Oak & Aconite Coven May Day 2022 Ritual

This is one of my favorite times of the year! I cheerfully wish those celebrating May Day / Beltane tomorrow in the Northern Hemisphere and All Hallow’s / Samhain in the lands Down Under wonderful festivals! May your Gods and Spirits gladden your hearts and guide you at this powerfully liminal turning o’ the tides (made all the more potent by a Taurus New Moon eclipse!). For me and for my Slavic forebears, early May marks the beginning of Summer (in the Serbian calendar, it’s the fixed date of St. George’s Day, May 6).

It’s a time of honoring the fructifying powers at work in the land; in particular, it’s a time of cultivating right relationship with the Fair Folk / the Fae / the Vile (pronounced VEE-lay) and demonstrating through your ritual actions that you know how to be a courteous and hospitable neighbor to Them. I’m looking forward to doing my solitary Walpurgis Night ritual tonight, where I honor the Lady of Elphame, and I’m giddily looking forward to celebrating May Day tomorrow with my coven that my dear friend Adam and I formed late last summer. After a winter gestational period of figuring out what to call ourselves and detailing our coven’s brand (yes, I have a background in marketing!), the name came quite suddenly last month while meditating on our Divine Patrons, Hekate and Pan: Oak & Aconite Coven!

Announcing Oak & Aconite Coven!

While more details will be provided in our forthcoming webpage, we’re a coven of Polytheistic Witches who are unabashedly Wiccan in our ritual / liturgical “language” but who, as Queer individuals, like to emphasize Otherness as an alternative to the heteronormative ideology that characterizes most Wiccan groups’ interpretations of the Wheel of the Year and the ethos undergirding ritual praxis. Religious worship is the core of what we do (not “psychobabble bollocks,” to quote the film A Dark Song), and Hekate and Pan are the chief Powers we serve and Whom we believe to be guiding us in filling the void of legitimate covens practicing in our area (far NE Illinois and SE Wisconsin).

Between us, my co-leader Adam and I have more than 40 years of experience in participating in and leading various magical and Pagan groups (Adam has the bonus experience of having successfully run a Pagan business for more than a decade). We’ve seen some things in the Midwest and Left Coast Pagan communities. We’re adept at raising energy in a group setting and directing it towards a specific outcome. We’re emotionally intelligent about group dynamics. We’ve lived through the “Witch Wars” (especially pernicious in Chicago) in the 1990s-early 2000s and we’ve seen covens implode. We each count a handful of BNPs (Big Name Pagans) as personal friends. We know that the personal is very much the political. We’re both spirit workers. We love to travel. Quick-witted and intolerant of bullshit, we throw shade and clap back when the situations call for it. We’re dog-, cat-, and snake-parents. We’re human childless-by-choice. We’re vegetarian (me) and vegan (Adam). We hoard Tarot card decks and occult books. We’ve participated in rituals that were so good they were life-transforming…and ones that were so cringe-worthy we required massive spiritual purification afterwards in order to recalibrate ourselves.

We love our Deities. We see our role as championing Them in a postmodern, severely out-of-balance-with-Nature Western world that presents the twin ideological perils of an aggressive atheism that seeks to demean and mock our beliefs and a hostile evangelical Christianity that literally demonizes those beliefs and our very identities as Queer folk.

Restoring humanity’s balance with Nature and contextualizing that balance within a spiritual covenant to our Holy Powers are primary driving forces behind the formation of Oak & Aconite Coven. And in the spirit of both Traditional Witchcraft and the Environmental movement, we focus on the local: getting to know the indigenous flora and fauna of our communities and working to preserve them for generations to come. And I’m sure it’s no coincidence that both Adam and I consider working with plant medicine / herbalism as one of our chief Witch skills! (We’re both Sun Sign Virgos too, ha! Rituals written in flawless penmanship in Roman numeral outline form, here we come!)

