Flashback 2003 Beltane

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Beltane

IN ancient times, people extinguished all their fires on Beltane and then lit a single new fire. They relit all the extinguished fires from this “need fire.”

To create your own need fire ritual, you’ll need to gather the nine sacred woods: birch, rowan, ash, alder, willow, hawthorn, oak, holly, and hazel. If you are unable to all the different types, try to make sure you have at three: oak, ash, and hawthorn.

If you don’t have any open fires to put it, use candles to symbolize your fires. Take either three or nine tapers set them in a row. Light the candles and allow them to burn a while, then put them out, thinking of those things you wish to put out of your life. Now prepare the need fire of nine woods in a fireplace, an outdoor fire ring, or even in a grill on a balcony or patio. Make s wood  bow (as described in the Boy Scout handbook, for example) or get a magnifying glass to set fire to the tinder. The should be allowed to the oak wood first, then to the others. While you light the fire, and as you watch it burn, think of those things you wish to “catch fire” in you life.

Copyright Magenta Griffith Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2003 Page 67

Flashback 2001 Beltane

[The Flashbacks will alternate years between WitchesOfTheCraft.com and CovenLife.co]

Beltane honors the sacred marriage of the God and Goddess, whos union will produce the harvets to come. It also celebrates the start of summer in full bloom. For this ritual, gather or purchase wildflowers. With raffia, twine, or string tie the flowers together in long garlands; ten feet in length or longer is perfect. These don’t have to look professionally crafted. They only need to hold together for the purpose of your ritual. When you have completed the garlands, go out to a park or wooded area. Touch the land and its plants and trees with your hands, allowing yourself to connect with the pulsing lifeforce of the area. Look around for items that are either feminine or masculine in their energy, and begin to linking them together with the flowery garlands to honor the union of the divine female and male energies. For example, you can link stones to oak trees, riverbanks to abandoned fire pits, or flowering plants to spikey ones.

Copyright Edain McCoy Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Page 67

May Day by Jami Shoemaker – Part 5

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Modern Celebrations

Many ancient customs can be seen in current celebrations of May Day. Pagan practices embrace the Maypole, dancing, and bonfires of the past, and honor the union of Goddess and God. The magic of the warming earth, the bright greens of the woods, and the giddiness of life returning universally inspiring as ever. Whether it’s celebrates as Labor Day in Russia, Vappu in Finland, Flores de Mayo in El Salvador, or Flittin’ Day in Scotland, May Day is still a time for relaxing the rules and celebrating spring, even if that simply means going barefoot for the first time that year. And, yes, some children still leave May baskets on the doorsteps of friends’ houses and run away, squealing with delight.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages 21 to 25

May Day by Jami Shoemaker – Part 2

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Roman Influence

The month of May takes its name from the goddess Maia, who appears in both Greek and Roman mythologies. In Greece, she was “grandmother,” “midwife,” or “wise one” and she was known as the mother of Hermes. The Romans associated her with their fire goddess of the same name who, along with Flora and Feronia, ruled growth and warmth, including sexual desire. Maia’s day was the first of May, and the associations with growth can still be seen in the Christian dedication of the month to Mary, Queen of Flowers.

When Romans came to Britain, they brought with them their own ancient spring rites. The goddess Flora was worshiped as the embodiment of the flowering of all of nature, including human. She was the queen of plants, the goddess of flowers, and the patron of Roman prostitutes. Flora was honored during a week-long festival from April 28–May 3. The Floralia included the gathering of flowers, used in processions, dances, and games. Young raced to see who could be the first to hang a wreath on Flora’s statue, and wrap garlands around the columns of her temple. The female body was especially6 honored at this time. Graphic, erotic medallions were distributed, and public orgies celebrated the fruitfulness of the earth. The “festival of nude women” was celebrates until the third century CE, when Roman authorities demanded the celebrants be clothed. The sense of unrestrained freedom was even enjoyed by Roman slaves on this day, with the stipulation that they return to their mater’s houses that night.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages 21 to 25

May Day [Beltane] by Jami Shoemaker – Part 1

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com]

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would celebrate the first of May by making little paper baskets and filling them with candy. We would then sneak around the neighborhood to our friend’s houses, leave them on the doorsteps, ring the bells, and run away, screaming with laughter. The trick was never to reveal your identity to the recipient of the gift. Little did I know at the time that we were celebrating an old custom that harkened back to ancient times.

Origins

Like any celebration based on ancient agricultural practices, it is impossible to know the exact origin of out May Day. Celebrations of spring are found in cultures all over the world, with similar themes of renewal, planting and growth, the gathering of flowers, and playful celebrations.

