Tag Archives: Maypole

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017


Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2017..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)

You will not want to miss this..  !  (just look at a few photos (below) of what we did. That’s when our ritual `team’ organically came together.  So this year it’s bound to be more festive, more frolics.. and more magic!!

Mayday falls on a Monday and no doubt mny will have coven & other events to attend that whole weekend (Fire festival in Edinburgh,  Hastings Green Man festival etc).  So we have staggered our own woodland festivities to the following weekend..  It extends the Beltane festivities..and gives all something to look forward to (without clashes) and have a final big event.. !!   🙂

• ***** Fee: £3 per person **

About Beltane: 

`The veil between the world of men and fairy (or spirit) is said to thin twice a year, at Beltane and at Samhain, which are on opposite points of the year wheel. At Beltane  (May eve) the land is at it’s most lush and green, and fertile. If Spring Equinox is the time of fertility and mating in the animal kingdom, then Beltane is one of courting couples making commitment to one another- and Handfastings! In the God-Goddess myths, this is when the playful God is said to commit to the Goddess – which is symbolised by the Sacred Marriage! The Maypole dance that is traditional at this time symbolises the fertile powers of the masculine, penetrating the land, and the ribbons danced and woven around it lock that power! A ring of flower at the tip of the Maypole signifies the feminine. Magical working with the Fay (Fairies) is an important feature at this time, in contrast to the magical work with the departed spirits at Samhain, the opposite point’ (taken from www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )


Out ritual *Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get  involved in the actual ritual   – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.

****Fee:  £3 per person***

RITUAL items to bring:

– Ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks / ground sheets / blankets
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks / flower crowns (No athame!! ..  No swords!)
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter  (all candles in lanterns only please, unless it’s large pillar-candles.  Strictly No tea-lights on ground or trees!!)
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
– Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

Handfasting / confirming Pagan marriage vows:

In the past, couples have asked organiser about this.   Handfasting is a big event in itself, and we do not wish it to be reduced by being included in a public ceremony as a `side-event’.  It also detracts from the focus of everyone else.   However, after Blessings of Cakes & Wine (and while still within our magical circle/  sacred space), we may consider couples who are already bonded, to declare their vows / re-affirm their vows by our altar.

**(please message Mani- Wiccan High Priest-  in private in advance to arrange this – or simply to arrange your own separate day for handfasting!)**

Adult themes : 

As this is a fertility festival, there is bound to be  jokes, flirtatious behaviour, adult humour throughout the event..

No Children:

We ask no children / babies in prams etc to be brought.

Behaviour / alcohol/ drugs policy

This is in a public woodland/ park.    We wish to make sure  the good reputation/ credibility of our group/ members/ organisers are maintained.   So please BE on good behaviour.    No drugs/  substances allowed.  Anyone found disrupting will be asked to leave..  and in extreme cases, organisers may call the Police for the safety & well-being of everyone else present.  Don’t ruin it for all.. Be good!  🙂

Photos/ privacy:

Please do not take photos during set-up, run-through or ritual..   Other times, it’s fine.  It’s in a public place so we can not stop the public walking through or taking pics.   If worries about your privacy / identity,  please wear a ritual mask to safeguard your identity in photos that others may take of the group.

Meeting place (Woodman’s Pub):

Gather in the Woodman’s Pub from 1.00pm..  Get to `High Gate’ Tube station..  come up to manin road. Turn right.  Pub is just 30 seconds away.

Map (High Gate tube/ pub & Queen’s Wood)

After Ceremony & some socials in the woods, we will head back to the pub (woodmans) for warmth and more drinks/ socials.  It all depends on how long we all hang out in the woods with lanterns / candles..

-Mani Navasothy

Wiccan High Priest & Founder of  London Woodland Witches and Outdoor Pagans.

