Beltane is a celebration of the union of the Goddess and God—a celebration of fertility and new life. The May Pole, a phallic symbol representing the king and spirit of vegetation, is planted into Mother Earth to symbolize union and balance.
May is a month of special magic. Looking at the Wheel of the Year, you see that Beltane is opposite Samhain. Just as Samhain is associated with other worlds, so it is Beltane when the unseen can be seen. It was on May Eve that the Tuatha de Danann (tribe of the Goddess Danu) arrived in Ireland. They later took refuge in the hollow hills and became known as the People of the Hills and the Sídhe. We’ve all heard of them; we know them as the faeries. They are masters of enchantment and in May their magic is strongest.
More than any other time of year, the waters of May are particularly potent; especially for healing. Even today, the Chalice Well at Glastonbury, England, the Cullonden Well in Scotland, and many other places all over Europe, are sites of pilgrimage for spiritual and healing purposes.
Brigid, known in Ireland as Goddess of fire and inspiration is honored on February Second. She is also important at Beltane because she also presides over water, holy wells, and healing. To some, she is also known as the Queen of the Faeries.
Items for this ritual include: Two white candles for deities; Four candles for the directions in pastel shades or colors of bright flowers; Chalice; Athame; Sweet juice such as peach nectar; Shelled sunflower seeds on a plate suitable for the altar; Cauldron filled with water; Pennies on a tray or plate set next to the cauldron; Drums or other percussion instruments to accompany chanting (optional).
With athame raised high in one hand, walk the perimeter of your circle, say:
Star light, star bright,
I call the faeries forth tonight,
Come and celebrate with me,
Dance and sing, so mote it be.
Face each direction as you call it, and then light a candle. Face the altar for the Goddess and God.
I look to the North, to Falias. Dark Mother, rich black soil, your fertile body nurtures the seeds of life. I call on your powers of creation. Be with me.
I look to the East, to Gorias. Star Sailor, holy breath, your clear blue skies smile on me and carry the lusty scent of life. Be with me.
I look to the South, to Finias. Blue Flame, light of the earth, your warmth makes me dance with delight at the life that flows through my body. Be with me.
I look to the West, to Murias. Rain Maker, sacred dew, your gentle rains pour forth in life-giving wonder. Be with me.
Prince Sun, Lord of the Dance, Winter-born King, bring forth your sacred seed of life. Be with me.
Sweet Maiden, Lady of the Lake, Queen of Heaven and Earth, receive the sacred seed of life. Be with me.
At the altar, take the chalice in one hand and the athame in the other. Slowly, lower the athame into the raised chalice to symbolize the Great Rite while saying:
This is Beltane, a time to celebrate life, a time to create life, the Lord and Lady join as one. The Lord and Lady share the dance of life. The Lord and Lady share the kiss of life.
Kiss the rim of the chalice. Before eating a few sunflower seeds and taking a sip from the chalice say the following, respectively:
I partake of the seed of life.
I partake of the nectar of life.
Tonight, the cauldron is filled with water to represent a holy well. The cauldron is a symbol of the womb of the Goddess and place of transformation. Tonight, dance and celebrate life, and call on the power of faery to add enchantment to your personal intentions.
Fix an intention in your mind. It might be about love and someone you want to attract. You may call on Brigid for healing, or you may simply want to give thanks for the joy of living. When you are ready, take a coin from the tray beside the cauldron, then walk around the altar three times whispering your intention.
When you arrive back at the cauldron, drop the coin into the water, then dance and chant:
Holy well, enchanted land,
Take this coin from my hand.
With my wish now set free,
Make it real, so mote it be.
When it feels appropriate, slow your dancing and say:
May my joy, celebration and intention be carried out into the world. As above; so below.
Use your usual method for grounding energy. Extinguish the candles in reverse order.
Sweet Maiden of May, thank you for your blessings and presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Lord of Life, thank you for your blessings and presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Rain Maker, thank you for your blessings and presence this night. Stay if you will; return to Murias if you must. I bid you farewell.
Blue Flame, thank you for your blessings and presence this night. Stay if you will; return to Finias if you must. I bid you farewell.
Star Sailor, thank you for your blessings and presence this night. Stay if you will; return to Gorias if you must. I bid you farewell.
Dark Mother, thank you for your blessings and presence this night. Stay if you will; return to Falias if you must. I bid you farewell.
Standing in front of the altar say:
By the four great cities of the faery realm, by the four powers from beyond, my circle is open, but unbroken. May the peace of Danu remain in my heart. In faith and unity, blessed be.