Good Morning, Beautiful Spirits! Today I would like to share some information regarding Beltane which is the 1st of May. It is officially less than a week away–it’s this coming Monday!!!! Mark your calendars!
Beltane was traditionally celebrated when the hawthorn trees bloomed, however now it is instead celebrated on the first of May or whenever the sun is in 15 degrees of Taurus. I typically celebrate it either on the 30th or the 2nd because my mother’s birthday is on the 1st. This has always made it easier for me, however this year I will be celebrating it on the 1st along with my mother’s birthday as I’ve learned how to efficiently multitask–well, sort of ;). This festival is also known as May Day, Bealtinne, Rudemas, and Walpurgisnacht alongside other names. As this sabbat occurs during the midpoint of Taurus, the ruling planet is Venus which will be of no surprise in just a moment! You may already know then where I am headed. For the ancient Celts, this marked the beginning of summer while Samhain would’ve marked the beginning of winter.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But what does it celebrate?! Beltane celebrates love, lust, sexuality, sensuality, and the burgeoning of life force and is a time for love and union. This is when the young God marries and fertilizes the young Goddess with the upcoming harvest as well as himself which will be reborn at Yule. It’s not as weird as you think! This is the time when everything is growing green, plants are budding, and our seedlings begin to sprout (they’ll come to full harvest in the fall) but for this to happen the sun (the God) must fertilize the land (the Goddess). In addition, following the solar festivals, since this is the time in which the God is fertilizing the land, he also impregnates her with the Divine Child which will be born at Yule. Remember, the sun god sacrifices himself as the harvest so that we may survive the winter (the sun’s power and warmth dwindles during this time as we turn towards the colder months). Therefore, the sun must be reborn somehow, right?
Hence this is a fertility festival which is also evident in some of the symbols of this sabbat. You’ve probably already seem pictures of the Maypole. This is a symbol that represents the unification of the masculine and feminine with the traditional color of the ribbons being red (menstrual blood) and white (semen) which is necessary in order to produce life. By the dancing and weaving of the ribbons, the two are united and the land is fertilized.
There is also the Great Rite which is an enactment of this Divine Union–don’t worry! No one is saying you must great freaky with someone else! Instead, one can simply perform the Rite by lowering an athame (ritual knife) into a chalice, with a few words of course.
Okay. So far, so good. Which Gods then are appropriate for this Sabbat? Well, Gods and Goddesses whom are either married or have a sexual union are appropriate such as Isis and Osiris, Hathor and Horus, Zeus and Hera…you get my drift. Bel would be a good choice since this festival was named after Him. Also, a God most appropriate, in fact this is when he emerges, is the GreenMan who is by far one of my favorites. He’s the spirit of vegetation and I highly recommend you do a bit of research on him.
This is a great time to get in touch with fairies as the veil between the worlds grows thin, just like at Samhain. For me, this means also giving an offering to my ancestors but it’s not necessarily as solemn an event as the October festivities. Due to this thinning, divination is great for this time so pull out your divination tools–runes, tarot, pendulums, etc.
Let me give a list of some basics now before telling you some of the things I do to celebrate this beautiful and sacred sabbat as well as some other activities you may wish to include.
- Colors: Red and white are traditional, however blue, lavender, warm pink, white, green and lemon yellow may also be used.
- Traditionally dairy dishes were served–though I’m certain green leafy vegetables were just as good!
- Beltane can be used for magick concerning relationships, love, prosperity, healing, success, career advancement, and changing jobs.
- Incense–either floral or woodsy. I’ve gone both ways and this year will be using Patchouli which is just a very earthy scent and one I do connect with Taurus. Don’t ask why, I just do. 🙂
- Stones: Moss Agate, Citrine, Emerald, Green Aventurine, Rose Quartz, and Carnelian
- Mythological Creatures: Fairies and Satyrs
- Animals: Cows, Goats, Cats, Swans, and Honey Bees
- Symbols: Maypoles, Baskets, Flowers, Candles, Eggs, Cauldrons, Mortar and Pestles. Decorate your altar and sacred space for the day!
- Herbs/Flowers: Marigold, Daisy, Bluebells, Hawthorne, Primrose, Rose, and Wildflowers. Decorate that space! Be careful and ensure anything poisonous or toxic won’t accidentally be consumed by children, adults, or pets!
Some ways in which to celebrate this sabbat :
- Watch the sunrise and set. I always try to do this as it really grounds and connects me into the day.
- Perform The Great Rite–remember you do NOT have to do this so please don’t allow anyone to pressure or force you into this. Though this is a fertility festival based around sexuality, consent is still a HUGE MUST!
- Jump over a balefire or candle for luck and fertility
- Create and dance the Maypole. I created a small Maypole centerpiece for my altar but one day I will dance around one!
- Go on a nature walk. Get out and see what’s happening in nature!
- Pleasure yourself-bubble bath, do your nails, etc.
- Set out crystals for the fairies in your yard.
- Make a dairy dish–cheesecake is my plan 😉
- Enjoy life!
Some resources that I used and that you may choose to check out yourself–and I HIGHLY recommend you do as I’ve only touched upon this sabbat. I just wanted to give you a starting point for your own learning and research. Remember: knowledge is power! 🙂
I will try to include links where ever I possibly can.
- Charmingpixieflora’s Beltane Ideas
- Beltane by TipToeChick
- Beltane–The Witches Zodiac with Laura Daligan and Zoe Hind
*Links go to the Amazon Book sales page*
- Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore & Celebration by Raven Grimassi
- The Simple Sabbat: A Family Friendly Approach to the Eight Pagan Holidays by M. Flora Peterson
- Sabbats: A Witch’s Approach to Living the Old Ways by Edain McCoy
- Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
- To Ride A Silver Broomstick by Silver Ravenwolf
- Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation by Silver Ravenwolf
- Wicca: The Complete Craft by D.J. Conway
I wish you all the most blessed Beltane, abundant with love and light!
The Autumn Witch
**Just a side note, because I forgot it above, fertility doesn’t have to relate solely to physical fertility but creative as well. 😉