Our meetup event for this:

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2:00 PM

Queen’s Woods
Near Highgate Station London, GB

59 Woodland Witches & Pagans Went

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2017..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)You will not want to miss this..  !  (just look at a few photos (below) of what we did. That’s when our ritual `team’ organically came together.  So this year it’s bound to be more festive, m…

Check out this Meetup →



Outdoor BELTANE: Maypole dancing & Ceremony in Woods (Sat 2nd May’15)

Join us for the the afternoon/ evening to celebrate Beltane – the festival of fertility and sacred marriage between the Horned God and the Green Goddess! We’ll have much merriment, making flower crowns, face/ body painting, May pole dancing, drumming, singing, feasting and festivities. The evening will conclude with a small ceremonial fire for all to jump over.

Woodland Beltane 2015

Date:Saturday 2nd May 2015

Venue: Croydon: Woods behind Coombe Lane Tram stop.
Time: 2pm gathering – for set up, decorating altar, erecting Maypole and pre-rite socials.. Drumming/ face/body painting will generally commence; Ceremony will be around 4pm, followed by feasting; Fire jumping will be later in the evening. –

Meeting point: Please wait at the `Coombe Lane’ Tram stop to be collected. There will be a 10-15 min walk through woods (medium slopes!) to ritual spot. If weather wet, wear good grip boots.


Hern’s Tribe woodland rituals are `gatherings’ and generally organic. It’s best to arrive and flow with events..or even go exploring the woods. It is best to allow 4-5 hours for these events, so that you can have the best magical & communal experience.

WHAT HAPPENS – General details for HT events (some changes occur for specific events/ venues).

We’ll have the usual combination of social, setting up altar/ sacred space, seasonal ritual, chants & Drumming, magical work (including eco-magic and sometimes healing work). -Experienced HT members set up altar/ quarters, some prep for ritual fire, any cover sheets (if raining).
-You can ask to help.. 🙂

RITUAL (this will be adapted for individual events):

Basic format——-
-Generally, we begin with clearing the space (sweeping, tidying up)
-Hern Call (chanting `Hern’ nine times)
-Shamanic consecrations (Incense, rattle, drums, salt-water, essential oil)
-Creating magical circle (words/ wand/ staff)
-Calling of Elements & animal quarters / spirits.
-Invoking Horned God / Goddess energies
-Variation of seasonal myth (sometimes)
-Magical work ( group work, personal, eco, healing etc)
-Blessing of Food & Drinks
-Feasting & Socials.
– Drumming & Chants & Dancing
-Any trance work (this is unpredictable.)

RITUAL items to bring:
– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

** Please make sure you take these back immediately after ritual is over, so they don’t get misplaced in the dark
** Items placed on altar may get handled or photographed by others. Plans for 2015—
In the past we have ritually explored various myths & legends. In 2015, we’ll continue this – by working with various Horned Gods & Goddesses, woodland spirits etc.

-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
-Non-pagans, friends/ families & children of pagans are welcome.

Here are some suggestions–

-Home made/ baked items are exceptionally welcome (Bread, cakes, buns, salads, soup, pre-cooked potatoes).
-Wine & Mead are popular for the pre-ritual social and for feasting & socials afterwards!
– shop-bought items (sausage rolls, short-eats).
-Cheese / ham/ butter/ crisps/ dips
-Chicken (cooked pieces)
– Water / soft drinks/ tea & coffee in flasks
-vegetarian food/ vegan food
(Basically any items that add towards a sensible feast/ meal).
BE MINDFUL / Interruptions / Phone calls:
-At all times, we ask you to be mindful of any serious ceremony / meditation/ trance/ healing/ magical works going on, and not interrupt or be intrusive.
-Please don’t use mobile phones etc during ritual. (may not work in woods anyway!)

PHOTOS/ Recordings:
-These are semi-private events (even though they are in public woods/Park).
-Not everyone may like being photographed by a stranger!!
-No recording during ritual please.
-Feel free to take pics of altar, of your self in ritual setting, and of your friends there.. (If you are going to put them in blogs/ facebook etc..ask others in them..before tagging anyone you are not too familiar with.. It’s basic privacy etiquette!)

Please see our website http://www.Hern-Tribe.org for guidelines on what to bring, how to be prepared for outdoor rituals in woodlands, and some health & safety instructions.