However, much of the meaning behind modern Pagan custom can be traced to Celtic origins, or at least with attribute to the Celts. We know that they divided the year into two seasons: summer and winter, the dark and life halves of the year. Within this they honored four major turning points, Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh, with fire festivals.

These festivals coincided astrologically with the Sun at 15 degrees Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus, and Leo, respectively. This made these pivotal points each a type of “moveable” feast originally, like the solstices and equinoxes, which vary by a day or two from year to year. But due to changes in calendars over time, eventually the first day of the months of November, February, May, and August were earmarked for these festivals, evolving into what Witches call the Great Sabbats, with the celebrations commencing at sunset the eve before.

The flexibility in the actual date is followed by some Pagans today, and May Day, or Beltane, celebrations calculated this way are called “Old Beltane.” This explains the custom in ancient Ireland of celebrating the first day of summer on May 6. This day was given to Inghean Bhuidhe, the Yellow-Haired Girl, one of the three sister-goddesses who brought in the seasons: the First of Spring, the First of Summer, and the First Harvest.

The return of the light was called Cetsamhain (“opposite  Samhain”) or Beltaine in Ireland, Galan-Mai in Wales, and in Scotland, Beaultiunn, on the Isle of Man, it was known as Day of Summer and in Germany, Walpurgisnatch. The medieval church renamed the holiday Roodmas, hoping to shift the emphasis from the phallic Maypole to the Holy Rood, or Cross, and celebrations once marked by Pagan frivolity were usurped by festivities held in churchyards.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2001 Pages21 to25

wanderings of a witch

Study session by Dawn

Beltane is know as the fertility Esbate, it is the time for the earth to be transformed from the cold and rain of spring to the bright and sunny time of summer. The god is building his strength as the days grow longer and the crops strengthen to give us life through the winter and early spring. The animals are fertile and some are even up to their second or third litter of the year. I saw a fat robin this morning with a big worm in its beak and I was wondering how many little birds she has and how many times so far this year has she raised a brood. (Life is Good)

I love this time of year as the crops start to come up, we as a household will have a wonderful garden this year thanks to Deacon Charles Mead, the days are lengthening so you can work outside for a longer time as evident of the painting I did yesterday.

One of the positive items of this year with the Corona Virus is I have had time to do many home improvement projects to make the ole homestead look the best it has in years, and these will continue through the summer. Thank goodness for the time and the beautiful weather so i can do this for the people I love

I hope you all take a minute or two in the next couple of days and give thanks to Gaia for all her bounty, take your shoes off and walk through the newly green grass or even spread a blanket and lay down and look at the clouds. This is the time of Earth’s abundance take a minute and appreciate the gift in whatever manner you chose to, just know that report, phone call to the boss, work assignment can wait 10 minutes as you pause to enjoy life.

Dawn

2019 N. H. Samhain Gathering Wednesday, October 30th/ S. H. Beltane Gathering October 31st

This evening in the Northern Hemisphere celebrating Samhain your ritual was written by  Coven Life and Witches of The Craft High Priestess Lady Beltane who will also lead it.

This morning in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating Beltane your ritual was written by High Priestess Beth of Guild of the Gods located in Lafayette, Indiana, USA. She will also be leading your ritual.

Everyone is welcomed to do both the Samhain and Beltane rituals no matter which hemisphere you live in. As the Beltane ritual uses planting of seeds for part of it those in the Northern Hemisphere might want to empower the package of seeds write down the goals and then plant them in the spring and carry on with the rest of the ritual then.

WHERE:

Anyone who applies to come into our chatroom you have to be approved by Lady Beltane first. Lady Beltane checks for new requests up to 10 minutes before the time the circle is cast.

If this is the first time you will attending anything in Coven Life’s Chatroom please read our Guidelines:

Courtesy Guidelines for All Coven Gatherings and Open Chats

Before the sacred circle starts at 7:00 PM Central Time in the USA anyone entering the chat room is welcomed to socialize with anyone else that is there. Socializing time starts at 6:00 PM CT for Esbat and Sabbat gatherings Ask Lady Beltane or one of Priestesses or Priest questions about lessons or anything else. During Open Chats please come and go anytime you want to. Please check our Homepage under “Coven Life Events” for dates of Esbat and Sabbat gatherings for Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the times of the open chats.

For Esbat and Sabbat gatherings once the circle starts ALL SOCIALIZING AND COMMENTS must stop unless you see the word EVERYONE come up in the ritual feed.  You will get one warning if you break this guideline. If you do it a second time you will be asked to and expected to leave the gathering immediately. There will be no exceptions to this guideline. If you do not leave you will be banned forever from ever entering Coven Life’s chatroom again.

