Beltane

My own Sacred Space for Beltane

Beltane is usually celebrated between 30th April – 2nd May. The word Beltane is from ‘Bel’ meaning ‘the bright one’ and ’teine meaning ‘fire’; together meaning ‘the fire of the Bright One (the Sun)’.  It is the last of the three Spring festivals, after Imbolc and Ostara, and is seen as the beginning of the light half of the year, although this occurred at Ostara.  It is a cross-quarter day and a Spirit Night alongside Litha and Samhain.

Sun God

Traditionally the four Goddess festivals/seasons are about the Earth; Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas and fall between those of the God which are about the Sun; Midwinter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Midsummer Solstice and Autumn Equinox.  Perhaps Beltane may be seen as both a God (Fire) and Goddess (Earth) festival as the Earth is so pronounced at this time, with the new life given to her by the Sun.  We shall see another potential reason for this in the second thoughts on Beltane tomorrow.  Certainly, at this time, the god is growing and becoming more potent and vital as he goes towards his zenith at Litha (Midsummer Solstice).

Bel (Beli, Belenos) is the Celtic Sun God, the deity of light, health and healing.  In some parts of Europe, Belenos was thought to drive a chariot carrying the Sun’s disc.  In his healing aspect, he is associated with healing waters, wells and springs. He is often associated with the greenwood and the green man. The wheel, sunburst, head with penumbra or halo are the symbols and associations of Bel.

Bel

Bel Fires were lit when the Tuatha de Danann arrived in Ireland on 1st May and burnt ships at dawn in honour of Bel.  Household fires were extinguished and relit from the Bel-Fire (Bale Fire). The ritual welcoming of the sun and the lighting of the fires was also believed to ensure fertility of the land and the people. Farm animals were passed between the Bel Fires to cleanse, protect and make them fertile as they went to summer grazing.  People leapt over Beltane fires for fertility and purification. 

Where will you look to see the new growth sprouting?  What needs to be extinguished before being re-lit from a renewed source?  What light can you bring into your own, or someone else’s life?  Who or what needs your nurturing now?

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Second thoughts on Beltane

Posted on 28th Apr 2020 by mhcweb01

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The Goddess in Her Maiden Aspect

Beltane is the time when the goddess chooses her mate and weds him, thus granting him sovereignty.  It is always the Goddess/Queen who gives sovereignty to the God-King.  There are many stories of a Goddess/Queen being fought over to gain her sovereignty by two Gods/Kings representing the dark/ winter and light/summer.  A reason why this festival may be seen as both for the God and the Goddess.

Marriage of The God and Goddess

The Goddess is in her alluring Maiden aspect; the May Queen/Bride, Goddess of Spring, Flower Bride, Queen of the Fairies, all symbols of purity, growth and renewal.  (The Crone turns to stone or goes into the earth on Beltane Eve.). Hawthorn blossom, also known as May, symbolises female fertility, with its creamy/ white, fragrant flowers.  It is unlucky to bring the blossom into the house, apart from on May eve. 

Hawthorn May Blossom

Who do you need to join forces with?  Would you offer sovereignty to anyone, if so who?  What are you hoping to create at this time?  Who will you join forces with to create something special?  Who do you need to make better relationships with?                                                                                                                                                

Third thoughts on Beltane

Posted on 29th Apr 2020 by mhcweb01

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Things to do

Bannock Cake

There are many things to do that are appropriate at this time.  Here are some suggestions, obviously some things will need to be adapted for the current situation, but let your imagination go!

  • Ask for the blessings of one of the Beltane Gods or Goddesses
  • Bake Bannock cakes (oats are associated with this festival)
  • Be wild (within reason!)
  • Commune with the faeries
  • Dance around a Maypole – symbol of the Gods potency
  • Do something that enlivens you
  • Draw up the burgeoning energy of the earth into your body to increase your energy flow
  • Find somewhere to commune with nature and/or the Fae
  • Gather the first herbs of the season
  • Jump the Bonfire for Blessings, Protection, Fertility etc (tie the ashes into a bag and carry for fertility)
  • Hang Rowan twigs over doorways for protection
  • Jump the Bonfire for blessings, protection, fertility etc (tie the ashes into a bag and carry for fertility)
  • Make a wish at a Hawthorn tree
  • Make and wear leafy green masks to represent the returning Green Man
  • Make daisy chains, fresh flower wreaths and circlets or wear flowers
  • Mark the boundaries of your circle with oatmeal
  • Meditate on the heart chakra
  • Purify your ritual tools in your Bel-fire
  • Quicken something you have been planning
  • Sow seeds
  • Visit a Hawthorn tree or holy well
  • Wash yourself in May morning dew for magickal potency and ensuring your youth and beauty in the coming year

© Jane Morris MIntlaw Holistic Centre

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