From planting pollinator-friendly gardens at our homes and covenstead to supporting wild and domestic animal rescue groups to organizing clean-ups of our neighborhood forest preserves, rivers, and beaches of Lake Michigan, we earnestly strive to practice what we preach as our spirituality informs the choices and actions of our daily lives; it’s not an armchair exercise in theoretical contemplation or kind of passivity. Fuck passivity: our Earth Mother needs us to undo the harm that we, as a species collectively, have wrought upon Her Body since the Industrial Revolution!

May Day 2022 Ritual

That’s a good segue to the ritual we collaborated on and which I present here in its fullness to hopefully inspire others. You’ll note we call it “May Day” and not “Beltane”: we’re not focusing on heterosexual symbology, though we are very much concerned with the land thriving and with all creatures upon it living in peace. And while some people might find it odd to have mention of the Fae in a ritual that honors Hekate and Pan, any student of Greek mythology can tell you that both Hekate and Pan have among Their retinues and attendants entire classes of nymphs, dryads, nereids, and other spirits of Nature.

The Salt and Water “exorcisms” come from my Gardnerian Wiccan ritual training and likely developed from a collaboration between Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. All other text, invocations, prayers, etc. are original to Adam and me unless stated otherwise. Words spoken aloud are in italics and actions/”stage directions” are set within brackets.

Ritual for May Day, Sunday, May 1, 2022 (C) Oak & Aconite Coven


Cleanse with mugwort. Ground and center with Tree of Life meditation.

Power-Raising Chant (Source unknown; spoken in unison)

“Now is the time,

This is the hour!

Ours is the magick,

Ours is the Power!”

Ring Bell; Announce Circle Casting (Anna)

“A Circle of Magick is soon to be cast,

A place of wonder and might.

A place between worlds—future and past—

Caught between darkness and light!”

Salt/Water Exorcisms (Traditional Gardnerian): Anna

“I exorcise Thee, O Creature of Earth, casting out all impurities which may lie within. Keep us from peril and purify this place. Likewise do I exorcise Thee, O Creature of Water, casting out all impurities which may lie within. Keep us from peril and purify this place.”

[Trace banishing pentagram respective to the Element. Then perform self-anointing where each holds the bowl of salted water for the other to cleanse themselves with.]

Circle Casting (Adam)

“We cast this Circle of words and Will.

Our dreams and desires it shall fulfill.

By magick eternal and primal force,

All we conjure runs full course.

By that which is Grey and inbetween,

We are protected and by enemies unseen!

As above, so below—our Circle is cast. So Mote It Be!”

Salt & Water Consecration of Circle (Anna)

“Water and Earth, where You are cast,

No curse nor adverse purpose last!

Begone all not in accord with She

Who walks the Ways of Earth, Sky, Sea!

By Hekate with faces Three, This Circle is Consecrated: Blessed Be!”

Invoking the Quarters, Starting in the North and Going Clockwise

NORTH (Adam):

“Elementals of Earth, Gnomes of the North,

We summon, stir, and call You up!

Join now our Circle in blessing!

So Mote It Be!”

EAST (Anna):

“Elementals of Air, Sylphs in the East,

We summon, stir, and call You up!

Join now our Circle in blessing!

So Mote It Be!”

SOUTH (Adam):

“Elementals of Fire, Salamanders of the South,

We summon, stir, and call You up!

Join now our Circle in blessing!

So Mote It Be!”

WEST (Anna):

“Elementals of Water, Undines in the West,

We summon, stir, and call You up!

Join now our Circle in blessing!

So Mote It Be!”

Confirmation (Said in unison)

“This Circle is bound with power all ‘round;

Between the worlds we stand with protection at hand.”

Invoking Our Deities: Hekate (Adam) and Pan (Anna)


“And now, we turn our minds and hearts to the Gods Themselves and invite that They join with us, witnessing this rite we hold in Their honor.”


