[Pronounced Bell-tan-yah. Erecting the Temple is performed. Priest and Priestess kiss. There should be spring flowers spread around the Circle and on the Altar. Also on the Altar rests the Priestess’s Crown. To one side of the Circle is a cauldron filled with kindling.]
Priestess: With this night do we see
The ending of the Dark Time.
To bring us once more to the light.
And to our Lady Freya.
All: Herne! Our thanks and our Love to Thee!
[Covener lights the kindling in the cauldron.]
Priest: Now do we light the Beltane fires!
To revitalize our Lord
After his long journey.
All: Welcome Woden! Welcome Life!
[All now dance around the Circle, jumping over the flaming cauldron if they wish. They dance either singly or in pairs. Priestess remains at the Altar, and says, while the Coven dances;]
Priestess: The year is a mighty wheel
And the Sabbats are its spokes
As the Circle is also a wheel
Made up of we Wiccan folks.
Ahead lies now the Sun-
Lord Woden still shining down-
Whilst our Lady has begun
To spread her springtime gown.
With bud and twig and leaf and tree,
We welcome Freya so merrily.
[Priest alone stops dancing.]
Priest: Welcome indeed to our Lady Fair.
Welcome, thrice welcome, we fill the air
With our love and devotion for Freya!
[Others stop dancing.]
As our Lord Woden steps back
So does our Lady Freya move forward,
To guard and guide us
Through the Summer time.
[He takes up the Crown.]
Let this be my Lady’s crown,
As our beloved Priestess (name)
Wears it proudly.
[Priestess kneels and Priest places the crown on her head. He then raises her up and kisses her. All then move round the Circle to kiss the Priestess and say “Love”.]
Priestess: The word is “Love” and happily do we say it;
The word is “Love” and happily do we make it;
The word is “Love” and happily do we feel it;
For we are Love.
[Next is Cakes and Ale followed by games and merriment.]
© Raymond Buckland, 1970, The Tree. Used by Permission.