Altar/Altar Cloth/Altar Candles: The altar should be in the center of the circle area, facing the Eastern quarter. The altar cloth should always be yellow for the High Earth Rite of Balemas. (This is only if you are using a regular rectangular altar.) The two main altar candles should be yellow.
Other Candles: The four quarter candles should be blue in the West, red in the South, yellow (or gold) in the East, and green in the North. All other secondary candles used for extra lighting in the ritual area should be of various shades of forest green or suited to personal taste.
Special Items: A small wreath of flowers will be needed to serve as a crown for the May Queen. These can be easily made. Another optional item is the May pole and its ribbon streamers. A large candle will be needed for the cauldron as a symbol for the balefire unless the rite is held outdoors, in which case kindling in preparation for a small balefire will be needed in the area of the Southern quarter.
Circle Area/Casting the Circle/Assemblance of the Quarters
Prepare the circle with decorations of cut flowers or greenery, as appropriate. (The author recommends hawthorne blossoms.) The circle should be cast according to you or your coven's preference and the Quarters will be called in accordance with the coven's or your personal needs (the author reminds us that East has preeminence for Balemas).
Invocation of the Goddess
Hallowed Lady of the Hawthorn,
Invocation of the Satyr Lord
Horned God of power and play,
Kindling of the Balefire
The preistess and the priest will go to the kindling prepared for the fire (if the rite is held outdoors) located near the Southern quarter of the circle. Otherwise, a candle within the cauldron is substituted. The priest will light the balefire as the following incantation is recited by the priestess:
Strike the fire and let it rise,
Crowning of the May Queen OR Floral Offering to The Goddess
At this point, the priest (or acting Satyr Lord) shall go to the altar and take up the garland-crown of flowers. He will then stand facing the priestess (or acting Maiden), lifting the crown above her head as he speaks the words of her coronation as the May Queen.
The Satyr Lord:
I give priase to Thee,
All Hail, Lady Fair,
A solitary alternative is the Floral Offering to the Goddess. The garland of flowers will be initially placed in the Eastern quarter of the circle. At this time, the solitary celebrant will pick the the flower-crown, and standing or kneeling before the altar, will begin this prayer:
We give praise to Thee,
The crown of flowers is then laid upon the altar as an offering to the Goddess.
The Great Rite
If this is a custom practiced within your coven, please follow your traditions.
Maiden Lady, Queen of May,
Sovereign Satyr Lord, Pan of the Pagan Ways,
Dismissal of the Quarter-Regents/Releasing the Circle
At this time the quarters can be dismissed and the circle released, per your tradition. It's time for the the Beltane festivities to begin! The priestess may close with this benediction.
This rite of Balemas is ended!
This ritual has been adapted from information obtained from The Crafted Cup by Shadwynn.