Hey there, ATS folks. I would like to extend the spirit of Beltane to the community here. Normally, it's celebrated on May 1st but I've had some
crazy career changes (good things) that made me postpone my revelries. Fortunately, the sentiments can extend throughout the whole week. Also, as
with the other Sabbats I have in my signature, I will give some ideas on how to celebrate it even if you aren't a witch and some secular ways for it
to help you balance your life throughout the Wheel of the Year.
Basically, in my path, Beltane is the celebration of the goddess (maiden aspect) and the god (young aspect) joining in a loving union. In secular
terms, it is a celebration of nature's consummation and promise to bring us a new cornucopia of life. The ancient Celts also used this as a time to
placate a god called Belenus to get his blessings for protection of their families and crops.
What you should contemplate on during the first few days of May is the concept of a promise. Earth makes a promise to you every year when she
announces Spring that there will be new crops and new generations. The very air she breaths carry the seeds where they need to go and even carry
pheromones to our noses so we are more inclined to reproduce ourselves. This promise is something that has never been broken. Sometimes it may be
postponed like during an ice age or a global catastrophe but the fact there is still life on our planet is proof they she has never broken it. So,
think of promises you can make to Earth! Say you will do something special for her.
During our festivals, there are parades and rituals that honor both the goddess and the god. Much of the celebration is focused on being an analog.
Depending on your coven or group, this can mean a great number of things. Personally, I simply celebrate this as a figurative Sabbat and leave the
literal part to me and the wife.
Here are some great shots of the Beltane festival in Edinburgh during some of the white queen processions (name
Activities for Beltane -
Flowers and Beads -
String them! If you never know how you should decorate your house this time of year, try to make some garlands or other
decorations out of beads and flowers. Just pick some nice greenery (with permission and gratitude, of course) and place it in your home.
May Day Baskets -
You can make little baskets filled with flowers and hang them on the neighbor's door. If it catches on, maybe it will
become a neighborhood tradition.
Bonfire and Jumping -
What many traditions do is make a bonfire and then leap over it. If you do, make a wish as you go. The leaping itself
is a blessing that protects your crops (or whatever secures your livelihood like tools or a car, etc) but if you leap over with your spouse or
partner, it will grant you protection for your family and increase the happiness in the bedroom.
May Pole -
Dancing around the Maypole has been a pastime. Typically, it was done the morning after the Beltane activities. Let's be blunt.
It's a giant phallus, representing male virility that impregnates the Earth. But basically, so is a business tower in Manhattan. This is still
kid-friendly, however, because it's a fun dance and it's a celebration of the "circle of life".
So there you have it. That's Beltane in a nutshell and hopefully enough to get you on your way if you ever want to begin celebrating equinoxes,
solstices, and cross quarters (in other words, Sabbats). Just remember, you don't need to give up your beliefs in order to celebrate the cycles we
enjoy year to year. I'm sure your god, goddess, or whatever you want to call it will appreciate you celebrating in their honor.