Pan and Hekate. An example of Jeff Cullen’s stunning artistry to be found in the pages of Liber Khthonia: “The Gods of the Witches,” line art facing Chapter 13, “Other Gods.” Used with permission.

“Hail, Hekate! Dark Queen of the Night!

Goddess Triformis,

Reigning over the mysterious Underworld,

The celestial Heavens,

and the ancient Earth!

We invoke Thee!

Hekate, Lady Who walks in shadow,

Hail unto Thee!

Guide of the Elysian fields,

Keeper of the Keys of all the Universe,

Guardian of the Crossroads of Fate, we invoke Thee!

Sovereign Mistress Who bears the blade

Which cuts the sacred cords of Life and Death,

By the serpent who carries the wisdom and secrets

Of the Chthonic realms, we pray of Thee!

Evohe Hekate! Beloved Blood-Mother of our especial breed!

Join us in this sacred rite,

In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, So Mote It Be!”


“Oh, goat-foot God, Beast and Man,

We call to Thee, Great God Pan!

Come to us now with eyes of fire;

The tune of Thy pipes awakens desire!

Io, Pan! Io, Pan! Io, Pan!

By all that’s wild, holy, and good,

We summon Thee from Thy Arcadian wood!

Pan Megas of the dawn, Phobos of evening shade,

Be with us as our magick is made!

Our hearts reach out to Thee!                                                     

Deign to join our rite in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust,

So Mote It Be!”

Anointing with Oil (Said by each in turn)

Holy Powers, Holy and Immortal, Whom I adore, You know me as [CRAFT NAME]. I consecrate myself as [CRAFT NAME] before You at this sacred turning of the Year-Wheel.”

Statement of Purpose (Adam)

“Once more the Year-Wheel turns! Now is the May Day! The Holy Powers of Summer walk over the lands with the Spirits of Forest and Wood! The dark times of Winter are behind us now: So Mote It Be!”

 [Adam rings bell 7 times.]

“The animals breed and the plants pollinate as Hekate and Pan now bestow Their blessings upon the Earth and Her creatures. We who are Their children, [SPEAK CRAFT NAMES], rejoice with Them and ask that Their wisdom and grace become the example for all of humanity: To live in love and in harmony with Nature.”


Candle and Woodruff Blessing (Adam)

[Adam lights candle within cauldron.]

“Let darksome days be cleared away

that the May-Time can now begin!”

 [Chant thrice:]

“May the light and warmth of May Fire bring happiness and healing, Peace and prosperity, and come now into our lives that we may dwell in the joys and blessings of the Old Gods! So Mote It Be!”

Shamanic Underworld Journey to Hekate Khthonia (Anna)

[Anna taps floor with wand and shakes goat-horn and -hoof rattle. She says:]

“The fires lit at this sacred time are many: encouraged by the Sun, we light blazing balefires in outdoor spaces to purify our lands and sanctify all creatures. We light candles at our hearths to shine beacons of devotion to our Goddesses, Gods, and various Spirits of Nature and the Otherworld.

“We think also of fires by night: the torch fires lit by initiates past and present, the bold seekers of communion with Hekate and Her retinue of Spirits: Those Who dwell beneath hill and mound, deep into caverns and subterranean precincts of wonder. Hidden from the world are They, and hidden shall be our Witchcraft. Thus away from the sight of others shall we work the Mysteries of journeying Between the Worlds.

“Come, my coven companions [CRAFT NAMES]: let us undertake such a journey now to the abode of Hekate Khthonia, led by the ancient drumbeats that have echoed for centuries in Gaia’s Womb. When we emerge, we will share our findings with each other on the Spirit Beings we encountered and any messages They imparted to us. But first, I will pray to Our Lady that She ward us well in our travels:

“Ela Khthonia, Ela Khthonia, Ela Khthonia…” [sung 3 times]

[Plays recorded shamanic drumming music, either Michael Harner, Layne Redmond, Gabrielle Roth, or something similar. Upon the cessation of the music, time is given to reground and to possibly spend time writing in journals to process the intensity of the Otherworld journey.]

