A Maypole for All – Revitalizing an Inclusive Maypole

An inclusive Maypole
Eric Eldritch

A Maypole for All – Revitalizing an Inclusive Maypole

A Maypole for All

(c) Eric Eldritch

“A Maypole for All Participants … Everyone! Designed for those under 7 yo, those over 70 yo and everyone in between!”


TECH – Prep 

  1. Hoist up and affix the “Over Wreath”
  2. Prep and tie Wrist Ribbons on couples (blue + red)
  3. Pole Check
  4. Ribbon Untanglement/Alignment


A Maypole Gathering Song

Spring Has All Unleashed Her Powers

Tune:   Good King Wence leslas

Spring has now unwrapped the flowers, day is fast reviving, Life in all her growing powers towards the light is striving: Gone the iron touch of cold, winter time and frost time, Seedlings, working through the mold, now make up for lost time.

Herb and plant that, winter long, slumbered at their leisure, Now be stirring, green and strong, find in growth their pleasure; All the world with beauty fills, gold the green enhancing, Flowers make glee among the hills, set the meadows dancing.

Through each wonder of fair days Spring herself expresses; Beauty follows all Her ways, as the world She blesses:So, as She renews the earth, Artist without rival,In this grace of glad new birth we will seek revival.

Earth puts on her dress of glee; flowers a’bloom adorn her;We go forth merrily, following beside her; For, as all this glory sees gives our joy a reason,skies and meadows all a’flower in th’awakening season.


Cast of Characters: 

Ritual Guide with Assistant Guide

Callers (with tamborines)

Spotters – Dancers in the know with the clue by four

Drummer – (Cues audience clapping and dancers dancing)

DJ or Musicians – Plays while gathering and while dancing

May Couples  – Four preselected “Couple Types” (see below)

Everyone milling about


Set the day before …

Choir: “Spring Has Unleashed all Her Power”

Kids: Bubbles all about!

Wrist Ribbons: (TBD)  “If you plan to dance, please choose from two ribbon colors”

Tarts: Blessing and fluffing individuals with a bunch of flowers. “Blessed Beltane!”

Pan + Gaia:  Mingle give glitter “Welcome! Enjoy the Ecstasy and blessing Beltane”

Servers for Cakes and Ale (volunteers all set, ready for toasting)


Biology Game: Bean Bag Toss a game at the place of the Maypole

  1. Target Pole:  Eight foot pole; topped with an upright hula-hoop; with a toy ball suspended by a string centered middle of the hoop
  2. Bean Bags:  a dozen white baby socks; filled with unpopped popcorn; each tied with a long white ribbon tail

Action: kids and teens stand in a circle around the Target Pole and toss the Bean Bags back and forth … the magic is in the growing awareness and revelation of the symbolic action of biology.

Note:   This activity has given a solid nod to the “Biology of Beltane” while the “Sociology of Beltane” recognizes love of all couples beyond the traditional May King and Queen.


CANOPY OF RIBBONS/CEREMONY:  3.5 min Drummers hold a happy beat … then a heart beat

Ritual Guide: This tribe stands together ready to weave the Maypole. Our intention this year is to consecrate and celebrate this symbol of creativity and inclusively “a place for everyone” in a delightfully diverse tribe in a delightfully diverse world. The pole symbolizes connecting the heavens and earth.

Asst. Ritual Guide:  Think of this dance as the symbol of creation itself. A giant replica of the double helix, each of you holding tightly to your own unique strand of genetic code. (gesturing toward the canopy) These magnificent strands of DNA and RNA will weave around and around the Maypole,harnessing the forces of creation in joy and celebration as the beautiful wreath makes its descent.

Grounding:   Let us bless this work of weaving the combined energies of our tribe. Let us commit ourselves to clarity of focus and joyof purpose. Everyone, notice the tension of the ribbons in your hands and understand that this force united is what keeps the wreath aloft.

