The First of May is the Beltane Day for those who practise witchcraft or are Pagans. It is part of the Wheel of the Year. But what is Beltane, and how does one celebrate it?
A Little History
Beltane, also known as Cétshamhain and Lá Bealtaine, is the last of the spring fertility festivals. It is the mark of the end days of spring and the beginning of the summer days to come in June.
People would douse and relight their household fires from the bonfires of Beltane. Beltane and Samhain divide the year into two primary seasons. Beltane is the summer—Light part, and Samhain is the winter—Dark part, marking the passage into the growing and resting seasons.
Therefore, Beltane is about honouring the living and the push to lavish the land with produce. The Young Solar God released the sun from winter into summer so it could live life again.
The Young Solar God has reached his maturity and has wedded the Goddess. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals.
Let’s Dive Into The Mythology of Beltane
At Beltane, the Solar Lord has flourished into a young man of vitality and requests the hand of the Mother Goddess. The arrival of full-blown spring is in the air, and the sensuality of life is thriving beneath the feet of the celebrants.
As the last frost of the year has come and gone, the planting of crops can be successful with abundant growth. Although Summer doesn’t achieve full growth until the Summer Solstice, many consider Beltane as the initial days of summer progression, although it is still spring.
Romance is in the air, and people erect Maypoles to symbolise the union of the Solar Lord and Goddess on this Rite. The Solar Lord and Goddess embrace the land and sow the seeds of life with their bitter waters.
The Rite of Earthiness proposes our natural adoration of the earth’s energy and free flow of energy through our bodies, producing a tantric power of erotic love for life. It reminds us that even though dark days are ahead, the sun’s light will always shine on our parade of jubilance.
With the consummation of their love, the Solar Lord and Goddess fill the world with abundance and happiness as the arrival of summer is just on the brink of the horizon of time, as He becomes the Consort of the Divine Mother of life.
How To Celebrate Beltane In Modern Days
A common, and more importantly, modern practice of Pagans and Wiccans is to wed on Beltane, creating a holy union between yourself and your partner to celebrate life and fertility.
People erect Maypoles, symbolising their union, and many Wiccans hold handfastings on this day. Handfasting is a Wiccan marriage that a High Priestess oversees. She ties a sash around the couple’s hands for the union as one.
However, contrary to modern beliefs, it was superstitious, rude, or just in bad taste to marry on the same day as the holy union of God and Goddess. Ancient teachings predicted ill fates to those who married on Beltane, stealing the spotlight from the restoration of nature.
Beltane was the celebration of the return of life, the return of Summer, and the return of the God and Goddess to spread fertility across the land for plentiful harvests in autumn.
Official Rituals Dedicated To Beltane
Altar cloths: Green.
Candles: Seasonal altar candles — white, green, red, and yellow.
Great Rite: White, black, and red.
Elements: Yellow, red, green, and blue.
Herbs: Mint, rosemary, rue, blessed thistle, Lily of the Valley, foxglove, rose, and broom.
Stones: emerald, jade, peridot, opal, and clear quartz.
Oils: Beltane oil.
Food: Hot cross buns.
Observances: Weaving flowered necklaces, head crowns, and chaplets.
Seasonal Rite: Light the Balefire.
Item needed: wood for balefire, matches
Inspiration of the Sun: May Day Wedding Bouquet — Lavender, Lily of the Valley, Roses, Foxglove, and string.
Altar: May Day Pole — wooden paper towel holder, ribbon, artificial flowers, and hot glue gun.
Ribbon and Flower Crown: Flexible oak tree branch, ribbon, artificial flowers, string, and hot glue gun.
Sabbat mythos: The Sacred Marriage of the God and Goddess.
Sun position: Sun at 15 degrees Taurus.
The Goddess Speaks the Sacred Union of Beltane
The feet of the Waxing star
Has touched the earth in humble illumination
Heating and churning the Fair Maiden Princess
Mixing her Starfire blood
As he ascends her in garden
And lies down on her feet
In adoration and awe
As their forlorn love
Consulates around them
And the seeds sewn awaken
To the power of the unison
Witness our love and thereby
We were a cosmic collision of power
Hurtling towards each other for lightyears
And when our spirits touched
In a cataclysmic explosion of stardust
Our souls caught alight
Breaking a barrier of the primordial deep
Relinquishing the vast chaotic ocean
In a single touch
Where the rush of light and dark
Balanced all of those who thrived
And the bubbling magick
Of our consummated emanations
Spilt over creating the universe, you see
And as we made you in our image
We bestowed upon humanity
Our gift of spiritual atonement
I thought and will
As you plough the lands of the earth
For vitality and wealth of life
Just as the wildfire in your bosom
Burning out of control
Giving life when just existing was all there was
Sewing your seed and bearing witness
To the beauty of its reward
Where two souls meld together
In perfect rhythm and harmony
And Starfire spills from your aching loins
Dousing one another in tantric seduction
Just as my roots in my garden grow deepest
And the womb of the earth
Springs forth the greatest token of all