Arielle’s Table

Arielle's Table (1)Most of us are familiar with The Dragon and The Rose. It’s a favorite pagan shop in Santa Ana and in 2019 OC Weekly has dubbed them the best Occult Store in Orange County.  What you may not know is that the local favorite was born from tragedy. On May 16, 2008 everything in co-founders Karen and Hugh’s lives changed when Arielle Rose Estremo was killed by a drunk driver.  From the ashes of that event, Karen and Hugh joined together to create a store and a community in the heart of Orange County.  The Dragon and The Rose bears witness to what can grow in ashes and is living testimony to Karen’s commitment to the pagan community that Arielle embraced.

In addition to the act of service that is the best Occult Store and gathering place in Orange County, The Dragon and the Rose also hosts “Arielle’s Table”. This food collection charity has been active since 2012 when their drum circle priestess, Candy Eaton, asked if it was something they would like to do. These collections have included collaboration with Second Harvest and Three Worlds, One Heart.

When Karen stepped up to help Pagan Pride Day with the food drive in 2019 she came to understand the difficulties in working with large food donation organizations. It can be difficult to find charities to take the donations and none that she contacted wanted to staff a booth to gather donations at the event. Working with  Rayna from the Universalist Unitarian Church they gathered a team and handled the food drive. 

After this experience, they began to think about a way to make it more than once a year project. That is how Arielle’s Table has established a pantry within The Dragon and The Rose to assist those facing hard times. It started with a single can of black beans and today is a well-stocked food pantry. The pantry is open during business hours (Tuesday-Sunday, Noon to 5pm until further notice) and available thanks to the generosity of Karen as well as community donors. 

If you can contribute to Arielle’s Table either email karen@thedragonandtherose.com or come by during regular business hours with the donation.

Between Offering and Receiving: Food, Hospitality, and Connection

By Jesper Toad

94707554_685492605533918_2378101161044475904_nYears ago, I had a large statue of Ganesh, the pachy-cephalic Indian deity, sitting on a table in my home.  He sat on a large wooden tray surrounded by offerings of flowers, sweets, incense, and candles.  The guy I was dating came over for movie night and presented three boxes of Milk Duds.  “Why three?” I asked, “There are only two of us.”  He smiled and told me that one was for Ganesh.  He placed the yellow box of candy with the other offerings, and I thought to myself, “Damn.  He really gets it.”

Nope.

An hour later, with the other chocolate resources depleted, he went over to the shrine to retrieve the third box of Milk Duds.  I inquired what he was doing, and then admonished him, reminding him that those candies belong to Ganesh.  He replied, “I don’t see what it would hurt.  He’s not going to eat them!”  We had a little discussion about that.

My family raised me to see food as a gift shared between relatives, between friends, between co-workers, between confidants, and between comrades.  Note that I repeated the word between each time.  The repetition of words isn’t clumsy sentence construction, but as an emphasis. When we share food—or drink, or any offering or gift—is that the focus place not on the giver or the receiver, but on the space between.  That between, like the precise gap of a spark plug across which electricity jumps, igniting vaporized fuel, pumping the pistons, and propelling a vehicle forward, takes us forward into authentic reciprocal relationships.

If you went to my grandmother’s house you were not only offered food and drink—there were always cookies and pies all over the kitchen—but something was sent home in a Tupperware container, with the promise to return the container the next time you came to visit.  My mother was no different, except that the “down in the holler” hospitality was compounded by her Sicilian father’s notions of generosity and overlaid with a Jewish sensibility that regarded all people coming to the door as hungry masses that required feeding.   When you arrived at my mother’s house you would be fed.  Repeatedly.

All this food-centric openhandedness wasn’t rooted in what my mother and grandmother thought they would get in exchange for feeding visitors.  It was about friends, family, congregations, and community.  Food, in this sense, in addition to sustaining physical life, created and sustained a network of relationships based on caring and nurturing.  The space between is the gap between the offering hand and the receiving mouth (and if that recalls the body of Christ, that is no accident).  The void between the giving and receiving holds us together.  The welcome, sustaining gesture of sharing food fills this gap, expressing hope that the connection will continue.  In keeping with the notion of receiving communion, the worst punishment the Catholic Church can condemn an individual to is excommunication, a separation of the individual from the body of the church, cutting off the person from community, connection, and love. To be outcast from any community, be it Catholic, ancient tribal, or that of Contemporary Paganisms, is to be bereft of those things that allow us to live in the world.

