April the Fourth Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2019


“No days such honored days as these! While yet
Fair Aphrodite reigned, men seeking wide
For some fair thing which should forever bide
On earth, her beauteous memory to set
In fitting frame that no age could forget,
Her name in lovely April’s name did hide,
And leave it there, eternally allied
To all the fairest flowers Spring did beget.”

–  Helen Hunt Jackson, Calendar of Sonnets – April, 1875

APRIL – THE PINK MOON

April is the fourth month of the year of the Gregorian calendar, and the first month of the astrological calendar. Its astrological sign is Aries, the Ram (March 20 – April 20), a cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars. The name of the month comes from the Latin aprilis, which derives from aper, or “boar,” as April was thought to be the month of the boar.

April is truly the deliciousness and glory of Spring! In most regions, early flowers begin showing their colors as skies clear and many birds return to their homes. Humans begin spring cleansing, and everywhere, red-blooded creatures begin pairing off for the sacred dance of courtship, whether those pairings last for a lifetime or simple a few hours. This is the month of the Sacred Marriage of the Lord and the Lady, for Beltane, or May Eve, occurs at the very end of the month on April 30th(in some traditions it’s May 1st), and Pagans everywhere begin to plan romantic and stay activities, from private rituals involving Great Rites to large public rituals with May gads or a Maypole. Everywhere, we see couplings, new growth, fertility and eventually, beautiful babies of all kinds.

Holidays of the month are April Fools’ Day, when we celebrate the Trickster, and Earth Day on the 22nd, which makes us aware of environmental issues. The beautiful flowering trees of the month gave April’s Full Moon its charming old-fashioned name–the Pink Moon. Early herbalists and folk magicians used this period to embrace spells concerning health and general well-being.

—Excerpt from Llewellyn’s 2019 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac
Excerpts from the Article Entitled “April” by Calafia

April’s Correspondences

Festival: Beltane Eve, May Day Eve. Symbols include blossom, May baskets, honey, and garlands.

Moon name: Pink Moon. Flowers start to appear, including wild ground phlox. Other names include Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Seed Moon, and Awakening Moon.

Astrological signs: Aries, March 21–April 20; Taurus, April 21–May 20.

Birthstones: Diamond and rock crystal.

Nature spirits: All plant fairies.

Animals: Toads, frogs, squirrels, and bees.

Birds: Wood pigeon and cuckoo.

Trees: Ash and hazel.

Flowers: Daisy, dandelion, bluebell, primrose, and comfrey.

Herbs: Basil, chives, and comfrey.

Scents: Blossoms, grass, and daisy.

Colors: Pale yellow, pinks, and violets.

Goddess: Rhiannon.

Powers: Creative energy, joy, and confidence.

Other: April Fool’s Day, Easter (depending on the date), Primrose Day, St. George’s Day (England).

—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

Symbols for the Month of April

 

April’s Festivals
Beltane Eve, May Day Eve

 

April’s Sign of the Zodiac
Aries(March 21–April 20)
Taurus(April 21–May 20)

 

April’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Fearn (Alder) (March 18 – April 14)
Saille (Willow) (April 15 – May 12)

 

April’s Runic Half Months
Ehwaz (March 30 – April 13)
Man (April 14 – April 28)
Lagu (April 29 – May 13)

 

April’s Birthstone
Diamond

 

April’s Birth Flower
Daisy, dandelion, bluebell, primrose

 

April’s Goddess
Rhiannon

 

April’s Folklore

“April showers bring May flowers.”

“If early April is foggy, then rain in June will make lanes boggy!”

“When April blows its horn, ’tis good for hay and corn.”

“April wet, good wheat.”

“Till April’s dead, change not a thread.”

Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

Pagan Calendar of Events for April

APR. 1: Dark Mother Day –honoring Black Annis, Kali; Fool’s Day—honoring the God of Chaos Energy. Day of Venus: Goddess of Love and the Hunt

APR. 5: Roman Day of Fortuna: Goddess of Fate

APR. 7: Feast of Blajini—offerings made to the Other People/Sidhe or Faeries “Kindly Ones”.

APR. 7-8: Feast of Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana) – who represents the feminine in Nature and protects women throughout their lives.

APR. 8: Day of Mooncakes—honoring the Moon Goddess.

APR. 15: – Feast of Tellus Mater (Roman) – Festival of Ba’ast, Feast of Bast (Egyptian cat goddess)

APR. 16: – St. Padarn’s Day (Celtic) – Feast of St. George (Byzantine)

APR. 15-17: Feast of the Seas – Honoring God-Goddess as Olokun-Yemaya (Yoruba/Santeria) and Okeanos-Tethys (Old Greek).

APR. 22: Earth Day – Day to honor the Earth and to meditate on Deity manifesting as Mother Earth
– Festival of Isthar (Babylonian)
– Feast of the Divine Couple (Japanese)
– Feast of Elaphebolia (Greek)
– Odin’s Day – Norse festival.

APR. 23: Festival of the Greenman—honoring the God of the Forest and vegetation.

