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                                     BELTANE 1987 

                              Coven of the Serpent's Eye

     Declamation:                            Rufus Harrington
     Invocation of the Young God:            Prudence Jones
     Invocation of the May Queen:            Rufus Harrington
     Responses to the invocations:           Paul Greenslade and
                                             Jacky Salter
     The Blessing of Love:                   H. Rider Haggard
     The Union of God and Goddess:           Rufus Harrington and
                                             Julia Phillips
     The Beltane Charge:                     Julia Phillips

      Temple set up as follows:

     Altar set up, and ritual weapons as usual
     One extra sword
     One extra chalice of wine and dish of cakes
     Candles and incense
     Maypole in the centre of the Temple
     Green Cord


     HPS#1               Blessing the Union
     HPS#2               Invocation to the God
     PS#1                The May Queen
     PS#2                Swordbearer
     PS#3                Swordbearer
     PS#4                Handmaiden
     HP#1                Declamation, invocation to the May Queen and .
                         Blessing the Union
     HP#2                The Young God

         Casting the Circle:

     All present will be purified and consecrated, and the circle will .
     be cast by the HPS and HP.

     The HPS and HP will ask everyone to assist in the invocation to .
     the quarters. Those who have athames should collect them from the .
     altar at this point. After the Northern Quarter has been invoked, .
     the group should all face centre while the HPS performs the .
     invocation to Spirit.

     This completes the casting of the circle.


         THE RITUAL

     The ritual will commence with a meeting dance. Everyone should .
     link hands (male/female as far as possible), and move slowly in a .
     deosil motion following the chants initiated by the HP and HPS. 
     When she feels the time is right, the HPS will break the circle, .
     and lead everyone in a meeting dance, where each man and woman
     kiss as they pass. When everyone has greeted one another, the .
     circle will be re-formed by the HPS, and finish with the EKO .

     HP#2 and PS#1 will stand at the maypole, facing the altar.
     HPS#2 will stand at the altar facing them, and the rest of the .
     group will seat themselves around the maypole in a horseshoe .
     shape, with the end nearest the altar left "open". HP#1 will read .
     the declamation:

          Deep within the dream of silence
          Blood and passions born beyond,
          Gather at the serpent's calling,
          Echo to its siren song.

          For deep within the cauldron's darkness
          Two hearts ache to join as one,
          Must answer to the serpent's laughter;
          Dance within its spiral song.

          For blood is called, and passions gather:
          Drum beat rhythms call the blood
          To dance the paths of passion's power,
          To sing for joy, for life, for love.

          Within the shadows of a clearing
          Deep within the silent green,
          Revealed through a veil of moonlight,
          Caught beside a crystal stream.

          A woman from the land of beauty
          Dances in the silver light,
          Entranced within a web of silver
          Woven by the serpent's light.
          The serpent's laughter, song of shadows,
          Echoes through the spinning web,
          Weaving dreams with songs of silver,
          Calling sacred fires long dead.

          Within her body, flames awaken
          Beauty and her passions need
          Power and a desperate yearning,
          Calling to the serpent's seed.


          Within the ancient forest shadows,
          Roots and boughs that weave and dream,
          re-echo to the serpent's laughter,
          Weaving webs of dancing green.
          The serpent's song now calls the Hunter;
          Beast Lord, Master of the Woods.
          Calls the Stag Lord from the shadows,
          Woodland's Master, Lord of Love.

          She dances now, her passions spiral,
          Calls her love into the night;
          He flies upon the wings of laughter,
          Led on by her silver light.

          Flesh and sinew, man and muscle,
          Loins that ache now hear her call.
          She hears the Hunter's horn of power,
          Hears his cry and hunting call.

          The Stag Lord stalks within the clearing,
          She turns to flee, but cannot run.
          Transformed she spreads herself for passion,
          Calling with her silver song.
          Both their bodies rage with passions,
          Beasts now dance within their blood.
          Their eyes now flash with love's own lightning
          As flesh now kindles warm for love.

          Her thighs remember mothers' movements,
          Moments from her mother's birth,
          Cries of silver golden laughter
          Plough within the fertile earth.

          Their song and cry a single moment,
          Pain, and yet a single joy,
          As Earth unites a single sunlight
          Lust fulfilled, reborn as joy.

         HPS#2 will now perform invocation to the Young God:

     God of the meadow, God of the hill,
     God of the sap and of our true will:
     Thee I invoke as Spring awakes,
     Thee I invoke as the blossom breaks.

     Come young God, come come with the fire,
     Lissome and leaping, alive with desire.
     Come with the pipe and come with the drum,
     With the heartbeat's pounding, come God come!


     O seeker of joy, O hunter of pleasure,
     Come enter the ring, tread the pagan measure.
     Be here in Thy servants, be here in Thy Priests,
     Be here in the flesh, and join in the feast!

     Io Pan, Io Pan, Io Pan Pan Pan, etc.

     Young God responds:


     HP#1 will now perform the invocation to the Goddess as May Queen:

          "Invocation to Goddess"

     May Queen Goddess responds:

     I who am the fragrant spring air,
     And the soft breeze that refreshes the earth;
     The cool spring rain, the sudden shower
     That nourishes the earth.
     The source of all joy and love,
     The Goddess of all new beginnings,
     Answer your call,
     And once more I walk upon the earth.
     Seek for me; I am all around you.

     HPS#2 will now acknowledge the arrival of the God and Goddess:

     Spring has sprung!
     The God has made the world seem young again.
     The blossom blows,
     The Goddess lets the world know joy again.