On a related note, when a visiting individual receives an offer of hospitality in the form of refreshment, it is always equally hospitable to partake.  It is something like a handshake: to refuse it shows an unwillingness to enter into the relationship, and says in no uncertain terms that you are not connected, do not wish to be connected, or wish to weaken or sever the connection to the person and household that is offering the hospitality.  The words common, community, and communion come down to us from the Greek koinonia, from koinos, meaning common or ordinary.  To be in a state of community is commonplace, the way of being in the world common to all men.

Injurious behavior toward hospitality and the offering and acceptance of food sharpens our focus on the importance of sharing that which sustains us.  Imagine visiting a friend or family member that pulls something to eat out of a cupboard and offers you none.  How does that make you feel?  Imagine this person was visiting at your house and refused your hospitality, or ate the food you offered, and then pulled out food that they had brought with them and ate it in front of you.  I have had all these things happen and I am not ashamed to share that in each instance I felt as if the individual had taken advantage of the laws of hospitality.

I never walk into someone’s home and say, “So, what do you have for me?”  When visitors cross my threshold, I don’t greet them with, “Welcome!  What’s in it for me?” When the offering hides the expectation of receiving something of equal value, that is a relationship of commerce.  Libations and offerings must be concerned with connectivity of love.  Otherwise they are a contract, an exchange.  Certainly, some magical work involves these transactional operations, but then it is a relationship of contract and payment, not an offering.  The relationship is business.

I have a friend who frames all interactions in the context of sacrifice.  If she visits with me, she has sacrificed that time she could be doing something else.  If she goes to work, she is sacrificing her free time.  Treating all activities and relationships as a transaction is, I think, and unfortunate thing, and will keep her from forming deeper relationships.  There are times for sacrifice, which should always be in the service of something we believe in and love, but I think that kind of sacrifice is hardly an everyday occurrence.  Day in and day out our usual involvement in our web or relationships engages not cutting off connection but establishing and fostering of connection.

Why would our work with the spirits be any different?  I use the word spirits here to refer to incarnate spirits, the spirits of the dead, the fey spirits, the land and house spirits, tutelary spirits, and those spirits many of us refer to as the gods.  This shift in language levels the playing field and pulls us into a more authentic reciprocal relationship with the world.  When these spirits come to the door, be they the spirits of my friends or the discarnate spirits that walk the world with us, I offer hospitality.  I do this because it builds and sustains relationships.  I do this because it embeds me in a network of reciprocal relationships with the world.  I do this because of love.

To share food and drink engages us on a level field of relationships, much in keeping with Starhawk’s concepts of Power-With or Power-Through, rather than relationships of Power-Over, which characterize monotheistic religions.  Life force infuses food and drink: the captured energies of earth and sun, as well as the transformative human energies that change wheat, butter, eggs, and grapes into bread and wine.  To share in this offering of life—again the idea of Catholic communion is present in the image, as is the pouring of libations, the clinking glasses of a toast, and the mother’s breast—is to link us to those rich threads of life that run through us, through our human communities, to field and orchard, to the fertile earth, the nourishing rain, and the celestial bodies.  But most of all there is love: love as connection.  Connection is the remedy to the narcissism of the world, and the legion of minions through which it manifests: impotence and greed, shame and arrogance, deprecation and egotism, powerlessness and force, and apathy and obsession.

As post-modern Americans, steeped in a culture that is suffering narcissism and embroiled in frantic late-stage capitalism, we approach relationships with someone or something other than ourselves from the perspective of “what’s in it for me?”  This attitude is egotistical and self-serving, and never allows us to discover what other is out there, be they a person, an animal, a tree, or a spirit.  If we only engage in this notion of tit-for-tat commerce, how can empathy, caring, affection, and affiliation begin to emerge?  How are we every anything else than alone.

