I feel t is important to remember Lady Abyss as we count down the days until Beltane so I decided to repost an article by her from 2017.
Fertility Deities of Beltane
Beltane is a time of great fertility — for the earth itself, for animals, and of course for people as well. This season has been celebrated by cultures going back thousands of years, in a variety of ways, but nearly all shared the fertility aspect. Typically, this is a Sabbat to celebrate gods of the hunt or of the forest, and goddesses of passion and motherhood, as well as agricultural deities. Here are a list of gods and goddesses that can be honored as part of your tradition’s Beltane rituals.
Artemis (Greek): The moon goddess Artemis was associated with the hunt and was seen as a goddess of forests and hillsides. This pastoral connection made her a part of spring celebrations in later periods.
Bes (Egyptian): Worshiped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection god, and watched over mothers and young children. He and his wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility.
Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus was the party god — grapes, wine, and general debauchery were his domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility.
Cernunnos (Celtic): Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair — he is, after all, the lord of the forest.
Flora (Roman): This goddess of spring and flowers had her own festival, Floralia, which was celebrated every year between April 28 to May 3. Romans dressed in bright robes and floral wreaths, and attended theater performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess.
Hera (Greek): This goddess of marriage was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, and took it upon herself to bestow good tidings to new brides. A maiden about to marry could make offerings to Hera, in the hopes that she would bless the marriage with fertility. In her earliest forms, she appears to have been a nature goddess, who presides over wildlife and nurses the young animals which she holds in her arms.
Kokopelli (Hopi): This flute-playing, dancing spring god carries unborn children upon his own back, and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, he is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of his fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with his consort, Kokopelmana.
Pan (Greek): This agricultural god watched over shepherds and their flocks. He was a rustic sort of god, spending lots of time roaming the woods and pastures, hunting and playing music on his flute. Pan is typically portrayed as having the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to a faun. Because of his connection to fields and the forest, he is often honored as a spring fertility god.
Priapus (Greek): This fairly minor rural god has one giant claim to fame — his permanently erect and enormous phallus. The son of Aphrodite by Dionysus (or possibly Zeus, depending on the source), Priapus was mostly worshiped in homes rather than in an organized cult. Despite his constant lust, most stories portray him as sexually frustrated, or even impotent. However, in agricultural areas he was still regarded as a god of fertility, and at one point he was considered a protective god, who threatened sexual violence against anyone — male or female — who transgressed the boundaries he guarded.
Sheela-na-Gig (Celtic): Although the Sheela-na-Gig is technically the name applied to the carvings of women with exaggerated vulvae that have been found in Ireland and England, there’s a theory that the carvings are representative of a lost pre-Christian goddess. Typically, the Sheela-na-Gig adorns buildings in areas of Ireland that were part of the Anglo-Norman conquests in the 12th century. She is shown as a homely woman with a giant yoni, which is spread wide to accept the seed of the male. Folkloric evidence indicates that the figures are theory that the figures were part of a fertility rite, similar to “birthing stones”, which were used to bring on conception.
Xochiquetzal (Aztec): This fertility goddess was associated with spring, and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron goddess of prostitutes and craftsmen.
by Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo
Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Festival celebrates the rebirth of summer with fire, dance and drumming c. 2017
A MINUMN OF 6 PEOPLE ATTENDING IS NEEDED TO HAVE THIS GATHERING TAKE PLACE.
I have only heard from 2 people so far. I will wait until Friday, April 20th for people to contact me. If no one else is interested the gathering will be canceled.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Open Chat: 4:00 PM CDT
Circle Cast: 5:00 PM CDT
Sunday, 1 May 2022
Open Chat: 7:00 AM AEST
Circle Cast: 8:00 AM AEST
Please email Lady Beltane at email@example.com for the information to her Skype meeting page
You do not need a webcam or microphone to join us as everything will be typed in.
If there is no one attending that lives in the southern hemisphere the circle will be opened after the Beltane ritual is completed. You are welcome to do some more visiting with each other after the circle is done.
CLOSING THE CIRCLE and CALLING THE ELEMENTS TO THE WATCHTOWERS
LADY BELTANE: I call the element of Air into the Watchtower of the East to help bring us clarity of mind as we work in our sacred circle.
I call the element of Fire into the Watchtower of the South to bring us extra energy to work our magick we work in this sacred circle circle
I call upon the element of Water to help guide our emotions as we work in this sacred circle.
I call upon the element of Earth to help us stay grounded as we work our magick in this sacred circle
I walk this circle with Hecate and Dagon to keep those in the sacred circle from any harm that might try to enter and to clear out any negativity that is in it. I take us to a place that is outside of regular time and space.
EVERYONE: P lease tell us your first or Pagan name and what country or state you live in. No last names or towns/villages/cities.