Asst. Ritual Guide: Breathe deep, and as you breath pull up the creative forces of Gaia through your feet and send itout though your body.  Out and all the way up through the ribbons to the wreath. Continue breathing and feel the dynamic vibration of life under this massive and beautiful canopy.

Cleansing:  (Teens and Kids): [blowing bubbles] We bless this space with the magic of beauty and wonder .Children running and laughing, in innocence giving us life and energy and laughter.  Blessed Be!

Quarter Call:  (Teens and Kids): [children blowing bubbles] Hail East! We honor and embrace you. We bless this space with the magic of beauty and wonder. Hail and Welcome East!  … South! … West!  … North!

Blessing of Wisdom: Elders (Eldest Folk at Gathering):[bearing incense] We have seen creation bring children and grandchildren into our tribe. We bless this tribe with vision, work,worth, and wisdom to the seventh generation. Blessed Be!

Blessing of Creativity: (Middle Age Folk) [bearingseeds] We have witnessed the fecundnature of our ideas as they are conceived, birthed and nurtured here andthroughout land. We have seen lives change and grow as year after year ourcircle grows larger. We bless the conception! Blessed Be!


Blessing of Progeny: (Ritual Guide) Blessing of Love in our midst – an Eight Fold Blessing

Ritual Guide:  At Beltane we are familiar with picking and celebrating a May King and May Queen.  Here, in a Maypole for All, we reflect love as we know it today. I introduce to you the Loves of Family In Our World Today. Love looks different today, but has always been throughout the ages. Love divinely expressed and by Community Blessed.  We ask you to meet these who have found love and founded a family in our community.

Each Couple Speaks:  Hello I am  ____ . Hello I am ____.  We found love with each other (short story of meeting). We love each other and we covet your support and blessing as the Divine nurtures and blesses us.

Four Couples Types

  1.  Male/Female Couple
  2.  Male/Male Couple
  3.  Female/Female Couple
  4.  Gender Blender Poly Couple (or triple)

Asst. Ritual Guide:  As a community we love Love. We celebrate Love. Together we bless Love in our Midst.  Please place your left hand on your heart, and extend your right hand to the center, to all the couples. Draw upon love from Above and Below. From the stars to your Heart. From the Earth to your heart. Draw that love from above and below out … with a breathe, extend that love out through your hand to these who have found love.

Blessed be your feet // for they connect you with the creative center of earth. (All repeat)

Blessed be you knees  // that kneel at holy altars offering prayers of supplication. (All repeat)

Blessed be your loins  // which produce life and pleasure. (All repeat)

Blessed be your heart // that it beat ever true. (All repeat)

Blessed be your lips // that utter holy names and words. (All repeat)

Blessed be your head // for your thoughts precede your actions. (All repeat)

Blessed be your hands // and the many works they do; (All repeat)

Blessed be you for all you are // all you have been, and all you shall ever be. (All repeat)

Ritual Guide with Assistant: (signaling to the couples to join the circle again, and saying together): Blessed be this tribe, one and all, from generation to generation, now and forever. Blessed Be!



Couples, face your partner! Take one step to your right. Dance! (Music begins, we clap a walking beat. Encourage audience to clap to the beat….continue till ready to stop, signal with jingle bells….after directing Left, Right, Middle, etc.  Restart/cue music with Face Partner Step to right, and clapping beat.)

Drum cues the clapping. Use clap to signal start. Jingles to stop. Encourage audience to clap with beat.

Dance note: When couples face each other, before dance proceeds, take one step to the right to be able to move forward.

Marker ribbons: place on opposing wrists of each couple sothat the hand holding the maypole ribbon is the marked one (and therefore remains visible) Suggestion: Red on the Right

Dance Note: Teach dancers the principle: Outside goes over, inside goes under.


DANCE THE MAYPOLE 15 – 20 mins

Music Contra Dance Style recording CD or iPod

Starts off slow andmoves faster throughout as the ribbons shorten

During the dance we orchestrate people moving in and out as well



MAYPOLE COUPLES (prep for handfasting)

Invite everyone who wants to conceive or adopt children this year to come in to the final winding of ribbons.  Pass out packets of dry rice to everyone for pelting. Pass around pomegranate seeds.

