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

The Goddess and The Greenman

Sunset to Sunset.

Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..

Traditions of Beltane

Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/beltane

A Thought for Today

With Beltane fast approaching you may find your mind turning more to things about love. Like the birds and the bees, Beltane increases our basic instincts for breeding and picking a mate. It is a great time of year for handfastings and traditional marriages. It is also a time to reconnect with your significant other. Do something together that brings you both joy and make a wonderful memory – if you haven’t gone out to dinner for a while or a movie or a walk or any number of things find time to do so and use it to re-kindle the love that first brought you together. Maybe the best thing you can do is sit down and have a real discussion with each other about how you feel not only about everyday things but what your heart feels for your mate. I know I to often automatically tell my husband (we have been Handfasted for 14 1/2 years) I love you without thinking about what those words really mean and how special they are to hear from or say to our mate. If you have children pick a time when you know they are down for the night and you will not be interrupted then open a bottle of your favorite wine or a different cocktail you both enjoy if you drink. If you don’t drink liquor then have your favorite juice or pop/

If you have children pick a time when you know they are down for the night and you will not be interrupted then open a bottle of your favorite wine or a different cocktail you both enjoy if you drink. If you don’t drink liquor then have your favorite juice or pop/soda or whatever you both like to drink. Cuddle up on the couch, light a small fire in the fireplace, if you have one, or go sit under the Moon and stars and just get reconnected with the one special person that you spend your daily life with and talk. On Beltane arrange a pentagram around your martial bed and have a passionate night of love making celebrating the Great Rite (Mor about the Great Rite in a future post).

Bottom line spring and Beltane are a time for lovers to reconnect or new lovers to find out more about each other. Love is one of the key parts of the celebrations of Beltane.