Posts Tagged With: Beltane

Beltane to Litha

Litha Comments & GraphicsBeltane to Litha

 

Beltane (a greater Sabbat named for a Celtic God, which is otherwise known as either May Eve or May Day) hails the coming-together of the Horned God, now in the Phallic Lord, and the irresistible Godddess in a rapturous celebration of light and life. It is as though all of nature—not least the birds and bees—is abuzz at this time of year, energized by a potent combination of irrestible physical attraction and an equally compelling urge to procreate.

—-The Wicca Book of Days

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And last but not least (especially if you aren’t celebrating to much) a few things you can do…


Beltane Comments & Graphics

General Preparations
Beltane, May Day, May 1st, Walpurgis Nach, Neopagan Celebrations

1.  Clean up your garden, rake leaves, water as needed, put down fertilizer.  If you last frost date is in April, then you can begin to plant seeds and seedlings.  Do work appropriate for your agricultural Zone.  I live in Red Bluff, California, USDA Zone 9, Northern Hemisphere.  My April gardening chores might be quite different from yours, depending upon where you live.

2.  Do spring cleaning in your home.  Wipe up the dust.  Wash windows.  Give away unneeded items.  Scrub walls.  Bring in some potted plants.  

3.  Working and meditating in the garden is an important facet of my spiritual path.  I need to regularly reconnect with the earth and with the beauty and energy of the Spring season outdoors.   Tend your garden daily.  Water your garden each day.  Weed your vegetable garden.  Harvest from your late winter garden if you can grow on.  Review your own lists of chores for April and May, and act accordingly.      

4.  Read about Beltane, May Day, Walpurgis Nacht and other mid-Spring celebrations around the world.  Add notes and links to books, magazines, and webpages on the subject.  See my bibliography and links above.  Visit your local public library or college library to obtain access to books, media and magazines on the subject.  Study about ancient Indo-European religions.  I update my Months webpages on April and May. 

5.  Add some appropriate Beltane, May Day, Walpurgis Nacht and mid-Spring songs, chants, prayers, reflections, invocations, or poems to your Neo-Pagan Craft Journal, Book of Shadows, blog, website, or Ritual Handbook.  Write in your personal journal.  Most spiritual seekers keep a notebook, journal or log as part of their experimental, creative, magical and experiential work. 

6.  Stay at home.  Improve your home, backyard, or garden.  Eliminate long driving trips.  Do you really need to “Go” anywhere?  Do you really need to fly by airplane to another country?  Explore your backyard, neighborhood, local community, nearby city, county wide area, regional area within 50-100 miles.  Visit a local “sacred site.”  For us, for example, this could be Mt. Shasta, the headwaters spring of the Sacramento River in Mt. Shasta City, the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge Park, a long walk in the forest below nearby Mt. Lassen, sitting on the shore of Whiskeytown Lake, sitting in my backyard in the moonlight, or visiting a beautiful church or college or park that is nearby.  Watch a DVD on a spiritual subject, sacred place, or inspirational topic.  Learn more about your local environment. 

7.  Read solitary or group rites for Beltane, May Day, Walpurgis Nacht, Easter or other mid-spring celebrations available in books and webpages (see above).  Create your own ritual for Beltane.  Practice the ritual.  Conduct the ritual at a convenient time for you, or your family and/or friends, as close to the day of  May 1st as possible.  Attend a public Beltane ritual of a local NeoPagan group. 

8.  Improve your indoor home altar.  Clean and shine everything up on the altar.  Place a fresh offering on your home altar every day in April.  Add fresh flowers to the altar.  Bring in branches of trees that are budding out.  In Ireland, and were Celtic traditions are popular, the word “Bel” refers to a bright fire, a large bonfire, white, or bright, the month of May, and the beginning of the warm and bring summer season.  Therefore, lighting candles will be an essential aspect of home piety.  My home altar includes Druid, Roman, Wiccan, and Western Magickal influence.

9.  Key a close eye on flowering tree and shrub branches and leaf budding tree and shrub branches in yards and gardens.  This rebirth or resurrection of vegetation is essential to the meaning of this season.  Many gods and goddesses are associated with this rebirth, e.g., Persephone, Attis, Osiris, Jesus Christ.  Bring some of these reborn branches into your home and home altar.

 

Just a few ideas in case you didn’t already have enough on your plate, lol!