No one should enter or leave the chat room from 7:00 PM CT until the circle is finished. To enter or leave the chat room (your computer or internet provider knocking you out of the chat room during this time is the only exception for re-entering the circle) during this time breaks the circle and whoever is leading the circle needs to take their time and energy to close it up again.

All electronics in the room you are in during the sacred circle part of the gathering should be shut off except for the device you are using to access the chat room.

Anyone attending a gathering is welcome to stay after the circle is done to visit with the others and/or offer other ideas for the ritual performed at that gathering.

No one will be allowed to use hurtful or, discriminatory or foul or rude language in the chat room at any time during an Esbat or Sabbat gathering or Open Chat.  Anyone not following this guideline will be told to leave the socializing time or the ritual immediately and be banned from the chat room immediately forever.

These are simple guidelines and show courtesy to all coven members and visitors. Not obeying all of the guidelines can get you banned from the Coven Life chatroom forever.

Any questions about these guidelines can be sent to Lady Beltane at covenlifescoven@gmail.com with the subject line “For Lady B Guideline Question.”

We host open chats twice a month for people to stop in for as long as they like to get to know others in The Craft, questions and answers about The Craft. or whatever anyone wants to talk about within reason. They are held on the second and fourth Saturday’s of the month for the time please see the banner “Coven Life’s Events”

This is not a place to try to hook up with anyone for a date!

Please read all Courtesy Guidelines above before entering the chatroom for coven gatherings or open chats. Thank you!

Coven Life’s Private Chatroom

WHEN and WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Look for which Hemisphere you live in:

For the Northern Hemisphere the coven gathering for Samhain will be on Wednesday, October 30th with the social hour will be at 6:00 to 6:55 PM CDT with the circle being cast at 7:00 PM CDT

Samhain is a time for remembering those who have crossed the veil into the Summerlands before us. It is also celebrates the last harvest of the year, with anything not picked or gathered left on the trees, plants, and bushes for the wildlife and Fea Folk to help them through the cold months. Lastly if you follow the Celtic calendar (as we do with the Wheel of the Year celebrating the 8 Sabbats) it is last day of the year. This is the time of year that belongs to the Crone for life and death and rebirth in the spring.
I decorate my altar with a small loaf of homemade bread, a small pumpkin or gourds, fall leaves from my yard and pictures or mementos of my ancestors. Please keep in mind when thinking of ancestors that they do not have to be blood related , they can be anyone who has had a significant place in your life such as teachers, coaches, friends, a boss, etc.
Decide on 2 Ancestors you want to bring into our circle to visit with during the ritual
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: you can set up an ancestors altar for October 31st to honor more of you ancestors if you wish to. I will do a post with some sample pictures for those of you who have not done this before. If you have a question(s) about the altar please write it or them in the comment section as others may have the same question(s))
Something comfortable to sit on for approximately 10 minutes and while the Beltane ritual is being done
2 – 4 inch White Candles
2 Candle holders
A SAFE place to put the burning candles as you will be leaving them to burn all the way down
Atheme, or Ceremonial Knife or Any Sharp Object to carve 1 name onto each candle
Matches or Lighter
Wine, or Fruit Juice or Water
1 Serving of Some type of an Apple or Pumpkin Dessert
2 Small Dishes or folded up Paper Towels
Lady Beltane: I walk this circle three times three as the Maiden and Crone walk with me. To celebrate a time of death and a time of rebirth. I take us from this Earthly plane and time to a place where this is no time and we are kept safe from everyday problems and fears.
EVERYONE: Please introduce yourself with just your 1st Name or your Pagan Name and the State or Country you live in do not put your town in.

This is the time for the Samhain ritual to start, The Beltane ritual will follow

Lady Beltane:  We call upon the Crone and the keeper of the veil between our physical world and the spirit world to lower the veil so we may visit with the ancestors we call upon.
EVERYONE: You will say this incantation 3 times individually for each ancestor. As you are chanting this spell write the name of the person on the candle and light it at the end of the 3rd time as you say, “So Mote It Be”
                       Name of your Ancestor I call to thee
                        Name of your Ancestor I honor thee
                        Name of your Ancestor Come to me
Place a small bite of your fall sweet and pour a couple of drops of your beverage on to it than place this as an offering to the ancestor by placing it in front of their candle either in a small dish or on a a paper towel fold a few times. Now sit quietly as in meditation feel the energy your ancestors brings with them and ask your ancestors questions or tell them a story you remember about the two of you or whatever you want to talk to them about. You will have 10 minutes of visiting time.
At the end of the 10 minutes Lady Beltane will type in done.
EVERYBODY:  Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane I thank you for                                visiting me
                          Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane one day I will                                   walk  with you there
                        Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane I miss thee
                        Name of the Ancestor you call forth from the Spirit Plane until that time you                           go back and I stay here
When you are done type in So Mote It Be.

