Beltane lies in the midway point between spring and summer on the wheel of the year. It is opposite Samhain (AKA Halloween), and is a fire festival.
In the days when more people lived in sync with the seasons and their reliance for existence was on crops they grew, this festival honored and blessed the land with fertility. In addition fires were built and livestock were driven between them. They were used to cleanse livestock of lice and such other pests that may have taken up residence.
If you follow the story of the Wheel of the Year, Beltane is the time of the divine union/consummation between the Goddess and the God. This theme is echoed in the land all around as nests are being built and hatchlings are bursting forth, babies are being birthed and the land is awakening in all of budding, blossoming glory!
As it is during Samhain, the veil between the worlds is thin. When my circle offers a community Beltane ritual, we always remind folks not to wander into the woods with the Fae folk no matter how alluring as these are the times when we can easily cross into Fairy.
At the same time the veil between all worlds is thin. I was chatting with one of my circle sisters the other day and both of us were experiencing our grief and thinking (feeling) a great deal about those we have lost, and we found ourselves pondering this time of year and these thin veils. This thinning allows for those who have passed to more easily connect with us as well as those from Fairy and the other realms. It is so easy to get caught up in the celebratory and joyous energy of spring time that when the more painful or sad feelings creep in, we find ourselves confused. (Or at least we did for a moment). It’s all energy. Let it flow!
With these thinning veils, now may be a time when you find your dreams are more vivid, your divination is increased in its accuracy, your intuition and psychic awareness are popping and messages from other realms are louder and enter your mind with more clarity. This can be overwhelming to be certain. You can help yourself manage this increase in energy by practicing grounding several times a day, exercising more (even a mellow walk can help keep the energy moving through), journal, create art and making a little extra space for quiet reflection.
Beltane is the time for may baskets, crowns of flowers and dancing the May pole, naked feet upon fertile earth and the leaping of the fire! If you do not have a community to celebrate with in this way there are some simple things you can do solo to honor this time of year.
1) Create a Beltane Altar. Bring in flowers, and eggs and symbols of the Phallus and Yoni to celebrate the sacred union. Use colors that speak to you of the fertile abundant earth and crystals that channel this energy for you.
2) Dance! Take off your shoes and dance upon the earth. Dance to your inner rhythm, the rhythm of the natural world around you, or if you prefer play or create music while you move your body.
3) Weave a spell into being. What do you want to create, grown, birth? What kinds of unions are you wanting in your own life (this can be personal, social, business, family…). Use ribbon or cloth and write down what it is you want to bring together (one on each ribbon or cloth). Braid, weave or twist these into a joining and hand them from a tree or bury them in the earth. Do what feels right to you to offer this spell to the universal energies. So Mote It Be!
4) If you haven’t begun the planting of your own garden, consider doing this as a ritual and honoring of the Earth and its fertility. Think about the wellness and health you want to call into your being and plant accordingly. Long for more beauty? Plant flowers that you find beautiful and that will evoke joy each time you see them. Want to cultivate more physical health? Plant veggies. The ones you like of course! The ones you know you will eat and enjoy. Have you been pondering more natural remedies or magical plant uses? Do a little research and plant a magical medicinal herb garden. Have you been trying to foster a connection with the moon? Plant a moon garden. Include all white and silvery plants and flowers and be sure to plant night blooming blossoms. The Sun? Bring in orange and reds and yellows! Get creative, the possibilities are endless.
5) Create a cleansing ritual. You can use the Beltane dew to wash your face, create a herbal/floral cleansing bath (no tub? Make a warm pitcher of water full of the plants you feel called to and pour this over your head envisioning yourself releasing that which is no longer serving you). Or create your own Beltane fire and write down the things you want to “cleanse” burn these pieces of paper and use the ash as compost in your garden (use plain paper and pen or pencil if using the ash in this way).
Enjoy the season Wise Women!
Emily Morrison MA, MFT