Walpurgis Night

WalpurgisnachtWalpurgis Night

 

“Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht) is a traditional spring festival on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. It is often celebrated with dancing and with bonfires. The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after the English missionary Saint Walburga (ca. 710–777/9). As Walburga was canonized on 1st of May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars.[1][2] The eve of May day, traditionally celebrated with dancing, came to be known as Walpurgisnacht (“Walpurga’s night”). The name of the holiday is Walpurgisnacht in German and Dutch, Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö, (Walpurgi öö) in Estonian, Valpurgijos naktis in Lithuanian, Valpurģu nakts or Valpurģi in Latvian, čarodějnice or Valpuržina noc in Czech, chódotypalenje Lower Sorbian and chodojtypalenje in Upper Sorbian.

 

Source

– Wikipedia

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May Eve/Mayday

beltane

May Eve/Mayday

May Eve/ Mayday – Beltane Beltane is celebrated on May 1 or April 30. It is also known by the name, May Eve. Beltane is one of the important festivals in the wicca calendar. It is also called the fertility festival.

 

The accessories used during this festival are blooming flowers, colored ribbons, chaplets and crowns of leaves and flowers, and poles decorated with flowers, leaves, and fruit. The dominant colors are green, white, and pink. It is an excellent festival for rituals of love and sex, and for everything to do with fertility.

 

In myths, the goddess and the god reach sexual maturity and are aware of their sexuality. The goddess changes from a virgin to a mother. This is the springtime, the time for sowing and planting, and the mating period for animals. In agrarian societies, it was customary to bless the fields, and couples would go out to the fields and make love in the bosom of nature in order to help renew the fertility of the earth symbolically. Witch order to celebrate the new season of blossoming. Sometimes a “May-queen” and a “May-king” are appointed, and they become the representatives of the goddess and the god for a day. They serve as spiritual advisors to the members of the group. Only people who have gone through initiation can be appointed queen or king. In different traditions, there is a custom of exchanging gifts of May baskets along with wishes for fertility and a prosperous summer.

 

Beltane is a happy festival. Spring is already here and summer is coming. It is also the season for the festivals that take place outdoors in nature.

 

Source

 

Day-by-Day Wicca: A complete guide to Wicca from Beliefs and Rituals to Magic and Witchcraft (Astrolog Complete Guides)
Tabatha Jennings

 

General Preparations for Beltane

WalpurgisnachtGeneral Preparations for Beltane

 

1. Clean up your garden, rake leaves, water as needed, put down fertilizer. If you last frost date is in April, then you can begin to plant seeds and seedlings. Do work appropriate for your agricultural Zone.

 

2. Do spring cleaning in your home. Wipe up the dust. Wash windows. Give away unneeded items. Scrub walls. Bring in some potted plants.

 

3. Working and meditating in the garden is an important facet of my spiritual path. I need to regularly reconnect with the earth and with the beauty and energy of the Spring season outdoors. Tend your garden daily. Water your garden each day. Weed your vegetable garden. Harvest from your late winter garden if you can grow on. Review your own lists of chores for April and May, and act accordingly.

 

4. Read about Beltane, May Day, Walpurgis Nacht and other mid-Spring celebrations around the world. Add notes and links to books, magazines, and webpages on the subject. See my bibliography and links above. Visit your local public library or college library to obtain access to books, media and magazines on the subject. Study about ancient Indo-European religions. I update my Months webpages on April and May.

 

5. Add some appropriate Beltane, May Day, Walpurgis Nacht and mid-Spring songs, chants, prayers, reflections, invocations, or poems to your Neo-Pagan Craft Journal, Book of Shadows, blog, website, or Ritual Handbook. Write in your personal journal. Most spiritual seekers keep a notebook, journal or log as part of their experimental, creative, magical and experiential work.