Beltane Ritual– using the 4 elements to create our very own Beltane Wand
Select a piece of wood that you have been called to. Ensure that no tree is hurt in the process, in other words do not take the wood for your wand by snapping it off a tree branch.
Wood for wand making is everywhere, in the form of driftwood, branches that have naturally fallen, a piece of wood that you have collected over time.
The secret to finding the perfect wand wood is that the wood actually calls out to you. In order for you to be accepted by the wand it is respectful to do a mediation and ask the wood, ask the tree, ask the ocean if it is a piece of driftwood. It is then that the wand becomes an extension of you and your power within the Natural World. Gratitude is the key.
Over time I have collected so many pieces of wood, rocks, shells, all these things that call out to me when out in nature while walking, doing rituals or even working. Some items are over 15- 20 years old waiting for the right time to be used.
DECORATE YOUR ALTAR
Beltane brings the beginning of life, decorate with beautiful bunches of flowers from your garden, make wreaths to wear in your hair, make your own candles to burn on the altar, use fertility Goddess and God symbols, fill baskets with seasonal fruits.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
A piece of wood to create your wand
Representing Fire– An altar candle
Representing Water– I prefer to use consecrated moon water that I sometimes place in a spray bottle with a couple of drops of my favourite essential oil
Representing Earth– Consecrated salt-I prefer to use Himalayan salt
Representing Air– Your Athame, a feather or even incense
A BLESSING TO THE EARTH GODDESS-
EVERYONE – Please say……
“Great Earth mother!
We ask for your blessing on this day
May our lands see the seeds of life in abundance
Our grass grow green and lush
Our rivers flow and be filled with life
and the great Sun God shine upon our lands
We sit in gratitude in the blessings you have given
and the gift of life with each turn of the wheel. “
DURING THE BELTANE RITUAL
Take the wood that will become your wand and……
Pass it over the Fire
With this Fire I ignite the spirit within me
Sprinkle it with Salt
With this Earth I create my body
Spray or Anoint it with Water
With this Water I bless my blood that runs through my veins
Pass the Athame, Feather or Incense over it
With this Athame (or whatever you choose to represent your air) I give it life from my breath.
Now take 3 deep breaths and blow your breath 3 times, emptying your lungs each time.
You now have concentrated your wand and have given it life creating an extension of you.
A One Minute Meditation
Hold the wand in your hands and allow the power of the wand to guide you how you need to create its power. Connect to the wand as this will become an extension of your power. Imagine a flow of light from your heart going into the wood and giving it life, bringing the light back into your heart and connecting it to your being as an expression of the Divine.
CONCLUDING THE BELTANE RITUAL
Dearest Lady, we honour you Queen of Spring
May our lands be fruitful ready to make offerings in your name
AFTER THE RITUAL
Now to finish your wand……
- Anything that you would like to decorate your wand- (you can add these later after the ritual allowing time for you to be as creative as you like)
o Now some like elaborate colourful decorations expressing their creativity, others like simple with just a polish and a couple of Sigils sacred to just them. The choice is purely yours, remember it is an extension of you therefore it will reflect your power.
- I attach anything from crystals to feathers, sometimes I simply use sandpaper to bring out the colours and patterns of the sacred wood.
- If you have the tools wood burning is a wonderful option.
END OF BELTANE RITUAL
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Left over Apple Juice
Pictures of 2 Ancestors
2 Birthday Candles or Flashlights
Heat Proof Dish with ½ inch/1,5 cm of sand or dirt (the candles will be placed in here and should be allowed to complete burn down.)
Trivet/hotplate/potholder to place heat proof dish on.
EVERYONE: I invite the Spirits of my ancestors I call upon to come to me one by one. (Light 1 candle each time you say
a name and place it in the sand)
After doing the spell spend 2 minutes just sitting quietly and thinking of the people you have summoned. They may just want to spend some time with you also and/or have a message for you or someone in your life. Ancestors are not just blood relatives that have crossed over they include anyone in your life that has had some type of impact on it.
When the time is up say, ” Thank you for visiting and return from whence you came.”
So mote it be
If you want to light more candles for people after the circle has been opened please feel free to use this spell and enjoy time with those who have crossed the veil.
Remember to let any candle you light burn all the way down. When doing this on your own you can wait to let the Spirit go until their ca
END OF SAMHAIN RITUAL
OPENING THE CIRCLE and DISMISSING THE ELEMENTS FROM THE WATCHTOWERS
LADY BELTANE: I dismiss the element of Air from the Watchtower of the East with our thanks to you for helping to bring us clarity of mind as we work in our sacred circle.
I dismiss the element of Fire from the Watchtower of the South with our thanks to you for helping to bring us extra energy to work our magick we work in this sacred circle circle
I dismiss the element of Water with our thanks to you for helping to guide our emotions as we work in this sacred circle.
