What’s not to love about the summer? The days are getting longer, little lambs frolic in the fields, the summertime blooms are taking over pastures and cities alike. Well, for witchy folk, pagans, Wiccans and those following Gaelic/Celtic traditions, there’s another, even better aspect of the celebration of the commencement of the Summer season – the fire festival of Beltane.
Much of the traditional pastimes associated with Beltane come from the pastoral traditions of the Gaelic herdsmen and farmers, who marked the beginning of the warmer months by casting protection over their animals and crops. For spiritual folk, we still celebrate Beltane with protection, growth and prosperity in mind. As well as that, however, there is a definite, shall we say, romantic element to this Sabbat. Mythically, this is the time when the God has reached sexual maturity, and can now court the Goddess.
While, in times gone by, farmers would drive herds of cattle, sheep and goats between two bonfires to bless and protect them, we are less likely, for the most part, to have that many animals on hand. So how can we celebrate this festival in a more modern way? Let’s first look at the core elements of this festival.
Colours: Red, white, green, brown, pink
Food: Seasonal fruits, grains, salads and cool dairy such as yogurt and cheese
Planetary Ruler: Venus
Themes: Love, passion, sex, fertility, prosperity, growth
Plants: All flowers, especially roses, foxglove, bluebell, marigold; Rowan, Birch and Hawthorn trees; Frankincense, Mugwort, St John’s Wort, Thyme, Mint
Crystals: Rose Quartz, Bloodstone, Amber, Red Jasper, Green Adventurine, Moonstone, Green Moss Agate, Fire Agate, Citrine, Ruby, Yellow Jasper.
Tradition: Tending and Jumping the Fire
In more ancient times, we would have built up large bonfires, representing protection and blessing for our crops and livestock. All household fires were doused and re-lit using embers and flame from the Beltane fires. These days, especially in 2020, it might not be possible to get out and build a fire. Instead, light a symbolic Beltane candle, and use it to light other candles, each associated with an aspect of your life. For example, a green candle for prosperity and/or fertility; red for passion; pink for love; orange for business and so on. Set all these candles on your altar.
Instead of jumping the fire, work with what you have available to you. If it is safe to do so, perhaps jump over your Beltane flame candle, or, if you are not comfortable with open flames on the floor (you are wise), or you don’t have the space, indoors or outdoors, jump over a small cauldron instead. The cauldron is symbolic of fire; be safe, be mindful and intentional.
Tradition: The Maypole Dance
Again, if you have the space and capacity, dressing and dancing around the Maypole is a beautiful tradition. But if, like me, you are living in an apartment with no outside space and some neighbors who might call the police on you if you tried to erect a Maypole in the carpark, there are other ways to honor this tradition.
For a Maypole celebration on a smaller scale, why not create a Beltane wand? Ask a nice tree for permission to take a small branch or stick from its boughs (Rowan, Hawthorn or Birch are ideal, but any tree will do), and lovingly dress it with bright, beautiful ribbons in green, red, white, yellow, pink (or whatever you have on hand). It’s the thought and intention that counts – dress it with crystals, if you like, leave ribbons that dance through the air when you wave your wand; or honor the tradition of weaving and wrap the ribbons from the top to the bottom.
Because Beltane is a celebration of love, consummation and passion, it is a popular time for weddings in witchy, pagan or Celtic traditions. There is no need to throw a last-minute wedding, however; just celebrate your love. If you are partnered, you can celebrate together by re-affirming your love, being generally romantic and, ahem, passionate. If you are single, then you can still celebrate love! Celebrate and honour the other relationships in your life; conduct a ritual to love on yourself. Beltane is a great time for sex magick, love magick and general celebration of the people in your life.
I wanted to share with you the recipe for an oil I mixed for Beltane this year:
4 drops Rose Oil
3 drops Ylang Ylang Oil
2 drops Rosemary Oil
2 drops Lavender Oil
1 drop Sweet Orange Oil
Dilute in a carrier oil and use to dress your candles, anoint yourself and diffuse.
All in all, take in the season. Eat, drink, be merry and love yourself and others. Celebrate another turn of the Wheel.
xxKWritten by: onebosswitch.com/
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Welcome to this blog post, Witches and Lovers! You and I may share almost the same sentiments towards the approaching Valentine's. One thought and your stomach are in knots? I feel you.
With the recent events centering around Covid-19, it is normal to feel nostalgic for the traditional romantic movie nights, long walks by the beach, restaurant dates, traveling in another city, what else? Name it, we all wish and yearn for this entire pandemic to soon be over. But just like Warren Buffett’s 5/25 Rule, why don’t we focus more on things that we can control and assess what really matters?
For one, it wouldn’t take time to reflect that what does matter is who we share this Valentines with and secondly, how we can make them feel more special during this event. After all, Valentine's doesn’t require any place or any terms at all as long as whatever we plan to do comes from our hearts.
Imbolc is considered the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It is recognized from February 1 – 2 and is also known as, Imbolg, Brigid’s Day, Oimelc or Candlemas. It’s a time to celebrate the recovery of the Goddess Brigid (It's pronounced “Breej,” or in some parts of Ireland, closer to “Breeds.”). Brigid is the daughter of Dagda and is one of the most well-known Goddesses in Irish Lore. Brigid is a Goddess that is usually celebrated and honored during Imbolc. She is a Goddess of the hearth, home, and inspiration. A protector of women and children and she is also associated with midwifery. The Goddess Brigid is well-connected to fire and encompasses all things to do with poetry, healing, and blacksmithing.
Imbolc is the first Fire Festival in the dark half of the wheel. This is a festival where we begin to see light and life returning to the earth. The Earth is being reborn with new life!