Monday, May 02, 2005

Beltane/Maypole ritual notes

I do have pictures, but I won't be able to post until Wednesday afternoon. My friend's here until 6 p.m. tonight, I have another ritual at 7:00 and tomorrow night we're supposed to go see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'll be listening to the new Nine Inch Nails CD With Teeth while I do it, no doubt--the CD comes out tomorrow.

I think the ritual went well. We had 6 for the Maypole (an even number winds better). My friend contributed beautiful cloth ribbons. (I'll have to photograph the pole now that it's wound). We could not burn the old ribbons, they were too synthetic and just melted into a big mess, so we buried them with a couple of the tobacco ties not far from the Maypole. (I didn't get pictures of the burial, sorry). Another person showed up just as we were about to start smudging for the ritual, so we had seven for that. We smudged with copal and sage and a feather/crystal fan. I passed out my 5 Tibetan singing bowls, a string of bells, tingshas, and my authentic Mexican chicken maraceras (from Cozumel) for joyous noise during the ceremony. We called the Mayan daysigns for the quarters, as is my practice, did the Tree of Life standing meditation, called in the god and goddess, did some manifestation toning, and then did the 'string thing' which came out so cool that I left it on the ground and took a picture. We all gave each other affirmations, thanks and positive energy while weaving a physical string web and then sent energy up and down the strands. It was not as powerful as I had hoped, but it was still pretty fun.

Afterward we burned a few of the tobacco ties. The problem was that it's been raining for days, and the tobacco ties were soaked, the old ribbons were soaked, the sand in the Circle was soaked, the incense bowl and censor were filled with water. It rained in the morning, but we held off the rain for the afternoon ritual (and right at the beginning of the ritual, the sun even came out for a few minutes).

I don't do a lot of traditional things in my rituals. I don't use a knife or wand to "cast" the circle. (It's permanently cast, although I do walk around it with my hand out as part of the invocation of the gods). I don't have salt and water, or a pentacle, or even an altar. (There's benches in the circle where we place things while we're not using them, like singing bowls and balls of string and bowls of incense.) The base of the Tree of Life holds the flowers and candles. This is NOT Wiccan ritual, even if it does take a few elements (calling quarters) from that. We also don't have "cakes and ale" during the ritual, but we do eat afterward.

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