I dismiss the element of Earth with our thanks to you for helping to us to stay grounded as we work our magick in this sacred circle
I thank Hecate and Dagon for helping us with our rituals this night or morning. Please return from whence you came.
I walk this circle to bring us back into our regular place of existence and to the time the binds us in this plane.
The circle is open but never broken go with peace, trust, and love in your hearts.
As millions of children and adults participate in the fun of Halloween on the night of October 31st, few will be aware of its ancient Celtic roots in the Samhain (Samain) festival. In Celtic Ireland about 2,000 years ago, Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). At Samhain the division between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through.
The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. People wore costumes and masks to disguise themselves as harmful spirits and thus avoid harm. Bonfires and food played a large part in the festivities. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into a communal fire, household fires were extinguished and started again from the bonfire. Food was prepared for the living and the dead, food for the ancestors who were in no position it eat it, was ritually shared with the less well off.
Christianity incorporated the honouring of the dead into the Christian calendar with All Saints (All Hallows) on November 1st, followed by All Souls on November 2nd. The wearing of costumes and masks to ward off harmful spirits survived as Halloween customs. The Irish emigrated to America in great numbers during the 19th century especially around the time of famine in Ireland during the 1840’s. The Irish carried their Halloween traditions to America, where today it is one of the major holidays of the year. Through time other traditions have blended into Halloween, for example the American harvest time tradition of carving pumpkins.
Two hills in the Boyne Valley were associated with Samhain in Celtic Ireland, Tlachtga and Tara. Tlachtga was the location of the Great Fire Festival which begun on the eve of Samhain (Halloween). Tara was also associated with Samhain, however it was secondary to Tlachtga in this respect.
The entrance passage to the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain. The Mound of the Hostages is…
As Samhain approaches, you can decorate your home with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with these fun and simple ideas that honor the final harvest, and the cycle of life and death
Pagan Treat Bags for Samhain
Do you have Pagan kids coming over for a Samhain event? You can have a kid-friendly celebration by putting together a goodie bag that’s representative of your Pagan spirituality. The key here is to do some creative, outside the box thinking. Sure, there are a ton of Halloween decorations in the store at this time of year, but not all of those are really connected with Pagan religious belief systems. They’re really more about the secular celebration of Halloween, which is fine, unless you’re looking for kid-friendly stuff that honors Pagan spirituality.
Here are a few things to try:
- Decorate the bags themselves with symbols that are meaningful to you – depending on the pantheon your group honors, you might include designs that are associated with Greek, Roman, Celtic, or Norse mythology.
- Small herbal sachets: sew herbs into a fabric pouch. Use lavender to help with dreams, or other appropriate plants.
- Crystals and gemstones: As long as the kids attending your event are beyond the put-everything-in-your-mouth stage, you could include rose quartz for love, hematite for protection, and more.
- A Portable Altar Kit: Depending on how old the kids are, think about making an altar box that fits in a backpack or pocket. This might not be useful or safe for really young children, but older tweens and teens could use it responsibly.
- Divination tools: make a simple pendulum with a stone wrapped in wire and attached to the end of a chain. Add a simple divination set by painting symbols on stones or wooden discs.
- Wands: Make a simple wand with a stick and a crystal wrapped in wire.
- Deity symbols: Does your tradition honor a particular god or goddess? Consider adding representative symbols – owls for Athena, cats for Bastet, or an antler for Cernunnos. Try printing out a wallet-size image of the deity on heavy cardstock, add a prayer to your god/dess on the reverse side, and laminate it.
Finally, remember, Samhain is the same day as Halloween, so never underestimate the power of a few strategically placed pieces of delicious candy!
The Wheel of the Year is a symbol of the eight Sabbats (religious festivals) of Neo-Paganism and the Wicca movement which includes four solar festivals (Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox) and four seasonal festivals (celebrating or marking a significant seasonal change). Contrary to modern-day Wiccan claims, there is no evidence of an ancient Wheel of the Year in its present form but it is clear that the Celts of thousands of years ago celebrated the festivals the wheel highlights, even if these celebrations were known by another name now long lost.
In the ancient Celtic culture, as in many of the past, time was seen as cyclical. The seasons changed, people died, but nothing was ever finally lost because everything returned again – in one way or another – in a repeating natural cycle. Although time in the modern world is usually regarded as linear, the cyclical nature of life continues to be recognized.
The modern-day Wheel of the Year was first suggested by the scholar and mythologist Jacob Grimm (1785-1863 CE) in his 1835 CE work, Teutonic Mythology, and fixed in its present form in the 1950s and early ’60s CE by the Wicca movement. The wheel includes the following holy days (most dates flexible year-to-year): …