Tag Archives: Maypole

Flashback 2008 Beltane

BELTANE 2008

An example of a Beltane Altar.

Beltane is the sensual Pagan festival of fire and fertility, and is also know as May Day–when we dance around an the omnipotent phallic symbol the maypole. The red and white ribbons woven around the maypole represent blood and semen; the sacred fusion of female and male energies that are the creative life force.

Capture the essence of this potent fertility celebration by weaving or plaiting red and white cord or ribbon. Leave some loose, unplaited ribbon at the end to cut later. Wear your woven cord as a headdress or place onto your altar in a heart shape. Head wreaths were traditionally worn at Beltane to honor the Queen of May.

If you are single, to attract a partner, grab a red pen and piece of white paper and write the qualities you admire in a lover. If you are in a releationship, list whst you enjoy about your partner, plus a few traits you may wish to nuture. Then add what you love about yourself. Roll up the piece of paper and tie with the leftover red and white ribbon. Place it under your pillow as you sleep tonight, thinking about the joy your partner, or potential partner, will bring. When you wake, store the scroll of paper in a safe place.

Copyright Emely Flak  Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2008 Page 63

Flashback 2002 Beltane

BELTANE 2002

An example of a Beltane Altar

Prepare for Beltane by leaving tokens for fairy folk in the woods or your herb garden. Tie glitzy ribbons for the undines near a natural spring or riverbank. Gather spring flowers at dawn to adorn your door and prepare a traditional May bowl for your ritual.

First harvest several stems of flowering sweet woodruff to steep in white wine or champagne. Then stir in a cup of brandy or strawberry wine, adding whole strawberries, rose petals, and floating red candles. Empower the whole bowl for your ritual. MAke a mini-Maypole for your altar. FInd small smooth egg-shaped stone and half-bury in pots of herbs or directly in the soil to update the ancient tadtion of HEmes seeding the soil for fertility. For this ritual, use red as the main color theme in circle as a nod to the red moonflow of ancient ceremonies.

Copyright K. D. Spitzer Lleweylln’s Witches’ Datebook 2002

Flashback Beltane 2000

Beltane 2000

When the Sun travels through Taurus, Spring has reached its fertile peak. Trees are lush and green, flowers bloom, and the birds wrestle meals for their youngsters from moist ground. The air smells fresh, clean and “green.” This is the time of year for all of us to take a moment to appreciate the gifts of Mother Earth, both for the richness of her bounty and the home she provides. As the most pleasure-loving sign of all, Taurus is expert at enjoying all those wonderful experiences that make life inside the human body so delightful. This sign loves to indulge in good food, listen to sweet strains of music, and sit in awed silence as yet another sunset slowly fills the sky with color. The ancients danced their fertility rites on this day, taking pleasure in the sensual, fruitful touch of each other’s bodies, another delight in the union of the Goddess and the God provides. Whether you dance around a Maypole or simply partake of a divine feast with friends at this magical time, be sure to revel in your body, the divine instrument that allows you to sample the wonders of our planet.

Copyright Kim Rogers-Gallagher Lleweylln’s Witches’ Datebook 2000

Beltane and Its Holiday’s Significance

Beltane

Witches usually celebrate Beltane on May 1, although some prefer to mark it around May 5, when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus. The sabbat is named for the god Baal or Bel, sometimes called “the bright one.” In Scottish Gaelic, the word bealtainn means “fires of Belos” and refers to the bonfires pagans light on this sabbat. The joyful festival celebrates the earth’s fertility, when flowers bloom and plants begin sprouting in the fields. The Christian Church adopted this ancient holiday as May Day, and some of Beltane’s old rituals (sans the overt sexuality) are still enacted today.

The Holiday’s Significance

The second fertility holiday in the Wheel of the Year, Beltane coincides with a period of fruitfulness. To ancient and modern pagans alike, this holiday honors the earth and all of nature. In early agrarian cultures, farmers built fires on Beltane and led livestock between the flames to increase their fertility.

Sexuality is also celebrated on this sabbat—the Great Rite has traditionally been part of the holiday’s festivities. In pre-Christian days, Beltane celebrants engaged in sexual intercourse in the fields as a form of symbolic magick to encourage fertility and a bountiful harvest. Children who were conceived at this time were said to belong to the Goddess.

Ways to Celebrate

It’s best to celebrate Beltane outside in order to appreciate nature’s fullness. Because Beltane is a fertility holiday, many of its rituals contain sexual symbolism. The Maypole, around which young females dance, is an obvious phallic symbol. Witches often decorate the Maypole with flowers in recognition of the earth’s beauty and fruit fruitfulness. Sometimes a woman who seeks a partner will toss a circular garland over the top of the pole, signifying the sex act, as a way of asking the Goddess to send her a lover.

Another fertility ritual utilizes the cauldron, symbol of the womb. Women who wish to become pregnant build a small fire in the cauldron, then jump over it. If you prefer, you can leap over the cauldron to spark creativity in the mind instead of the body.

THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

Beltane Comments & Graphics
THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

In the spirit of Spider woman,
Who wove the earth and the universe
We weave this Maypole of desires
Come true at Beltane.

Dance the Maypole for the
Beauty of the earth, the Goddess
And all of her people.

Weave the Maypole to make all wishes come true.

We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weaver, we are the web.

We are the weaver, we are the web
We are the spider, we are the thread.

We are the spider, we are the thread
We are the witches, back from the dead.