     May Queen now breaks away from the God, and he must chase and capture her.
     (Anything spoken at this point should be spontaneous). The group should
     form a spiral from the maypole, going out to a circle, leaving a space
     between each person for the May Queen and Young God to pass in and out in
     their "love chase". While this goes on, the group should play tambourine,
     bodrhun, bells and Abo sticks in a lively rhythym. The God should event-
     ually capture the Goddess through his realisation that hunting is not the
     way to her heart!.They should embrace and kiss, and then kneel to receive
     their crowns: PS#2 and PS#3 will collect these from the altar, and place
     the crown of flowers on the Goddess' head, and the crown of leaves upon the
     God's head. PS#2 and PS#3 should then collect the swords from the altar,
     and stand either side of the altar holding the blades of the swords down.
     PS#4 should collect a bouquet of flowers, and present these to the Goddess.
     The God and Goddess should now lead PS#4 and the rest of the group around
     the Temple in a simulation of their journey to the Blessing of their Union.
     At a given signal, PS#2 and PS#3 will stand in the North, and make an
     archway with their swords through which the God, Goddess and Handmaiden
     will pass. As they do so, HP#1 says:


          Hail to our King and Queen!
          For love fulfills an ancient law,
          Born before the Gods and Men,
          Decreed of old when all was still.

     HPS#1 and HP#1 will be standing at the altar, and the God and Goddess will
     kneel to receive the blessings of their predecessors (ie, the God and
     Goddess of the previous cycle). The Goddess will hand her bouquet to the
     Handmaiden, who will replace it upon the altar. 

     HPS#1 reads the Blessing of Love:

     Love is like a flower in the desert.
     It is like the aloe of Arabia that blooms but once and dies;
     It blooms in the salt emptiness of life, and the brightness of its beauty
     is set upon the waste as a star is set upon a storm.  It hath the sun above
     that is the spirit, and about it blows the air of its divinity.

     There is only perfect flower in the wilderness of Life:
     That flower is love!

     There is only one fixed light in the mists of our wanderings:
     That light is love!

     There is only one hope in our despairing night:
     That hope is love!

     All else is false. All else is shadow moving upon water. All else is wind
     and vanity.
     Who shall say what is the weight or measure of love?
     It is born of the flesh, it dwelleth in the spirit. From each doth it draw
     its comfort.
     For beauty it is as a star.
     Many are its shapes but all are beautiful, and none know whence that star
     rose, or the horizon where it shall set. 
     And I say unto you, that every man and woman is a star, and therefore,
     every man and woman is love.


         HP#1 and HPS#1 perform the Blessing of the Union. HP#1 says:

     Dancers to the Gods of Love,
     We bless you in these sacred signs:

     [Perform blessings, loosely bind hands with cord]

     Spread your blessing on the land,
     Fulfill with love the ancient law:
     Fruit and corn for man and beast,
     And love for evermore.

     [remove cord]

     HP#1 and HPS#1 assist the God and Goddess to rise with a kiss.
     PS#2 and PS#3 replace their swords upon the altar, and pick up a dish of
     cakes and a chalice of wine. They hand the wine to the God, and the cakes
     to the Goddess, saying:

          Please bless this food and wine into our bodies, bestowing 
          health, wealth, love and compassion, and that deep joy which 
          is the knowledge of Thee.

     They step back while the God and Goddess bless the wine and cakes. The "Io
     Evohe" chant is initiated by HPS#1 and HP#1, and everyone else joins in.
     (Note: this is a joyful celebration of the good things of the Earth which
     the God and Goddess provide for us, so the chant should be lively.) The
     Handmaiden then steps forward to receive a cake, and a sip of wine. She is
     followed by PS#2 and PS#3, and then the rest of the group ending with HPS#1
     and HP#1, who take the wine and cakes, and offer them to the God .
     and Goddess, then replace them upon the altar. 

     The God and Goddess now embrace around the maypole, and everyone .
     takes a ribbon (male/white, female/red) to dance around. Minstrel .
     now plays the maypole dance, and everyone begins: men go in a .
     widdershins direction, female in a deosil one. The dancers go .
     under the first person, over the next, under the next, and so on .
     until the ribbons are used up. The dancers must then unwind the .
     maypole, so everything is reversed (tip: keep watching your own .


         After the dance has ended, Young God and May Queen are released from
     the Maypole (!), and they read the Beltane Charge:

     YG        I am the burning flame of inspiration
               Bringing light and life to the world:

     MQ        I am the burning flame of love
               Which creates light and life in the world:
     YG        I am the rushing stream, sweeping all before me:

     MQ        I am the deepest ocean, taking all within me:

     YG        I am the swiftest wind that carries the seed:

     MQ        I am the gentlest breez which kisses the land:

     YG        I am the mighty mountain which caresses the stars:

     MQ        I am the smallest leaf which falls in the forest glade:

     YG        I am He! The Lord of Life and Death;
               The Keeper of the Gates, the Hunter and the hunted:

     MQ        I am She! Queen of the darkness and the light;
               Guardian of the Veil, the Mystery of Creation:

     YG/MQ     Together we stand, and in the power of our love
               shall the wheel turn.

     They now perform Cakes and Wine - servers step forward to assist.

     The Feast



     All take their athames, and support the HP and HPS as they thank, and bid
     farewell to the Quarter Guardians.

     Formal Grounding of the Power.

     All present make their farewells to each other, and leave the Temple.


Next: Candlemas Ritual 1987 (Coven of The Serpents Eye)