Beltane

Beltane

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Beltane is a Gaelic May Day festival. Normally celebrated on the  1st of May or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Beltane is a fertility festival and a fire festival. It marked the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. Ancestor's  would walk cattle between two fires to keep them healthy for the year ahead. After April showers the land is moist and fertile for the next season. Beltane celebrates the coming new life and growth and is celebrated by todays pagans by lighting a ritual bonfire, dancing and performing rituals. Sex magic is at the forefront of a lot of witches practices at this time. Practice herbal magic at this time by planting herbs to use in your magical workings. In many Pagan traditions, including some forms of Wicca, it is believed that on Beltane the veil between earth and the faerie world is thin. An easy way to invite the Fae into your practice is to make a fairy garden. Even if you have no garden you can make one in a plant pot or window decoration, OR plant a garden to encourage butterflies which have close connections with the Fae. 


Beltane Altar and Rituals 

Greens, pinks and yellows are the colour of nature at this time. Use a candle to signify the Beltane fire. Use Fertility symbols from nature like horns, seeds, and flowers. The focus of a lot of the Beltane celebrations is fertility, to bring abundance of health, love and happiness into our lives. 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. If you're not quite ready to hold a full-on ritual, try the maypole dance where men weave one way with ribbons women the other. 


Handfasting

 Handfastings and weddings are popular during Beltane, the traditional season of fertility.  Handfastings are becoming more popular again... are you ready to jump the broom ???

Decorate your home with flowers, make wishes on ribbons and tie them to a tree. Make a maypole centre piece for your altar. 


Naturally, there are many beautiful goddesses associated with this sacred day. Just a few include: Wild huntress Artemis, mother, queen and magician Isis, sensual Aphrodite, magical Rhiannon, patron goddess of marriage Hera, flower queen Flora and lover and warrior Freya. This is a beautiful time to honour the Goddesses within and around you. Start by creating a Goddess alter. Place an offering of flowers, fruits, and anything that represents fertility, sexuality and the Goddess to you on this alter. Flowers are a must.. It is for you to embrace whether you wear them in your hair or decorate your home. Also remember you can use the flowers after, once dried, in incense or healing, protection or love pouches. 


  Beltane solitary ritual ideas


  1. Have a Private Ritual and Meditation time
  2. Make flower baskets for the people you love 
  3. Spend time in nature (even if its raining)
  4. Eat a meal of just vegetables and fruits.        
  5. Make friendship bracelets with ribbons 
  6. Dance around the bel fire 
  7. write in your book of shadows.
  8. collect flowers 
  9. Tie ribbons onto a special tree, write on the ribbons your wishes.
  10. Set up your altar for Your Goddess 

We light the fires of Beltane, sending smoke up to the sky. The flames purify and protect, marking the turn of the Wheel of the Year. Keep our animals safe and strong. Keep our land safe and strong. Keep those who would protect them Safe and strong. May the light and heat of this fire bestow life upon the herd ........ written by unknown source


BELTANE PRAYERS BY folklorist Alexander Carmichael

A Prayer to Cernunnos:

God of the green, Lord of the forest, I offer you my sacrifice. I ask you for your blessing. You are the man in the trees,  the green man of the woods, who brings life to the dawning spring. You are the deer in rut, mighty Horned One, who roams the autumn woods, the hunter circling round the oak, the antlers of the wild stag,  and the lifeblood that spills upon  the ground each season. God of the green, Lord of the forest, I offer you my sacrifice. I ask you for your blessing.

Honouring the May Queen

Make an offering of a floral crown, or a SPRINKLE of honey and milk, to the Queen of the May during your Beltane prayers.The leaves are budding across the land  on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.  Magic rises around us in the forest  and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.  Dear lady, we offer you a gift,  a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,  woven into the circle of endless life.  The bright colours of nature herself  blend together to honour you,  Queen of spring,  as we give you honour this day.  Spring is here and the land is fertile,  ready to offer up gifts in your name.  we pay you tribute, our lady,  daughter of the Fae,  and ask your blessing this Beltane. Bless, O threefold true and bountiful,  Myself, my spouse, my children.  Bless everything within my dwelling and in my possession,  Bless the kine and crops, the flocks and corn,  From Samhain Eve to Beltane Eve,  With goodly progress and gentle blessing,  From sea to sea, and every river mouth,  From wave to wave, and base of waterfall. Be the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, Taking possession of all to me belonging. Be the Horned God, the Wild Spirit of the Forest, Protecting me in truth and honour. Satisfy my soul and shield my loved ones,  Blessing every thing and every one, All my land and my surroundings. Great gods who create and bring life to all, I ask for your blessings on this day of fire

A Thanks to the Earth Mother

Great earth mother!  We give you praise today  and ask for your blessing upon us.  As seeds spring forth  and grass grows green  and winds blow gently  and the rivers flow  and the sun shines down  upon our land,  we offer thanks to you for your blessings  and your gifts of life each spring


Lastly enjoy the celebrations whether you are alone or with a coven

Beltane Blessings

Moonstone