Although family and friends are great to have around during the holidays, many pagan holiday rituals work just as well if not better when practiced alone. So if you end up spending this Beltane by yourself know it is not an issue! Tons of other Pagans will be engaging in Beltane ritual solitary just like you! Even though Beltane is one of the more community-focused holidays there are still practices that can be done for the solitary practitioner.
For those of you asking what is the Beltane ritual? We will be going over that very shortly. The Beltane ritual solitary practice we will be going over today will be near the same in ritualistic format as many other solitary rituals. Although there will be a few changes. The main change is that you will not cast a circle. During this ritual, it works better if the space encompassing your altar is not detached from the succession course. If you absolutely feel you need to cast a circle, you may only do so after the ritual has run its course. During this ritual you will be invoking and celebrating Cernunnos, the Lord of the Animals and the Hunt. If you choose to work with and invoke a different deity for this ritual, make sure you choose wisely but it is totally up to you to do so!
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Beltane Ritual Solitary Setup
There are four Fire Festivals and Beltane is one of them. These are ancient customs passed down through the years. These festivals include passing within two different fires, one is for security and one is for absolution. You want to implement this ritual at night and outdoors while employing two good size fires. If you don’t have the required equipment for outdoor fires you may use something like tiki torches. If you don’t have any outdoor items you can use candles while indoors, make sure to grab the biggest candles you can find!
Start by igniting your two fires. They should be set up at opposing ends of wherever you typically perform your spell work. Also, set up candles on both sides of your succession path. *Set your candles in glass jars so they are not bare on the ground. Be sure to make your walkway from side to side as long as you can. If you don’t have enough candles it doesn’t matter, just spread them out.
At your altar set out any statues or idols of Cernunnos. As well as a green candle and any other wanted candles placed in the four quarters. This is also the time you will grab food and drink for your offerings, you will need both. Mead is the ideal offering for a drink but if you cant find that you may also use wine, water, juice, or beer. Now set your representations of the elements (i.e. water, salt, red candle, and incense) on your altar. Plants can also be used but they are not necessary. Also place a bell at the front of your succession path, not atop your altar.
Before you actually begin the ritual it should go without saying, that you put yourself into the right headspace. Do whatever you need to do to calm yourself, and prepare for the ritual at hand. The good thing about performing spell work alone is that you do not need to get into traditional ritual attire. You have the option to dress as you see fit, but it is a good idea to include jewelry related to the spell work if you have any. Because this is a protection/purification ritual so it is advised to do some ritual cleansing before you proceed further. You are now almost ready to begin! Go ahead and ignite your fire candle atop your altar as well as the incense and reading candles. Ignite the two opposing fires and pathway candles.
Beltane Ritual Solitary Opening
Begin by advancing down the succession path, stop for a second, and quietly reflect. Ground yourself however you prefer and proceed to ring the bell 3x’s. Repeat “I come to this place and this time to celebrate the holy day of Beltane.” Put the bell down and proceed slowly in the direction of your altar/fires. While you walk toward the fires tune in to the sounds of nature.
Transitioning Amid The Two Fires
As you arrive at the two fires, pause and remain in place amid them. Take in what you see, smell, and hear around you. Feel the immense heat from the rustling fires, let the smoke fill your nostrils. If you are employing the indoor methods imagine two large fires on either side of you.
Envision what you wish would leave your life. Let the smoke work loose all that is negative and vaporize away into the air. After a few moments gaze forward looking at what awaits you. Look at the burning candles and the awaiting offerings. Go past the fires and place yourself in front of your altar. Take a few seconds to acknowledge what you have released.
Proceed to the East while igniting the quarter candle. Speak “Spirits of the East, Spirits of Air, I call to you. Come into this circle, I ask, and share your wisdom. On this sacred night of Beltane, welcome Air!”
Now go in the clockwise directing to the south. Ignite a quarter candle and speak “Spirits of the South, Spirits of Fire, I call to you. Come into this circle, I ask, and share your inspiration. On this sacred night of Beltane, welcome Fire!”
Go clockwise in the direction West. Ignite your quarter candle and speak “Spirits of the West, Spirits of Water, I call to you. Come into this circle, I ask, and share your love. On this sacred night of Beltane, welcome Water!”
Go clockwise in the direction North. Ignite your quarter candle and speak “Spirits of the North, Spirits of Earth, I call to you. Come into this circle, I ask, and share your stability. On this sacred night of Beltane, welcome Earth!”
Now proceed clockwise in the East direction heading back to your altar.
Beltane Ritual Solitary Invocations
Repeat “Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, you who were here long before me, I invite you into this circle. Join this celebration of Beltane, I ask, and accept this offering of food and drink, given in hospitality and in love.”
Lift your offerings and smash whatever food you have into the ground, pour out your liquids as well. “Land spirits – hail and welcome!”
Repeat “Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, you whose child I am and on whose foundations I build, because of you I have life. Join this circle, I ask and add your blessings to this rite. Accept this offering of food and drink, given in hospitality and in love.”
Raise the bread and wine in offering, then crumble the bread and pour the wine onto the ground. “Blessed ancestors – hail and welcome!”
Ignite your green candle and repeat “Cernunnos, Lord of the Animals and Lord of the Hunt, I ask You to join this circle and bless me with Your presence. Great Hunter and Hunted, be welcome here. Teach me what I must learn, so I can join You in the Great Work of this time and place. Cernunnos, Horned God, hear me as I call to You. I thank You for the animals: those that bring signs and omens, those that inspire us with their beauty and power, and those that accompany us through life. Hunter and Hunted, let me run with You through the forest, wild and free. Please accept this offering of food and drink, given in hospitality and in love.”
Now lift your offerings repeat as you did earlier smashing food into the ground and pouring out the liquid and repeat “Cernunnos – hail and welcome!”
Reflecting on Winter
Proceed clockwise encompassing your altar, placing yourself once again in front of the fires. Gaze along the succession path and past it, while you let your focal point drift off with the stars. Envision the past seasons and the weather that came with them. Let those memories fade away. Beltane has arrived and summer weather has too! Repeat “I leave Winter behind and move forward into the work of Summer.”
Give yourself time to feel the changes encompassing you. When the time comes turn towards the altar. Receive a bite and a drink of the offerings you laid out. Give gratitude for the favors that have been endowed upon you.
Repeat “Cernunnos, Lord of the Animals and Lord of the Hunt, I thank You for your presence and Your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”
Repeat “Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”
Repeat “Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”
Repeat “Spirits of the North, West, South, and East, Spirits of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”
Exit your altar space a different way than you came in, making sure not to cross back through the fires. Head to the area you began the ritual. Grab the bell and give it three rings while repeating “This rite of Beltane is complete. Hail and farewell.”
After The Ritual
Engage yourself in some sort of grounding activities to reestablish back into your normal routine. Clean up your spell work area. If you want to scribe about your experience do it now. Remember exactly how you felt in the moments your experience happened. That is it! Congrats, You have performed a Beltane Ritual Solitary. Blessed Beltane!
A Simple Beltane Blessing
Bless, O threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, my children.
Bless everything within my dwelling and in my possession,
Bless the kine and crops, the flocks and corn,
From Samhain Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.
Be the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,
Taking possession of all to me belonging.
Be the Horned God, the Wild Spirit of the Forest,
Protecting me in truth and honor.
Satisfy my soul and shield my loved ones,
Blessing every thing and every one,
All my land and my surroundings.
Great gods who create and bring life to all,
I ask for your blessings on this day of fire.
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For more information on Beltane Ritual Solitary check out the books linked below:
Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon By Ashleen O’Gaea
Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore, & Celebration By Raven Grimassi