~Blessed Beltane: May Day

Posted May 01 2012

A Special Magickal Musings: Brightest Blessings on this First of May, also known as "May Day" and for our Wiccan and Celtic followers, Beltane!



Beltane is opposite Samhain on The Wheel of the Year and marks the commencement of the "light half" of the yearly cycle (Samhain marking the beginning of the "dark half" of the year).  Beltane traditionally marked the arrival of Summer in ancient times and symbolically does so now for followers of various Neo-Pagan spiritualities.  As some of us consider the "Veil Between Worlds" to be thinned at Samhain, so it is believed to be just as "thin" at Beltane. This is not a time of mourning and reflection, however, as is the case with Samhain, but a celebration of Life itself. (For those of you who are Friends of the Fae, this is the season of Fairy Magick!)

"Beltane is one of the four Celtic fire festivals marking the quarter points in the year - feasts were held and bonfires were lit throughout the countryside. Fire was believed to have purifying qualities - it cleansed and rejuvenated both the land and the people.

The ritual welcoming of the sun and the lighting of the fires was also believed to ensure fertility of the land and the people. Animals were transferred from winter pens to summer pastures, and were driven between the Beltane fires to cleanse them of evil spirits and to bring fertility and a good milk yield. The Celts leapt over Beltane fires - for fertility and purification."
-New Age

Preparations for Beltane began with gathering flowers for the Maypole and for wearing on the body and in the hair. Young men went May boughing or May birching, gathering garlands of hawthorn (Mayflower) and rowan (mountain ash) to hang over doorways and windows. On the Isle of Man, the youngest child of a family would gather primroses to throw against the door of the house for protection.

From the woods, villagers gathered nine different types of sacred wood. From this wood, two giant bonfires, or need fires, were built on top of a hill. The villagers drove domestic animals between the two fires to purify and protect themselves and the animals, insure their fertility, and bring luck. People also jumped over the bonfires (hopefully after they had died down a bit) in a fertility ritual. In Scotland, boughs of juniper were added to the fire for purification and blessing.

The Beltane celebration honored life over death and celebrated the rebirth of the world. Above all, it was a fertility festival, a symbolic union of the God and Goddess, of the divine masculine and the divine feminine. 


With Beltane comes the promise of Light and Warmth as the symbolic union of Male and Female energies is in full-swing. In some traditions, this is the time The Lord and The Lady unite in love and prosperity, enjoying a great divine "handfasting" of sorts. She is fertile and at the peak of her potential, He, as her Consort, is full of passion and fiery energy! Beltane is often regarded, especially with the younger crowd, as a time to celebrate our innermost passions and desires. Whatever your belief, it certainly does mark a time of great promise.

 


The Lord & Lady...A Great Representation of Beltane


Celebrate Life!

Beltane is indeed a time for celebration! Mother Earth is burgeoning with new life, blossoms and blooms are in abundance and there seems to be a certain promise in the air as the days continue to grow longer and warmer.
  It is a time of renewal, new beginnings and purification from anything "dark", including our thoughts. It is a carefree, merry time to be spent with friends and loved ones, or perhaps, if you work alone, a time to celebrate and enjoy this most magickal time of the Natural year. All around us are the clear signs of renewed life! Love and Light, indeed!

A Beltane Staple Recipe

Beltane Oat Cakes

1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (to make them sweeter use up to one full cup)
3/4 cup butter (unsalted)
1 egg
1 cup mashed ripe fruit (banana, peaches, something soft)
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
Spices: nutmeg, cinnamon is a good combo or cardamom is nice by itself (approx.1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix flour, baking powder, and brown sugar together, make sure to smash any lumps.  Cut butter into mixture with a pastry blender (or make do with a fork) add egg and fruit, and nuts.  Drop rounded tablespoon of dough onto greased cookie sheet (about 2-3 in apart).  Bake at 350 deg F [175 deg C] for 15 min or until cookies look "dry".


 

Here Comes The Sun! ~ Wonderful Items You Can Find Here



Beltane does not merely mark a day, but a season. A frame of mind. A growing Light that pervades All Things. Here is a selection of products we offer to help bring some of that Sun Light into your life!