Beltane Ceremony

Beltane Altar

Mandua Briga seed group held our Beltane ceremony in Jenny’s garden, which was the inaugural group ceremony at Jenny’s house. The weather was lovely, a lot sunnier than forecast, and seven of us gathered to celebrate the season, to share food and drink and each other’s company.

Beltane staff

Beltane is an ancient festival that probably dates to pre-Christian times, although it has been celebrated as May Day throughout recent history. Beltaine celebrates the beginning of summer and the growing power of the sun. The land becomes green again, and all around us flowers are blooming, birds are singing and trees are bursting into leaf. It is time to celebrate, and to look forward to the good things we hope for in the coming year.

The theme of our ceremony was connection and honourable relationship, with each other, and the world around us. It was an opportunity to consider the ways in which we interact with our surroundings, locally and globally.

Some of the wording we used in the Rite of the ceremony was taken from Invocation by the Incredible String Band, written by Robin Williamson:


You that create the diversity of the forms
Open to my words
You that divide and multiply it
Hear my sounds
I make yield league to you
Ancient associates
And fellow wanderers
You that move the heart
In fur and scale
I join with you
You that sing bright and subtle
Making shapes that my throat cannot tell
You that harden the horn
And make quick the eye
You that run the fast fox and the zigzag fly
You sizeless makers of the mole and of the whale
Aid me and I will aid you

I make a blood pact with you
You that lift the blossom and the green branch
You who make symmetries more true
You who consider the angle of your limbs
Who dance in slower time
Who watch the patterns
You rough coated who eat water
Who stretch deep and high
With your green blood
My red blood let it be mingled
Aid me and I will aid you

I call upon you
You who are unconfined
Who have no shape
Who are not seen
But only in your action
I call upon you
You who have no depth
But choose direction
Who bring what is willed
That you blow love upon the summers of my loved ones
That you blow summers upon those loves of my love
Aid me and I will aid you

I make a pact with you
You who are the liquidness of the waters
And the spark of the flame
I call upon you
You who make fertile the soft earth
And guard the growth of the growing things
I make peace with you
You who are the blueness of the blue sky
And the wrath of the storm
I take the cup of deepness with you
And with you the sharp and the hollow hills
I make reverence to you
Round wakefulness we
Call the earth
I make wide eyes to you
You who are awake
Every created thing both solid and sleepy
Or airy light
I weave colours round you
You who will come with me
I will consider it beauty

We were watched by a very curious crow perched on the roof, while wood pigeons flapped and cooed and the wind blew through the leaves of the trees surrounding us in the lovely woodland grove that is Jenny’s garden.

Enjoying sharing food and drink after the ceremony

Here is everyone after the ceremony – just to prove that we are real and we do exist! Everyone in the photo was happy for it to be included in the website. From left to right we have our newest member Sue, Liz, Nick, Shane and Carl.

If you are a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, or are considering joining and learning more about Druidry, and would like to join in our ceremonies, please do contact us. We are also planning an OBOD Bardic Grade Study Group which will hopefully meet around once a month or so, and some trips out this year – over the summer to Stanwick, at Autumn Equinox to Thornborough Henges, and on Christmas Eve morning to Richmond to see the Poor Old ‘Oss.

P.S. This was the hawthorn tree whose branch we used in the ceremony:

It is a lovely little tree, entwined with an elder tree and all loaded with blossom next to the River Skerne near Poundstretcher. It’s surrounded by nettles. We asked permission and it said ‘Fine – if you can get to me’. We did, very carefully and thanked it. It was quite magnanimous and I say hello to it every time I walk past to go shopping in Aldi.

by Jenny and Liz

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