the last stanza bards will create the sounds of the sea with various

            instruments - i.e. chimes, bells, rainstick, & other items that generate these

            sounds.  Sound of the sea will increase as Gate Opening continues with a           

            dual chant (Mhannain- Public)  (some celebrants pick up pitch and tempo that

raises the energy).

 

D:         Gatekeeper accept now this gift of silver (offers silver triskel to the well)

            and Let our words sound in the depths.

            (Speaker uses hands or wand to direct energy to each hallow as…

            Let our offerings rise in the fire.      

            Let the devotion in our hearts be carried to all the worlds.

 

A Mhannain Mac Lir, Open wide the Sacred Center!

Osclaitear na Geatai anois!  Let the Gates be Open!

 

ALL: Let the Gates be Open!

                                                                                                           

 

III. Offering to the Powers

 

-  Honoring the Kindreds (Nature Spirits, Ancestors, Shining Ones)

 

PD:  We now offer to the Kindreds and ask them to join us at this rite.

 

Nature Spirits:

 

D1:  A sprideanna na talaimh!  Spirits of Nature!

 

     We call to you, Noble Ones, Mysterious Spirits that hold the land. 

     Spirits of the sacred oak, hawthorn, hazel, rowan, and apple,

          join us as our Nemeton this day.

     We call to you, Spirits immovable and spirits, who yield,

          balancing all things with your great, strong hands.

     Spirits of the fiery realms, kin of sun, moon, and star

          who challenge us and light our way, we call to you.

     Spirits of fur and fin, scale, feather, and skin,

          who delight, teach, and nurture us, we call to you.  

 

Good folk and earth kin who would befriend us, we respectfully invite you here. 

 

A sprideanna na talaimh! With sincerity, we offer this! (fruit to the bile)

Join us here, and accept our sacrifice!  ALL: (Repeat)

 

 

 

Ancestors:

 

D1: A Shinseara!  Ancestors!

Tradition of genetic fires, the folk songs in our veins,

Epics told that hearken back fading memories,

Of their glory, tears, and pain.

Ageless heroes who banish apathy and hold the world,

Majestic walkers of Tir na Og,

You of our blood, and you who uphold us in this place.

We ask your presence to do you honor

We ask your guidance to walk in the ways of this rite most pleasing!

 

A Shinseara! In great respect, we offer to you!  (whiskey to the well)

Join us, and accept our sacrifice!  ALL: (Repeat)

 

 

Shining Ones: 

 

D1: A Dheithe! Shining Ones!

 

            You who speak to what is grand in all the worlds,

            And do such deeds that win our hearts and praise.

            How could we go on dull and indifferent,

When our souls long to know you and do you honor?

            Divine Ones, both known to us and unknown,

             Those who hold the powers of this place,     

             Patrons of all those here,

            You who teach the most profound of lessons,

            Gently nurturing while testing our resolve.

            We ask your presence here for we long to do you honor.

           

         

A Dheithe! Shining Ones!  With open hearts, ever mindful of the mutual charge 

 between us, we offer this to you! (scented/essential oil to the fire)

Join us here and accept our sacrifice!  ALL: (Repeat)

 

PD: Triple Hosts of Spirits, Hail and Welcome!

 

- Praise offerings of the folk

PD: At this time let those who would make offering to their gods or allies here, do so, a separate time will be provided for any offerings to the patrons of the rite and the sidhe.

 

-  Calling on the Patron Powers of the Rite:

 

PD: Many welcomes dear Kindred, Triple Hosts of Spirits.  To all of you who have gathered here, join us now as we call to the patrons of this holy rite, for it is they who have inspired it, and it is they whose charge it is to hold this time and to keep the mysteries of the veiled worlds.

 

Invocation: Aengus MacOg:

D1:

Aengus of the birds, young radiant son,

Fostered in the land of faery, seeker of the heart’s desire.

O Beautiful mound-dweller, whom the Boyne kisses sweetly as she flows by,

At whose doors the lush green of Erin and her children happily do play,

Join us here this day for we wish to welcome you.

 

Embodiment of hospitality, friendship, and romance,

Endowed with your mother’s beauty, exuberant with your father’s charm.

O Ardent swan-shapeshifter, to whom all lovers turn for aid,

At whose tender song, the splendor of the Otherworld conjures visions deep in sleep.

Join us at our hearthside for we wish to honor you.

 

Potent god of lovers, we offer you this in welcome. (offering of gemstone to base of faery mound – rose quartz) 

 

Take a moment to acknowledge the presence of Aengus, the tender harper, born of enchantment, delightful to all.  (Silent time given).

 

Poem with harp – The Song of Wandering Aengus by W.B. Yeats

 

D1: Aengus MacOg, Accept our sacrifice!  All: Accept our sacrifice!

     

Invocation: Áiné

D2:

Ainé, green–girdled Lady, who favors worthy mortal men,

Born of the seductive sea-god, ripe and vigorous in her passion-feasts,

O sumptuous, magical Queen, to whom the Noble Ones gladly bow,

At whose richly decorated halls, no handsome guest can e’er outshine. 