Thanksgiving to Hekate

(Anna): “Great and Glorious Hekate, I thank You for the visions of [NAME] during this powerful journey into Your Chthonic realm. I offer You this garlic bulb and honey with my love.”

(Adam): [presents offering to Hekate in the moment]

Affirming Covenants with the Fae

[Adam anoints beeswax candle placed into a pot of earth.]

Adam:    “May balance return an’ hearts be free,

‘Tween mortals an’ Fae

By Earth, Sky, an’ Sea!”

Anna:     “Have joy thereof, Good Neighbors,

for there are those of us mortals who remember

and honor You this May Day and always.”

[Present offerings of shot glasses filled with hard liquor, foods, beads, baubles, etc. to the Fae.]

Cakes & Ale / Simple Feast

Blessing of Mead: Adam

“As the Dagger is to Hekate, so the Wine Cup is to Pan.

The mead within is the gift of Dionysos,

Sweet nectar imbued with the strength and passion of Persephone.

As we ask, so shall we receive:

Take then our heartfelt desires

And by all Your Powers united, O Great and Glorious Gods,

Let us now be blessed! So Mote It Be!”

Blessing of Rice Cakes: Anna

“Holy Powers, we ask that You bless these cakes, the fruit of the womb of Gaia. As we eat of them, we give thanks for Your life-giving Powers of Sustenance.”

Divination with Tarot for Deities’ Messages


Declaration (Adam)

 “Blessings have been given and blessings have been received.

We give thanks to the Gods Whom we adore and serve!

Thank You for sharing this time with us, O Hekate and Pan,

Ever may we dwell with Thee!

Blessed Be the Old Gods,

Blessed be the Old Ways,

And Blessed Be we Witches always!

So Mote It Be!”

Thanking Elementals at the Quarters: Start in the West and Go Counterclockwise

WEST (Anna):

“Elementals of Water,

Undines of the West,

We thank You for Your gifts and blessings!

Go if You must
And let there always be harmony between us:

So Mote It Be!”

SOUTH (Adam):

“Elementals of Fire,

Salamanders of the South,

We thank You for Your gifts and blessings!
Go if You must

And let there always be harmony between us:
So Mote It Be!”

EAST (Anna):

“Elementals of Air,

Sylphs of the East,

We thank You for Your gifts and blessings!
Go if You must

And let there always be harmony between us:
So Mote It Be!”

NORTH (Adam):

“Elementals of Earth,

Gnomes of the North,

We thank You for Your gifts and blessings!
Go if You must

And let there always be harmony between us:
So Mote It Be!”

Deconstruct/Open Circle (Adam)

[Adam walks the perimeter counterclockwise beginning in the North.]

“This Circle is open yet unbroken.

Around and through us its sacred Power

Is made manifest! So Mote It Be!”

Final Proclamation (Anna)

“This rite of May Day is ended!

May the Magick of the Realm of the Fair Folk

Enkindle our hearts as we welcome Summer’s High Passion!

Merry Meet, and Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again!

Blessed Be!”

ALL: “Blessed Be!”

[NOTE: Ritual procession to the outdoor Faery shrine begins immediately after the Final Proclamation is uttered and the offerings to the Fae are presented at the Fae Stone. This site will become the keystone for a massive pollinator-friendly garden, flanked by magical oak and black walnut trees, featuring native Illinois plants! Huzzah!]

Let the revels begin!

2 thoughts on “Oak & Aconite Coven May Day 2022 Ritual

  1. When were you planning on celebrating your Solstice Festival? You sounded so sure of yourself! Are you having second thoughts about this?


    • We did our Summer Solstice ritual the day of. It was marvelously magical! And I know our ritual to the Fae was well-received because curious mushrooms instantly began growing on the spot where offerings were laid in the week since. Huzzah and Blessed Be!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s