APR. 25: – Spring Festivals – Dedicated to Herne, Pan, Horned God.
– Roman Robligalia – Corn Mothers (Ceres and Demeter) and Harvest.

APR. 25: Spring Festival – dedicated to the Horned God and Corn Mother.

APR. 28: Celebrated April 28 – May 3: Festival of Flora: remembrance of those who passed into the Underworld.

APR. 30: May Eve—Walpurgis Night; annual gathering of Witches and covens. Beltane Begins at Sundown (Celtic, Wiccan) Old Norse Feast.

APR. 30 – MAY 2: – Beltane – Celtic festival marking the arrival of summer in ancient times, celebrating Blodeuwedd (Goddess of Flowers) and Llew (Oak King, God of the Waxing Sun).
– Old Norse Feast – Celebrating Nanna (Goddess of Flowers), true love of Baldur (God of Light).
– Feast of Sacred Marriage – Honoring Goddess-God as Inanna & Dumuzi , Ishtar & Tammuz (Old Sumerian), Isis & Osiris (Egyptian), Oshun & Shango (Yoruba/Santeria).

Ostara to Beltane

The advent of Spring marks the turning of the year, when hours of daylight begins to outnumber the hours of darkness again. New growth emerges around us and we experience renewed energy and hope, while fertility becomes the focus of the animal and human world and is also seen in the reawakening of the Earth and the flora it sustains. Because the Sun returns to our lives at the Spring Equinox, it is associated with the color yellow.

Beltane / Beltain / Beltaine / Bealtaine

30th April / 1st May

The beginning of Summer – Summer is a comin in!

Beltane was an important festival in the Celtic calendar. The name originates from the Celtic god, Bel – the ‘bright one’, and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire, giving the name ‘bealttainn’, meaning ‘bright fire’.

This is the beginning of the ‘lighted half’ of the year when the Sun begins to set later in the evening and the hawthorn blossoms. To our ancestors Beltane was the coming of summer and fertility. Nature is in bloom and the earth is full of fecundity and life.

Beltane falls half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice and is a Cross Quarter Day.

Fire festivals

Beltane is one of the four Celtic fire festivals marking the quarter points in the year – feasts were held and bonfires were lit throughout the countryside. Fire was believed to have purifying qualities – it cleansed and rejuvenated both the land and the people.

The ritual welcoming of the sun and the lighting of the fires was also believed to ensure fertility of the land and the people. Animals were transfered from winter pens to summer pastures, and were driven between the Beltane fires to cleanse them of evil spirits and to bring fertility and a good milk yield. The Celts leapt over Beltane fires – for fertility and purification.

Young men would circle the Beltaine fires holding Rowan branches to bring protection against evil – its bright berries suggested fire – malign powers were considered particularly active at the year’s turning-point.

It was considered unlucky to allow anyone to take fire from one’s house on May Eve or May Day, as they would gain power over the inhabitants.

A Beltane fire festival is held annually in Edinburgh, at Calton Hill on 30th April – a May Queen and Green Man, representing Beltane fertility and renewal lead the celebrations on the hillside.

The Beltany Stone Circle in the North West of Ireland is named after the Beltane festival as the sunrise at Beltane is aligned with the only decorated stone in the circle.

The Maiden

The Triple Goddess – worshipped by the Ancient Britons – at Beltane is now in her aspect of the Maiden :

The May Queen, May Bride, Goddess of Spring, Flower Bride, Queen of the Fairies
– a symbol of purity, growth and renewal.

The Crone turns to stone on Beltane Eve.

May Blossom

Hawthorn – May Blossom

May blossom symbolises female fertility, with its creamy/ white, fragrant flowers. Hawthorn blossom was worn during Beltane celebrations, especially by the May Queen.

It is believed to be a potent magical plant and it is considered unlucky to bring the blossom inside the house, apart from on May eve.

May Day – Beltane Traditions

Beltane is a time of partnerships and fertility. New couples proclaim their love for each other on this day. It is also the perfect time to begin new projects.

The maypole – a phallic pole planted deep in the earth representing the potency and fecundity of the God, its unwinding ribbons symbolized the unwinding of the spiral of life and the union of male and female – the Goddess and God. It is usually topped by a ring of flowers to represent the fertile Goddess.

Paganhill, near Stroud, has one of the tallest maypoles. The Puritans banned maypoles during the 17th Century.
Birch trees
It was a Celtic tradition to fell a birch tree on May day and to bring it into the community.

Crosses of birch and rowan twigs were hung over doors on the May morning, and left until next May day.

Beltane cakes or bannocks – oatcakes coated with a baked on custard made of cream, eggs and butter – were cooked over open fires and anyone who chose a mis-shapen piece or a piece with a black spot was likely to suffer bad luck in the coming months. They were also offered to the spirits who protect the livestock, by facing the Beltane fire and casting them over their shoulders.

Beltane Celebrations and Rituals

At Sheen do Boaldyne, in the Isle of Man, twigs of Rowan are hung above doorways as protection – the opening of Summer was regarded as a time when fairies and spirits were especially active, as at Samhain and the opening of Winter.

