Four candles or torches are placed before the altar to be lit later. A vertical pole about 3 feet in height is usualy erected on the far side of the altar: it should be decked with fruits, flowers, and bright ribbons. A half full cup of wine should be placed before the image of the Goddess.
Before dressing for the ceremony, take a ritual cleansing bath. When ready to go on with the rite, meditate for a while before going into the ritual area, thinking strongly on the old pagan ways and trying to imagine the rituals wich took place on this night in ages passed.
– Go alone to the ritual place. Kneeling before the altar, light the candles or torches on the altar, and the incense. Set alight the four candles before the altar and place them 3 or 5 feet from the altar at the North, then going deosil, saying:
“Here at this spot Do I create a place Sacred to the Gods of old. For a while, here and now Shall the ancient ways Live again”
– Take the wand and hold it out and salute toward the East, saying:
“Oh winds of the East Blow sweet and pure For the Lady reigns again!”
– Hold the wand out and salute toward the South, saying:
“Oh warmth of the South Bring forth life from the earth For the Lady reigns again!”
– Hold the wand out and salute toward the West, saying:
“Oh waters of the West Glisten clear and fresh For the Lady reigns again!”
– Hold the wand out and salute toward the North, saying:
“Oh lands of the North Grow rich and bounteous For the Lady reigns again!”
– Replace the wand and, holding the arms out over the altar, saying:
“Gracious and lovely Lady of the moon, Of joy and love, Protecteress of forests and wild things, This place is consecrated to Thee.”
-Take up the wine cup, holding it out at arm’s lenght, and pour out a few drops, saying:
” To the Great Ones of old And to the joyous times to come!”
-Drink some of the wine (or if you cannot drink alcohol, use an appropriate substitute).
– After a brief pause, rap three times on the altar with the wand saying:
“As woods and meadows flower forth I celebrate the ancient rite As the Ancients did before me. I cast the words into the mists Of time and space and otherwhere: Where one stays now, in years to come, May scores of others revel there. So may it be!”
– Rap once upon the altar. (More incense should be added now. Ad-lib additions are appropriate at this time…meditations, poetry …and the like.) (If a source of proper music is available, a solitary Dance of the Winds may be improvised.)
– Draw the Fertility talisman on the parchment, suffumigate it thrice, then, recite the supplication written on the back, …bow humbly and say:
“Friends of the nether worlds Now, come and assist us in our humble workings. Follow us to another sacred place of ours, And join your forces with ours, On this Fertilization Day.”
– Bury the talisman into the ground under an oak tree (if available), saying an ad-lib statement on the meaning of the talisman and its correspondances.Go back to the circle.
– When all is done, close by rapping four time with the wand, saying:
“Friends of the nether worlds Who have been about me for a while You may, with thanks, Return from whence you came.”
– Hold out arms and say:
“Blessed Lady of joy and laughter I thank Thee for Thy presence. May some of your love and power Remain with me. Blessed Be!”
– Put out the lights about the altar. As the two on the altar itself are darkened, say:
“This rite is ended…”
Note: Alter this ritual as needed to fit your circumstance. Note that many Beltane celebrations extend roughly one week past the May 1’st date, so any time in early May is appropriate to celebrate, in case you miss celebrating it on the May 1’st date.