Tuesday 13 May 2008

A Beaker Initiation

A strange and wonderful occasion, my initiation as a Beaker Person.

I and the other new Folk were dragged from our beds in the bed at 2am by members of the Community. From the smell of ale and home-made cider, I can only assume they had been frequenting the White Horse prior to having a drop after-hours in the community Bar - perhaps the consumption of such libations is part of the preparations for this great event.

Before the event, I was made to change into the traditional Beaker clothing. Frankly I'm not sure how authentic the Cameron tartan is for a pre-Celtic tradition, but maybe that's where the Camerons inherited the design from...

Blind-folded, we three new initiates were led out of the orchard and across a field to the sound of tabors, pipes and - strangely - a saxophone. We were made to kneel while the chanting proceeded around us. Initially it was simply a repeated "Om", although someone - I suspect it may have been young Keith - varied this at one point to "Burn the Witch!". That they subsequently segued into "Summer is i cumen in" would make anyone who has seen The Wicker Man rather nervous. However the ceremony was pronounced to be complete, save for a ceremonial cleansing ceremony. I can't help thinking this was rather clumsily carried out, as we ended up face-down in the mud at the bottom of the brook. We waited for a while in the brook but, since nothing else happened, we presumed our initiation to be complete. Taking our blindfolds off we walked back to the Great House to discover that it was locked and dark.

Cold and wet, we realised we had to find somewhere to stay the night, so we were relieved to find the potting shed. However we were much less cheerful when we discovered that the Hermit of Suspicion and Hermit of Imprecation were both already in residence. One spent the rest of the night watching us very closely, while the other swore under his breath and occasionally threw pots at us.

The funny thing is, when I mentioned the Initiation this morning to Archdruid Eileen, she pretended not to know what I was talking about. Perhaps the secrecy is part of the rite?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl