A Merry Beltane To One and All!

by Beth on May 1, 2013

Hail Thalia, Grace of Flowering and Mirth!
Hail to The Lord and The Lady!
Hail to the King and Queen of Faery, to blessed Flora,
and to Maia Majestas! Beltane blessings! (from the cover of "The Sacred Marriage" by Lira Sulbury, artist unknown)

Hail to the Summer!
Hail to the Summer!
The season that drives
The cold Winter away!
Hail to the Summer!
Hail to the Summer!
Light your bonfires -
Today is Beltane!
~ from Magick, by Spiral Dance

While in the Southern Hemisphere, our brothers and sisters observe Samhain today, in the northern lands, we celebrate Beltane, Beltainne (pronounced Bel-tinna), Cetsamhain (‘opposite Samhain’), and Walpurgisnacht (German).

The medieval Church tried to rename this celebration Roodmas in an attempt to shift the common people’s allegiance from the Maypole (an obvious phallus and symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Cross – the symbol their God’s death and resurrection).  The results have been so-so at best!

Beltane is a reference to ‘Bel-fire’, the fire of the Celtic God of light (Bel, Beli or Belinos). He, in turn, may be traced to the Middle Eastern God Baal. Beltane Dancer

Whatever you choose to call it, this is a Fire Festival celebrating the approach of Summer, when the breezes are scented and the evenings are getting warm.

Today we honor and emulate the divine union of the Lord and Lady. Celebrations include the obvious pleasures of ecstatic coupling, like most all of Nature is doing around us!

This is our great festival of love, lust and fertility. This Sabbat honors the great life force in all things. All life forms! All forms of love!

We also celebrate symbolically, by weaving a web of life around the Maypole and leaping the Beltane fires for luck. Lilacs and hawthorn can be brought inside on this day, along with flowers of all kinds to represent the fertility of the earth.

This is a time of our own fertile possibilities! The young Oak King has won the hand of the Maiden Goddess and with their coupling, She becomes pregnant. Make a wish today, plant the seeds of your own desires with merry magic and joy.

MaypoleWiccan handfastings are common at Beltane, however the wise grandmothers knew very well that most lusty trysts formed in the merry month of May were not likely to last, so actual marriages were avoided and considered bad luck during this month.

Instead, the smitten couples were encouraged to enjoy their pleasures, but wait at least one lunation before the serious business of marriage.

That’s why June is considered a much more favorable time for a lasting union and to this day is the most popular wedding month.

And if a pregnancy resulted after the Beltane revelries, well, so what? The mother was considered blessed and the child was sure to be magical. So mother and child were supported and welcomed by the whole village, and all was well.

Don’t you just love this wise way to work with our sexy nature, rather than to condemn it, and forbid it to take its course?

The Sidhe ridingAt Beltane, we remember the landing of the Tuatha de Danann in Ireland, and we honor on this day the Great Mother-Goddess Danu (or Danann). The Tuatha de Danann (meaning, “the people of Danann”) were the fourth invading culture to arrive in Ireland, many centuries before the Christian era.

They were quite beautiful and astonishingly advanced, being highly skilled in science and metalworking. They came to be viewed as a race apart from humans.

They inhabited Ireland for about two hundred years, until the fifth and last invaders, the Milesians (Gaels), conquered them. When the Tuatha de Danann had been finally defeated, they withdrew to the hollow hills (sidhe, pronounced “shee”), where they reside to this day.

Now known as the Sidhe, they are the source of our lore of the Celtic Gods, Goddesses, and ancient Faery races.Artist Altar

So this is an important time to give offerings to the wildlings and Elementals. The activities of the People of Peace are now growing and will reach their height at Summer Solstice.

Now, enough talk!  Get yourself outside!

Light the Bel-fires, sing to the trees, dance with the Wild Ones, surrender to enchantment.

Revel in the sensuous delights of life and love.

May your day be blessed and your rites be deep and delicious! Blessed Beltane

Saffron May 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Blessed Day!!!

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