May is a very significant marker for many cultures. It's time when the Earth mother opens herself up to the Fertility God.
It is in the month of May when crops sprout, animals bear their offspring, and people get out of their houses after the dark and cold winter months. So people bust out of their houses and hold fairs and put different plant and fruit crops for display in the markets.
Beltane is a festival that is celebrated every first day of May where the participants wear flowers in their hair, create maypoles and go into frenzied fire dancing at night. Can you picture trick or treating in spring? It’s something like that.
The way it is celebrated would depend on the culture. The Celts celebrated this, and so do the Germans and English, and the Wiccans.
It is taken from the Celt tradition of welcoming spring by offering up gifts like animal sacrifice up to the Gods to honor their fertility. One example of this is letting cattle pass through the smokes of the balefires to be blessed with fertility for the coming year.
The buds blossoming in May symbolize birth, growth, and death. In Wicca, Beltane is one of the yearly Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year, after Ostara.
The Wiccan way to celebrate is through maypole dancing, re enacting the union of the May Lady and May Lord, and fire dancing at night. All of this is done against the backdrop of elaborate decoration and heavy feasting. Everyone who celebrates Beltane goes all out. So if you're thinking of joining this year's festivities, then you should know how to get with the program!
It is a practice to light a bonfire on the eve of May 1st and let it burn until sun down. This was taken from the ancient practice of lighting a fire from bundles of nine different types of wood, like ash and hawthorne. And people would gather around the bonfire and make it a place of music, magic, fire dancing, and merrymaking.
You can light your own bonfire, or you can share one bonfire with the community. It doesn't matter! Whichever way you honor the fertility gods is fine.
Seeing the flowers fully blossoming and the vegetation becoming lush also means that our friends in the faerie realm, the faeries, are hard at work! So if you’re working on connecting with faeries, this is just the best time to leave out treats and gifts for them, which they will for sure appreciate after working on vast areas of plant life!
If you have been meaning to bring abundance, prosperity and fertility in some aspects of your life, then taking part in celebrating the Beltane Festival sure is the best time for your magickal workings.
Are you participating in this year's Beltane Fesitval?
Do you have Beltane stories you could share with us?
We would love to hear them! Let us know in the comments section below.