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!

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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



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.



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.



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



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



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



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


Animals/Mythical Creatures:

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



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




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

All About Beltane

April’s showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 – November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history. Depending on your tradition, there are a number of ways you can celebrate this Sabbat. First, you might want to read up on:

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying — and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

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Customs and Folklore

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of May Day? Learn why the Romans had a big party, and who the popular fertility gods are.

Beltane Magic

Beltane is a season of fertility and fire, and we often find this reflected in the magic of the season. Let’s look at some of that spring magic, from ritual sex to fertility magic, along with the magic found in gardens and nature.

Crafts and Creations

As Beltane approaches, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with fun floral crowns and a Maypole altar centerpiece.

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Beltane, celebrate with foods that honor fertility of the earth. Enjoy light spring soups, Scottish bannocks, fertility bread loaves, and more.

Related Articles
Categories: Coven Life, Our History, Rejuvenation, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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