Today, Roderick asks us to set up a circular space (though not cast a circle), then walk its perimeter clockwise while reciting a chant. Easy enough, I suppose.
Find a space that will allow you to walk freely in a clockwise circle that is at least 9 feet in diameter. To assure the accuracy of your measurement, use a 9-foot length of string or cord. Lay the cord on the ground and place river stones (or any stones) at each end. Then lay the cord crosswise to mark out where you will place two more stones. You should have the stones mark the four cross quarter compass points.
Hold a wand made of a freshly-cut budding branch in your right hand high above your head. Begin walking slowly around the circle in a clockwise fashion, saying:
All Witches gathered ’round the ring,
and thus do we begin,
The Beltane spell to conjure spring,
and Summer Solstice in!
We have been rambling all the night,
And sometime of this day,
And now returning home aright,
We bring you a branch of May!
A garland gay, ’tis strong and stout,
and at your door we stand,
‘Tis not a sprout, but budded out,
the work of the goddess’ hand.
The gates of Faery open on,
the path is beaten plain,
and however far ye may have gone,
Ye may return again.
Dance ye round, and let ye fall,
To conjure all this day,
Blessed be all, both great and small,
And send you a joyful May!
At the close of the chant, lay the wand in the center of the circle and gather up the stones. Bury all of this in your garden or wherever you want fertility.
The Pacific Northwest never ceases to amaze me. In what is usually the third coldest month of the year, we’re starting to see the first spring flowers. Violets have been out in profusion for a couple of weeks now, as have the snowdrops, crocuses, and the very earliest of daffodils. The red plum trees on our property just started to open their flower buds a couple days ago, so one of my housemates cut a few branches and brought them inside. In the heat of the house, they burst into full flower.
I had anticipated using my ritual wand in this chant, but when I saw these branches, my mind instantly changed. I have to admit, I can’t imagine the energy being better any other way. This is heralding in May.
I have to admit, I went to Hendricks Park to do this circle and chant, and I misjudged how busy it would be, so I didn’t set out a wide circle. Instead I just sort of ambulated about a smaller area, holding my branch and reciting my chant. Nevertheless, it felt very right and very Beltane…even if it is a few months early.