Beltane

On the cusp between spring and summer, Beltane On the cusp between spring and summer, Beltane is a fire festival that celebrates the fertility of the coming year.is a fire festival that celebrates the fertility of the coming year.

Introduction

Beltane

Find this year’s date in the multifaith calendar

Ritual burning of a straw man

Beltane is a Celtic word which means ‘fires of Bel’ (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.

Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.

Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Other festivities involved fire which was thought to cleanse, purify and increase fertility. Cattle were often passed between two fires and the properties of the flame and the smoke were seen to ensure the fertility of the herd.

Today Pagans believe that at Beltane the God (to whom the Goddess gave birth at the Winter Solstice) achieves the strength and maturity to court and become lover to the Goddess. So although what happens in the fields has lost its significance for most Pagans today, the creation of fertility is still an important issue.

Emma Restall Orr, a modern day Druid, speaks of the ‘fertility of our personal creativity’. (Spirits of the Sacred Grove, pub. Thorsons, 1998, pg.110). She is referring to the need for active and creative lives. We need fertile minds for our work, our families and our interests.

Fire is still the most important element of most Beltane celebrations and there are many traditions associated with it. It is seen to have purifying qualities which cleanse and revitalise. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year.

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Tuatha Dé Dannan, the Enchanting Predecessors of Irish Fairies and Elves

Most people do not believe in elves. The little people, along with fairies, banshees, and werewolves, are often thrown into the category of ‘fantasy’ and left to molder unless some video game or children’s book decides to make use of them for commercial purposes. Whatever you believe to be true, stories of fantastic creatures are present in most ancient cultures, particularly in European regions such as Germany, Scandinavia, and Ireland.

Widespread disbelief and discrediting of the mystical folk have rendered serious research into the origins of elves almost nonexistent. However, recent scientific and historical analyses of the folklore of Ireland reveal that elves are not wholly fictional, but actually based on real life beings.

The Etymology of ‘Elf’

First, for clarity, it should be noted that the word ‘elf’ is not indigenous to Ireland. This word derives from a term used in Common Germanic, the ancestor language of modern German, English, and several Scandinavian languages. ‘Elf’ became a label for the Irish fairies when the English began to write about and record Irish folklore.

To read the rest of this article from Ancient Origins copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/tuatha-d-dannan-enchanting-predecessors-irish-fairies-and-elves-007657

A Thought for Today

P Q

Blessed be dear ones

Week 35 – Goddess Knowledge – Rhiannon

Rhiannon is the Great Goddess as worshiped by the Welsh.  without regeneration. She is an embodiment of life, death, and rebirth, for in her realm there is no death without regeneration. Her name derives from Rigantona, which means great “queen.” A shape-shiftier, can assume any form she want; she often appears as a white horse. She is a muse goddess and is accompanied by three sweetly singing birds who can revive the dead or put the living to sleep.The source of the King’s power derived from Rhiannon, the queen, and a candidate for knighthood met Rhiannon dressed as a stag a regal figure symbolic of rejuvenation, beauty, strength, and instinctual masculine energy. In alter myth she a or as Vivien, the Lady of the Lake. Rhiannon is a beautiful queen of the night, a reminder of the close balance between death and rebirth. She demands that we honor our instinctual and animal selves as a source of creativity, abundance, and order.

For more information on the Goddess Rhiannon

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Week 30 – Goddess Knowledge – Arianrhod

Arianrhod is a patriarchal Welsh goddess, both virgin and mother. Games for her beauty, she maybe identical to the Cretan moon goddess, Ariadne. Like all moon goddesses, she has a special love, concern, and responsibility for all life, especially green growing things of the earth. One derivation of her name is “high fruitful mother who turns the wheels of heavens”; the other is “silver wheel.” Her name tells us of her role as keeper of the heavens and of the cycles and changes of time. She lives in a castle in the Corona Boreails, where she watches over souls in purgatory filled with beings waiting rebirth.

Arainrhod, keep of time, giver of nurturer of life, shows us the universality and cyclicity of our lives: she is there to nurture us through the dark night of our soul changes.

For more information about Arianrhod

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Week 29 – Goddess Knowledge – Lady of the Lake

As in many traditions in which a goddess bestows kingship, a mysterious Celtic goddess, gave King Arthur the sword Excalibur and thus established his power and his right to be king. Before he died, Arthur restored the sword her, and it now remains with her beneath the waters deep.

Water, the source of all life, has long been the domain of the goddess. Lakes representing the source of creative power and the land of the dead, life-giving and death or renewal being the two main functions of the goddess. Water indicates both consciousness and revelation. The Lady of the Lake is a guide to the mysterious realms of emotion and renewal, a source of immense creativity. She can give us the energy we need to rule our lives.

For more information on Lady of the Lake

Images of Lady of the Lake