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.
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
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.
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…
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Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of the late harvest? Let’s look at some of the customs and folklore behind the Samhain season – learn why black cats are considered unlucky, how trick-or-treating became so popular and more!
There’s been a rumor going around for ages that Samhain is the name of a spooky Celtic death god. Totally not the case at all, but let’s take a look at where this misconception originated, and why it’s perpetuated by some groups of evangelical Christians.
One of the most enduring symbols of Halloween is the jack o’lantern. Carved pumpkins are a mainstay of the Samhain season, and for some folks, the more elaborate the carved design, the better! School children are alternately delighted and terrified by them — but how did the whole idea of carving up a pumpkin evolve in the first place? Let’s talk about the legend of the Jack O’Lantern!
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I was getting ready to post articles about Imbolc and Lammas but my Spirit Guides had a different idea of what I should post today.
I was asked by one of the Adept witches in our online coven to talk a little about my time as a newbie in a coven and what it was like on up to where I am today. So I will begin this journey of telling about my journey with my novices year and a day. Let me stress that all covens are different in how they treat newcomers and even established members. Some have very strict rules while others have seemingly no rules. So if you are interested in a specific coven make sure it is a good fit for you and how you want to study The Craft and you are a good fit for their group.
My instructors, as I did not consider them being mentors as we had no real personal relationship, were pretty different than how I mentor my novices. I was a novice about 40 years ago and a lot has changed. The coven I was in during the time I was a novice was Wicca not really any well know tradition just WIcca. First, of all, I was not allowed to attend any actual coven gatherings until I had studied for six months. My first six months of studies were basically reading different papers written by the elders in the coven and books they told me to read than doing written assignments for each thing I read. There were specific questions that pertained exactly to the papers or books I read and I had to basically do book reports for some of them. I was discouraged from reading anything that was not assigned reading. Secondly, my written assignments ranged from how to set up an altar to how to commune with animals (something I am still working on achieving today). I wrote nothing about spells, rituals or how to write and perform them, this was considered too advanced for a novice. I only had access to the oldest members of the coven one evening per week to call if I had a question about what I was working on that week. This made it very difficult at times for my studies to progress as fast as the coven or I would have liked. When I was finally allowed to attend coven gatherings I was not allowed to speak to anyone before the ritual started or during it. I was allowed to mingle with coven members after the ritual but not to ask questions about my studies unless I could get one of the elders aside where no one else could hear us. It was an extremely stressful year and a day for me to the point of me seriously thinking I was on the wrong spiritual and magickal path. I did make it through their novice training but when it came time to be brought into the coven as an adept I chose to try a different coven in a totally different town as I did not really want to run into any of the first coven’s members.
Please keep in mind my experiences were about 40 years ago and every coven is different in how it brings new members into it.Next time I Will talk a little about my Adept year and a day which was much more pleasant than the novice level. Not just because I knew more but because the coven was a lot more welcoming and caring.
Until then dear ones try to bring something magickal into your life every day thank will bring you happiness or joy or love or caring or comfort or whatever you need that day. Much love and many blessings from me to you my dear ones.
If you have been following along and lighting a Yule Wreath Candle….here is the blog post for the last candle we light tonight!
©12212016 Wolf Woman Ways
I found this blog post today….I thought it was pretty neat! I always talk about dressing with intent for Empaths…this seems like a good way to take it one step further. I had never thought about enchanting my lotions or other products I use. (I don’t wear makeup.)
©12212016 Wolf Woman Ways
I wrote a post with the various Yule Correspondences I have found over the years. You can check it out at the following link:
©12212016 Wolf Woman Ways