| Welcoming the creative and fertile energy of Spring |
Beltane represents the time of year when Spring is at Her most fertile, creative and abundant potential. It was traditionally celebrated throughout the Celtic regions in various ways, each form of ceremony honouring the fire and water elements, the presence of flowers, and the over-flowing life energy that is so potent at this time of year.
It is often celebrated on May 1st, but technically represents the time/space exactly in between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice; thus when the Sun is 15* in Taurus. This year that means Beltane is more specifically celebrated May 5th.
Some ancient rituals that have been celebrated for centuries in various ways:
~ Young maidens would go for a walk at sunrise to collect morning dew, and then add this dew to their bath water. This water was said to be a potent host to the fertile and abundant energy of this time of year, and was the secret to eternal youth.
~ A collection of branches and firewood would take place in preparations for the bonfires. This was said to be a sacred process, honouring the Earth element that would bring the purifying fire.
~ Two bonfires would be created, with a space or ‘aisle’ in between. The communities would walk their cattle through this space, intending to cleanse the cattle of any dark spirits of Winter. The people of the community would then walk through, purifying their own spirits as well.
~ Maypoles would be erected, a phallic symbol representing the fertile energy present at this time. This is a natural time for passionate love-making, conception and falling in love. Men and women would dance around the maypole, playing with the masculine and feminine energies present. Over time, the most decorated maypole became a prized ideal, and as such communities began to tie elaborate ribbons to the pole and create just as intricate dances in both competition and celebration.
~ The goddess Ostara is sometimes celebrated at this time, but more commonly we now invoke Aphrodite: The goddess of feminine energy and love. There are myths about King Winter being slayed by the Prince of Spring to win over the young maiden bride, and often these myths are acted out in the festivities.
YOUR MODERN-WITCH RITUALS:
- A Sacred Bathing Ceremony
- Light many candles (Pink and White if you want to get really witchy), and place them around your space (turn off all the lights).
- Run a hot bath, adding spring water or naturally sourced water if possible.
- Add the following potion to the bath water:
- Rose petals
- Essential oils: lavender, rose, sweet orange
- coconut milk
- Soak in the bath for 30 - 60 minutes without doing anything. Just allow the water womb to absorb any negative and stagnant energies, and purify and awaken your own feminine/ Shakti power.
2. Light Meditation
- Adorn your sacred space (surrounding your altar) with branches, flower stems and flower petals.
- Create talismans with your gatherings from nature and sit in the midst of these powerful shapes (talismans are shapes, such as a circle or pentacle, that create a vortex or portal of energy).
- While sitting amongst your sacred space (clothing optional), imagine light pouring down through you and surrounding you. Sit in this light for several minutes.
- While holding one candle (pink if you want to get really witchy/ technical), imagine the love of your soul people coming into your heart. What does it feel like? What is the energy of this love current?
- While holding a second candle (white if you want to get really witchy/ technical), imagine the love in your heart reaching out to your soul people. What is the current of your love? What are you sharing with those that mean the most to you?
- Create a love potion:
- Water held in a bowl or chalice
- Essential oils: Lavender, rose, sweet orange
- Rose petals
- Orange peels
- While stirring this potion, incanting to the energy of Aphrodite:
Aphrodite I call on thee,
To brings the souls that are meant for me.
Bring me strength, grant sweet love,
I call on thee from up above.
To light their flame and draw them near, every day when they appear.
So it is.
- Close the space in any way that feels appropriate to you.
- Bottle the potion and put on your heart for 7 or 28 days.
3. Connect with nature
- Walk near the river, in a forest… truly any space natural where you can feel the sunshine and hear the birds singing. Meditate, nap, write in your journal; whatever calls to you in this moment.
Honour water and fire elements in particular, and gather flowers to place around your space.
Happy Beltane Sisters!
Love love love