Posts Tagged With: Beltane

Wake Up, Peeps! It’s Finally Friday! We Made It Through Another Week! TGIF!

Friday Images
No way am I glad it is Friday, lol! I hope everyone has a very nice and blessed Beltane. Hopefully you didn’t celebrate to hard. I got to thinking this morning about Beltane and what it means. We all know it is a season of fertility and renewal. With that thought of renewal in mind, I ran across a Celtic Invocation that renews our pledge to our Divine Mother and Almighty Father. I believe it an appropriate way to start the day off. Enjoy!

 

Celtic Self- Initiation
 
I am mortal, loved and cared for by the
Triple Goddess and the Great God. Through
the Great Mother all things are born; to
her, all things, in their seasons, return.
Through her sacred cauldron, I enter and
leave this physical world, until by my
action I no longer must return to learn.
 
 
I, (your magickal name); come into this sacred
place willingly. I come to dedicate my life
to the Pagan way, to the Old Celtic Gods,
whose power is still strong and vital. Here
I give my word-bond to follow the ancient
paths that lead to true wisdom and know-
ledge. I will serve the Great Goddess and
give reverence to the Great God. I am a
Pagan, a stone of the ancient circle, standing
firmly balanced upon the Earth, yet open to
the winds of the heavens and enduring
through time. May the Old Celtic
Gods witness my words.

So Mote It Be.

Source:

Excerpt from Celtic Magic
Author D. J. Conway
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Another Beltane Incense

Beltane Incense

Recipe by Scott Cunningham
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Sandal wood
1 part Woodruff
1 part Rose petals
a few drops Jasmine oil
a few drops Neroli oil
Burn during Wiccan rituals on Beltane (April 30th) or on May Day for fortune and favors and to attune with the changing of the seasons.
(The above recipe for “Beltane Incense” is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham’s book “The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews”, page 60, Llewellyn Publications, 1989/1992.)
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Beltane Bannocks – Scottish Oatcakes

Beltane Bannocks – Scottish Oatcakes

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In parts of Scotland, the Beltane bannock is a popular custom. It’s said that if you eat one on Beltane morning, you’ll be guaranteed abundance for your crops and livestock. Traditionally, the bannock is made with animal fat (such as bacon grease), and it is placed in a pile of embers, on top of a stone, to cook in the fire. Once it’s blackened on both sides, it can be removed, and eaten with a blend of eggs and milk. This recipe doesn’t require you to build a fire, and you can use butter instead of fat.

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C oatmeal
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Preparation:

Combine oatmeal, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Melt the butter, and drizzle it over the oats. Add the water, and stir the mix until it forms a stiff dough. Turn the dough out on a sheet of wax paper and knead thoroughly.

Separate the dough into two equal portions, and roll each one into a ball. Use a rolling pin to make a flat pancake that is about ¼” thick. Cook your oatcakes on a griddle over medium heat until they are golden brown. Cut each round into quarters to serve.

Traditionally, the Beltane bannock would have been made with meat fat, such as bacon grease, instead of butter. You can use this if you prefer.

 

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Make Some for Fertility Bread for Beltane

Fertility Bread

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Fertility Bread

 

Breads seem to be one of the staple foods of Pagan and Wiccan rituals. If you can tie your break baking into the theme of the Beltane Sabbat, even better. In this recipe, use an uncooked loaf of bread (available in the refrigerated section of your grocery) and turn it into a phallus.

To make your fertility bread, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 loaf refrigerated bread dough
  • Melted butter

The phallus bread, naturally, represents the male. He is the horned god, the lord of the forest, the Oak King, Pan. To make the phallus, use one of your refrigerated tubes of dough. Cut the dough into three pieces – a long piece, and two smaller, rounder pieces. The longest piece is, of course, the shaft of the phallus. Use the two small pieces to form the testes, and place them at the bottom of the shaft. Use your imagination to shape the shaft into a penis-like shape.

Once you’ve shaped your bread, allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour or two. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. When it comes out of the oven, brush with a glaze of melted butter. Use in ritual or for other parts of your Beltane celebrations.

