Hail to the Summer!
Hail to the Summer!
Light your bonfires –
Today is Beltane!
— ©Spiral Dance – Magick
Known as Beltane, Beltaine, Cedsoman or Ceadamh (Irish for the “first of Summer”), May Day, Rood Day, Rudemas, or Galan Haf, today is the celebration of the coming of Fair Summer. Beltane can be translated as the fire of Balor, Bel, Beli, Belinus, Belenos, or Balder.
People throughout the world will set bonfires atop hills, or near the sacred trees, and welcome the Good People who draw near our mortal realm now.
From their trysts in the woods and meadows last night, young couples return, clad in flowers and joyfulness. Dew gathered at dawn can be used in potions for luck, or to wash your face, if you would have eternal beauty! Today, drink from a well before sunrise. Watch the sun come up, dance round the Maypole, and otherwise abandon yourself to the pleasures of the flesh and the season of Life.
Most Witches consider this Sabbat to be the start of the Light Half of the Year – the Summer – as opposed to the Dark Half of the Year – Winter – which begins at Samhain. Now we celebrate of the approach of summer, when the breezes are scented and the evenings are getting warm. We especially honor the divine union of the Lord and Lady!
Celebrations include weaving a web of life around the Maypole and leaping the Beltane fires for luck. If they are in bloom, lilacs and hawthorn can be brought inside on this day, along with flowers of all kinds to honor the beauty and fertility of the earth.
This is our great festival of love and sexuality. This Sabbat honors the great life force in all things.
All life! All love!
Beltane is the time of new life unfolding. Look around you – baby animals are being born. Plants are growing strong new shoots. Flowers are in bloom. Trees rebirth their leaves. Here in the woods of northern Durham, our mountain laurels and blackberry bushes are turning the hills into a froth of white. This is when all things male and female ecstatically unite to become one and bring new life to the land.
Many of us celebrate Beltane by decorating with fresh flower garlands, or by stringing up greenery around our homes and places of work. Sending flowers to loved ones, or leaving a May basket on someone’s doorstep is a old folk tradition at Beltane. The veil that separates the realms is at its thinnest, so spending the day in contact with the sacred Beings of other worlds is also an honored part of this magical time.
This Sabbat is primarily a fertility festival, with Nature enchantments and offerings to wildlings and Elementals. The powers of elves and faeries are growing and will reach their height at Summer Solstice. The Landing of the Tuatha De Danann in Ireland is recalled today and the Mother-Goddess Danu is also honored.
This year’s enchantment is particularly intense, as tonight will bring us into the Full Moon in Scorpio, which occurs at 6:09am tomorrow, Eastern Daylight Time. Riding the powerful energy of the Scorpio Full Moon, this is an intensely fertile time for planting your gardens and connecting with the Green! And it is only the first Full Moon this month. Yes, there will be a Blue Moon on May 31!
Plant and nurture your heart’s desires, for we have from now until the final harvest at the other magical doorway, Samhain, to grow our dreams! By now we are well on our way with the work we will accomplish this year – work in the world and work done upon ourselves. This is a time of self-discovery, love, union and developing your potential for personal growth.
Make this your day of richness, beauty, and magic.
Celebrate your own heart’s lusty gladness!
May your rites be most blessed!