BAGS in the DARK:
-Please keep space tidy.. and your own belongings/ bags at a suitable place. It gets dark.. So ensure you can find them easily afterwards. But also ensure they are not in the way that others may trample over it in the dark!
-If you put anything on the altar, please remember to take it back..(and not anyone else’s item by mistake).
-Please don’t leave things behind.. we don;t always find them..when tidying up in dark..

HELP with tidying up/ taking rubbish back to Tram stop/ bins is greatly appreciated.

-Please wear sensible outdoor cloths…waterproof is better..and good shoes (always) to walk in slippery or muddy surface. If you have a walking stick/ Magical Staff, do bring it, as it helps with walking in the woods – and you can use it in the ritual..!!
-Feel free to bring picnic blankets/ sheets to sit on (ground may be wet)
-Bring small light camping-style stool or chair to sit on (be mindful of carrying bulky objects while walking up slopes/ wet ground).

-Mani Navasothy
(Founder/ Hern’s Tribe)

Maypoles & Motorbike crashes: The Death in Life aspect of the Wheel

Motorbike - devils chariot
Motorbike – devils chariot

Sunday 28th April – my partner and I were in a bus in Enfield, carrying a Maypole with ribbons (from it’ previous outing a week prior to it), and we were on our way to an outdoor Maypole Dance social in Trent Park..   We were on the upper deck of a double-decker London red bus..  literally 5 minutes away from Oakwood tube station.

At some point, I heard a strange sound crunching sound.. It was similar but deeper to what you would hear if you took a drink-can and crushed in with your hands..  or maybe it was similar to the sound of driving a wheelbarrow over a half-dozen small branches in the garden… as they rub and crack in a sequential sound..!

I remember swearing to myself thinking the bus had gone over some branches on the road..

The bus continued for a further 50 years..  and we were beginning to forget it…when it stopped. And then suddenly realisation hit me.. and I looked back through the back window..  Traffic was building up some 50 yards behind..  We got out quick..  and I had a better look ..

Back in the distance was a motorbike.. fallen on the road, and a few yards further back was a fully leather-clad face-down helmet-wearing human body.. motionless. People were gathering.

Both my partner and I got that kick in the gut sick feeling..  We didn’t want to stay…so we walked fast forward…about 20 minutes to the next station.. and eventually got to Trent park.

The weather was not brilliant.. (it had been so sunny the day before.. and the day afterwards…but on that day it was wet and cold..

Some friends had already arrived and put up a wind-breaker..  Another friend had brought a 3-piece tall Maypole..

We sat, socialized, made flower crowns, had  few nibbles..  We even practiced playing the Didgeridoo..

There was severe turn of weather..  It actually `rained’ hailstones..  first small ones..  then really large ones!

We retired to the cafe, warmed up with more coffee, and then I bid farewells, and got home with my partner April..

But no Maypole dancing took place.!

What has been going through our minds..  is that the Motorcyclist must have driven between the Bus and a car on the other side…but due to the angle got trapped between the two..and the two large vehicles of steel slowly rubbed, scraped and crushed the motorbike and its passenger.

A micro-moment of risk taking and miscalculating by him had most likely caused him his life..!

Over 2 decades ago, I lost my father to a street accident.. on an ordinary working day on a high street near Elephant & Castle, London, on a normal afternoon..  Drivers of a A bus, a car and a motorcycle were all giving conflicting accounts of how my father had run and fallen to the road. The Coroner’s inquest filed an open `accidental death’ .. So none more that I (and my family) are aware of the devastating effects of a human-road-kill..

It has taken me weeks and I am still not the same.. nor will I ever be.. after hearing that …bone-crunching sounds.. !

At this time of Maypoles and Beltane festivities and pagan frolics, celebrating life and love and sex..  nature reminds us of its opposite point on the Wheel of the Year..  Samhain..  the honouring  of the departed dead, and remembering the lost loved ones..!

But the Wheel will turn..  and Samhain will come..  once more..and then..  as we immerse ourselves i n thoughts of the dead, nature will remind us of the Life that is all around us.. !

-Mani Navasothy