May 3, 2009

Am Beannachadh Bealltain

I may have been the one to receive the greatest Beltane Blessing this year (as with all the years I have hosted the celebration in the ancient traditions of my forebears). That blessing was, and is, the good friends by whom I am surrounded.

What follows now is a brief transcript of the gathering and lighting ceremony (alas no pictures this year of this), and then a few still shots. Many of the photographs were put together in a slideshow format with a Creative Commons music selection (the music does little justice at all to the wonderful Carmina Burana and other fertility and celtic inspired music of last night. Diamanda created a fantastic playlist based on our discussions of my desires with this celebration. However, the music in the short video gives you the sense of the driving force that quickly overtook most of us last night as we danced, and spun, and lost articles of clothing in the heat of the moment as well as the balefire.


When we gathered in Loch Avie on Beltane 2007 in the warming breezes of spring, we witnessed the Knighting of three talented and chivalrous gentlemen: Sir Adso, Sir Telemachus, and Sir ZenMondo.

I remind us all that the strength and stability of the our communities lie in these virtues of its people: creativity, service and knowledge - for if any of these are lacking, the community fails. The fighters of the Kingdom or clan defend it with their swords, and with their honor bring it glory on the field; the scientists and artists provide avenue for advancement, and with their honor bring knowledge and beauty to the citizens and the State.

I am honored to have been able to swear my own fealty to these knights as they swore theirs to me, to Loch Avie and to Caledon. Now that I have moved to my home in the Isle of Skye, the fealty remains. Each of these knights has confirmed their ongoing fealty to me and my new lands - as well they remain at the ready for Caledon should she require them.

In the 8th century, Emperor Charlemagne cited the following duties of knights:

To fear [his] God
To serve the liege in valour and faith
To protect the weak and defenceless
To give succour to widows and orphans
To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
To live by honour and for glory
To despise pecuniary reward
To fight for the welfare of all
To obey those placed in authority
To guard the honour of fellow knights
To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
To keep faith
At all times to speak the truth
To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
To respect the honour of women
Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
Never to turn the back upon a foe

Whether in the field of science, codepoetry, or battle, the Knights of the Red Rose have indeed followed these duties. Once again, I remind them and the assembled company - that I swear fealty to them, that I will do all in my power to protect and defend them and their households until death take me or the metaverse ends.

* Recognition of Clan Bellambi
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the other members of my Clan as well. I am sworn to protect and defend them - not because of ceremonial guidance, but out of mutual honor, respect, and love.
Unlike the Clans of my ancestral home in the Highlands of Scotland where the collective heritage of the clan, the dùthchas, gave the right to settle the land to which the chiefs and leading gentry provided protection and authority as trustees for the people, I fully understand that in Winterfell and SL, I serve only at the pleasure of my Clan and my friends. I hope to be an honorable woman, leader, and an amicable friend to all in these lands.

My clan - Boyarina Kate Nicholas - My first friend in SL. Officer of my Clan. My enduring thanks for all you do (though she is not here).
My Fearless and Loyal Protectors: Hotspur O'Toole and Exrex Somme My Knights: Sir Telemachus, Sir Adso, and Sir ZenMondo My cousins: Gabriel Riel, Edward Pearse, and Christine McAllister My wonderful friends - musicians and artists, and archetects: TotalLunar Eclipse, Otenth Paderborn, Soliel Snook, Zealot Benmergui, Diamanda Gustafson, Kiralette Kelley, and Frequency Picnic. And of course all of the rest of you, you bless my house by being here tonight.

.......I greet the time of unions and give honor to
the Lord and the Lady for Their fruitfulness!
Tonight I witness the marriage of the Goddess and God.
May Their union be fertile and productive!

With the ancient words of my forebears I light the Need fires that their warmth and light might spread to all our hearths.


The dark days are cleared away
so that the May Day can now begin!

May, clad in cloth of gold, Cometh this way; The fluting of the blackbirds Heralds the day. The dust coloured cuckoo Cries welcome O Queen! For winter has vanished, The thickets are green. Soon the trampling of cattle where river runs low! The long hair of the heather, The canna like snow. Wild waters are sleeping, Foam of blossom is here; Peace, save the panic In the heart of the deer. The wild bee is busy, The ant honey spills, The wandering kine Are abroad on the hills. The harp of the forest Sounds low, sounds sweet; Soft bloom on the heights; On the loch, haze of heat. The waterfall dreams; Snipe, corncrakes, drum By the pool where the talk Of the rushes is come. The swallow is swooping; Song swings from each brae; Rich harvest of mast falls; The swamp shimmers gay. Happy the heart of man, Eager each maid; Lovely the forest, The wild plane, the green glade. Truly winter is gone, Come the time of delight, The summer truce joyous, May, blossom-white. In the heart of the meadows The lapwings are quiet; A winding stream Makes drowsy riot. Race horses, sail, run, Rejoice and be bold! See, the shaft of the sun Makes the water-flag gold. Loud, clear, the blackcap; The lark trills his voice Hail May of delicate colors Tis May-Day, REJOICE!

Pictures provided courtesy of Eva Bellambi, Adso Krogstad, and Icarus Ghost. Several others contributed pictures for use in world. Many thanks!

My blessings on you and your households. For those who could not attend, but would enjoy taking some of the light from the fires to your own hearths, please drop by the Isle and take a lantern from the vendor, approach the fire and it will light, then you may take the light and my love and blessings with you.



Anonymous said...

Lady Bellambi,

Blessed you truly are. A most impressive and heartening ceremony. I thoroughly enjoyed cavorting about the Maypole. My only regret is that I was unable to remain longer. The avatar was willing but the typist was weak. I'm afraid the full day's activities caught up with me.