Blessings of Beltane

(Cernunnos Rising)

First sunlight dancing upon a stream,
A web with pearls of dew,
Blessings of colour from flower and thorn,
Above me only blue.

First birdsong from the meadow land,
An inspirational sound,
Carried along by the morning breeze,
Waking all around.

Bringer of summer Dancer of green
Keeper of cauldron Diviner of dream
Maiden of flowers Lifter of veils
Friend of my heart Teller of tales

Winter will teach the beauty of change,
I smile now that summer is here,
She’s back again, with a fragrant embrace,
Brought on the wheel of the year.

So light up the fires of Beltane,
The promise of May-time once more,
And witness the dance of the maiden,
Just as the year before.

Bringer of summer Dancer of green
Keeper of cauldron Diviner of dream
Maiden of flowers Lifter of veils
Friend of my heart Teller of tales

LISTEN

Candlemass

???
Winter winds grows colder standing breathing __ and ___

Over and over winter winds grow bolder
will be frozen____ to stone?

Nearer and nearer cold breeze grows clears
Singing through the crystal glaciers and the _____

Clearer and clearer summer breeze grows dearer
Longing for cold winter to fade

Still through the moonlight night dawns with a gaining light
Each day increasing light ______

Longer and longer, little flame grows stronger
Though the light trickles and ????

Stronger and stronger, little flame lasts longer
Every morning more than before
Every morning more than before

LISTEN

On their website, Bell Book and Canto has several albums.  Find the album for 13 Moons and the song “Candlemass” is on it.  https://bellbookandcanto.com/shoppe

Winter’s Cloak

Winter’s Cloak by Joyce Rupp

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.

Let the dawns
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter’s passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.

NOTE

Rupp is a writer as well as Co-Director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence.

Wassail Song

Originally at https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/wassail_song-1.htm

Alternate Titles: “Here We Come A Wassailing,” “Here We Come A-Caroling,” and “Here We Go A-Caroling.”

Words: English Traditional, 17th century

Music: Traditional English Wassail Song, 17th century

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, Second Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #37

1. Here we come a wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wandering
So fair to be seen.

Chorus
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you a happy New Year.
And God send you a happy New Year.

2. Our wassail cup is made
Of the rosemary tree,
And so is your beer
Of the best barley. Chorus

3. We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbours’ children
Whom you have seen before. Chorus

4. Good Master and good Mistress,
As you sit by the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Are wandering in the mire. Chorus

5. We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;1
We want some of your small change2
To line it well within. Chorus

6. Call up the Butler of this house,
Put on his golden ring;
Let him bring us a glass of beer,
And the better we shall sing. Chorus

7. Bring us out a table,
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a mouldy cheese,
And some of your Christmas loaf. Chorus

8. God bless the Master of this house,
Likewise the Mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go. Chorus

1. Bramley and Stainer add a footnote explaining that ratching is leather that will stretch. Shaw and Dearmer, in The English Carol Book, First Series, substitute the word stretching, as does Rickert

2. Joshua Sylvester has “We want a little of your money.” 

LISTEN

Halloween

Halloween ©George Nicholas

Bring the souls of days gone by
When glowing embers fade and die
In song and tales long of long ago
The bards and minstrels only know

Wise ol’ women, witches too
Share knowledge of the past with you
And dance around the Samhain fires
The elder’s wisdom, they desire

And they all know that youth decays
And beauty never ever stays
Dance the dance this Halloween
Darker days will soon be seen

Tell the tale of long-lost lands
Buried ‘neath the shifting sands
Where footprints of the hunters lay
In stone forever they will stay

And on this night the dead can dance
And be with us once more
Samhain fires burning bright
For those who’ve gone before

And on this night the dead can sing
Songs of yesteryear for on this night we celebrate
The old ones being here

(Repeat entire song twice)

LISTEN

Imbolc Eve (Brede’s Song)

© Vicki Scotti
Sung by Hecate’s Wheel.

