Beltane also known as May Day is the time to honour all life. It is the time of full abundance, the Earth so full of fertility ready to burst with energy. It is the time where the young Maiden Goddess is at her fullness and ready for love. The Green Man, the horned one falls in love with the beautiful Goddess and they consummate their union and the Goddess becomes pregnant. She is the manifestation of renewal and growth. They represent the sacred marriage, union of the Earth and Sky. This is the time of sexuality, sensuality, passion, love and joy, a time for conception. Bringing hopes, dreams and ideas into action.
There are many Gods and Goddesses associated with this sabbat and I have listed a few below:
Artemis (Greek), who is the huntress, a moon Goddess and maiden.
Flora (Roman), who is the Goddess of Spring and Flowers, also having a festival herself called Floralia and celebrated between 28th April to 3rd May.
Hera (Greek) the Goddess of marriage, nature and looks after the animals.
Sheela-na-Gig (Celtic), a fertility Goddess, she is shown as a woman with a giant yoni, accepting the seed of the male.
Pan (Greek), a horned God, very sexual and associated with the forest.
Cernunnos (Celtic), another horned God, wild and free, protector and lord of the forest and animals.
Kokopelli (Hopi), a dancing Spring God who carries unborn children to fertile women. He is portrayed with rams and stags and is another horned God of fertility.
The Maypole, which is a phallic symbol representing the God and a ring at the top representing the fertile
Goddess. The many coloured ribbons, which are used to dance around the pole symbolises the spiral dance and union of the God and Goddess.
Phallic symbols and eggs which are associated with fertility.
Antlers and horns which represent the horned God.
Flowers & fruits representing abundance.
Cup or Chalice which represents the womb of the Goddess.
Colours & Flowers
Red, yellow, green & white, hawthorn, birch, rowan, daffodils, hyacinths, daisies and tulips
A story of Beltane
If you are interested in reading a story about Beltane, here is a link to the Bard’s Grove and their story of Beltane Fires – http://thebardsgrove.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/stories-of-earth-beltane-fires.html
We can not forget the Faeries! Faeries are strongly associated with Beltane and probably because at this time of year the veil between our world and theirs is thin. Its a time when Nature becomes alive and the Spirits of Nature become active. The Faery Queen will ride out to entice humans to Faeryland, so be on guard as time is different in their world. One minute there and a whole year may go by here.
People would often offer the Faeries bannocks or other favourites of theirs like cream and honey in hopes to winning their favour.
Put on some relaxing music and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths and start to feel
relaxed. Imagine you are in a forest, trees surrounding you, tall and big. In front of you is an opening and a path. Make your way to the the opening and start walking along the path. Note what is around you, what do you see? As you walk along this path you hear music coming from somewhere in front of you. You then notice there is a grove of trees. You make your way to the edge of the grove and the music becomes louder. Standing there you see a big bomb fire in the middle of the grove and a gathering enjoying themselves. There are animals, faeries and all sorts of creatures. Then suddenly, they all go silent as the Lord and Lady has entered the grove. The lord laughs and shouts out, ”be merry on this fine Beltane night!” and the party starts again. As you stand watching, someone approaches you. It is the Lady, the beautiful Goddess. She takes your hand and leads you into the grove to meet with the Lord of the forest. He welcomes you and is glad you are here. You then ask him and the Goddess anything you wish to ask them at this moment…….
When you are finished speaking with them, one of them hands you a gift. Take note of what this gift is. The Lord then says, ”have fun little one and make merry” and you are whisked off by some faeries to dance and play around the fire.
When you are ready to leave, thank the Lord and Lady and the faeries, animals and others you have greeted and make your way out of the grove, along the path that lead you there, back where you started. Take three deep breaths and feel your self back.
Write down your experience. What did you see, feel? What was your gift and did it mean something to you?
You can find lots of gatherings and events taking place for Beltane. You could try and find one near you and
attend, where they will have ritual, a fire to jump, music and general merriment!
You could organise a small gathering at your home and have a small fire in the garden and maybe do the ritual below. Make a party out of it and celebrate the abundance and the union of the Goddess and God! If having a fire, please be safe, especially if you plan on jumping it!
One or two candles, red, green or white. Some fresh flowers, symbol of the Goddess and God such as a chalice, statues, antlers, horns etc. Offerings such as cake/bread, milk and honey.
Light the candles and ask the four directions to be present to protect you in a circle. Then call on the Goddess and God, either by just asking, chanting or drumming. Feel their energy and sit with it a little while.
Then start the meditation above. Once this is finished give thanks to the Goddess and God for the abundance you receive and will be receiving. Writing down what you are grateful for is a great way to do this either in a diary or you could do this on a piece of paper and burn it to release it into the world.
When you are ready, close the circle by thanking the Goddess, God and directions. Go out and offer the cake, bread, milk and honey to the outside which will help feed animals or go back into the earth as an offering of thanks.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions please do contact me through the contact page or leave a comment below.
Wishing you a wonderful joyful Beltane.
Picture credits: Artists unknown