Leader : Dan & Genevre
Date : 30 April 1999
Carefully, yet quickly, Dan and Genevre descend the stairs carved into the cliff. They're just a tad late for the ritual. Dan ponders the fact that crises always seem to occur on Friday afternoons.
They pause for a moment at the bottom of the stairs. They feel the power of the Chagrin river, thundering over the nearby falls. It is a cold, clear night - and the light of the full moon sparkles on the rushing water.
Dan is garbed in his favorite ceremonial robe - dark blue, with a gold sash around his waist. Genevre wears a more traditional black - but the cut and fabric are such that she is virtually skyclad. Though Dan wonders what the Goddess thinks of ritual garb purchased at Frederics, he isn't about to complain...
As they wind their way along the path leading upstream, the roar of the falls recedes. Soon, they come to a bridge spanning a small tributary creek. Leaving the trail, they cross underneath the bridge and head west. Twenty yards down, they reach their destination.
It is a small, pebbled beach. To the East is the Chagrin River, on the north is the creek they followed here. On the bank of the creek is the massive log they wrestled downstream earlier this week. Worn smooth by the river, bleached by the sun, and now dry, it makes a perfect altar.
To the south - a massive fifteen-foot high slab of sandstone rises. Carved into the face of the boulder is an old drawing. The focal point of the drawing is a beautiful Indian maiden. Beneath her, a great serpent. To the right hangs the carcass of a freshly killed mammal. On the left, her bow and quiver. On the quiver are four semicircles - obviously representing phases of the moon. The carving is signed Henry Church - 1885. Local maps identify this place as "Squaw Rock" - but it is obvious to those present that this is in fact a depiction of the Goddess of the Hunt.
Someone has already started a small bonfire - and the scent of incense mingles with that of the fire, the river, and the springtime growth. Most of the regulars are here already - all the folks who Genevre and Dan never seem to see enough of. There are more than a few new faces here, too.
Dan steps out on the beach. Reaching into his pocket, he withdraws a small laser pointer. Though he has his trusty K-bar athame at his side, this small creature of fire just seems more appropriate. Circling slowly three times, he visualizes a faint blue sphere rising from the point where the laser intersects the earth...
Finished, he pauses. Had some lines memorized for the occasion, but they feel too contrived. Finally, he simply states "Brothers and sisters, this circle is cast". He steps back to the circle and joins Genevre. He glances around, looking for Ocean's Edge...
...Ocean steps forward and hugs Dan and Genevre, then turns to the eastern quarter.
"Beings of the air,
Life giving breath in our lungs
Gentle cradle of our wings
Carry us softly on the night skies
Beings of the air
Winds that howl
As they share our pain
Lift us through our troubled times
Beings of the air
We welcome you
Join with us this night
Share our celebration
Ocean scatters on the breeze a handful of tiny downy feathers and whispers, "I will not forget". She steps back to her place in the circle with a small shy smile. and awaits...
...Eve scrambles to her place in the circle. Her busy alter ego of college student has kept her busy today and immediately after she calls her element she has to go buy and then bake a cake for her dorm residents tonight!
She smiles at Dan and Genevre and Ocean and all the others waiting to call their quarters and make their petitions. She has the vaguest sense of deja-vu but shrugs it off as is her quiet habit.
She smiles into the sky and then down at the ground. "Last Thursday I found myself to be a child of the wind, so please forgive me West and allow me this once to call upon the Southern quarter?" The wind whips up and circles around Eve garbed in her average college fare, her tan cargo pants and slinky, clingy tan tank top. It feels to her as if the wind is kissing her cheeks and she understands that it has forgiven her and she may call for the South this eve.
"Oh dear Southern point. Wow, that was really haughty sounding of me. Here's the deal South, I'm going to play it as I am. I am young and belligerent at times. I am impetuous and troublesome. Much like you. When the flames lick at my hand lovingly they burn me. When your beautiful light sparkles it brings with it sometimes too much warmth for us mortals to stand. Yet all at once when it burns it cleans away the dead cells of skin. When it is too warm it allows us to sweat away our wastes. You are the abrupt and cataclysmic changer of fortunes Fire. Please join us for our ritual this eve?"
Eve places a pink candle upon the ground. "This is for you fire." She lights it several times before it takes ('darn lighter') and steps back from it for a moment. "Oh, please save some for the wind. This candle is very special and I know that I will use it more than once in this lifetime."
The flame of the candle rises and all are surrounded by a warm light. "Thank you for joining us Fire." Eve steps back slowly and reluctantly. She wants to bask in this, her moment for the rest of the night. She realizes that she is not being humble and blushes shyly. She quickly steps back into her place and waits for the next quarter to be called...