 

6. Stay at home. Improve your home, backyard, or garden. Eliminate long driving trips. Do you really need to “Go” anywhere? Do you really need to fly by airplane to another country? Explore your backyard, neighborhood, local community, nearby city, county wide area, regional area within 50-100 miles. Visit a local “sacred site.” For us, for example, this could be Mt. Shasta, the headwaters spring of the Sacramento River in Mt. Shasta City, the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge Park, a long walk in the forest below nearby Mt. Lassen, sitting on the shore of Whiskeytown Lake, sitting in my backyard in the moonlight, or visiting a beautiful church or college or park that is nearby. Watch a DVD on a spiritual subject, sacred place, or inspirational topic. Learn more about your local environment.

 

7. Read solitary or group rites for Beltane, May Day, Walpurgis Nacht, Easter or other mid-spring celebrations available in books and webpages (see above). Create your own ritual for Beltane. Practice the ritual. Conduct the ritual at a convenient time for you, or your family and/or friends, as close to the day of May 1st as possible. Attend a public Beltane ritual of a local NeoPagan group.

 

8. Improve your indoor home altar. Clean and shine everything up on the altar. Place a fresh offering on your home altar every day in April. Add fresh flowers to the altar. Bring in branches of trees that are budding out. In Ireland, and were Celtic traditions are popular, the word “Bel” refers to a bright fire, a large bonfire, white, or bright, the month of May, and the beginning of the warm and bring summer season. Therefore, lighting candles will be an essential aspect of home piety. My home altar includes Druid, Roman, Wiccan, and Western Magickal influences, and is shown in the following two photos:

 

9. Key a close eye on flowering tree and shrub branches and leaf budding tree and shrub branches in yards and gardens. This rebirth or resurrection of vegetation is essential to the meaning of this season. Many gods and goddesses are associated with this rebirth, e.g., Persephone, Attis, Osiris, Jesus Christ. Bring some of these reborn branches into your home and home altar.

Setting Up Your Beltane Altar

Witch
Setting Up Your Beltane Altar

It’s Beltane, the Sabbat where many Pagans choose to celebrate the fertility of the earth. This spring celebration is all about new life, fire, passion and rebirth, so there are all kinds of creative ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most.

 

Colors of the Season
This is a time when the earth is lush and green as new grass and trees return to life after a winter of dormancy. Use lots of greens, as well as bright spring colors — the yellow of the daffodils, forsythia and dandelions; the purples of the lilac; the blue of a spring sky or a robin’s egg. Decorate your altar with any or all of these colors in your altar cloths, candles, or colored ribbons.

 

Fertility Symbols
The Beltane holiday is the time when, in some traditions, the male energy of the god is at its most potent. He is often portrayed with a large and erect phallus, and other symbols of his fertility include antlers, sticks, acorns, and seeds. You can include any of these on your altar. Consider adding a small Maypole centerpiece — there are few things more phallic than a pole sticking up out of the ground!

 

In addition to the lusty attributes of the god, the fertile womb of the goddess is honored at Beltane as well.
She is the earth, warm and inviting, waiting for seeds to grow within her. Add a goddess symbol, such as a statue, cauldron, cup, or other feminine items. Any circular item, such as a wreath or ring, can be used to represent the goddess as well.

 

Flowers and Faeries
Beltane is the time when the earth is greening once again — as new life returns, flowers are abundant everywhere.
Add a collection of early spring flowers to your altar — daffodils, hyacinths, forsythia, daisies, tulips — or consider making a floral crown to wear yourself. You may even want to pot some flowers or herbs as part of your Sabbat ritual.

 

In some cultures, Beltane is sacred to the Fae. If you follow a tradition that honors the Faerie realm, leave offerings on your altar for your household helpers.

 

Fire Festival
Because Beltane is one of the four fire festivals in modern Pagan traditions, find a way to incorporate fire into your altar setup. Although one popular custom is to hold a bonfire outside, that may not be practical for everyone, so instead it can be in the form of candles (the more the better), or a table-top brazier of some sort. A small cast-iron cauldron placed on a heat-resistant tile makes a great place to build an indoor fire.

 

Other Symbols of Beltane
May baskets
Chalices
Honey, oats, milk
Antlers or horns
Fruit such as cherries, mangos, pomegranates, peaches
Swords, lances, arrows

 

Source

by Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

Symbols of Beltane

Beltane spring full moon nightSymbols 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.