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Beltain’s Flames

The time has arrived, its now Beltain night,
The bonfire’s lit, glowing to our front, burning bright;
We’ve all of us gathered, sitting here drumming,
Drumming, drumming, long, into this sacred night…

The rhythmic pulsing of the drums fill our souls,
As the Powers of Three Realms are called, summoned,
Blessed ale, sacred cake and smoke of yew, cedar and sage
Are offered to realms of Water, Land, and Sky, beneath Beltain night…

Blessings are beseeched, for the Earth and all her creatures,
That fertility and procreation grant full bellies, bountiful harvests, ahead
The pulsing continues, of the drums gathered here,
Circled round the fire, faces aglow, drums beating…beating…beating…

The fire’s in our heads, and our hearts,
Fueled by the honey-meads within our veins;
Vigor and vitality are feverish this holy night,
As eyes meet other eyes, longingly, and full of passions…

The ritual continues, Deities mated symbolically,
Before and amongst us, passions run high this Beltain night,
Drumming, boom…boom…boom, couples leap across the flames,
Yearnings and desires fill Pagan minds, fueling the need now to celebrate…

The Leaders of this Rite, m’lord and m’lady,  stop drumming, abruptly,
When a signal is given, known to all present here;
As couples gather blankets and wander into the darkness,
Retreating into shadows, away from the fire, with a new drumbeat, guiding…

My Lord and My Lady offer sips of mead, one to the other’s lips,
As they knowingly watch their friends wander away from the flames,
As they renew the drumbeat, gazing into each other’s loving eyes,
Drums beating rhythmically, steadily, slowly, methodically…

Gradually the pace of their drumming quickens
As shadows become lively with soft sounds of flesh on flesh,
And the rustling of blankets on grasses and leaves,
Windsong combines with sounds of passion, steadily becoming louder,
        as does the gale of a sudden fresh summer storm…

Drumming, drum...drum...drumming, drum..drum,
Gradually all becomes once again quiet and calm,
As cheeks lay against shoulders and passions yield
To relaxed pleasures, as drumming ceases, calm following the storm…

Slowly the revelers gradually return, arm in arm, sometimes blushing,
Taking up their drums as they sit by the fire –
Yet no longer individuals, they’ve now become pairs,
The seeds of this Beltain planted very well…

They again begin drumming gently, not feverishly as before,
And with knowing, caring eyes watch their Lord and Lady who drummed for them,
As those two drift quietly into the recently energetic shadows,
A blush on her cheeks, the passion in their eyes not letting them see the others
        as they depart their midst…

Lord and Lady, finding their blanket in the shadows below the flames,
With bonfire glowing not so far away, warmly, as their own passion’s found,
Cloaks are dropped, belt unbuckled, clattering to the ground,
As lips find one another, and more, these lovers revel, honoring as they’re honored…

As before, the drumming slowly increases in tempo as passions once again fill the realm,
When finally, cries and moans of pleasure are heard from the shadows, drumming abruptly stops!
And the mead is joyfully shared by drummers acknowledging that their debt’s been repaid;
Quietly, the circle of drummers drifts apart as they mingle, talk, sip, and take private pleasures…

Yet they’re careful to not disturb the two who they’ve so recently drummed for, Lord and Lady,
As she lays nestled against him, her head laid softly against his, his face in her hair,
Their blanket’s pulled up over themselves, keeping them warm ‘neath the starry Beltain sky,
As they sleep, quietly, peacefully, cheek on shoulder, long into the night…


This Beltain night, Earth has been honored, springtime brings life to winter’s realms
Bonfire bright now burns to embers, its smoke spiraling upwards, binding Earth to the Sky,
Offerings will be accepted, wombs will swell with renewal, life will continue,
As we all come together, friends gathered in love and in hope, looking towards the morrow…


Hemlock Evergreen
April 25, 2006, For Beltain…

© George Dula


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