Food & Drink in Ancient and Modern Egypt

by Jean Duranti

Spice market know as Egyptian Bazaar in city of Istanbul, Turkey
Inside view of Spice market know as Egyptian Bazaar in city of Istanbul, Turkey

The Egyptian culture lasted over 3000 years.  There were thirty-two Dynasties of Egypt beginning around 3,500 B.C.  It began with Menes uniting Upper and Lower Egypt and ended with the last pharaoh, Queen Cleopatra the Seventh.  Most of what we know today of the foods and drink of Ancient Egypt has been derived from the paintings and papyrus remnants found in tombs.  Shards of various kitchen utensils, pottery pots and other cooking items also have offered many clues to the diet of the Ancient Egyptians.

The Egyptians were excellent farmers.  Each July, the Nile would rise, flooding the lush, fertile plains on each side of the river.  The alluvial soil deposits provided ideal farm land in which just about any crop thrived.  This land provided the Ancient Egyptians with an abundance of various fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and poultry.

In the New Kingdom, around 1350 B.C.,  foods from nearby cultures were also grown in Egypt.  The Persians brought apples and pomegranates.  Coconuts from North Africa, were a highly prized food and considered a lavish treat.  The main staple of their fruit intake consisted of various melons.  These were the ancestors of today’s watermelons, casabas, pumpkins, gourds and cantaloupes. In addition to nutrition, these melons provided water to tribes which lived in the arid desert regions.  Fruits we take for granted, apples, oranges, lemons, pears, peaches, cherries and bananas, did not exist in pharonic times.  If the fruit selection seemed small, the grape crops made up for it.  Egyptians had many red and white varieties.  Various nuts, figs and dates were added additional variety to meals.

The vegetable selection was much broader than the fruit selection.  It consisted of leeks, onions, beans, garlic, lentils, chick peas, radishes, lotus root, spinach, turnips, carrots, cucumbers and various lettuces.  Our California avocado tree has it’s roots in Ancient Egypt.

Egyptians ate their salads dressed with oil made from the bak tree until the olive was introduced in Ptolemy’s time.  Castor oil was also used for medicinal purposes and for lighting lamps.

2020-04-23 18.55.38.jpgThe art of baking bread and brewing beer was a forte of the Egyptian culinary arts.  Petrified bread has been found in tombs along with wine casks.  Archaeologists have even unearthed wine bottles with liquid still inside!

The records of pharaoh Ramses III listed over a million loaves of various breads in honor of Amun-Ra, the popular god of the times.  The Egyptians would naturally leaven their breads, topping them with onions, garlic and other exotic spices of the Middle East.  They even created a version of sourdough bread that any San Francisco native would enjoy.

The cow was a sacred icon in Egypt and represented various attributes of the goddesses, Nut and Hathor.  However, unlike the culture of India, the Egyptians loved to eat beef.  Herds of oxen, derived from the long-horned wild ox, were especially fattened for slaughter.  As today, the fillet was considered the best cut.  Lamb and goat was also consumed.  On rare or special occasions, one might sit down for an entree of oryx, gazelle or the ibex.

The most common meat was the abundant wild fowl.  The wild fowl industry was very organized in the Delta region of Egypt.  It was similar to the major chicken suppliers of today.  Ducks, geese, pigeons, quails and cranes were trapped in enormous numbers while flocks of domestic geese and ducks were raised for the table.

Fish was eaten but not in the quantity you might think.  Religious taboos influenced the consumption of fish.  At one time, it was thought that certain kinds of fish were sacred to the god Set.  Since he was the god of change and destruction, Egyptians approached eating certain fish with caution.  Pigs were not eaten and considered unclean for human consumption.

The ancient Egyptians were experts in wine making and the brewing of beer.  Barley beer was the drink of the masses.  In addition to this, various red and white wines were drunk by the upper classes.

The Egyptians certainly had a lavish choice of foods for their tables.  But it should be stresses that, unlike Roman culture, the Ancient Egyptians believed in moderation.  They frowned on excessive consumption of food and over indulgence in drink.

