All About Beltane – Celebrating the Fertility of Spring

April’s showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 – November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.

Depending on your tradition, there are a number of ways you can celebrate this Sabbat.

RITUALS AND CEREMONIES

There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

By Patti Wigington for more on Beltane please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/guide-to-the-beltane-celebration-2561640?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170427&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Fertility Deities of Beltane Learn About Beltane’s Fertility Gods and Goddesses

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, Bacchuswas 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

To read the rest of this list comprised by Patti Wigington please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/fertility-deities-of-beltane-2561641?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170411&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

All About Beltane Celebrating the Fertility of Spring

April’s showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 – November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.

Depending on your tradition, there are a number of ways you can celebrate this Sabbat.

RITUALS AND CEREMONIES

There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

To read the rest of this article by Patti Wigington please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/guide-to-the-beltane-celebration-2561640?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170411&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Beltane History – Celebrating May Day by Patti Wigington

THE FIRES OF TARA

Beltane kicks off the merry month of May, and has a long history. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy. The Celts honored the fertility of the gods with gifts and offerings, sometimes including animal or human sacrifice. Cattle were driven through the smoke of the balefires, and blessed with health and fertility for the coming year.

In Ireland, the fires of Tara were the first ones lit every year at Beltane, and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.

ROMAN INFLUENCES

The Romans, always known for celebrating holidays in a big way, spent the first day of May paying tribute to their Lares, the gods of their household. They also celebrated the Floralia, or festival of flowers, which consisted of three days of unbridled sexual activity. Participants wore flowers in their hair (much like May Day celebrants later on), and there were plays, songs, and dances. At the end of the festivities, animals were set loose inside the Circus Maximus, and beans were scattered around to ensure fertility. The fire festival of Bona Dea was also celebrated on May 2nd.

A PAGAN MARTYR…

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link:

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-history-of-beltane-and-may-day-2561657?utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20170411&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Beltane Customs, Traditions, and Folklore By Patti Wigington

Beltane is coming up soon, on May 1, and it’s a great time to get outside and celebrate the greening of the earth and the fertility of the land. This is a season that has been observed by many cultures, in a variety of ways, over the history of time. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular customs and traditions of Beltane – and if you’re one of our southern hemisphere readers, be sure to scroll down for some background on the history of Samhain!

There will be smallish multiple posts from the email I received from Thoughtco.com. So look for them over the next few days.

( Side note from Lady Beltane – Beltane and Samhain our two Fire festivals when the veil between us and the Spirit world/plane is at its thinnest. Such an interesting time of year.)

Beltaine Lore History, Customs, Myths and More

Celtic Mythology

Beltaine is the time of the yearly battle between Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwythur ap Greidawl for Creudylad in Welsh mythology. Gwyn ap Nudd, the Wild Huntsman of Wales, is a God of death and the Annwn. Creudylad is the daughter of Llew of the Silver Hand (son of Beli). She is the most beautiful maiden on the Island of Mighty. This is a myth of the battle of winter and summer for the magnificent blossoming earth.

In the myth of Rhiannon and Pwyll, it is the evening of Beltaine, that Rhiannon gives birth to their son. The midwives all fell asleep at the same time, as they were watching over Rhiannon and her new baby, during which he was taken. In order to protect themselves, they smeared blood (from a pup) all over Rhiannon, to which they claim she had eaten her son. The midwives were believed, and Rhiannon was forced to pay penance for seven years. She had to carrying people on her back from the outside of the gate to the palace, although rarely would any allow her to do so. The baby’s whereabouts were a mystery. Oddly, every Beltaine night, one of Pwyll’s vassals, Teirnyon Twryv Vliant, had a mare that gave birth but the colt disappeared. One Beltaine night Teirnyon Twryv Vliant awaited in the barn for the mare to foaled, when she did, he heard a tremendous noise and a clawed arm came through the window and grabbed the colt. Teirnyon cut off the arm with his sword, and then heard a wailing. He opened the door and found a baby, he brought it to his wife and they adopted Gwri Wallt Euryn (Gwri of the Golden Hair). As he grew he looked like Pwyll and they remembered they found him on the night Rhiannon’s baby became lost. Teirnyon brought Gwri of the Golden Hair to the castle, told the story, and he was adopted back to his parents, Rhiannon and Pwyll, and named by the head druid, Pryderi (trouble) from the first word his mother had said when he was restored to her. “Trouble is, indeed, at an end for me, if this be true”.