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Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ Beltane/May Day

Beltane Comments & Graphics

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ Beltane/May Day

 

May Day is the ancient festival of Beltane, the midway point between the vernal (spring) equinox and the summer solstice. The days are growing longer, coaxing the earth to open to the life-giving qualities of the sun and to bring forth every kind of fruit. Beltane is a celebration of the fertility of the earth and the fertility of our own souls. It is a call to gratitude that everything in the universe is continually being re-created, including ourselves.

The air and Earth begin to warm, Spring has arrived in full force and is making way for Summer. The leaves and grass have greened and the flowers are in full bloom (as are the allergies for some!) Man and woman begin to start their lives together, new loves are born, new lives are created.

The word “Beltane” in modern Irish means May. Beltane comes from the meaning “fire of Bel”, in which Bel is the “bright or shining one”. In his honor, the Ancient Celts set two large fires made up of nine of the sacred woods:

During this time, the herds of cattle were driven through these fires to clean off the ticks and mites and also as a symbol of purification to protect them. They were left to graze in the pastures until the new year and winter. Witches’ celebrate the fruitfulness of Mother Earth in the union between Witches’ celebrate the fruitfulness of Mother Earth in the union between Her and the young Horned God. This coupling symbolizes the new fertility of the Earth, the beginnings of Spring going into Summer.

May or Beltane, has traditionally represented the sensuality and revitalization of love-making in all living things. This is why many couples traditionally marry around this time of year. In ancient Celtic days, couples would live together for a year and a day, after which they may decide to get married or part ways. The Celts believed in the idea of marriage, but understood people and nature grow, change and sometimes move apart. This is not to say they did not believe in the family unit and still remain together as a family.

In some cultures, the May pole traditionally represented a fertility symbol – specifically a phallic symbol – dancing around it in celebration was a ritual of thanks for the time of season with which all life begins the cycle. From GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast 2002

Beltane/CetSamhain/MayDay – The first day of May is celebrated in many parts of the world. It is believed it evolved from ancient agricultural and fertility rites of spring. There are signs of the first celebrations in Egypt. However, the majority of the current traditions stem from the Roman Festival, Floralia. This was a five day festival to honor the Goddess Flora with offerings of flowers, dancing, ringing bells, May Queens and erecting a Maypole.

The May Queen would oversee crops and rule the day. Some places also selected May Kings. The crowns were typical made of twigs, leaves and flowers.

The Maypole was typically fabricated the night before. The men would strip down a birch tree and plant it in the ground; this ceremony was symbolic of fertility rites. The next day both men and women danced about the Maypole. Several longs ribbons hung from the top of the Maypole holding up a crown of colorful flowers. Each dancer held an end of one of the ribbons. The dancers alternated man and women. All the women would dance in one direction and the men danced in the other direction. The dancers would go under the first person and over the next weaving the ribbons about the tree and lowering the ring to the ground. Today this tradition is still practiced but danced mostly boys and girls.

The Celts had a similar celebration known as Beltain, Beltane, or Bealtaine which in Gaelic means “Fires of Bel” or “Bright Fires”. The ceremony honored the god of the Sun and the rebirth of the earth. Feasting, games and bonfires, began on the eve of May Day and continued through the next day with a day of bonfires and merrymaking. It was customary for couples to walk through the fires smoke or leap over the flames to insure a successful relationship. Faeries were (and are) abundant on the first day of May. Windows were decorated with flowers and food was left on the doorstep to keep the mischievous faeries out.

Those traditions created a wonderful medieval holiday that is still celebrated today. We still elect May Queens and Kings and dance around Maypoles. During this time women would wash their faces with the May Day’s morning dew believing it would bring a good complexion and everlasting beauty.

“The fair maid who, the First of May, Goes to the field at break of day And washes in the dew from the hawthorn tree, Will ever after handsome be.”

People began gathering twigs and flowers to decorate their homes and the lovely tradition of May baskets began. Children would leave baskets made from twigs and filled with flowers on their neighbor’s doorstep, knock and then hide waiting to see the expression of the lucky recipient.

From Folklore, Magic and Superstitions )0(

From: GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Coventry of Healing Arts and Pagan Studies Enroll Now!

  • • • •

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

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The Witches Correspondences for May 1st, Beltane


Beltane Comments & Graphics
The Witches Correspondences for May 1st, Beltane

Beltane (May 1st Northern Hemisphere)

 

Beltane is one of the Greater Sabbats, opposite Samhain in The Wheel of the Year. It is based in part on the Roman festival of Floralia, dedicated to Flora – Goddess of Flowers. This is a time to celebrate fertility in the height of Spring and the flowering of life.