The modern Egyptian diet is the standard diet seen throughout the Arab world.  Islam quidelines vary only slightly from country to country.  The diet is simple but spices such as cinnamon, saffron, cloves, ginger and cardamom are used in various combinations.  Rose-water or orange blossom water and cardamon are often used in puddings, yogurt and sweets.

Yogurt is called laban and is a favorite thirst quencher when diluted with water and seasoned with salt.  Tahini, sesame-seed sauce, is used on everything: bread, fish, meat, rice, bulgur, salad and soup.  Tahini is a great source of protein in the predominately carbohydrate diet of the Middle East.

Fava beans, known as fool in Arabic, have been eaten in Egypt since the pharonic times and is still part of the diet today.  Wheat, legumes, white beans and garbanzo beans are grown throughout the Arab world. Rice came to Egypt by the way of Pakistan.

One of main dishes of the Arab household is kibbe.  This is a category of minced, molded, stuffed and layered ground meat.  Lamb, the symbol of hospitality, is served in honor of special guests.

Finally, eating on the floor is traditional in the Arab world.  Foods are minced or cut up for easy enclosure in pieces of soft, chewy pocket bread.  Forks and spoons are widely used today.  It is proper to only eat with the right hand.  The Arabic custom of washing hands before and after the meal is based on religious tenets of cleanliness which have been practiced for centuries.

What follows are some recipes which stem from ancient biblical times.  However, as you read through these recipes, you will discover that you can “Egyptianize” just about any modern recipe.

 

2020-04-23 18.53.12.jpgDUCK IN GRAPE JUICE

Two 5 lb. ducks, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat or barley flour, 1 cup cooking oil, 4 cups grape juice (red or white), 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

 

Cut up the duck into pieces.  Salt the duck and roll into flour.  Fry in oil until brown.  Pour off oil and add grape juice and vinegar.  Cook over medium heat for 40 minutes or until tender.

 

PERCH WITH TAHINI

6 medium size perch or any solid white fish.  Salt and pepper to taste, 3 tbls. parsley, 2 tbls. vinegar, tbls. of whole wheat bread crumbs, 1/4 cup sesame oil (not oriental), 2 medium onions-sliced, 2 cloves garlic chopped, 1/2 cup tahini.

Score the fish on both sides, salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 tbls. vinegar.  Oil a baking pan and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix two tbls. of parsley with the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the inside of the baking pan.  Fry fish in 3 tbls. of oil until golden.  Reserve oil in skillet.  Place fish in preheated baking pan.

In reserved oil, saute onions, add garlic after 2 minutes until garlic is golden.  Add remaining tbls. of vinegar and tahini to the onions and mix well.  Spoon over fish.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Garnish with remaining parsley.

 

WHOLE BAKED ONIONS AND GARLIC (My favorite!!!)

1 large onion per serving, 3 tbls. of rich stock for each onion or bouillon powder to taste, large cabbage leaves, garlic to taste.

Peel each onion. Cut top of onion off.  Core each onion so that 5 or six cloves of garlic will fill center. Peel layers away from onion slightly.   Push bouillon powder down between layers of onion to taste.  Pour stock or water into each onion and wrap in cabbage leaves. Place in baking dish.  Bake at low heat 200-250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.  Check onions.  If they are translucent throughout, remove from oven.  If not, continue baking until onion is translucent and soft.  Both onion and garlic become sweet and easy to eat.

WATERMELON IN GINGER WINE

1/2 watermelon, 1/2 cup dry wine, 1 cup water, honey to taste, 2 pieces of candied ginger.

Use melon baller or cut seeded watermelon into bite sized chunks.  Combine water, wine and honey.  Heat gently.  Add ginger.  Let cool.  Pour mixture over watermelon.  Refrigerate for several hours.  Green ginger wine can also be used in place of wine honey and candied ginger.

CUCUMBERS STUFFED WITH BARLEY AND RAISINS

6 cucumbers, 1 onion chopped, 2 tbls. olive oil, 1 cup cooked barley, 1 cup raisins (soaked for 1 hour and drained), 1 tbls. vinegar, 2 tbls. fresh mint or two tsp. dried mint, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste, 1 1/2 cups water.