Join us here this day for we wish to welcome you.

 

Embodiment of generosity, fertility, and the fervor of love,

Endowed with agility and song, exuberant in desire’s delicate art,

O gracious granddaughter of eternal lands, formidable Lady who none dares betray,

At whose command the faery appear, and blessings are bestowed.

Join us at our hearthside for we wish to honor you.

 

Generous Faery Queen, we offer you this in welcome. (offering of gemstone to base of faery mound– garnet)

 

 Take a moment to acknowledge the presence of Ainé, Bright Queen of Pleasure, of laden fruit trees and precious gifts, whose very footsteps inspire melodies.  (Silent time given).

 

Poem – The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats

 

D2: Ainé, Accept our sacrifice.  All: Ainé, accept our sacrifice!

 

Invocation and Offering to The Sidhe: (adapted from Ian Corrigan)

PD:

In the elder days Ainé the goddess was a queen of the Sidhe-folk, ruling from her mound in the south of Erin.  Likewise Aengus was a king of the gentle people, who played the music of faery beneath the Brugh na Boyne.  Now we call to you Ainé and Aengus to open the way to the noble people of peace and  their elemental allies for we wish to honor them, give them due offering, and ask them to join with us at this rite and in our dance.

 

Come to the gates, lovely ones.  Hear our call, we the children of Earth, who remember you, offer you our reverence and love.  You who rule this place and the wildwood, you who grant luck or deal bane, you who balance nature, teaching us the hidden ways and aiding the wise, we offer you welcome.  Receive now these offerings made in your honor. (rainbow quartz is offered to base of faery mound).

 

(A small, pre-dug hole in the ground with a small wood structure within it will be presented for all to make offerings to the Noble Ones; it will be left until the end where a mound will be made of it.  Offerings are made by the folk).

 

To the Queens under the hill,

To the Kings of the mound,

To the sidhe-folk of poetry and wisdom,

To the sidhe-folk who are warriors,

To the sidhe-folk of the artisans,

To the sidhe-folk of the soil and the hearth,

To the sidhe-folk of air, earth, water, and stone,

To all of you we give these gifts and ornaments,

Asking you to bless us in the joy of the living…

 

Take this moment to feel the gentle presence of all the Noble Ones who have come to this place to make an alliance with us, the spirits of this place, the land, and the worlds beyond whose charge it is to balance all the landscapes across all time and realities. (Silent time given).

 

Main Offering

 

PD:   Now that we are aware of our guests present here, let us honor them further.  Take your place at the Maypole and find a ribbon. (Everyone finds their place.)    

 

 

Ribbon Blessing

PD:  Now, let us charge our ribbons with our offering.

 

We hold these colorful ribbons

In the presence of the Mighty Ones

In the power of the lovers

By the power of the world tree and our will.

 

By oak – grant strength

By rowan – grant magic

By hazel- grant wisdom

Carry our love to all the worlds.

 

We will weave these threads together in a loving embrace.

To show our desire to unify with you.

We will imbue each strand with our praise, our joy,

Our desire to stand with you, with all of our will

Sending our energy to help balance the many landscapes left to your charge.

 

(Start out with the chant to Earth Mother to send energy (3x) and then move to drumming).

 

Earth Mother Chant: (Author unknown)

 

Earth Mother we honor your body, Earth mother, we honor your bones.

             Earth Mother we sing to your spirit Earth mother, we sing to your stones.

 

(At the end of the dancing the female with the longest ribbon remaining will become the May Queen.  She will be crowned and asked to choose her consort).

 

PD:  Aengus macOg, Ainé, and all you Noble folk who have gathered here this day to forge a relationship with us, in your presence and in the presence of our Queen of the May and her consort, we offer our love and joy.  Mighty and Comely sidhe, Accept our sacrifice!

 

All:  Accept our sacrifice.  Bíodh sé amhlaidh.  (everyone returns to their place in the Nemeton).

 

 

Taking of the Omen –

PD:  Having now made offering, let us open to the voices of the Kindred, asking them what further wisdom and blessing they wish to impart.

 

IV. The Blessing

 

- Calling for Blessing: 

 

PD: We are now ready to receive all the Blessings that are in store for us, as a gift calls for a gift, as we have offered from our hearts.

 

- Hallowing/Receiving of the Blessing: Chant for the Blessing Cup (By ZL Bennett)

(May Queen and King will hold cup with PD)

 

B1: Now bright the flow of giving turns

      We come before All in love and hope

      Avowed to honor, are your sons and daughters

      Remember us here, and grant us the Waters.

D1 - Spoken:  Shining Ones, grant us the Waters!   All: (Repeat)

 

B2: Now cool the flame of wisdom alights

       In this cup which stirs our lives.

       Avowed to stand with our Shining Fathers,

       With boons to bear, yes, grant us the Waters.

D1 - Spoken:  Shining Ones, grant us the waters!    All: (Repeat)

 

B3: Now thrice we call as in days of old,

       In fellowship strong and offerings held high

       We claim with pride our tie to Great Mothers

       As we’ve opened our hearts, so grant us the waters!

