In honor of the mirth part of Mirth adn reverence, I wrote this piece many years ago as a spoof based on "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
A Charlie Brown Beltane By Drake
(With sincerest apologies to Charles Schulz. May the summer land treat him sweetly.)
Please do not repost without permission
(Exterior Charlie and Linus are walking. Apple Blossoms fall like snow.
The soundtrack plays "Beltane time, Light the fire. Beltane time, Feed desire.."
The two stop near a wall.)
CB: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Beltane is coming, but I'm not horny.
I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel. I just don't understand Beltane, I guess.
I mean I see the plants greening, the birds mating, but still I am not happy.
LINUS: Charlie Brown, you're the only pagan I know who can take a wonderful sabbat like
Beltane and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world,
you're the Charlie Browniest.
(Scene Cut. Charlie is walking to his house. He walks past others with may baskets hanging on
the doorknobs. He looks at his own bare front door.
RATS! No May baskets. I almost wish there weren't a May Day. I know nobody lusts after me.
Why do we have to have a holiday to emphasize it?
(Enter VIOLET. Skinny, sexy girl dressed in a purple sarong with long curly hair and a pentagram
tattooed on her shoulder)
CB: Thanks for the May Basket you left me, Violet!
Violet: Are you on Crack??? I didn't send YOU a May Basket, loser.
CB: Don't you know Sarcasm when you hear it????
(Enter a large guy with huge beergut stretching out a faded "Dragonfest 93" T shirt. His long
scraggly hair and unkempt beard frazzle out every which way. Bathing for him is obviously
against his religion.
CB: Pigpen, Dude! Seriously, get some Patchouli at least!!!
(Scene change. Charlie Brown appears outside Lucy's small store-front. A sign reads "Psychic
Counseling Sessions. Past Life regressions, Shaitsu massage, phrenology" Then a smaller sign
"The Healer is In" Lucy sits behind a desk with new-age music wafting from the stereo as incense
wafts from a goddess shaped burner. Crystals and pyramids surround her. Lucy is dressed in a
shapless caftan. She is smoking a clove cigarette and reading COSMO.)
Lucy: I feel a stirring in the Force. I sense the approach of a customer…. (Quickly ditches the
smoke and magazine, spritzes lavender in the air and settles herself behind a table spread with
tarot cards and a crystal ball. Bell tinkles, in walks Charlie Brown.)
LUCY: I feel your pain fellow sojourner of planet earth…. Oh it's you. Whadaya want?
CB: I am in sad shape.
Lucy (Sighing) OK, but I have to insist you pay up front. Cash? Check? Visa?
CB: (reaching into Pocket and peeling off a 50) Here.
Lucy: (Pushing the buttons on the register and causing a loud "you're in the money" sound bite to
play as the drawer opens.) What a sound! How I love hearing that old cash register! That
beautiful feel of cold, hard cash! That beautiful, beautiful smell. Fifties, fifties, fifties!' (Composing
herself) All right, now, what seems to be your trouble?
CB: I feel depressed. I know I should be happy, but I'm not. I also think I might be having erectile
LUCY: Well, as they said in my mail order counseling class, the mere fact that you realize you
need help indicates that you are not too far gone. I think we'd better pinpoint your fears. If we can
find out what you're afraid of, we can label it.
(turns on her laptop and goes to an internet psychological self-diagnostic site) Are you afraid of
responsibility? That seems to be very common in our community. If you are, then you have
CB: I don't think that's quite it. I am fine with responsibility.
Lucy: How about cats? If you're afraid of cats, you have ailurophobia. Maybe a bad past life in
CB: Well, I am more of a dog person really….
Lucy: Are you afraid of bathing and cleanliness? If you are, then you have Ablutophobia. Maybe
you have Apeirophobia. This is fear of the Infinite, or Anuptophobie, which is the fear of not
having a mate or staying single. That sure drives a lot of folks in our circles! Lessee there is
Defecaloesiophobia- Fear of painful bowels movements, or maybe Dishabiliophobia- Fear of
undressing in front of someone. That has pretty much wiped out sky clad rituals in this area. Or
maybe there is Heliophobia- Fear of the sun. That explains the number of pale skinned sun glass
wearing only-come out at night types I have been seeing lately!
Or maybe you have pantophobia. Do you think you have pantophobia?
CB: What's pantophobia?
Lucy: The fear of everything.
CB: THAT'S IT!!!
(Lucy leaps back protecting her crystal ball)
Actually, Lucy, my trouble is Beltane. I just don't understand it. Instead of feeling horny and
ecstatic, I feel sort of let down.