Halve cucumbers lengthwise and remove seeds.  Peel only if they are waxed.  Saute onion in oil until golden and remaining ingredients (except water).  Stuff cucumbers and place in large pot.  Add water and bring to boil.  Simmer for 35 minutes until tender.

 

BASBOUSSA

2 cups semolina, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 cup milk and grated rind of 1 orange, tahini to grease pan.  Syrup:  2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cups water and 1 tbls. lemon juice, 1/4 cup rose water.

Combine seminola, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and mix.  Stir in yogurt.  Add milk and orange rind.  Lightly grease 9 by 14 baking pan with tahini.  Pour in batter and set aside for 30 minutes.  Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cut into squares.  Prepare syrup by boiling sugar and water for five minutes.  Add lemon juice and rose water, simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour syrup over the hot cake and leave at room temperature until absorbed.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Good Book Cookbook-Recipes From Biblical Times, Naomi Goodman, Robert Marcus and Susan Woolhandler.  Dodd, Mead and Co. 1986

The Complete Armenian Cookbook, Alice Bezjian.  Rosekeer Press 1987

Everyday Life In Ancient Egypt, Jon Manchip White.  G. P. Puttnam’s Sons 1963

Cookbook of Foods From Biblical Days, Jean and Frank McKibbin.

Voice Publications 1971

Middle Eastern Cooking, Rose Dosti. HP Books Tucson 1982

King Tut’s Cellar, Leonard H. Lesko.  B.C. Scribe Publications 1977

The Roses of Kazanlik

By Morgana RavenTree

56536814_s
Picking roses in the Rose Valley near Karlovo, Bulgaria

Bulgaria is the world’s major producer of roses.  The “Valley of the Roses” is in the approximate center of the country, 130 miles east of the capitol, Sofia.  Roses grown commercially in the U.S. are bred for size, color, and longevity, not scent, but in Bulgaria, roses are grown specifically for their fragrance.  The best attar of roses, used in perfume making. comes from Bulgaria, which produces 95% of the attar on the international market, and 80% of that comes from Kazanlik.   At approximately Sl,500 an ounce, it provides one of Bulgaria’s most important sources of income.

Each year in June, the town of Kazanlik hosts a rose festival complete with a Rose King and Queen, a parade, a pageant and airplanes that drop rose petals on the crowds from above.  70,000 tourists come from all over the World for this festival.  It has also become a major venue for Bulgarian folk music and dance.  People dust off their colorful costumes, representing all areas of Bulgaria, and sing and dance all day and night, interrupted only by feasting. which goes on continuously.

Bulgarians are a very long-lived people.  It might be due to genetics, but the Bulgarians themselves claim it is due to their diet.   Bulgarian food is similar to Greek, Turkish, and other Balkan foods.  Peppers, eggplants, tomatoes (none of which are native to the Balkans) have become staple foods.  Meat, particularly lamb, is considered cold weather food, but fish is consumed year-round.   Lentils and beans are also an important source of protein.

At various times, Bulgaria was a part of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.  During the Byzantine era, many Armenians settled there, bringing with them dishes such as pasterma (pastrami).  Turkish dishes abound, and turulu (vegetable stew), guvetch (meat-vegetable casserole) and pilaf have become part of the Bulgarian diet.  We know mousakka as a Greek dish, but it is also popular in Bulgaria.

Bulgarians love to eat outdoors when the weather permits, and the Rose Festival is a perfect venue.  Loukanka (sausage), breads and banitsa (noodle and cheese cake) are served at long tables.

Although not an everyday seasoning, roses can also be used to flavor foods.  At Kazanlik, people celebrate with a liqueur flavored with rose petals.  Rosewater can also be used to flavor mallegi (rice flour pudding) or can be made into a syrup to pour over cakes or ice cream.   Rose petal jam is produced commercially in Turkey and Iran, and considered a special treat in Bulgaria where it is served with bread or toast.

The following recipes are enough to celebrate your own Rose Festival, but be careful to use only pesticide-free roses!