Joint Toast (speak out a line and everyone repeats):   We are here … to bless the children …  to be …in this year … Blessed Be … Those to BE … Blessed Be … Those to BE … Blessed Be… Those to BE!



Lead the celebrants inan Om that turns into vampy, jazzy non-verbal chanting.

Bring to center traysof Cakes and Ale (funnel cakes or flower cookies and Sima and Lemonade)

Asst. Ritual Guide: Let’s look at what we have done as community together!

Ritual Guide: Lets Bless the Cakes and Ale to share with each other in gratitude.

Asst. Ritual Guide:  But first we offer our first taste to Grand Gaia the Mother of Us All. (libation of cakes and ale to the ground).

Ritual Guide:  The lesson of our dance is that we seem separate but our energy unites at the Maypole.

Asst. Ritual Guide: In this year’s weave eight colored ribbons have created unique patterns of plaids and solids.

Toasting: All HailBeltaine! All Hail Ecstasy! All Hail Spring! All Hail Fecundity! All HailBeltaine! Woohoo!


Reminders to the dancers:

Hold your ribbon and don’t let go

Keep the tension

If  you get lost don’t worry, keep going

Listen up – we have help in the circle to move us along

At the sound of a tamborine –pause and move to the middle

Purpose of the pause – to enjoy the pattern created thus far


Caller’s notes

Find an EZ-2-Spot-Couple to use for timing and shaking bells

One of us has to be on at all times

Keep in eye-contact and comparingnotes

Keep the DJ and Drummer on cue–  Encourage the audience to clap and keep time

Pay attention to bring in the May Couple for being tied to pole

As the ribbons weave down – weedout dancers (tell them “pull your partner out”)

At the rehearsal, we scope out folks who will self identify and

Help nudge to help the callers carry the dance.



Wreath Play

Turn to the pole work the pole and the hole

Step right three times — left three times — into themiddle

Adjust the Hole

Back out – Face your partner – ready, set, on the drum beat,dance!

Weaving – Face your partner and step with the music

(Drum Assist and fade out)

Tamborine Signal continue weaving and then, when you meet your partner and stop

Turn to the pole work the pole and the hole

Step right three times — left three times — into themiddle

Adjust the Hole

Back out – Face your partner – ready, set, on the drum beat,dance!

May Fool tangled up and tied to the pole


Sima Recipe and Tradition Description

Each year, in the evening of April the 30th, Swedes and Finns celebrate Saint Walpurgis, oneof the most popular festivities during the year alongside of Christmas and Midsummer. Walpurgis Night receives the name of “Valborg” in Sweden and “Vappu” in Finland, and is a very lively celebration where people spend the night together and sing traditional songs to welcome spring. Sima is imbibed with funnel cakes on the side. It was, of course, a major fertility rite before St. Walpurgis.

Sima – the longer it ferments, the highter the alcohol content.

4 qts water;fresh pure

2 lemons washed and finely sliced

1 cup brownsugar

1 and 1/8 cupwhite sugar

1/8 teaspoonactive dry yeast

1 tablespoon golden raisins

Boil the waterto boil, stir in brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar and lemon slices.

Cool to roomtemperature and transfer contents to non-metallic container.

Add yeast andstir (do not add yeast until liquid is room temperature).

Leave it to stand overnight or at least 8-10 hours in a warm place until little bubbles form around the edges.

In theory you should pour this into sterilized bottles and cork tightly. I just use large tupperware jugs with a seal top

Place 4-5raisins and a teaspoon of white sugar in each of the clean bottles. Pour thesima into the bottles,straining it through a sieve to remove the lemon. Captightly.

The sima will be ready to drink when the raisins rise to the top of the bottles, about 1-2 days depending on the temperature of the room where they are stored. Serve it well chilled. Fermenting ends when the Sima is refrigerated.






You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *