Samhain Celebration Guide

To read more about celebrating Samhain please click on this link

From Plentiful Earth – Northern and Southern Hemispheres Samhain

Beltane in Southern Hemisphere – Samhain in Northern Hemisphere

Blessed Beltane to all in the Southern Hemisphere.

Beltane Festival is held in honour of the god Bel.

In some modern traditions he is also known by the names, Beli, Belar, Balor, or Belenus.

In the myth of many modern traditions of wicca/witchcraft, Beltane marks the appearance of the Horned One, who is the rebirth of the Solar God slain during the Wheel of the Year. He then becomes consort to the Goddess, impregnating her with his seed, and thereby ensuring his own rebirth once again.

Beltane marks the beginning of summer’s half and the pastoral growing season. The word “Beltane” literally means “bright fire”, and refers to the bonfires lit during this season.

It is also a time of beginnings,…

Beltane continued….Scroll down for Samhain

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Samhain and enjoy Halloween.

Samhain Traditions

“Sam” and “hain” meant “end of” and “summer” to the Celts. They observed only two seasons of the year: summer and winter. So, Samhain was celebrated at the transition of these seasons.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne)is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat. It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”.

To Witches, Samhain is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called ‘THE’ Great Sabbat. Pagans consider Samhain the most magical night of the year. It occurs exactly opposite of Beltane…

Sweet Beltane

Image result for beltane southern hemisphere
By Fawn Devi
Swirling around the maypole
Dancing to the drums
Celebrating sweet Beltane
Summer has begun
Mother earth breathes New life
Under the sun aglow
The marriage of the earth and sky
Fertility bestowed
Swirling around the maypole
Flowers in our hair
It’s the Goddess and the green man
& they’re blessed love affair
See the source image

Beltane – Spring is Here! Time to Get Your Gardens Ready

Welcome to springtime in the southern hemisphere. As the warmer weather comes a witches thoughts turns to sowing a garden. A garden can mean a different thing to each of us. For me it is getting my physical seeds ready for my veggie garden, to check to see if my herbs survived the winter or if I need to start new ones. Spiritually it means starting new seeds/paths for me to be able to grow to be closer to Mother Earth, the Universal energies, my students, and my teachers. To be able in the fall to reap full benefits of all that I have learned and put them into practice whether it is in my own personal life or helping my students with something. This year I need to plant new seeds and seedlings for all my flower gardens because early heavy rains in this part of the country washed away two inches of top soil in all my flower beds.

What does planting a garden mean to you? Do you plant flowers, vegetables, herbs, goals or a little of all of these or any combination? Remember whatever you plant will come to fruition with the right amount of love, watering (spiritually this can be communicating with each other in the pagan community or even be emailing me to say hi), sunshine (remember to thank the Sun God) and nurturing from within yourself (positive thoughts and affirmations) and from others in our community.

I would really LOVE to SEE COMMENTS on this post, please. Share with us your seeds and lets us help you grow them to their fullest potential!

Copyright 2017 Lady Beltane

A Version of the History of Beltane

History of Beltane from beltanefire.com.au

The Beltane fire festival welcomes the abundance of the fertile earth and is celebrated with bonfires, Maypoles, burning of the Wickerman, dancing, and a feast, with its roots in European traditions, Beltane is observed by many of today’s Pagans and others as a time for performing rituals

The Celts divided the year into two main seasons. Winter, the beginning of the year fell on November 1 (Irish: Samain) and midyear and summer on May 1 (Irish: Beltaine), opposite for us here in the Southern Hemisphere.

These two junctures were thought to be critical periods when the bonds between the human and supernatural worlds were temporarily erased; on May Eve (southern hemisphere)…

Beltane of the Southern Hemisphere

Today, in the Pagan calendar, the north celebrate the coming of winter at Samhainn. And all the while the sun is peaking up from behind the lush vernal trees and dancing for us once more in the southern hemisphere, as we welcome Beltane on October 31st. Or as I like to refer to it Beltane of the underworld.

A pagan spiral formation in Faerie Glenn where everything is miniature and enchanted. Copyright Content Catnip 2010

Beltane is  the Gaelic seasonal festival historically held to mark the midpoint between the spring equinox & summer solstice (Là Bealltainn in Scottish Gaelic; Lá Bealtaine in Irish). Fire is the traditional means of marking this spring festival of optimism & return.

A famous Ossianic lament…

Click here to read more about Southern Hemisphere Beltane from ContentCatnip.com

BELTANE: SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

Southern Hemisphere Beltane by Jane Hardwicke Collings

The date for the Southern Hemispheric Beltane is October 31st and ‘May Day’ is November 1st. The climax of Spring!

Beltane is the peak of Spring, a celebration of fertility. In ancient times it was the Beltane Rites that recon- nected each year the King to the Goddess, the masculine to the feminine. It is a time for us to give thanks for our fertile lives, our creativity and our gender specific gifts and roles. Its a time to notice and honour the difference in the masculine and feminine. It is a time of increasing growth, building to almost full potential, of beauty and heightened passion.

Beltane Spiritual Practice

Your being, as part of the Earth, part of the cycle of the seasons, will be influenced by this energy whether you’re paying attention to it or not. If you pay some attention, you will feel it, and you can be in flow with it.

Think like the gardener, and align with the Earth energy of now, contemplate the growth that is peaking in your life, that is getting all the attention…

Beltane Printable Coloring Pages

I am not sure how large these will print out. I have found the easiest way to print them is to save them to my computer than print them out individually.

May Day [Beltane] by Jami Shoemaker – Part 1

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would celebrate the first of May by making little paper baskets and filling them with candy. We would then sneak around the neighborhood to our friend’s houses, leave them on the doorsteps, ring the bells, and run away, screaming with laughter. The trick was never to reveal your identity to the recipient of the gift. Little did I know at the time that we were celebrating an old custom that harkened back to ancient times.

Origins

Like any celebration based on ancient agricultural practices, it is impossible to know the exact origin of out May Day. Celebrations of spring are found in cultures all over the world, with similar themes of renewal, planting and growth, the gathering of flowers, and playful celebrations.

However, much of the meaning behind modern Pagan custom can be traced to Celtic origins, or at least with attribute to the Celts. We know that they divided the year into two seasons: summer and winter, the dark and life halves of the year. Within this they honored four major turning points, Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh, with fire festivals.

These festivals coincided astrologically with the Sun at 15 degrees Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus, and Leo, respectively. This made these pivotal points each a type of “moveable” feast originally, like the solstices and equinoxes, which vary by a day or two from year to year. But due to changes in calendars over time, eventually the first day of the months of November, February, May, and August were earmarked for these festivals, evolving into what Witches call the Great Sabbats, with the celebrations commencing at sunset the eve before.

The flexibility in the actual date is followed by some Pagans today, and May Day, or Beltane, celebrations calculated this way are called “Old Beltane.” This explains the custom in ancient Ireland of celebrating the first day of summer on May 6. This day was given to Inghean Bhuidhe, the Yellow-Haired Girl, one of the three sister-goddesses who brought in the seasons: the First of Spring, the First of Summer, and the First Harvest.

The return of the light was called Cetsamhain (“opposite  Samhain”) or Beltaine in Ireland, Galan-Mai in Wales, and in Scotland, Beaultiunn, on the Isle of Man, it was known as Day of Summer and in Germany, Walpurgisnatch. The medieval church renamed the holiday Roodmas, hoping to shift the emphasis from the phallic Maypole to the Holy Rood, or Cross, and celebrations once marked by Pagan frivolity were usurped by festivities held in churchyards.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages21 to25

May Day by Jami Shoemaker – Part 2

Roman Influence

The month of May takes its name from the goddess Maia, who appears in both Greek and Roman mythologies. In Greece, she was “grandmother,” “midwife,” or “wise one” and she was known as the mother of Hermes. The Romans associated her with their fire goddess of the same name who, along with Flora and Feronia, ruled growth and warmth, including sexual desire. Maia’s day was the first of May, and the associations with growth can still be seen in the Christian dedication of the month to Mary, Queen of Flowers.

When Romans came to Britain, they brought with them their own ancient spring rites. The goddess Flora was worshiped as the embodiment of the flowering of all of nature, including human. She was the queen of plants, the goddess of flowers, and the patron of Roman prostitutes. Flora was honored during a week-long festival from April 28–May 3. The Floralia included the gathering of flowers, used in processions, dances, and games. Young raced to see who could be the first to hang a wreath on Flora’s statue, and wrap garlands around the columns of her temple. The female body was especially6 honored at this time. Graphic, erotic medallions were distributed, and public orgies celebrated the fruitfulness of the earth. The “festival of nude women” was celebrates until the third century CE, when Roman authorities demanded the celebrants be clothed. The sense of unrestrained freedom was even enjoyed by Roman slaves on this day, with the stipulation that they return to their mater’s houses that night.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages 21 to 25

May Day by Jami Shoemaker – Part 5

Modern Celebrations

Many ancient customs can be seen in current celebrations of May Day. Pagan practices embrace the Maypole, dancing, and bonfires of the past, and honor the union of Goddess and God. The magic of the warming earth, the bright greens of the woods, and the giddiness of life returning universally inspiring as ever. Whether it’s celebrates as Labor Day in Russia, Vappu in Finland, Flores de Mayo in El Salvador, or Flittin’ Day in Scotland, May Day is still a time for relaxing the rules and celebrating spring, even if that simply means going barefoot for the first time that year. And, yes, some children still leave May baskets on the doorsteps of friends’ houses and run away, squealing with delight.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages 21 to 25

Beltane Sunset to Sunset. April 30th – May 1st

Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..

Traditions of Beltane

Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane

To read more interesting things about Northern Hemisphere Beltane click here

Happy and Blessed Beltane to Our Sisters, Brothers, and Guests in the Southern Hemisphere

Beltane – Bealtaine Traditions in Irish Folklore

Beltane is the anglicised version of our Irish word Bealtaine – still in use and meaning ‘the month of May’ in our own language. Bealtaine is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature, and it is associated with important events in Irish mythology.

Irish folklore still holds the legacy of the traditions and customs associated with this ancient festival. Bealtaine and Samhain are the original two turning points for the ‘wheel of the year’ in Ireland. That’s May Eve and Hallowe’en, in case you’re not familiar.

These major Irish Pagan Festivals were pivotal – literally – times of upheaval of change for our ancestors over 8,000 years ago when the Hunter Gatherer societies moved from their Summer to Winter camping grounds at these seasonal turning points, and they still resonate through the landscape and the Irish communities to this day.

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Beltane: (Bealtaine, Valpurgis)

Incense: Lilac, Frankincense
Decorations: Maypole, Flowers, Ribbons
Colours: Green

The Fire Festival of Beltane

This festival is also known as Beltane, the Celtic May Day. It officially begins at moonrise on May Day Eve, and marks the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year. It is celebrated as an early pastoral festival accompanying the first turning of the herds out to wild pasture. The rituals were held to promote fertility. The cattle were driven between the Belfires to protect them from ills. Contact with the fire was interpreted as symbolic contact with the sun. In early Celtic times, the druids kindled the Beltane fires with specific incantations. Later the Christian church took over the Beltane observances, a service was held in the church, followed by a procession to the fields or hills, where the priest kindled the fire. The rowan branch is hung over the house fire on May Day to preserve the fire itself from bewitchment (the house fire being symbolic of the luck of the house).

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