Blimey this is a busy time of year! It always feels like life drops into 3rd gear and takes a huge leap forward in speed. I guess nature reflects this, but for a Druid this really takes life up a notch.
We had our Beltane open ritual at the Long Man of Wilmington on Sunday – about 70 people turned up to greet the Summer. We separated into two circles, one of men, the other of women, and the women chose their May Queen through divination. Each circle sent a chalice around, and a toast to someone special was offered, a boast about something each person had done, and a promise, witnessed by the circle, offered to something they will achieve this year. Some tears, some laughter. A beautiful coming together of relative strangers willing to open themselves and show their vulnerability and strength – it never ceases to move me when that happens.
The men then lined up (with much support for the women) to begin the ‘stag hunt’ at the top of the Gorsedd hill. I’d hidden a pair of stag antlers in the woods, and the first to ‘hunt the stag’ would be crowned May King. The men were really fired up this year.
“For Cernunnos! For Pan! For Herne! ARE YOU READY!”
Off they ran like a band of warriors. I had forgotten to mention that the horns were hidden in amongst stinging nettles, but that didn’t seem to worry anyone. The stag was caught, and the King Crowned. We shared song, poetry, and story as the May King and Queen shared the bounty of the land with the circle and the Beltane Fire was lit. Each person, with cheering and clapping, jumped the fire into the Summer.
So what next?
Our Anderida Gorsedd camp this weekend. I’ll write about that soon!
Now to take some time for myself, and just be quite, to welcome Bel. Summer is a-coming in, loudly sing cuckoo!