Brede, Brede come to my house
come to my house with promise of spring
Brede, Brede come to my house
On this, this Imbolc Eve

This eve a feast prepared for you
As winters end is here
I’ll make your bed upon the hearth
Your healing fire is near

Brede, Brede come to my house
come to my house with promise of spring
Brede, Brede come to my house
On this, this Imbolc Eve

I’ll dress your well with flowers & leaves
Flowers & leaves, tie clooties to trees
I’ll dress your well with flowers & things
Your healing waters of spring

Brede, Brede come to my house
come to my house with promise of spring
Brede, Brede come to my house
On this, this Imbolc Eve

I’ll keep your flame, & hold it dear
Forever and a day
Your light returns at Candlemas
And so you’ll light the way

Brede, Brede come to my house
come to my house with promise of spring
Brede, Brede come to my house
On this, this Imbolc Eve

This, this Imbolc Eve
This, this Imbolc Eve

LISTEN

Solstice Carol

The old carol “A Soalin” changed to more of a pagan mindset.
Lyrics by Catt Kingsgrave, recorded by Ravens

Heigh Ho, Fire’s glow;
West and South and North do know
In the East he rises
Heigh Ho, Fire’s glow

The night is endless long now, the snow lay all around
The pregnant moon sails brightly above the bitter ground
And on the ground we circle, our fires blazing high
Tonight we meet to raise the Sun Child to the sky

A sol, a sol, a Solstice, please you Sirs, a Solstice
Deep the night and far the dawn
Join our circle, call Him on
One for summer’s dreaming thrall, 
One for winter, dance we all.

(Heigh Ho round X2)

Come soft now, Maiden Mother, our dance is for your son
And for the turning season and life anew begun
In summer well you loved him, and served him death in fall
Your lover is the Sun now, dance we dance we all

A sol, a sol, a Solstice, please you Sirs, a Solstice
Gone the night, the day is nigh
Join our circle, raise him high
One for summer’s dreaming thrall, 
One for winter, dance we all

(Heigh Ho round x3)

Go merry met, my gentle friends, let nothing you dismay
The bright Son of our Lady comes birthing with the day
To free us all from winter’s grasp and mind us all of may
Oh tidings of comfort and joy…

LISTEN

The Christians and the Pagans

by Dar Williams

Mortal City ℗ 1996

Dar Williams Records

Released on: 1996-01-23

LYRICS

Amber called her uncle, said “We’re up here for the holiday,
Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay.”
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree,
He watched his son hang candy canes all made with red dye number three.
He told his niece, “It’s Christmas Eve, I know our life is not your style,”
She said, “Christmas is like Solstice, and we miss you and its been awhile,”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch,
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said, “Is it true that you’re a witch?”
His mom jumped up and said, “The pies are burning,” and she hit the kitchen,
And it was Jane who spoke, she said, “It’s true, your cousin’s not a Christian,”
“But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And where does magic come from? I think magic’s in the learning,
‘Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning.

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, “Really, no, don’t bother.”
Amber’s uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father.
He thought about his brother, how they hadn’t spoken in a year,
He thought he’d call him up and say, “It’s Christmas and your daughter’s here.”
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve,
saying, “Can I be a Pagan?” Dad said, “We’ll discuss it when they leave.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old,
and Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.

LISTEN

Spirit Call (Closing the Circle)

Song: For Love Of All Who Gather (Reprise) – Spirit Call (Closing the Circle)
Artist: S.J. Tucker
Album: Blessings

By our very will, the rite is done
with Lord and Lady watching, hand in hand
By power of earth and rain, flame and wind,
for love of all who gather,
let the circle open.

LISTEN

Ring Out, Solstice Bells

(Jethro Tull – 1976)

Now is the solstice of the year,
winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Join together beneath the mistletoe.
by the holy oak whereon it grows.
Seven druids dance in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.

Praise be to the distant sister sun,
joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out those bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.

LISTEN