This myth illustrates the precariousness of the Beltaine season, at the threshold of Summer, the earth awakening, winter can still reach its long arm in and snatch the Sun away (Gwri of the Golden hair). “Ne’er cast a clout ’til May be out” (clout: Old English for cloth/clothing). If indeed the return of summer is true than the trouble (winter) is certainly over, however one must be vigilant.

Wiccan Lore

For the rest of this article please click on this  link: http://www.angelfire.com/wa3/angelline/beltaine_lore.htm

Beltane

Beltane plate

 

Beltane plate

Beltane Altar 2015

Beltane Altar

Beltane Anointing Oil

Put a Peridot for prosperity and abundance in the bottle

Put a Garnet for ushering in passion in the bottle

3 drops of Jasmine

2 drops of Juniper

3 drops of Fennel

3 drops of Lemon

2 T Jojoba oil

Put the bottle in the center of the Flower of Life grid with a Quartz cluster in the center with it and 3 garnets around the perimeter to form a triangle.  Intent was to bring in prosperity and abundance with the passion of starting new things for Beltane.

Beltane Altar in a cup 2015

Beltane Altar in a Cup

Beltane Altar in a cup with Forget Me Not, Fern, Rose, Sweet Woodruff and Salt. Forget Me Not gives comfort through dreams by opening up contact with beings in another dimension and comforts because we realize the spiritual nature of these contacts. Fern is for mental clarity, cleansing, purification, and dispelling negativity and is a powerful auric protection. Rose includes attracting love, beauty, clairvoyance, domestic peace, happiness, and promoting the joy of giving. Sweet Woodruff is associated with healing, victory, protection, and money. The main metaphysical properties of salt are: Abundance, manifestation, and anchoring spiritual energies. Connecting to the ocean, the Moon and its cycles, and grounding spiritual energies into the material plane. Devotion, spiritual development, and an alchemical return to wholeness. Hospitality, house warming, and domestic harmony. Purification, spiritual protection, and releasing unwanted influences. Insights on life, death, and spiritual rebirth. Intuition, balancing the emotions and altered states like dreaming. Traditionally used for physical well-being, vitality, and longevity.

Beltane fire 5-1-15

Beltane Fire

Often you will read about the nine sacred woods used in kindling the balefire. Obviously, the trees should all have strong connections to magick, but substitutions can be made depending on where you live.
Oak would be the first choice, the backbone of the fire, so to speak. To that add eight other types of wood. Any and all of these are acceptable: apple, Hawthorne, birch, elder, ash, thorn (blackthorn), grape vine, rowan (mountain ash), holly, willow, cedar, yew and hemlock. Article found at: http://whisperingworlds.com/wiccan/beltane.php

©04272016 Wolf Woman Ways

Beltane Rite Poem

Beltane plate

 

“The pole stands straight and true,

As the dancers grab their brightly colored ribbons,

They begin to dance,

They weave the wisdom passed down through the ages.

The fires burn bright all through the night,

The vibrational frequency that your Heart feels and your Soul knows.

The music notes are carried on the wind, to start again.

A glance across the crowded hall,

With none to fear he comes near.

Maiden’s laughter rings in his ear,

Her eyes gaze into his,

He knows she is dear.

They wait their turn,

To dance together as ONE,

Forsaking none.

Bells rings,

Announcing the feast,

They sit side by side,

Knowing this is right.

They pay homage to their Lord and Lady,

That they may be blessed as ONE tonight.

The Maypole had worked its magic once again,

For the couple found their bliss

By the simple act of a kiss under the star strewn sky.

Their fingers are laced together tight,

For they know this is their night.

They hold each other in their arms

Throughout the starry night.

They are awakened by dawn’s early light.

Grateful to have found each other,

They begin their journey together as ONE

Through this Beltane Rite.”

© 04272016 Wolf Woman Ways