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The Fires Of Beltane


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*In the Depths of the Wood*

Within the tightened shroud of bone-white trees, an unnatural clearing blazed with the light of a great bonfire. Far from the dwellings of men, the flames licked the air, shooting bright tongues towards the heavens as they burned hotter and hotter. Around the fire, strange shadows danced, stilted and erratic, as a tune wove its way through their dark forms. As the light from the bonfire grew, people emerged from the shadows, clad in little but rags and furs...and masks cut from the skeleton trees; their humanity submerged as their inner primitive lurched forward. The Holy Fire was their all; the perfect representative of passion, purity, and energy; the worshippers writhed and sang to raise the spirits of the flame higher and hotter, higher and hotter.

Among them, wearing Stag horns from a freshly killed buck and a silver mask, stood the man who was known in the world of the Light as Eliot. Among these, he was the Hunter, the very image of the provider. He, the Consort of the Goddess, wore naught but a loincloth and strange tattoos, black ink sliding around his chest and back. Observing the festival, he smiled behind his mask, then silenced all as he began to speak:

"My Children, sons and daughters of the God and Goddess! I the Hunter, the Woodsman, the Father speak to you now. Know that you are my consecrated ones; those who have not forgotten the ancient truths; the Lord and Lady who Are the Land, the heart and soul. Soon enough, we will release our passions and let the wild magick of the night take us; let no shame dwell in your hearts, for all acts of love and pleasure our OUR rituals. But wait! Where is my Lady, tender and loving? Where is my Maid, ready for marriage? Where is my old wife, true since the beginning of time? Come, my sons, my daughters, call for her!"

With that, the Hunter let loose a wild cry, singing out in strange tongues, calling upon the Dark Goddess, his beloved. The crowd of dancers joined him, raising their heads like wolves and baying, screaming...the servants of the Lord and Lady called, with heart and mind and blood and bone. As they did, a presence built within their holy circle....something so strong few have seen it before; it was as though the Goddess herself stood among them.

"Goddess!" Cried the Hunter. "Let the daughter who serves as your earthly form come to me! The land is old and dying, and must be reborn! Let the fires burn, the children dance, and bring my beloved home again! By Earth, By Sky, I invoke the Goddess!"

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As the chanting died out at last, the women on the other side of the fire stopped for a moment as one of the rose up from the ground as her sisters on all sides of her sat on the wet grass of the first days of May. Reaching down on the side of one of the larger trees, she picked up a large basket filled with fruit, vegetables, and grains, distributing one of each to one of the women who sat around her and then to the men on the other side of the fire. She walked with a reverent stroll and after circling the entire site, dropped the rest of the items into the fire pit itself as the flame took hold of the foods, growing brighter in the night sky. In honesty, the woman believed in little what was going on around her, even though everyone else around the fire did. This were the traditions that she knew the religious in North Germany would approve of and the pockets of Neo-Paganism throughout the rest of the world would approve of, she preformed them, they they followed her. At the end of the day, that was what was important, and while she did not believe herself as any higher power. She was a representation of her dream, the people believed in a Goddess and a God, she believed in a dream that had to be realized, substituting the dream for what these people gathered around her believed in. It was the basis of all thought.

"You talk about the fires of rebirth and the fires are most definitely upon us. These fires that you worship, they are the microcosm of the entire world. It is not just this land that is old and withered, all lands have born the brunt of destruction and sterilization. But imagine a world where all of that has faded, where the land is lain brown, devoid of life. There will come a storm, a storm of fire and then after that soft rains will fall upon the ground. You dance because of that fire, you dance for that fire, and you hope that as you dance in the flames, that its burning passion and decaying properties will allow the soft rains to come forth. So dance, because while this land may be rebirthed now, it will not be rebirthed forever. Instead imagine a world where there is no more rebirth and there is no more death. There is just life, dance in hope of that, not of a cycle collapse and survival, but a line of prosperity and existence. That is what you, you people need to believe and need to dance for. Nothing else is fathomable.

Live for that, dance for that, dance, dance for eternal life."

She sat back down as the women began again, her point made and her dream extended for all of them. She had greater hands at work.

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