Admittedly, the one in the photo is a bit… thick, but hey, use your imagination!

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Make A Green Man Cake for Beltane

Green Man Cake

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The Green Man is an archetype often represented at Beltane. He is the spirit of the forest, the lusty fertility god of the woodlands. He is Puck, Jack in the Green, Robin of the Woods. For your Beltane celebrations, why not put together a cake honoring him? This spice cake is easy to bake, and uses a delicious cream cheese frosting and rolled fondant to create the image of the Green Man himself. This recipe makes either one 9 x 13″ sheet cake, or 2 8-inch rounds.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum-flavored extract
  • 1 C butter, softened (don’t use margarine)
  • 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 2 C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package white fondant
  • Green food coloring
  • Leaf-shaped cutters

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease and flour your cake pan. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and blend well. In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, vanilla and rum extracts together.

Add the softened butter to the flour mixture, and beat until it forms a clumpy sort of dough. Gradually add the liquid mixture in, blending it a little at a time until all the milk mixture has been combined with the flour mixture. Beat until completely smooth, and then add the brown sugar. Mix for another thirty seconds or so. Scoop batter into the pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Once you have it out of the pan, you can begin frosting the cake.

To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the confectioner’s sugar and blend it in. Spread this evenly over the cake, and allow it to sit for an hour or so to firm up.

To make the Green Man himself, you’ll need green fondant. If you’ve never worked with fondant before, it can be a little tricky, but with some practice you’ll be able to use it easily. Roll out the fondant and knead it into a ball. Add the green food coloring in very small amounts and blend it in, until you’ve got the shade of green you want.

Roll the fondant out until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Use the leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out different sized leaves. Score lines on them, to look live leafy veins. Place them on top of the frosted cake and press in place, layering them to form a Green Man. Roll two small pieces into balls, flatten them down, and put them in to create eyeballs in amongst the leaves. Reminder – fondant tends to dry quickly once it’s rolled out, so only cut off small pieces. The cake in the photo was made using a block of fondant about the size of a package of cream cheese.

Tip: if you’re in a hurry, or you’re not much of a baker, you can use any boxed spice cake mix.

 

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Fertility Deities of Beltane

Fertility Deities of Beltane

Learn About Beltane’s Fertility Gods and Goddesses

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Beltane is a time of great fertility — for the earth itself, for animals, and of course for people as well. This season has been celebrated by cultures going back thousands of years, in a variety of ways, but nearly all shared the fertility aspect. Typically, this is a Sabbat to celebrate gods of the hunt or of the forest, and goddesses of passion and motherhood, as well as agricultural deities. Here are a list of gods and goddesses that can be honored as part of your tradition’s Beltane rituals.

  • Artemis (Greek): The moon goddess Artemis was associated with the hunt, and was seen as a goddess of forests and hillsides. This pastoral connection made her a part of spring celebrations in later periods.

 

  • Bes (Egyptian): Worshiped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection god, and watched over mothers and young children. He and his wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility.

 

  • Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus was the party god — grapes, wine, and general debauchery were his domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility.

 

  • Cernunnos (Celtic): Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair — he is, after all, the lord of the forest.

 

  • Flora (Roman): This goddess of spring and flowers had her own festival, Floralia, which was celebrated every year between April 28 to May 3. Romans dressed in bright robes and floral wreaths, and attended theater performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess.

 

  • Hera (Greek): This goddess of marriage was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, and took it upon herself to bestow good tidings to new brides. A maiden about to marry could make offerings to Hera, in the hopes that she would bless the marriage with fertility. In her earliest forms, she appears to have been a nature goddess, who presides over wildlife and nurses the young animals which she holds in her arms.

 

  • Kokopelli (Hopi): This flute-playing, dancing spring god carries unborn children upon his own back, and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, he is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of his fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with his consort, Kokopelmana.

