May 4, 2010

Fantastic Beltane

I think it may be passe to say that each year our Beltane celebrations are better and better. But I honestly think it's true. What a wonderful ceremony and ceilidh we shared together this recently passed First of May!

One of the things that I believe made this night so particularly special was the fantastic crowd of people who joined us on Isle of Skye: Many Winterfallen, Caledonians, Steelheadians, and residents of Seraph City. The conversations covered the divine and the ridiculous, and everything in between.

My thanks and blessings on all of you!!

(Since I was May Queen (hostess) of the party and DJ, and the lag of SL was killing me, I actually was able to take very few usable pictures. I must send my thanks to Kate Nicholas, Icarus Ghost, and Klaus Wulfenbach for sharing several of their pictures with me.)

****Notes for the ceremony of Beltane (read over the air)****

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

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 into the Order of the Red Rose

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.

And 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 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.

Boyarina Kate Nicholas - My first friend in SL. Officer of my Court and Clan. My enduring gratitude for all you do for me and the clan in general, Mistress Builder, Scientist, Friend.

My Protectors: Hotspur O'Toole and Exrex Somme. Thanks to both of you for the many "chinks" in swords, dents placed in armor, and the bloodied bodies on my behalf.

My wonderful friends - musicians and artists, and architects:
TotalLunar Eclipse, Zealot Benmergui, Frequency Picnic, Iason Hassanov, Christine McAllister, Kiralette Kelley, and Icarus Ghost. SL would be less fullfilling without you here.

***** Lighting the fire****

The fertile Goddess of Summer walks through the land
With the Great Horned God of the Forest,
And the dark time of Winter is behind me.

The animals breed and the plants pollinate,
As the May Queen and Green Man
bestow Their blessings upon the Earth
and Earth's creatures. Their happy union is become the example
for living in love and harmony.

The need fire is readied.
Birch to recall the Queen of May
Oak in remembrance of the Green Man
Rowan for a magic-filled life
Willow recalls death
Hawthorn burns for the fairies near me.
Hazel for wisdom
Applewood in hopes of love.
Vine as the symbol of joy.
Fir - symbolizing rebirth - whose sweet scent reminds us of our immortality.

May the union of the May Queen and the Green Man 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!