Rose Petal Liqueur

3 cups deep pink rose petals, loosely packed

1-quart vodka

½ cup water

Rose Sugar:1/4 cup deep pink rose petals + 1 cup sugar

 

Remove white heels from 3 cups of petals and crush lightly.  In a 1 ½ quart glass container, combine rose petals and vodka.   Cover and let stand in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.   Make rose sugar after l week.  Remove white heels from petals and gently wash and dry.  Layer sugar and rose petals in an airtight container.  Cover and let stand for one week.  Remove petals (sugar will be lumpy).  After vodka has steeped 2 weeks and sugar has set for one, gently boil water and rose petal sugar in a small pan, stirring often until sugar has dissolved.  Refrigerate until used.   Strain vodka through a coffee filter to remove all petals and residue.  Stir in rose syrup and serve chilled.

Gui Receli (Rose Petal Conserve)

1 lb. red or pink rose petals

I quart water

3 lbs. sugar

l T lemon juice

 

Soak rose petals in water for 30 minutes.  Strain and reserve liquid.  In large pan, layer sugar and rose petals, and pour 1/3 of reserved rose water over it.  Let stand 24 hours.  Pour in another third of the rose water, and heat slowly.  As petals cook down, slowly add the rest of the rose water.  Continue to cook until thickened.  Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat.  Let cool.  Serve over cakes, ice cream or puddings.

Bulgarian-style Moussaka

I medium eggplant

3 med onions, chopped

1/4 tsp paprika

1 lb. lean ground beef, cooked

1/4 cups bread crumbs

Salt

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large tomatoes, chopped

½ cup parsley

 

Slice eggplant into 1 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Set aside for one hour.  Drain off liquid and rinse and pat dry.  Sauté onion and eggplant slices in oil until golden, then add paprika.  Mix tomatoes, parsley and meat and spread a portion of this onto the bottom of a casserole dish.  Place a layer of eggplant on top of the meat.  Repeat until all meat and eggplant is used.  The top layer should be eggplant.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot wi1h margarine.  Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Bibliography

Jane Grigson, ed., The World Atlas of Food. Simon & Schuster, 1974.

Elielle Markhbein, ed., “In the Shadow of a Rose” Victoria, May 1991.

Arlene Mueller, “Bulgaria’s Rose Parade; Los Angeles Times, 12/27/87.

Rowland, Joan, Good Food from the Near East, M. Barrows & Co, Inc. 1950.

A Beltaine Ritual

The following is a brief outline of a Beltaine Ritual by Tammye McDuff. It’s designed to give you an idea of how the ritual will flow. To read the ritual itself, which is in rhyme.

Beltaine Ritual

This ritual is Druidic in nature.

  1. Procession to the Sacred Space: offering to the well; aspiring, anointing ,and offering of the cup by the Lady of the Well; tying ribbon on the Maybush; passing “through the veil” into ritual space.
  2. Welcome and explanation of Beltane

III. Selection of the May Queen (by lot)

  1. Ritual Dancing; King and Queen of May will lead us  thrice around the ritual space in dancing, ending up at the May Pole; May Pole dance.
  2. Cakes and Ale offered to the assembly by the King and Queen of May

VII. Creation of the Fires: Each person will place a piece wood upon the bale fire, representing what they wish to birth into being for the coming year.

VIII. Offerings  and Cleansing. Offering of pieces of bannock bread will be offered to the fire with prayers, then the remainder of the bannock will be distributed to the assembly. The one who selects the “burnt piece” will be the “ritual sacrifice” and tossed upon the fires.

  1. Closing

Для Интернета

 Welcome and explanation of Beltane  

BeltaneBeltane joyfully heralds the arrival of summer. Beltane is also known as Mayday, Walburga and Bealtinne. Beltane is the last of the three spring fertility festivals, and the second major Celtic festival. Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into two seasons, Winter and Summer. May is the month of sensuality and sexuality revitalized, the reawakening of the earth and Her Children.

In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times.

In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying,” and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.

Think of the May pole as a focal point of the old English village rituals. Many people would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies.. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God.