D1 - Spoken:  Shining Ones, grant us the waters!    All: (Repeat)

 

B 1,2,& 3: Now we feel them rise and descend.

                  To Imbue and swirl their blessings so sweet

                  We accept in love the gifts that surround us.

                  And we gladly partake of these waters before us. 

                 (O… (hummed phrase) – to toning)

 

(After cup is imbued with energy)

PD or dignitary:  (takes cup from the Bards and holds up) These are the waters of life!

 

PD:  Do you freely accept the blessings of the Kindred, flowing in this vessel?

ALL:  We do! 

PD:  Let us partake of their blessings with joy and song!

 

 

 
Blessing Cup Song: Pour the Waters (by I. Corrigan) - found at adf.org, rituals section

(May Queen and King take around the Blessing Cup and wish all present a Happy Beltane)

 

- Working: Fire Healing.

PD:  Filled with the Shining Ones Blessings, let us now take time to bring their blessings more fully into our lives and receive the gifts of healing we need to actualize the promise of summer and love in our lives.

(One druid picks up the hearth candle and moves it to the center between the two water orbs near the maypole.  Two others one man and one woman will light the flames in each orb.)

 

Fire Blessing (by I. Corrigan)

We kindle these magic fires

In the presence of the Mighty Ones

In the power of the lovers

By the power of fire and water.

 

By oak – grant strength

By rowan – grant magic

By hazel – grant wisdom

Spring from darkness into light.

 

Rise as the warmth of summer’s sun this Beltane Day.

Kindle within each of our hearts, a flame of love and wit and might

To friend and foe and all beings – Hopeful flame, bring peace and beauty to the land

As life begins anew.

 

PD:  The flames of Beltane are lit.  Now, join hands and step lightly in the dance between these faery fires and leave your winter cares behind.  Dance now, in your blessings and in the joy of May!

(a spiral-type dance is led between the two fires with drumming)

 

PD:  As a final blessing for the day, reach your hand into the fires for a charged touchstone.

(Fire/water bowls will contain various gemstones for the taking)

 

V: Closing and Ending

 

- Thanking the Powers

PD:  With blessings happily received, let us now thank the powers who have blessed us and who we have honored here. 

D:    To the Noble Ones, the gentle sidhe for your many blessings, go raibh maith agaibh. We thank you.  ALL: (Repeat for each)

D:    To Ainé and Aengus, Great Ones of this season, for your many gifts, go raibh maith agaibh.  We thank you.

D:    Dearest of allies, witnesses of this rite, who the folk gathered here to offer up praise, go raibh maith agaibh.  We thank you.

D:     To our gracious host of Spirits, The Shining Ones, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits, for your many gifts, go raibh maith agaibh.  We thank you.

D:    A Brigid, for your gifts of inspiration and eloquence and your presence here, go raibh maith agat.  We thank you.

D:    A Lugh, for your sure hand and loyal protection here and always, go raibh maith agat. We thank you.

D:    Earth Mother, Boann of the deep, happy are we to be your children.  To you, we now return all of the blessings which we could not carry here.  Uphold us now in this world as you have done in this rite. Go raibh maith agat.  We thank you.

      

- Regrounding and Centering

 

- Thanking Gatekeeper and Closing the Gates

PD:  We now call upon our Gatekeeper once more.

 

D: A Mhannain Mac Lir, Lord of the mists through which we travel, for holding the gates open with us and keeping vigil over our steps, Go raibh maith agat, we thank you.   

Now, Ageless One, we ask that you work your will with ours so that we may close the gates while allowing this sacred time to linger here as we walk in the Realms of the Kindred. 

Let the well now be, the water that sustains us.

Let the fire now be, the flame that warms our nights.

Let the tree now be our shelter and comfort when we gather under its leafy boughs.

 

A Mhannain Mac Lir, Dúntar na Geataí anois!  Let the Gates Be Closed!    ALL: Repeat.

    

 

- Final Blessing and announcement of ending.

PD:  As we started, so let us end (chime 3x3).  Good folk of the Old Ways, the rite is at its end, let us go in fellowship, blessings, and peace.

 

Needed items

 

Offerings for:                                                 Other:

 

Protector: red ale                                               Spring & Charged Water

Outdwellers: grain                                                         Purification Incense – Apple Blossom

Earth Mother: rosewater or 3 flowers              

Inspiration: oil/clarified butter                                    

The Three Hallows: silver, oil, incense, and water

Gatekeeper: silver triskel                           

The Three Kindred: whiskey, flowers, oil

Aengus: rose quartz

Ainé: garnet

Sidhe: rainbow quartz

Main Offering:  offerings made by the folk – trinkets for the sidhe

Additional Maypole ribbons on hand   

Working: 2 Floating Candle holders,

                floating candles

                2 stands for candle holders

                Spring water

                Green and pink stones for bottom (healing)

Maypole

Ribbons for Maypole

Mayqueen – Floral hair wreath

Her consort – a head wreath or garland for neck or…

Other: Staff or Spear

Green altar cloth with decor

Return Flow: Cherry Mead