Yesterday was Medway Pagans’ Beltane Moot. I think out of all the Sabbats, Beltane is my favourite, so I’d been looking forward to this one a lot!
The weather that day had been pretty cold and rainy so I was worried that it would put a real dampener on the ritual, which would be our first outdoor one of the year and, like last year, would be centred around a fire. Fortunately, just a few hours before the moot, the clouds disappeared and the sun came out – the King and Queen of the May must have been smiling down on us!
The spirit of the Green Man must have been with us as well – funnily enough, two other members (the founding members Abi Normal and Phoenix Rose) had decided to make their own Green Man masks as well, so all three of us wore them for the ritual.
The ritual took place as the sun was setting and the moon rising – a perfectly magical time. We stood in a circle around the fire, with Abi (who was leading the ritual) standing before the altar. Seen through the smoke and hazy flames, in her robe and horned Green Man mask, she really did remind me of the scenes with Herne the Hunter emerging from the mist in the old Robin of Sherwood series – very fitting! It’s amazing how masks can transform both the wearer and those around them, adding to the drama of the ritual.
We called the quarters in rhyming couplets, and honoured the Great God and Goddess. Two of our married members acted out the chasing of the May Queen, running in and out of the circle before the God of the Forest “caught” his bride.
As with last year, we made offerings to the flames, and of course ended with cakes and ale (the “ale” this time being mead served in a suitably phallic horn).
I think all of else felt really energised by the ritual – there was a lot of chatting and laughing afterwards, and for me, the “buzz” lasted right through to today – all day at work I felt uplifted and happy by the memory of last night’s moot! It’s really set me up for the rest of my Beltane celebrations, starting tomorrow with May Day, then the three days of the Rochester Sweeps Festival, and ending with Kodomo no Hi on Tuesday. I can’t wait!