Lucy: ( Getting back up) You need involvement. You need to get involved in some real Community
project. How would you like to be the High Priest of our open Beltane Ritual in the Unitarian
Church parking lot?
CB: Me? You want me to be the HP of the Beltane rit?
Lucy: Sure, Charlie Brown. We need a High Priest. You need involvement. We've got fire
cauldron, maypoles, flowers, musicians, animals, everyone you need. We've even got a May
Queen. (She poses seductively for him)
CB: I have never officiated at a big public ritual….. I am having performance anxiety!
Lucy: Don't worry. I'll be there to help you. I'll meet you in the parking lot. Public rit is a piece of
cake, all you need is the right costumes and a fancy way to call the quarters and you're set!
Incidentally, I know how you feel about all this Beltiane business, getting depressed and all that. It
happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of flower wreaths or
(shuddering) packets of seeds I never get around to planting, or Goddess forbid YET ANOTHER
CANDLE or something like that.
CB: What do you really want to get?
Next Scene. Parking lot at the Unitarian Church. Area is filled with all sorts of folks wearing
various tie dye, black ensembles, rugged hiking clothes, sarongs, and ren fest cast offs. They are
pounding on drums, toodling recorders, showing off their new skin art and piercings.
Lucy (Screeches in perfect SCA-esque herald voice) ATTEND!!!!!!!!! OK peoples. All right, quiet
everybody. Our HP will be here any minute and we'll start rehearsal.
Patty (Imagine the Venus of Willendorf as a real person) Oh really? Who'd you get?
Lucy; Charlie Brown
Patty: HIM? I do not even recognize his tradition! What are his credentials? This will be the worst
Lady Day EVER!
Lucy: (sotto) Shhhhh! Here he comes! (Louder) Hi Charlie!
ALL: (Sickeningly sweet voices) Merry Meet Charlie! (How's it going? Dude! Blessed Be! Etc)
CB: Well, it's real good seeing you all here. As you know, we are going to put on the Beltane rit.
Due to the shortage of time, since the model RC airplane club needs the parking lot by four we'll
get right down to work. (Stragglers arrive Charlie mumbles under breath) Stupid Pagan Standard
One of the first things to ensure a good ritual experience, is to pay strict attention to the
officiators. If the ritual presenters are all focused on the Hp and HPS, then the participants will
too. The last thing we want is people standing around the edges yakking away to each other as
the circle is being cast. (The cast all start whispering, then talking, drum beats start up etc) A true
sign of the dedicated Will is that all of us will be focused tight like a (Raising voice to counter
noise) LASER BEAM to achieve our purposes!!! (Stopping and sighing) RATS
QUIET!!!!!!!!! QUIIIIEEEETTTTT!!! Rats! I hate saying this…..
"AAAATTTTTTEEEENNNNNDDDD!!!" (All noise stops) That is the stupidest way to get
someone's attention EVER!
We need to assign parts. Here are the scripts. Patty…….
Patty: Earth Blossom!!!! EARTH BLOSSOM!!! Patty is the name of my former self, called for a
pagan hating saint.
CB: (sighing) You are "Mother Earth"
Patty (errrr Earth Blossom) Of course I am. With mountains like these? It's type casting (Cast all
CB: OK Pig Pen, errr Kendall, you'll be Father Sky.
PP: Ohhhhh Yeahhhhhhh!!!! Come to Papa (leering at Patt…err Earth Blossom)
CB: OK, Sherm, you get to be the hobby Horse (Lifting heavy costume)
Sherm: (Tall lanky guy with hip length blonde hair) Every year, it's always the same. Wear the
smelly horse suit- "Clickety clack". Sigh what the heck IS a hobby horse anyhow?
CB: Moon Dawg, you'll lead the drummers and musicians. We need a nice slow, sensual beat.
Kind of a strathspey feel and…
(Moon Dawg, a very butch gal with hiking shorts, hiking boots, a faded black T shirt adorned with
a pink triangle, about 6 different pentacle necklaces and with a drum the size of a 50 gallon water
barrel whistles shrilly. The drummers began pounding out a Klingon warpath rhythm. Everyone
begins dancing frantically.)
LUCY: listen up! (Drumming continues) PEOPLE!!! (still goes on) AAATTTTEEENNNNDDDDD!
(Stops dead) Listen, people! We don't have a lot of time for rehearsal. (Moon Dawg stands
behind her and begins mimicking her actions)
You've got to take direction. You've got to have discipline! You've got to have respect for your
(Crew laughs at Moon Dawg, Lucy Spins and glares. Moon Dawg kisses her on the lips)
LUCY: Auugh! I have been kissed by a Lesbian! My sexual identity is in crises! I am in need of
gender identity counseling Auuugh!