...She rushes forward, knowing that she too is late, lacking the composure and grace that she desired for this task, she is embarrassed as she brushes herself off, and brushes the long hair back from her face (you see the evil techno fairies had sabotaged her email- first nothing coming in, then nothing going out!). She is wearing jeans and a loose fitting top of blue, green and gray, her silver pentacle around her neck, cool on her chest over her heart. She smiles knowingly around the circle, at Dan, Genevre, Ocean, Eve, and all the silent others. She takes a deep breath, and raises a conch shell from her bag to her lips and blows a long low tone. Placing it down gently, she then steps forward on softly padding bare feet holding ahead and above her line of sight a silver chalice. She bows her head in reverence, then raises her face to the sky:
"Oh watchers of the west and water, we invoke thee and bid thee welcome in our circle this night. We call on you: Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of the Sea and of Love, and on Poseidon, God of the Ocean; your waves wash and cleanse us. Renew, refresh and replenish us for our tasks this full moon and in the coming month. Yemaya, Mother Goddess of the Ocean, of fertility and the full moon with all Her promise of growth, change, and fulfillment: we beseech thee to help us in our magic this night. It is Walpurgis Night, we joyously welcome Beltane, our most sacred of the Sabbats, we ask that you guide our hands and hearts."
She steps back, and approaches each member of the circle, offering a shared sip of the clear sweet spring water from the chalice to each member in turn, along with a kiss. When the last has communed with the Element, she places the chalice on the altar, and steps meekly back to her place. She blushes slightly and looks to...
...TygerMoon Foxx moves slowly and ponderously with stately grace, her ample hips swaying softly in the rhythm of the earth. She is dressed in blue robes, summer sky blue overlaid with the dark of a night sky and embroidered with crimson threads. The robe is belted about her waist with a thick yellow gold cord, thrice encircling her before it hangs, like a friar's belt down the front of the robe nearly to her toes. Riding at one hip is the brass hilted athame with the cherry handle that she always carries. The lion's mane of red gold curls, tinted silver in the moonlight, crackles about her face as though stirred by the breeze which whispers about her singing refrain to the earth rhythm. A crown of baby's breath and daisies rests on her head with a single strand braided at the face bound with a large sunflower. Radiant and smiling, glad to be among her friends she moves to the north.
Unsheathing her athame and holding it high over her head with both hands, legs spread and calloused feet firmly grounded in the soft earth, she intones:
"Hail to ye, guardians and watchtowers of the north ye of the earth, ye of the grass and the fields and the trees hail, hail, hail. I call upon ye, almighty wolf, to protect and defend those that gather in this world between worlds. Be welcome, beings of earth, be welcome and accept what I offer."
She nicks her index finger with the athame, allowing a drop to fall to the ground, and then plunges the athame in after. Behind, the energies seem to move coalesce; one might almost detect a great silver-maned she wolf watching from her place at the northern quarter. Smiling, greatly resembling her Viking ancestors or perhaps an artist's rendering of the Valkyrie, TygerMoon turns to face the others in the circle. The moonlight glistens off the Hammer around her neck, newly purchased at equinox and saved for this occasion, and she waits...
...until Red Deer, almost drunk with the sights and scents of this night (and perhaps from a healthy libation of the water of life as well) moves toward their transient altar. At this point of the evening he does not dance, but moves simply and solemnly - the only notable attributes of his locomotion being the faint ringing of far away bells which mingle with the babillage of the creek joining the river and a modest maypole pointing skyward. Ever an imp, he is unable to resist the occasional spark upon the pebbled beach as though hooves trod upon it. Standing before the river-worn tree, Deer tosses his head against the breeze - removing the long mane from his face and in so doing casting a shadow reminiscent of antlers from the moonlight upon the cobbled surface where they stand. Then, lifting a small doeskin pouch from its vantage about his neck, Deer vigorously hurls its contents into the air...and spreads his arms to take back a bit of the shower of glittering pollen which spreads upon the breeze to cover the altar, the circle and all the coveners gathered.
Deer then turns slowly about deosil, facing each of those in attendance at this moon before May Day, in an exchange of warm smiles which feel more like hugs without physical contact - before returning his attention to the no longer drifting wood of their altar and then to the heavy moon hanging in the sky above. Raising his arms to the dome of night, Red Deer intones, "Gracious Lady: Sister, Mother and Lover - You from whom all we are and all we experience is birthed. We ask that You bless with Your manifest presence this place that is no place in a time that is no time. The great circle turns again to pollination, fertilization, copulation. Lunar and solar tides rise together within us. Passion peaks. Tonight the fires are lit. On the morrow maydance will follow. As the bee dips her tongue into the flower, so the Witch an athame into the chalice. Be one with us tonight. Experience in our joy the recreation of that which you share with our Father. Be here now!"
After a long moment of reflective silence, in which Deer feels lost as the whirling dervish to his own sense of direction, his arms come in serpentine motion to his sides. Deer then twirls himself, maddeningly ever faster, spinning about their circle and virtually careening off each smiling face and warm body there gathered in the process of reclaiming his place in the circle of friends. Planted stolidly there, but still reeling from that first dance, from the crisp night air, and from the full moon above - he sees before him in moonlight the face of his love. "If I could choose a place to die, it would be in your arms" he whispers, then waits for the next invocation...
...Annie a bit out of touch with those joined, thinks to step forward before the petitions begin. If she has overstepped another's place she asks forgiveness, but she is still deeply moved and connected to the fallen one, the young stag that came to her home to pass only a few days ago; it is right she bring his spirit to be honored and watch over those here in this sacred space.