This is the end of the Samhain ritual. It is now time for the Beltane ritual to start.

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere and would be attending for the Beltane ritual please let me know if you will be attending or not please. If I do not hear from you by 8:00 PM AEDT on your Wednesday 30 October I will not plan on us doing the Beltane ritual. The Beltane gathering will be on Thursday, 31 October with the social part of the gathering starting at 10:00 to 10:55 AM AEDT with the circle cast at 11:00 AM AEDT.

Pillow and/or Blanket for Meditation or something comfortable to sit on for a total of approximately 20 minutes and why the Samhain ritual is being done

Paper and Pen

Packet of Flower or Herb Seeds
Wine or Fruit Juice or Water
Some kind of Sweet Treat
Beltane is a time when you can feel the ground coming to full life.  It is a fertility holiday, but there is so much to that word!  It is creativity, possibility.  It is the vibrance of a new relationship, the inspiration of a new project, the challenge of a new adventure.  It is the day we set things in motion, but the world itself is already in motion.  It’s growing, blooming – filling the ground with green, the trees with leaves, and the air with new smells and possibilities.
On this day we leave the passive time of year, where we rest, learn, and recuperate, and begin the active time of the year.  While the world is drunk on possibility, we embark on our own journey for the upcoming year.  When we do this, we take all the lessons of the year before, all the plans we’ve been assembling, and we embark on a new start.  But stating our intention helps.
I ask you to take time now to ponder the lessons you learned over this last winter.  Pick up your own story, and really look at it.  What is the next step for you?  What is it about this world that challenges you, excites you, pushes you to be more than you were before?  Rather than picturing what you want to accomplish specifically, instead imagine what would feel like home, belonging.  What is the scent of perfection in your own personal world?
It is easy to hide from the real goals we all wish to set, but I invite you to challenge yourself.  Take a moment to sit with me now.
EVERYONE: We are allowing 15 minutes for you to answer the questions below. But remember you can always go back and follow the ritual High Priestess Beth has written here to add to your answers at anytime. Pull up a blanket or pillow to allow you to comfortably sit on the ground, or rest on the earth itself if that’s an easy option.  Feel the earth beneath you, the air around you, and invite all of you into this moment.
Take a deep breath, and feel yourself fill up with the living energy.  Feel your soul breathe, as well as your body.
Take another deep breath.  Relax, and comfort yourself.  Be a good companion to yourself – greet this person who is you, and be kind to him or her.  Welcome him or her into this moment.
Take an even deeper breath, and hold it for a longer moment.  Ask every part of you to be honest, comfortable, and present, relaxed completely.
Sitting with yourself, ask that person who is all of you – what do you want?
What would you love to be, to do, to feel?
What would “accomplishment” feel like to you?
Feel the world growing around you, even right now, and allow the energy beneath and around you to fill you.
How will the next year unfold in a way to help that happen?
How can you help yourself to get there?
Are you brave enough to get there, from here?
Relax deeply into this moment as you listen to your inner honesty.  Whether you see images unfolding, feel a certainty, imagine words, or simply know that certain plans are going to work – stop for a moment.
Take a piece of paper now and write down what you discussed with your inner self. Feel no fear as you set your goals.  Be open and honest about everything you’ve witnessed internally.   Take short notes for now – you can fill in all necessary details later, so long as you remember all the pieces.  If you would like, you can share a couple of words here that sum up what you want to aim for.  If not, be sure to tell us “done” once you’ve got your short notes recorded.
Now take your packet of seeds – and hold them in your hands. Charge them with the intention of what you want from this upcoming year.  Picture the end result from your intentions. Fill the seeds with your energy, so that you can feel them ready to grow.
Now, as we finish our Beltane rite, picture the daily reality of seeking these goals.  Prepare yourself for the actual doing of it.   Pray to the divine as you picture this.  Ask them to help indicate anything you can prepare for, look out for.
Other questions to ask yourself as you journal or meditating on your goals:
What might you find yourself needing along the way?
Will you perhaps need extra support at some point?
Is there anything you can do to help ease the journey?
Are there any specific opportunities you should keep an eye out for?
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: When I do this I pick only up to 3 goals per year and break the over all goal down into smaller parts that will make reaching it more manageable. I keep a weekly journal for what I am doing to reach each step of my goal and how big my plants have grown. When doing a long tern spell to bring about 1 or more goals I need a touchstone of how I am achieving what I want my touchstone is my journal. I use a new journal each time I plant seeds to help my intention reach it’s goal. I also separate the goals by writing each goal as a title than skip about 4 to 8 pages depending on the size of the journal I am using a smaller one I leave more pages in between goals than I do with a larger size journal. Spiral notebooks are good to use for this)