CB: Sighs. Alright places everyone. Let's go over the circle casting. Moondawg we need a slow,
single drum to call everyone to the circle.
Moon Dawg "Gotcha (Shrill whistle)
Drummers: BOOM SHAKA LAKKA LAKKA BOOM SHAKKA LAKKA LAKKA (at high decibles)
Crew begins to rave dance again.
CB and Lucy in unison: "Sigh"
Pig Pen (putting the moves on Pa…EARTH BLOSSOM) You know to really get into our roles
we'd need to explore our past life Tantric ties……..
Lucy: What about me? What about the May Queen, hmmmm? What part do I get?
(Male crew jeer "I got a part for you! Over here! How about THIS part?? Moon Dawg shouts "Eat
at the "Y" Baybeee!")
Lucy: I represent all that is beautiful in the Lady. You aren't going to let all this beauty go to waste
are you? You DO think I am beautiful don't you?
CB stands lost for words.
Lucy: You didn't answer me right away. You had to think about it first, didn't you? If you really had
thought I was beautiful, you would have spoken right up. I know when I've been insulted! I know
when I've been insulted! You are a cruel, unfeeling tool of the patriarchy!
CB: Women…… ATTEND! Ok let's get started. Places everyone. Elements, in your
quarters please. Moon Dawg, like this. Boom- rest-Boom-rest-Boom got it?
Moon Dawg: Gotcha! (Whistle) Boomaboomaboomabooma Dooma Booma booma
Shadow Bunny: (Cute pale goth chick in black vinyl mini skirt, army boots, black tube top, and
copper red hair. She shouts above the drums) THIS IS A F****ING GREAT RITUAL!
Lucy: (Dancing with Shadow Bunny) I AGREE!
CB: (Grabbing drumstick from drummer and shutting them down) It is NOT great. It is just a
chaotic bunch of noise so far. We need co-operation.
Lucy: So, you don't think this is great so far?
CB: It is NOTHING so far. People want more from a ritual than just mindless drumming and
meaningless dances don't they???
Crew (Silent and staring, blinking)
CB: I give up (Throws script to the ground)
Lucy: Hey Charlie, what is it YOU need to fill fulfilled in this ritual experience?
CB: I dunno. It needs something of a mood. Where is the maypole?
Lucy: Well, here is the thing, Crow-Wolf Gold-Crescent was SUPPOSED to bring the one we
used last year, but his van broke down, and he can't find anyone who wants to barter herbal
soaps for a transmission, and his co-wives were using it for holding up a clothesline anyways. We
need a new maypole.
P…Earth Blossom: Yeah Something that SCREAMS Lady Day. Maybe pour some cement in a
5 gallon cat litter bucket and stick some PVC in it?
Pig Pen" Should he at least, like, paint it so it's not all white with 50 PSI printed on it?
Earth Blossom: WHAT And destroy the Ozone layer with his evil spray can! Go Charlie, and bring
us back the best man- made maypole ever.
Crew: Yeah do something RIGHT for a change!
CB: come on Linus, I'll need your jeep. It'll never fit in my Yugo.
(Scene change Driving in Linuses Jeep. It has "The Goddess is Alive and Magick is Afoot" and
"My other car is a broom" stickers as well as a legged Darwin fish.
Linus: So, Lowes or Home Depot? Not sure who has the best PVS pipe pricing. I sure hope
Dragon Wind Moon Eye returned my pipe cutter.
CB: How about there?
Linus: That patch of woods? I think there is a no dumping sign there, so I cannot imagine there
being any PVC pipe there, especially not as long as we need.
CB: No, Linus, not pipe. Wood. A tree. We can ask it if it is willing to give it's existence for us, like
they did in the old days.
Linus: I dunno- A real WOOD maypole? That's pretty radical. The Earth First fringe wills cream.
Heck you may as well use leather ribbons and piss of the PETA people too!
CB: Stop the car. (He approaches the wooded area. A young tree almost 12 feet tall stands
before him, Wind damage has broken many limbs. He touches the tree bark and whispers to it,
then kneels on the ground and pours energy into the roots.
Linus: ( Looking around rather uncomfortably at the tangled undergrowth) There better not be
mosquitoes here, I mean West Nile and all…..
CB: (Taking out Leatherman and opening the saw blade be saw the tree down, strips the
branches and begins to take the bark off)
Linus: I dunno, Charlie. I am not sure this is going to fit in with what they had planned.
CB: Help me scatter the leaves and bark. Next week I'll go to the greenhouse and buy three
native saplings and come plant them here.
