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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For Your Viewing Pleasure

Different Ways to Celebrate Samhain || Wiccan vs Celtic

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

For Your Listening Pleasure

I enjoy this video when I am trying to concentrate on doing a post and my home sounds like I have about 20  children living in it. The only beings that live in my home are myself, my husband, and my two small canine familiars. My husband gets them worked up wrestling and/or playing fetch…where he go to get the toy and bring it back more often than the fur babies do…the older one, Cleo, has him trained well. My husband also really enjoys watching golf and I see no point in it (my personal opinion I know many avid golfers) and often will do a running commentary on how one or more of the players are doing. So I pop in my ear buds and this is one of my go to instrumentals to listen to, so my train of thought does not derail completely. Let me know what you think of this video and if you would enjoy more like it.

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

To see images of the Goddess Rhiannon

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

To see images of Arianrhod

Week 27 – Goddess Knowledge -Etain

Etain, whose name literally means “shinning one”n was a Celtic moon goddess, the second wife of Midir, king of the underworld. Midir’s first wife, Fuanmach, was jealous of Etain, and turned her into a fly. Falling into a glass of wine, Etain drown. She was reborn and married Eochaid, a fertility god. Midir challenged Eochaid to a game of chess; the result was that Etain must spend half her year underground and half on earth.

Etain is especially a symbol of fertility, of the vitality and life of all growing things. A goddess familiar with both life and death, she teaches that wherever we are, on earth or in the depths of the underworld, we too can be shining.

(SIDE NOTE: Does this Celtic goddess remind you of a Greek goddess who spends part of the year in the underworld and part on earth? If it does please put the goddess’ name in the comment section.)

For more information on Celtic Goddess ETAIN

To see image of Celtic Goddess ETAIN

For more information on Celtic God MIDIR

For more information on Celtic Goddess FUANMACH

For more information on Celtic God EOCHAID/Dagda