Beltane is celebrated on April 30th (May Eve) and is primarily a fire and fertility festival. Beltane, meaning “Bel-Fire,” is derived from the Celtic God Bel, also known as Beli or Balor, which simply means “Lord.” Some seem to think that Bel was comparable to the Celtic Gaul God, Cernunnos. This is possible, as most male Gods relate to the sun and fire aspects.
Beltane was the time of the May Queen, when a young woman was chosen from her village to represent the Earth Goddess and reflect the transformation of maiden to mother. In addition, this was the time of the kindling of the Need Fire, when all fires in the village were extinguished and then ritually relit the following day.
Fertility played an important role at Beltane, as it did with all Spring celebrations. The principle symbol of this Sabbat was the May Pole, also known as the axis mundi, around which the universe revolved. The pole personified the thrusting masculine force, and the disk at the top depicted the receptive female. There were seven colored ribbons tied to the pole representing the seven colors of the rainbow. possibly Walpurga- hence her association with May Eve and Witches.
Floral wire and tape;
fresh daisies and carnations;
seven different colored ribbons,
6 to 8 inches in length.
Begin by making a circle out of the wire that will sit atop your head. Twist the ends together and cover with a bit of tape. Lay the first flower on the wire and secure with the floral tape. Place the second flower next to the first and secure with the tape. Continue this process until the wire frame is almost completely covered. Leave a ‘/2-inch space between the first and last flowers to tie the ribbons from. Tie each ribbon individually so that it hangs from the back of the crown.
Maypole Center Piece
A 12-inch tall wooden dowel approximately 1 ½ inch diameter:
one 4- inch diameter disk
one 2-inch diameter disk
one small jar of Petal Porcelain fabric striffener
seven different colored 13-inch strips of ribbon
The 4-inch disk will serve as the base of your maypole. Pound a small nail through it to affix the dowel to the base. Use a small amount wood glue to secure. Glue the smaller disk to the top. When the glue has dried, paint the entire thing green. Glue the end of each ribbon to the top of the smaller disk, spacing them evenly. Glue the silk flowers to the top of the maypole. Use the Petal Porcelain to stiffen the ribbons so they will stand out and hold their shape.