 

The traditional Maypole of Beltane represents unity of God and Goddess ~ the Maypole itself represents the God, and the ribbons surrounding it, the Goddess.

 

Other names for Beltane:

Bealtaine, May Day, the Great Rite, May Eve, Walpurgisnacht (Night of the Witches), Giamonios, Floralia, Celtic Summer, Walpurgis Eve

 

Meaning and Symbolism:

Fertility in all living things, love, self-discovery, renewal of vows, personal growth. Sacred Marriage, The God and Goddess Union, and the conceiving of the God as the Goddess enters her motherhood phase, all new life

 

Symbols/decorations:

Small May Pole, daisy chains, springtime wildflowers, flower wreaths, May Day baskets, ribbons, flower crowns, fairies. Any white flowers are appropriate, especially those with five petals.

 

Activities:

Making and dancing around a May Pole, creating large and small fires, leaping the balefires, dancing, braiding ribbons to put into hair and onto trees, gathering flowers, The Great Rite and celebrating the joys in life. Also a popular time for Wiccan handfastings.

 

Incense/oils:

Frankincense, tuberose, vanilla, lilac, rose, almond, marigold, meadowsweet, woodruff

 

Colors/candles:

yellow, white, red, dark green, pink, orange

 

Herb/Plants:

Almond, angelica, birch, damiana, hawthorn, hibiscus, saffron, ash tree, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisy, frankincense, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, marigold, meadowsweet, primrose, roses, rosemary, satyrion root, woodruff, yellow cowslip, yarrow

 

Traditional foods/beverages:

Red fruits, herbal salads, honey, oatmeal/barley cakes, dairy foods, shellfish and other aphrodisiacs, foods with flowers, red or pink wine punch, dandelion wine, May wine

 

Stones:

amber, emerald, orange carnelian, malachite, sapphire, rose quartz, yellow agate, bloodstone

 

Animals/Mythical Creatures:

Goats, Rabbits, Honey bees, Satyrs, Faeries, Pegasus, Giants.

 

Deities:

May Queen, All Love and Fertility deities, Lady of the Greenwood, Divine Couples, and Goddesses of the Hunt, May King, Jack in the Green, Horned God, Green Man, Gods of the Hunt

 

 

Resources:

Ann Moura: Witchcraft, an Alternative Path  (copyright free)

Magickal School Forum

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The Witches Almanac for Friday, May 1st, Beltane


Beltane Comments & Graphics

The Witches Almanac for Friday, May 1st, Beltane

Friday (Venus): Love, friendship, reconciliation and beauty.

Beltane • May Day

 

 

Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon is the ideal time for magick to draw things toward you.

Moon phase: Second Quarter

Moon Sign: Libra

Libra: Favors cooperation, social activities, beautification of surroundings, balance, and partnership.

Incense: Rose

Color: Coral

 

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Did you know…..


Beltane Comments & Graphics
“Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane.  It is one of eight solar Sabbats.  This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing).  Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th. Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate. As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times. In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying,” and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.”
–  Beltane by Herne 

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Beltane to Litha


Beltane Comments & Graphics

Beltane to Litha

 

Beltane (a greater Sabbat named for a Celtic God, which is otherwise known as either May Eve or May Day) hails the coming-together of the Horned God, now in the Phallic Lord, and the irresistible Godddess in a rapturous celebration of light and life. It is as though all of nature—not least the birds and bees—is abuzz at this time of year, energized by a potent combination of irrestible physical attraction and an equally compelling urge to procreate.

 

—-The Wicca Book of Days

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Beltaine

April 30 – May 1

(Southern Hemisphere

October 31 – November 1)

It’s Thu Apr 16 2015 05:17:12 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time)
with 14 days left before Beltaine!

Beltaine is one of the Sabbats traditionally associated as one of the Greater Sabbats. It is directly across from Samhain, and in ancient times, along with Samhain, was the only Sabbat celebrated. It is associated with the return of Spring and full blown fertility. The name for Beltaine is derived from the Irish Gaelic ‘Bealtaine’ or the Scottish Gaelic ‘Bealtuinn’, meaning ‘Bel-fire’, the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or Belinus). Other names for Beltaine include: Cetsamhain (‘opposite Samhain’), Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas (the medieval Church’s name). This last name came from Church Fathers who were hoping to shift the common people’s allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Cross). There’s also the Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Thrimilce (Anglo-Saxon), and Bloumaand (Old Dutch).