The ‘Obby ‘Oss, at Padstow, Cornwall – wearing of animal skins was believed to be a relic of a Pagan sacred marriage between earth and sky, and the dance enacts the fertility god sacrificed for the good of his people.

The May Queen – Maid Marion/the Maiden consorts with Robin/ the Green Man in Celtic celebrations of May day.

Going ‘A-Maying’ meant staying out all night to gather flowering hawthorn, watching the sunrise and making love in the woods – a ‘greenwood marriage’.

The dew on the May day morning is believed to have a magical potency – wash your face and body in it and remain fair all year, and guarantee your youth and beauty continues – men who wash their hands in it will be good at tying knots and nets – useful if you’re a fisherman!

Symbols of Beltane

Traditional symbols used to represent Beltane are the May Pole (the traditional full-size one is about 10 feet tall), May baskets, crossroads, eggs, butterchurns and chalices. Symbolically, many Pagans choose to represent Beltane with fresh flowers all around the ritual area as well as their homes and the cauldron is often totally filled with gorgeous Springtime flowers. Roses, bluebells, marigolds, daisies, primroses, violets and lilac are associated with Beltane.

Beltane Altar

Altars are generally adorned with seasonal flowers. Other appropriate altar decorations for the season include mirrors, a small May pole, phallic-shaped candles to represent fertility, and daisy chains.

Gods and Goddesses of Beltane

Appropriate Deities for Beltane include all Virgin-Mother Goddesses, all Young Father Gods, all Gods and Goddesses of the Hunt, of Love, and of Fertility. Some Beltane Goddesses to mention by name here include Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Artemis, Astarte, Venus, Diana, Ariel, Var, Skadi, Shiela-na-gig, Cybele, Xochiquetzal, Freya, and Rhiannon. Beltane Gods include Apollo, Bacchus, Bel/Belanos, Cernunnos, Pan, Herne, Faunus, Cupid/Eros, Odin, Orion, Frey, Robin Goodfellow, Puck, and The Great Horned God.

Colors of Beltane

The most common colors associated with Beltane are white and dark green, and red… but also appropriate are all the colors of the rainbow spectrum itself. Stones to use during the Beltane celebration include sapphires, bloodstones, emeralds, orange carnelians, and rose quartz.

Plants and Animals of Beltane

Plants and herbs associated with Beltane are primrose, yellow cowslip, hawthorn, roses, birch trees, rosemary, and lilac. Also included are almond, angelica, ash trees, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisies, frankincense, ivy, marigolds, satyrion root, and woodruff.

Animals

Animals associated with Beltane are goats, rabbits, and honey bees. Mythical beasts associated with Beltane include faeries, pegesus, satyrs, and giants.

Incense

Use lilac, passion flower, rose or vanilla. These can be used alone or blended as you like.

Foods

Dairy foods and eggs are in tune with this season. Sweets of all kinds, honey, and oats are all fine foods for Beltane. Simple dishes such as vanilla ice cream and egg custard are quite traditional fare on this day.

A Lusty Beltane Day Spell

It’s Beltane day, and we are at the halfway point of spring and summer. Today is a day for lover’s trysts, beauty magick, and to commune with the spirits of nature. Gather some flowers and spring leaves from your garden, or pick up a small bundle of flowers from the florist and arrange them in a vase at home.

Share some wine with your lover. Sprinkle the bed sheets with fragrant rose petals. Light a few red and white candles to encourage love and magick, and to bring the energies of the sabbat into your boudoir.

If you like, you can add a Green Man representation to your altar setup. Simply set the candles in their holders on either side of the Green Man’s face and then scatter flowers around that. Simple and beautiful. You can keep it simple or go for drama; it’s up to you! Just set a magickally romantic and passionate mood. And don’t forget to practice safe sex. It is Beltane, you know; fertility magick and all of its energies are at their peak.

Light your candles and repeat the charm:

Beltane is a day of magick, ardor, and love
May the Old Ones now bless us all from up above.
With spring flowers I call Flora to bless us here
This lush green foliage calls the Green Man to be near.
A night for enchantment where faeries circle around
Let my magick bring romance and let passion abound.

I am sure you can figure out what to do next. Allow the candles to burn out in a safe place.

Blessed be!

–Seasons of Witchery: Celebrating the Sabbats with the Garden Witch
Ellen Dugan

Witchy Ways to Celebrate April

Here are some things you can do to celebrate the rebirth we all experience in April:

Decorate your home and altar with combinations of flowers and colors to celebrate the union between the Goddess and the God.

Work with herbs in your magic by creating spell bags and sachets. Cook with herbs whenever you can.

Create a spell for strength and wellness by lighting a Beltane candle and burning your spell written on some pretty paper.

Create a harmonious magical garden with symbols and signs of the craft. Paint pebbles and draw shapes in the earth.

Get outside and find one useable foraged ingredient for your recipes. This is also good for expanding your plant knowledge.

Connect with the God aspect by connecting with nearby trees. Spend time touching the tree and water the roots as an offering.

Make daisy chains as offerings for the Fae folk.

–Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

We are Witches
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.

 

–Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake

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