Song 4: Circle Round the Balefire

Listen to the album free on YouTube and Spotify

© 2016 by Laurie Lovekraft

Am                                G             Am

Circle round the balefire, friends

Am                              G      Am

Circle round, it never ends

Am                      G          Am

All is holy, prayer is song

Am                      G          Am

Spirit rising, you belong


History & Lore


I wrote Circle Round the Balefire in 1998 when I was living under the redwoods in the wilds of West Sonoma County, California. It all came out in one smooth flow.

I had been doing a lot of public and private rituals in nature and loved the feeling of circling in community around a nighttime fire – a group of witches and Pagans joining hands in the dark around a glowing bonfire while singing, dancing, and raising energy.

I’m now living in an urban area and when I sing this chant it reminds me of quiet times under the woods beneath the stars (when I could see the stars!).

Hear more of Laurie’s music at <>


This was a fun song for us to arrange (Laurie’s original version will be on our bonus disk – visit

Paul arrived early for rehearsal one afternoon, set up his conga, and started drumming tumbao rhythm. I fooled around with a Keith Richards’ type guitar figure.

We weren’t sure we had anything until we shared it with the others. Right away a couple of people started dancing – always a good sign on a song about dancing around a fire!

The first time we played this version around a bonfire was at Mysteries of Samhain 2015, as part of a ritual that ended with 30 minutes of dancing. Balefire wasn’t on the set-list, but it seemed perfect. I grabbed my duct-taped campfire guitar, Gwion picked up the rhythm on a djembe, and it fit right into the dance groove.

Thus mote it ever be!

Listen to the album free on YouTube and Spotify

Photo courtesy of Trillium / RQ Archives

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