Beltaine means fire of Bel, (Irish), Beli (Welsh), Belanos (Pan-Celtic), Belinos, all of which are names for the Sun God. The God is usually seen as the Horned King at this time, and coming into His mature power, begins His rule over the Light half of the year.

This is the second of the four fire festivals, and the great central bonfire was an integral part of Celtic Sabbats, since it represented the gate to the other worlds. Often complex patterns were formed with the layout of the bonfire, special magical symbols being used to help bind the magic to the land and ensure that the Years harvest would be a good one. This is a time of self-discovery, love, union and developing your potential for personal growth. Traditionally it was also considered the one day when all marital restraints were lifted and they could love who they wished for the night. Through this ritual symbolism, the crops would be fertile for another year. May morning is also considered a magical time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health. Its is said that any Maiden that bathes in this water will be fair of complexion for the following year.

Beltaine, sometimes called Lady Day or May Day, is a fertility holiday. Crops are blessed for the coming year, and dancing around the phallic may-pole is a tradition still carried on today by some people. This holiday represents the sacred union of the Goddess and God. Fertility bursts forth from the shell that once contained it and the greenery of the Earth is fast returning in full-force.

Beltaine marks the start of summer, and is a time for feasting, merry-making, celebration, and joy. It is a time to look outward and forward to the future, and to prepare for the warm summer months ahead. It is also a time for love, union and the sacred marriage which honors the fertility of the Earth.

Focus of Beltaine

Beltaine is a time of self-discovery, love, union and developing your potential for personal growth. It is a time to look outward and forward to the future, and to prepare for the warm summer months ahead.

Community Focus for Beltaine

It seems pretty obvious what the focus of Beltaine is, but it’s not just that.  Community rituals should focus on the joy and passion of the season, but take it deeper.  Engage all five senses, make your ritual sensual.  We are bringing the upper and lower Worlds together, much like the Goddess and God join in Union.

Try to incorporate rituals of healing damaged body images, as Beltaine is a perfect time to remind us that all are beautiful, all are desireable, and all deserve joy and happiness.

Ravenna’s Beltaine Celebration 2005

Well, this year’s Beltaine celebration was definitely a memorable one!! We celebrated at a local state park, Kanaskat-Palmer State Park to be exact, and the coven that I know put on a spectacular event! The ritual itself was hilarious and wonderful and very moving. Everyone really loved the costume that “Faunus” wore. There were bright colors, ribbons, flowers and a lot of laughter, singing and feasting!!

Bards of the Koad, a local group played music and sang songs before the ritual, and I was happy to realize that I knew several of their songs… well, they ARE a local group after all, lol! My youngest son, Finn was absolutely mesmerized by their music, as were the rest of the crowd in attendance.

The Maypole was by far the most fun for many people, and the colors of this year’s ribbons I’m told, represent a deep spiritual change in the people since last year. There were lots of pinks, lavenders, blues and even a wee bit of green ribbons being woven around the pole. It was so much fun to dance around the pole, even though most of us were quite winded by the time we were halfway through the weaving and dancing.

Many blessings were given out this year, and there’s a bit of a joke going around that my baby, Finn is a product of last year’s Beltaine!! I gave a bit of advice for a young woman who wants to start a family with her husband. I told her to jump the Beltaine fire, and then to go home later that night and enjoy her hubby!!

I’m happy that we all had such a great time, and I really look forward to seeing more blessings come this way for my “Craft Family”. The wheel is turning, and soon enough, Midsummer will be upon us.

Brightest Blessings,
~ Ravenna Angelline

Ravenna’s Beltaine Celebration 2006

This year’s Beltaine was quite a bit different. No ritual, though we went to our usual spot to gather and feast. This year we studied. And I gave a presentation on Pagan Sacred Music. Teach what you know to the best of your ability, and so I did. It was a lovely day, all around and we had a blast!!

I had a decidedly more private ritual later on with my beloved, and it was really wonderful. I do miss the Maypole dance that I’ve gotten used to over the years, but it’s okay. We needed the down time to really reconnect with the land and with each other, too.

~ Ravenna

Beltaine Links

 

© Ravenna Angelline 2014

Categories: Coven Life, Deities, Rejuvenation, Ritual Working, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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