(SCENE CHANGE: Back at the parking lot. No one has practiced. Someone has broken out
some home made mead and everyone is sitting around talking about computers and the new
vampire flick coming out. Several disgruntled guys are standing on the outskirts with remote
controlled airplanes, scowling. One has a yellow sopwith camel and seems to be dressed ina
white beagle suit. He is shaking his fist and snarling incoherently. Charlie hauls the pole out.)
Earth Patty Blossom: Oh My hairy Goddesses! Charlie Brown murdered a TREE!!!
Crew: (Tree Killer! Wood is Murder man! Use plastics because they are more earth friendly! etc)
Sherm: The smell of freshly spilled sap is like… well like Blood man! I am having an allergy I
Violet: What sort of Maypole is that? It's all WOODY and there is still bark on it.
Earth Blossom Patty: Yeah, we might get splinters or something! And I am pretty sure wood is
like a non-conductive material, so how can energy travel through it? You SO should have gotten
Pig Pen: You are a real *&^** Screw up, Dude. (turning away) So Earth Blossom, you ever tried
page 45 of the Karma Sutra??
(Everyone walks away towards their cars and the RC guys cheer and put launch their airplanes.
The white dog curses as a fokker triplane shoots his yellow sopwith out of the sky.)
CB: I guess they are right. I am a screw up. I just wanted to go back to our roots, you know?
Doesn't anyone remember what Beltane is all about?
Linus. I can tell you, Charlie Brown. I just took a Wicca 101 last year.
(Clearing throat) Beltane or Bealtaine is a fire festival celebrated at the halfway point between
The Vernal Equinox and midsummer. It was a fertility rite. The name derives from "Bale" which was
the name of the sacred bon fires which were lit atop hills, the first by the High King, and the
others spreading out from there. Cattle were driven through the smoke to purify them, and young
lovers would leap the flames to seal their bonds of love.
The maypole was another important aspect. Many cities had permanent Maypoles until
the 1600s when the Puritans chopped them down. The obvious phallic symbolism is not lost,
especially when a flower covered garland is placed atop the ribbons and slowly descends during
Besides being a fiery fertility rite, this is also across the wheel of the year from Samhain,
and the veils between the worlds are thin as well, and sometimes the souls pass through and visit
the living. Also this was the time when the Unseelie Court went to the underworld, and their
somewhat less evil cousins, the Seelie Court came above ground, so the last night before May
Day, called Walpurgisnacht in Teutonic countries featured dark faeries and evil spirits cavorting
one final time.
But in modern Neo Paganism and Wicca, this holiday gives us an opportunity to revel in
our bodies and our sensuality, two things often denied by the more populated religions, who in
fact condemn such practices as sinful. Far from being an orgy, the celebration of this sabbat
includes recognizing, accepting, and enjoying our sexuality and our senses, and reveling in the
mating act of our sacred God and Goddess, from which all life flows.
(At this point, the crew, which have all wandered back over while Linus was pontificating begin to
clap and pound on drums.)
CB: See this is not a BAD Maypole, it just needs some ribbons (Tying them on, standing it up,
letting go,a nd it clatters to the blacktop.) I KILLED IT!
Lucy: It just needs a stand you moron!
Linus" Yes, with a little love, some sandpaper, tung oil, and some ribbons, oh and a weighted
Umbrella stand from Walmart, it will work JUST fine!
Pat Earth Ty Blossom: This will be the best Beltane EVER!
(Scene Change, the ritual is coming to a conclusion. People are leaping over a cauldron set
aflame. Others have crept off to the bushes to "bring in the May")
Linus (Shuddering) Oh Man, I just about tripped over Patty (From a distance "EARTH
BLOSSOM!!!!!!") and Pig Pen.
CB: I know. Sex is sacred and stuff, but there are some things too sweaty to be seen by mortal
Linus: (Sobbing) I think it is burned into my eyes forever. I mean I didn't want to have sex NOW,
but I was hoping to SOMEDAY!!
Lucy: Hi Charlie Brown! Great ritual by the way, blockhead.
CB: Umm, Lucy, you know it is customary for the HP and HPS to umm, well GROUND the
energies after the rit.
Lucy: Sorry Charlie Brown. I have other plans for the evening. I plan to more fully explore my
sexual identity (At this point Moon Dawg comes up and licks Lucy's ear)
Linus: bye Charlie Brown. I see your sister over there in a se- through sari. Maybe she'll help me
get my mind back on track.
CB: Rats. I finally understand the true meaning of Beltane, and I have no one to celebrate with.
(A lithe red haired woman comes up behind Charlie and taps him on the shoulder.)
Little Red Haired Woman: Hi there. Just wanted to tell you what a great ritual this was. I am new
in town and this really made me feel right at home. If I am not interrupting anything, would you
like to dance?