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
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
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)