Holding before her a fork of oak entwined with a serpent skin, she envisions a spread of horn that reaches toward the growing Sun... secure in the Mother's round
With wildness that penetrates doubt - to bring result
With light that forges strength - to make manifest
With heart that breaks all fear - to move us forward
Dance your wildness, exude your light, let us witness your heart as you infuse this circle with the vital nature of your spirit, with the abandon of expectations, with the joy of hoof to Green Earth in free and open exchange.
Let us meet your challenge...Dear Lord be with us now.
Annie pauses a moment and hears the ring of a single shot through the grove, a deep silence and halting of time...then a snort...a whisk of hoof rising and breaking the air...and then the thunder of those hooves moving on...and the circle is complete.
She returns to her place to wait for...
...Ocean steps forward tentatively, taking a small sip from her silver flask and splashing a small bit into the fire, where it burns it a bright blue flash for a moment, laying a pair of silver wings upon the altar she looks up to the moon.
"Mother, you who have gently guided me to this place in my life, I know that there is reason behind all that you do. I have trusted the path you have put me on. But momma, I have lost my way, I cannot see through the twists in the road, I cannot see what you have called on me for now. I beg your guidance, help me to find the way that you have chosen for me now. At this Beltaine moon, a time of new growth and new beginnings, help me to place my feet surely in this new direction."
Ocean smiles, and steps back, to await...
...Ramoth has come this night to join with friends old and new. The Beltaine celebration has taken on an especially important meaning for her this year. The time for new beginnings has manifested itself throughout her life in many ways lately.
Ramoth slowly steps into the middle of the Circle and spreads her arms as she looks up into the brilliance of the night sky. All that she has asked for has been granted and she silently gives thanks to the power she feels shining down upon her and all that have gathered to give praise on this glorious occasion. From beneath her robe she draws forth a small silver object and holds it in her outstretched hand. From above, her faithful friend and mentor swoops down and plucks the shiny object from her hand. As she watches, the powerful Hawk soars in a circle above the heads of all that have come to worship this night. As the circle is completed, he comes slowly to rest upon the altar and places her offering there. For just an instant he gazes up into the night sky and then returns to perch, ever so gently, on Ramoth's shoulder.
Ramoth turns, eyes sparkling, and smiles at all of her friends as she makes her way back to her spot in the Circle and waits for...
...El Bee steps into the Circle and moves close to a nearby fire. His naked body is covered with goose bumps from the chill of the evening. Or is it the excitement of the moment? With raised arms and wand in hand he speaks his petition, an invocation of Power...
Oh Lord of the Greenwood and the Hunt Forest King, Playful Child of song and dance, Horned One, be here tonight Bring forth mirth and sensuality Touch the maleness in this circle Put a burning for the Lady in our groins Let us all be witness to your sacred marriage And intoxicate us with the smell of your love-making
Oh Lord, your child and servant stands before you With open heart and naked mind Designed upon me now Fill me with your Greatness and your Power Let me spill your seed upon this earth And give it life Laugh through me in our mutual merriment As we here lie beneath the stars in the Lover's Embrace
Lord, come to me now and transform me!...
...A woman, in a dark blue gown, walks into the circle. From her shoulder a small owl takes flight around the circle, and comes to rest in a nearby tree.
Boudica stands in the middle of the circle, before the altar. She looks around the circle, smiling at all the faces. There are many she knows. There are many she doesn't know. But they are all friends.
She concentrates on the altar and gives a long bow. It's time to make a petition to the Lady.
"I have so much to be thankful for, it's hard to ask for anything. You, Lady, have been very good to us. We are grateful for all that you have given us. I ask for continued protection of my children, both my own and my extended family. I ask for blessings on my upcoming marriage. I ask for healing for a few sick friends, and where healing is not possible, at least let them not be in pain. And finally, I give thanks for our current successes, and ask your continued blessings on our endeavors."
"Both of us give thanks to the Lord and the Lady for all the things which make up our life. We feel spring and the new rebirth of the earth beginning again in the continuous cycle of life, death and rebirth."
Boudica looks around the circle at all the people gathered. "I ask blessings on all those who have gathered; Beltain blessings and Full Moon Blessings to all."
She closes her eyes again for a second, bows again, and turns. The small owl drops from the tree, and returns to his perch on her shoulder. She returns to her place in the circle to await...
...Dan breaks out of his trance, and glances around the circle. Stepping into the center, he raises his arms to the sky.
"Divine Mother. Heavenly Father. We thank you for the energy you have given to this circle tonight. May your wisdom always guide our paths." Taking the bota from his side, he pours a small quantity of wine on the ground. Drawing a pentagram in the air, he intones: "Ateh, malkuth, vgeburah, vegedullah, le orlahm". Turning counter-clockwise, he stops briefly at the quarters, and dismisses the elements. He announces, "This circle, though never broken, is now open. Lets party!"
Posting Date: 04 January 2002
Last modified: 04
©2002 Red Deer@pagani