Friday, April 23, 2010

Beltane Lore

Opposite Samhain on the Wheel of the Year, Beltane is the sabbat we celebrate to usher in the beginning of summer, the warmth of the sun and to bless both our crops and Mother Earth. And just as the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest at Samhain, the veil between our world and the world of the Fae is at its most thin at Beltane.

When one thinks of Beltane, the first thing that comes to mind is the Maypole. If you're lucky enough to participate in a Maypole ceremony you'll not only bring yourself an afternoon of joy, but a year of good luck as well. While the pole itself is an ancient ritual, the brightly colored ribbons and flowers tied around the pole are a slightly more recent addition, bringing a feminine aspect to the celebration of the God and his virility.

Lighting fires is a Beltane custom, as the original festival was in honor of Bel, a solar deity, and this practice was both a way to honor the return of the sun needed for a successful growing season and a means of purification as well. Make yourself even a small Beltane fire and either jump over it or pass yourself or any items you wish to cleanse through its smoke and you will ensure yourself a year of prosperity, purification and protection.

In an attempt to Christianize this sabbat, the early church renamed it Roodmas, or the Feast of the Cross which celebrated the finding of the cross by Saint Helena on which Jesus was crucified, and which was far more palatable to them than the obviously phallic connotations of the Pole.

On Beltane morning, get up early and wash your face in the cool May Day dew for youthful beauty and health. Then find yourself a small clear pool of fresh spring water, a clean puddle, a creek or even the edge of a lake and do a quiet divination within its mirrored surface. End the day by making love with your partner, preferably outdoors, as you ring in the season of Mother Earth's fertility.

Blessed be.

Photo courtesy of Zayabibu on flickr.


Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

I have a pond and a fire pit...I am so ready!

Jennifer said...

wait, you got up early?

Deorsa said...

What a beautiful photograph. <3

Anonymous said...

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