Info About Beltane/Walpurgis Night & Two Do It Yourself Ideas

Beltane Comments & Graphics
April 30th

Beltane/Walpurgis Night

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.

Magickal Activities

Flower Wreath

Items needed:

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

Items needed:

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

green paint

wood glue

silk flowers

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.

THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

In the spirit of Spider woman,
Who wove the earth and the universe
We weave this Maypole of desires
Come true at Beltane.

Dance the Maypole for the
Beauty of the earth, the Goddess
And all of her people.

Weave the Maypole to make all wishes come true.

We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weaver, we are the web.

We are the weaver, we are the web
We are the spider, we are the thread.

We are the spider, we are the thread
We are the witches, back from the dead.

The Height Of Spring – Beltane

The Height Of Spring – Beltane

Beltane marks the height of the season of Spring. The Goddess’s reign begins, the rule of the year relinquished by the God. Emphasis is on all the “unnecessary”, ephemeral things that make human happiness, such as love, beauty, playfulness, and the arts. These things are the fruits of successful labor in the fields, which leaves us the leisure to enjoy them. They elevate our consciousness to a level above mere survival. These energies, projected into the Beltane fires, make them a potent charm.

THEMES

Flowers opening. Trees and shrubs in bloom and beginning to leaf out. Threat of snow and ice ended.

Final plowing and planting. Milk flow comes in full.

Baal (fire of the sun), a god of the Sun and of vegetation, has his great feast at this time; as does Olwen, a Welsh form f Venus; Belili, sister and lover of Tamuz, Priapus, Pan and Eros; Maia, the mother of Mercury; Terminus, Roman god of boundaries; Aphrodite and Venus; the Roman Flora.

St. George is the Xian version of the vegetation god. Slain by the Giant
(death), he is revived by the Fool (Sun) and kills the Dragon (Winter), in the spring mummer’s play.

Appearance of Robin Hood, Maid Marian and the Merry Men, of Merlin and the fairy Viviane or Nimue, and the legend of Gwain and the Green Knight. Feast of Pluto or Hades and of Walburga, a Teutonic Earth-Goddess converted into a Xian saint.

PURPOSE OF THE RITES

To ensure growth and health of the crops. Magic for happiness in love. Sexual union among the people are united with the life-force of all nature. Fire-magic to strengthen the sun and obtain adequate rainfall.

FOLK CUSTOMS

On the last three days in April, houses are cleaned and fumigated with juniper berries and rue. Couples go to the woods May Eve, build bowers of green branches and stay all night. At dawn they return bringing green and flowering branches, and decorate the homes and door lintels as they go from house to house, singing May carols. A Maypole, cut from a straight young tree, is brought from the woods, decorated with ribbons, flowers and green branches – or the flowers and greenery are brought from the woods to decorate (and symbolically revivify) a permanent Maypole in the village center.

Milkmaids and sweeps parade. A procession tours the boundary markers and other important landmarks, beating them with willow wands – no doubt t purification rite. Wells are decorated with flowers and blessed (originally, no doubt, the spirit of the well was propitiated with offerings) often in the same procession.

Dew gathered at dawn on May morning has many uses as a charm. A king and queen are crowned, sometimes by the figures of Merlin and Viviane, sometimes by the Mayor.

Green George (aka Jack O’ the Green Man) is a man concealed in a framework covered with green leaves, representing the vegetation spirit. He dances and whirls in the processions, and people sprinkle him with water – obviously an old rain charm. Sometimes he throws fodder to the animals. He goes with the May procession from house to house collecting presents of food for the company – showing that Spring brings nourishment.

Hobby horses parade in many parts of England and Europe, notably in Cornwall, the most famous and magically potent being at Padstow. Processions of young girls dressed in white sing May carols and leading a little May Queen.

SYMBOLIC DECORATIONS

Many small Maypoles – poles decorated with flowers, greenery and ribbons. Garland – hoops similarly decorated. Birth, Hawthorn Lily-of-the-Valley, Rowan, Willow. Masses of flowers.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Athletic contests, flower shows, horse races.

THE RITE

The altar may be placed in the East of Southeast, draped in white as a
background for the decorations of seasonal foliage and flowers. Use white candles.

Rites take place on the Eve, just after dark. Emphasize incense in the
banishings, as at Ostara. Also strike the altar, the watchtowers and the people with a willow switch – just a light tap – to drive away evil influences, with no suggestion of punishment.

Invoke the Goddess as any or all of the Goddesses whose feasts occur at this time; the God likewise. Charge the fire to bring happiness to lovers. Communion materials are the usual crescent-shaped Sabbat Cakes and May wine (white wine, usually a Rhine wine, in which sweet woodruff has been steeped for at least a few hours). Afterwards, couples may leap the dying fire to benefit form the charge. Ashes and charred sticks from the fire also carry the charge, and at all Sabbats these can be taken home by the coveners to sprinkle on their gardens, plants or domestic animals, or used in other ways as a charm.

Coveners should wear wreaths of flowers and herbs, particularly roses and vervain, if obtainable, and their clothing should be pretty and spring-like and decorated with flowers and leaves.

Rites on Beltane Day, beginning as early as people are inclined to get up in the morning, should include many of the folk customs mentioned here, wit h a May King and Queen enthrones in their bower representing the maiden love-goddess and the priapic green god, presiding over the revels, which include a Maypole dance, sports and games.