 

Beltane literally means “fire of Bel”. Bel is known as the bright and shining one. On the eve of Beltane the Celts build two large fires. In the honor of summer they were lit, and the herds were ritually driven between them, to purify and protect the herds. The fires celebrate the return of life and fruitfulness to the earth. Celebration includes frolicking throughout the countryside, dancing the Maypole, leaping over fires, and “going a maying”.

Beltane marks the wedding feast of the Goddess and God, the reawakening of the earth’s fertility at its fullest. This is the union between the Great Mother and her Young Horned God. This coupling brings new life on earth. It is the unifying of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine forms to bring forth the third form, consciousness.

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Circle Area/Casting the Circle/Assemblance of the Quarters

East –

“From the East, I call the fresh breeze,

Gentle new winds, new ideas, inspiration.

Join me now, if you please.”

Light some incense and place it in an incense holder in the east.

 

South –

“From the South, I call the life-giving flame,

Warm sun, creativity, passion.

Come to me now with no shame.”

Light a candle and place it in a candleholder in the south.

 

West –

“From the West, I call the endless sea,

Waters of life, deep emotions, love.

Come tonight to be with me.”

Sprinkle a little water on the ground in the west and place the chalice in the west.

 

North –

“From the North, I call Mother Earth,

Standing stones, fertility, stability.

Come witness this rebirth.”

Leave a  rock in the north as an offering.

 

[The East Dances  Around the Circle Saying]

Beltane!
I dance with delight on Beltane’s night.
All senses freeing, I dance for being.
The flower and the flame of love’s own rite shall blossom.

Sun embrace Earth, bright.

Для Интернета

Invocation of the Goddess Priestess:

Hallowed Lady of the Hawthorn,
Goddess of the greenwood groves,
we call upon Thee in the season of Thy Sensuality,
as Thy blossom opens to the amorous advances of our Lord, Thy Lover.
In Thy union is the fertility of Spring,
and the beckoning whisper of young desire.

Touch us with the breath of Thy passion,
that we might seek for the ecstasy of life!
Inflame us with the fever of Thine inmost longings
that we not be satisfied until our oneness
with the God is consummated!

Capture us with the fragrances of Thine allurement,
that we may be overwhelmed with an obsession for Thy presence!
Bright Maiden of May, be here among us as we celebrate
the Beltane blessings of Thy bridal-bed!
Blessed Be!

Invocation of the Satyr Lord – Priest:

Horned God of power and play,
we hear the music of Thy melodious pipes
enchanting our ears upon the evening wind!
Beneath the fullness of the May-night Moon
Thy silhouette plays hide-and-seek
among the shadows of silver-tipped trees;
Thy hooves striking sparks like shooting stars
as they step in spritely patterns
to the rhythm of the Ways of the Wild.

Holy Pan of the shepherds’ shrine,
Goat-footed God, Faunus of the forest glades,
we beseech Thee to be here among us
as we revel in Beltane abandon
beneath the swirling streamers of Thy phallic staff,
dancing by the light of the balefire’s glow!

Sovereign Satyr Lord, be pleased within this Circle to remain,
as we celebrate Spring and the beginning of Thy reign!
Blessed Be!

 

Kindling of the Balefire

The priestess and the priest will go to the kindling prepared for the fire (if the rite is held outdoors) located near the Southern quarter of the circle. Otherwise, a candle within the cauldron is substituted. The priest will light the balefire as the following incantation is recited by the priestess:

Priestess:

Strike the fire and let it rise,
Beltane flames ‘neath Spring-night skies!
Ancient customs we now renew,
‘Tween dusky dark and evening dew!
Fire with warmth of Summer shine,
Invoking Gods from Older Times
For fertile crops with Sun-fed rays,
Gardens of plenty and golden days!

The Satyr Lord:

I give priase to Thee,
vibrant Goddess of youth and sensuality;
Lady of Spring, exuberant Earth maiden,
dancing in joyous abandon across hillside and field
in vivacious hues of brightness,
exuding the wondrous essence of waving wildflowers.

Wherefore I offer unto Thee
this floral crown of Thy creation,
laid now upon Thy daughter’s head
as the woven splendor of Nature’s art;
the many-colored Crown of May,
scented with the mystery and majesty
that is the Maiden!

All Hail, Lady Fair,
with flowered garlands for Thy hair!

