The divine Wheel of the Year has spun yet again as we have now passed the time of new beginnings and rebirth in Ostara and are on our way to the passionate and celebratory energies of summer. With the coming of May, we enter the fiery, sensual, and jovial Sabbat known as Beltane. Known for its bonfires and Maypoles, Beltane is far more than just a celebration of fire, but of the many cycles of life.
In this article, we're going to go over all things having to do with this Sabbat. We’re going to cover its history, correspondences, traditions, and a few ways on how you can celebrate it in our modern world. So if you’re ready to welcome in the joyous energies of this season and kick off summer with a bang, let’s dive in and get started.
Date: May 1st
Colors: Red, green, white, brown, & pink
Crystals: Rose quartz, sapphire, & emerald
Deities: Persephone, Pan, Flora, Aphrodite, & Cerrnunnous
Animals: Doves, cats, swallows
Herbs/Flowers: Yarrow, mint, thyme, rose, daisy, lavender, & marigold
Food: Bread, dairy, strawberries, cherries, oats, & red wine
History of Beltane
To start, Beltane is a fire festival that takes place on May 1st (also known as "May Day") and is known as the Sabbat that marks the beginning of summer. This is a joyous time when the earth is fertile, nature is flourishing, and the sunlight is growing stronger with each passing day. But aside from its outer appearance, this is also a time in many traditions that signifies the union of The Maiden (or May Queen) and the Young Oak King (or May King). The Young Oak King has now fallen for The Maiden and has won her heart. At Beltane, the two join together in a sacred union of love, and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together, they are a powerful symbol of sacred marriage, new life, fertility, and passion, allowing these energies to be felt by all at this time.
Now, when it comes to traditions, Beltane has been celebrated in a variety of different ways. From special foods to fertility rites, there are many unique ways to honor and embrace this Sabbat. Here's a list of a few of our personal favorite traditions.
Now, just as we mentioned above, Beltane is a fire festival. The term "Beltane" actually stems from the Celtic God, known as "Bel," as well as the Gaelic word "teine," which ultimately translates to "bright fire" when put together. Therefore, bonfires and fire rituals to honor the God Bel, as well as the Sun, are very common at this time.
Aside from fire celebrations, another tradition common for many is dancing around a Maypole. A Maypole is a large pole decorated with colorful ribbons and seasonal flowers for maidens to frolic around. In this Beltane tradition, a ribbon is taken in the hand of each maiden as they make their way around the poll in a jovial dance to weave the ribbons into a beautiful work of art. This is often used to represent the union of the God and Goddess, with the God represented through the pole and the Goddess represented through the ribbons. To many, this is one of the most delightful and light-hearted traditions that still carries on to this day.
And lastly, another popular tradition for this time of year is hand-fasting ceremonies. Because we are ultimately celebrating marriage and fertility right now, many couples like to plan weddings for this time as well as take part in fertility rituals at Beltane. A common practice done for hand-fasting ceremonies like this is with that of a ribbon tied on the wrists of the two engaging in a union to signify their coming together. This is followed by the untying of the ribbon to signify their lasting connection and free will.
Ways to celebrate today
Now, in our modern world, times may have changed, but ways to celebrate this Sabbat have carried on. Here are a few simple and fun ideas of how to embrace it in today's day and age from the comfort of your own home.
To start, if you've been looking to bring some extra prosperity into your life, Beltane is the perfect time for magic surrounding all types of abundance. Whether that's manifesting an abundance of money, creative ideas, or love, now is the time to set forth intentions for what you wish to attract and focus on them.
Next, as we mentioned above, fire is a big part of the celebration of the Beltane festival. For that reason, you can find many different ways of adding this wild element into your practices. Whether you choose to light a candle or safely have a bonfire with your loved ones, this is a beautiful time of working with the fire element and honoring the sun's light (just make sure you don’t leave any fires unattended!).
Another popular tradition of Beltane is making your own flower crown or flower wreath. As a beautiful way to celebrate the fertility of the earth and a celebration of spring, collect or buy your favorite flowers and weave them in a wreath or crown on your head. Or, if crowns and wreaths aren’t your things, you can also weave flowers into your hair as a way to honor and welcome the energy in all the same.
Another good practice to do at this time is to create a May basket. A May basket is a hand-made piece you can craft as a kind gesture to someone in need of a little extra love and care. For this, you can either weave your own basket or buy one and fill it with fresh flowers, greenery, and positive intentions. If you wanted to take it a step further and modernize this tradition a little bit, you could create a spring/self-care basket full of seasonal goodies for a friend or loved one crafted of their favorite flowers, candy, and treats. Additionally, you could also craft a May basket for deities of this Sabbat and leave it in a special place on your altar or garden.
And lastly, if you're looking to welcome the energies of Beltane into your home in a simple way, you can also decorate with greenery, flowers, or colors of the season. The colors of Beltane typically include green, white, yellow, red, brown, and pink, so flowers of this color would be an excellent addition. On top of this, you could also set out corresponding crystals, such as rose quartz, sapphire, or emerald, to help honor and invite in the beautiful earthy energies of this Sabbat.
Overall, Beltane is a beautiful time of honoring new life, the growing light, and fertility. No matter what way you choose to celebrate it, this is a truly divine period to connect yourself with the elements, natural energies, and the earth. Take some time to get outside on this high-spirited day and breathe in all the divine and beaming life surrounding you. Nature is calling, and it’s time to go back to it.
~ Blessed Beltane ~
Written by: The Spirit Chic
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