AFTER THE CIRCLE IS FINISHED and YOU FEEL READY: Get a flower pot or two and plant them. If you want to use some symbols or words written in any alphabet on the outside or even the inside of your flower pot to infuse more of your energy to help your intention to manifest go right a head and do it.(SIDE NOTE from Lady B If you want your flowers or herbs to be able to be transplanted outside then I suggest you use a Terra Cotta planter or a cardboard or peat moss starter planters. the first type you will have to break open to plant the dirt, roots, and plant. The second you can just pull it away some from the dirt and root ball and plant the whole thing. Make sure you do not get the cardboard or peat moss containers that do not have growing chemicals in them. Also if you plant herbs after they are a fairly good size try to keep them only SLIGHTLY moist at all time because if they get dry and than you water them they flavor of the herb will not be as strong.)
Put a couple of seeds into the paper, and crumple it small.  Soak it in water, compressing it into a wet ball.  Push the ball down into the dirt – following the instructions on the packet, please, as to the depth and soil type for the plant you’re using.  If you feel the need to preserve your notes, you can put the flower pot on top of the paper, instead.  Either way, be sure to moisten the soil once you’re done, asking the seeds to help your goals grow with you.
As the upcoming year unfolds, tend to the seeds as they grow.  Remember that goals need tending, the same as new plants.  Allow your new plants to remind you that your goals are still with you.  Even if the seeds do not grow, or do not grow the way you expected, know that you have contributed your part to the fertility of spring.  You have asked your goals to take root – the seeds are to remind and represent, but the personal intentions you set are the real destination.
Now, as we finish our Beltane rite, picture the daily reality of seeking these goals.  Prepare yourself for the actual doing of it.   Pray to the divine as you picture this.  Ask them to help indicate anything you can prepare for, look out for.
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: When I do this I pick only up to 3 goals per year and break the over all goal down into smaller parts that will make reaching it more manageable. I keep a weekly journal for what I am doing to reach each step of my goal and how big my plants have grown. When doing a long tern spell to bring about 1 or more goals I need a touchstone of how I am achieving what I want my touchstone is my journal. I use a new journal each time I plant seeds to help my intention reach it’s goal. I also separate the goals by writing each goal as a title than skip about 4 to 8 pages depending on the size of the journal I am using a smaller one I leave more pages in between goals than I do with a larger size journal. Spiral notebooks are good to use for this)
Make a strong mental note of anything that comes up here.  Feel free to record anything important.
(SIDE NOTE FROM LADY B: These questions are one of the reasons I use a journal that I have described above.)
EVERYONE: Please thank High Priestess Beth for being part of our gathering this evening/morning and for the time and work she to bring us a wonderful ritual.
Lady Beltane: I walk this circle three times three as the Maiden and Crone walk with me. To celebrate a time of death and a time of rebirth. I bring us  back to our Earthly plane and time to celebrate life, death, and rebirth. We thank the Crone for her comfort in our time of remembrance and ask her to leave us. We thank the Maiden for blessing our seeds as we rejoice and ask her to leave us. As we will it so mote it be.
The circle is open but never broken go in peace and contentment dear sisters and brothers.
EVERYONE: Now put on a favorite song, and celebrate.  This is not the time to do, not yet.  This is just the first step.  Enjoy it!  Revel in it!  Life is not simply to be lived – it is to be experienced in all its glory.  Take a moment now to fill yourself with thanks for this new knowledge, and look forward to your goals.  Feel the possibility inside you, and let yourself feel gratitude.  Raise a glass of wine or juice, help yourself to a sweet treat.  Welcome that sweetness into your life, and ask for a blessing that every goal you accomplish will come with the sweetness of this moment.  Ask your own personal divine to sit with you now, and throughout the upcoming year.  And smile.
Because you know they will, and you know you will get what you truly need.
This is not a time to mourn those who have gone before us but a time to celebrate their lives. Remember our time with them and rejoice we will see them in the Summerlands or even possibly in the new incarnation in your family or circle of friends. AS you dance and rejoice lift your glass to them and say whatever comes to mind.
Both hemispheres remember to take a piece of your sweet and a sip of your beverage outside to place and pour on the ground to honor the Crone and Maiden for their presence and help with our rituals.