 

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Circle Area/Closing the Circle/Assemblance of the Quarters

Release the Quarters

North

In the North, I thank the Spirit of Earth for being here and witnessing the beginning of a new birth.

Kiss the rock and leave it as an offering to the Gods.

West

In the West, I thank the Spirit of the Sea for being here and bringing new life to me!

Pour the rest of the water out on the ground as an offering to the Gods.

South

In the South, I thank the Spirit of Fire for being here and sparking my desire!

Snuff the candle.

East

In the East, I thank the Spirit of Air for being here and teaching me to dare!

Hold the feather up and blow it away to the east.

Priestess:

Maiden Lady, Queen of May,
bestow upon us in overflowing measure
Thy youthful passion for love and life
as we rejoice in the sensual stirrings of the season.

All Hail, Farewell, and Blessed Be!

Priest:

Sovereign Satyr Lord, Pan of the Pagan Ways,
at this Sabbat of springtime’s warmth,
bestow upon us the heated breath of Thy lust for living
as we depart this sacred space with the joyous blessings
of Thy Beltane benediction.

All Hail, Farewell, and Blessed Be!

Dismissal of the Quarter-Regents/Releasing the Circle

At this time the quarters can be dismissed and the circle released, per your tradition. It’s time for the Beltane festivities to begin!

Priestess:

This rite of Balemas is ended!
May the love of the Maiden and the Satyr Lord
go with us as we venture onward
into the warming fullness of summer’s promise!

Merry Meet and Merry Part!

 

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A Meditation for Men and Women


The next part is different depending on whether you are man or woman.

For a Woman: visualize a red rosebud in your womb. Always your womb is the source of your creative power, whether you are pregnant with a child, an idea, a work of art or an intention. Close your eyes and picture the light from the candle streaming into your womb so that the rosebud blooms, unfolds. Hold the image for a while, feeling the silkiness, smelling the scent, the freshness, seeing the color of the fully open rose within you. Feel the strength and power of your own fully blossomed capabilities. Say:

I am woman,
strong to conceive and to create,
to give birth and to tend.
As I am daughter of the Goddess,
and blessed by the God.

Feel the strength and creative force within your womb, the center of your being. See the power being channeled, flowing into the desire you have just voiced. Open your eyes. Always, the rose is within you.


For a Man: Visualize a bright flame. This burns within your sexual center, a point at the base of the stomach, just above the pubic hairline. It is your own male strength and energy which may rise through your body to be released as giving, fertilizing power, in any form, or may be the potency which impregnates, creating a physical child. It is the force which blesses and bestows, a healing and creative energy, like the shining Sun. Visualize also that you are sitting in a garden and that a rose tree is in front of you, the roses in bud. Say:

I am man,
and in my passion is beauty,
in my warmth is life.
As I am son of the Goddess,
and blessed by the God,
I offer my strength and vitality.

Visualize the light streaming from you to a rose upon the tree causing it to unfold, to blossom. Your flame is lowered by this effort. Much has gone out of you, the flame sinks down. Wait and watch, until a pink light streams from the rose towards your body. At its touch, just above the pubic hairline the flame resurges. It burns highter and stronger than before. Open your eyes. The flame is always within you.

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Beltaine Incense Recipe:

     * 3 parts Frankincense

    * 2 parts Sandalwood

    * 1 part Woodruff

    * 1 part Rose Petals

    * a few drops Jasmine Oil

    * a few drops Neroli Oil

 

 Belaine Oil Recipe:

 5 drops rose oil, 2 drops Dragon’s blood, 3 drops coriander oil. (Use almond oil as a base here)

Basic Requirements

Altar/Altar Cloth/Altar Candles: The altar should be in the center of the circle area, facing the Eastern quarter. The altar cloth should always be yellow for the High Earth Rite of Balemas. (This is only if you are using a regular rectangular altar.) The two main altar candles should be yellow.

Other Candles: The four quarter candles should be blue in the West, red in the South, yellow (or gold) in the East, and green in the North. All other secondary candles used for extra lighting in the ritual area should be of various shades of forest green or suited to personal taste.