 

  • Pan (Greek): This agricultural god watched over shepherds and their flocks. He was a rustic sort of god, spending lots of time roaming the woods and pastures, hunting and playing music on his flute. Pan is typically portrayed as having the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to a faun. Because of his connection to fields and the forest, he is often honored as a spring fertility god
  • Priapus (Greek): This fairly minor rural god has one giant claim to fame — his permanently erect and enormous phallus. The son of Aphrodite by Dionysus (or possibly Zeus, depending on the source), Priapus was mostly worshiped in homes rather than in an organized cult. Despite his constant lust, most stories portray him as sexually frustrated, or even impotent. However, in agricultural areas he was still regarded as a god of fertility, and at one point he was considered a protective god, who threatened sexual violence against anyone — male or female — who transgressed the boundaries he guarded.

 

  • Sheela-na-Gig (Celtic): Although the Sheela-na-Gig is technically the name applied to the carvings of women with exaggerated vulvas that have been found in Ireland and England, there’s a theory that the carvings are representative of a lost pre-Christian goddess. Typically, the Sheela-na-Gig adorns buildings in areas of Ireland that were part of the Anglo-Norman conquests in the 12th century. She is shown as a homely woman with a giant yoni, which is spread wide to accept the seed of the male. Folkloric evidence indicates that the figures are theory that the figures were part of a fertility rite, similar to “birthing stones”, which were used to bring on conception.

 

  • Xochiquetzal (Aztec): This fertility goddess was associated with spring, and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron goddess of prostitutes and craftsmen
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Beltane Fire Incense

Beltane Fire Incense

By , About.com

 

At Beltane, spring is beginning to get seriously underway. Gardens are being planted, sprouts are beginning to appear, and the earth is returning to life once again. This time of year is associated with fertility, thanks to the greening of the land, and with fire. A few fire-associated herbs can be blended together to make the perfect Beltane incense. Use it during rituals and ceremonies, or burn it for workings related to fertility and growth.

Fresh herbs will likely be too young to harvest right now, which is why it’s a good idea to keep a supply on hand from the previous year. However, if you do have a fresh plant you wish to dry out, you can do this by placing it on a tray in your oven at low heat for an hour or two. If you have a home dehydrator, these work just as well.

This recipe is for loose incense, but you can adapt it for stick or cone recipes.  As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the goal of your work.

You’ll need:

  • 2 parts Mugwort
  • 1 part dried daffodil petals
  • 1 part Basil
  • 1 part Hawthorn berries
  • 1 part Patchouli
  • 1 part Cinnamon
  • 1/2 part Dragon’s Blood resin

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:

Fire blend and fire light,
I celebrate Beltane this warm spring night.
This is the time of most fertile earth,
the greening of the land, and new rebirth.
Fire and passion and labor’s toil,
life grows anew out of the soil.
By Beltane’s flames, br
ing fertility to me,
As I will, so it shall be.

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

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Altar Maypole Centerpiece – Make a Beltane Maypole for Your Altar

Altar Maypole Centerpiece – Make a Beltane Maypole for Your Altar

By Patti Wigington, About.com

 

Altar Maypole Centerpiece

 

For many people, a Maypole Dance is the best way ever to celebrate the fertility holiday of Beltane… but let’s face it, you may not have the ability to do that. Not everyone can stick a 20-foot pole in their yard, or you may not even know enough other Pagans (or Pagan-friendly non-Pagans) to have a Maypole Dance in the first place. If that’s the case, there’s a much smaller alternative. You can easily make a Maypole to put on your Beltane altar.

For this simple craft project, you’ll need the following:

  • A 1″ thick dowel rod, about a foot long
  • A wooden circle, about 4″ in diameter
  • Pieces of ribbon in various colors, about 2 feet long each
  • A hot glue gun

Use the hot glue gun to attach the dowel rod to the center of the wooden circle. Once the glue has dried, you can stain or paint the wood if you choose. Attach the center of each ribbon to the top of the dowel rod, as shown in in the photo.

Use the Maypole as a centerpiece on your altar. You can braid the ribbons as a meditation tool, or include it in ritual. Optional: add a small floral crown around the bottom to represent the feminine fertility of the Sabbat, as shown in the photo.

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