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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Beltane
Fire and Fertility: Let’s Hear It for Beltane!

Merry meet! Today is Beltane (also spelled Beltaine or Bealtaine), the ancient Celtic festival marking the start of summer and a celebration of fertility. Beltane is also closely associated with both the Germanic festival Walpurgisnacht and English festival May Day (and, by association, International Workers’ Day), which also mark today. For your general enjoyment and spiritual purposes, we’ve gathered all our posts related to this very special day. We hope your summer is a pleasant one, full of joy.

--Aryós Héngwis

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I didn’t just stop
to smell the lilacs
I sang to them too
praising their beauty b2ap3_thumbnail_30813819_2076083795937165_6064872471947175256_o.jpg
as I pressed my nose
into their blooms.

The air was full
of enchantment
as I delighted in the sunlight
filtered through new maple leaves
and scattered across stone.

I rolled redbud flowers
across my tongue
and ate dandelions straight
from the stem
feeling yellow petals
in my teeth.

I savored the flavor of a violet
and rubbed mint leaves
between my fingers
I crawled on my knees
through the clover
watched bees dance
on the dandelions
and found ginger
and elderberry beneath
my heels as I stretched
my arms into a tree branch
reaching for tender buds.

I gathered the blossoms
of springtime
kissed them with gratitude
and offered them into
the bubbles of water
from which rivers are born.

I let my fingers trail
through the wildness
within me and around me.
Then I lifted my lips
to my lover
under the
Beltane moon.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the period around the 1st of May is observed by many pagans as Beltane, based on the Gaelic celebration that traditionally marked the beginning of summer. As a celebration of life, which is bursting forth in abundance at the peak of spring, it is easy to see why this holy day is so popular with pagans of so many paths, including Druids.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bring on the Blackthorn!

This wild and weird winter. It has been coldier and snowier than usual in Ireland. And what snow we got was POWDER, instead of the wet stuff that automatically turns our lane into an ice rink. Normally, winter is - should be, OUGHT to be - a time of going within and hibernation. But not the winter of 2018! This first quarter has rocketed. It has jetted through time zones and international datelines.

That's a metaphor actually. I have strayed no further than county Mayo at March New Moon. It's just been very, very busy.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sabbat Incense: Beltane

Beltane is right around the corner, so this is a great time to make some incense for your Beltane celebration.  Here’s a fun recipe that’s easy to roll and could be the perfect companion to your Beltane rites.  While Beltane is strongly associated with fertility, remember that fertility is about more than sexual reproduction.  It is also about bringing new ideas and plans to fruition.  It’s about moving from planning something to bringing that project to life.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hurray Hurray

 Hurray, hurray, the First of May:

outdoor f**king begins today.

 

Imagine: you live, in what is essentially a one-room house, along with your spouse, your kids, your parents, grandma, and an unmarried sibling or two.

Maybe even the cow.

All winter long you've been stuck in there with them all.

The whole smokey, stinky, crowded winter, with nary a moment of privacy.

Finally, after all those months, it's—almost—warm enough to slip off to the woods for some long-awaited quality time and a little surreptitious love-making.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Beltane Rites and Lore

Beltane is the start of summer, at the opposite end of the Wheel of the Year to Samhain, Summer's End. Cattle would be brought to the higher ground and summer pastures, tended by the women and children while the men would work the farms. In Irish Gaelic it is Beltaine, in Welsh it is Calan Mai, and in Scottish Gaelic Bealtainn. It is the other time when the veils between the worlds are thin, and the Fair Folk can be seen wandering the land in abundance. By the calendar, Beltane begins at dusk on the 30th April and runs to dusk on the 1 May. If celebrating by the local flora, it is when the hawthorn, or May is out in flower. In the UK, the first weekend in May is still celebrated with a bank holiday, perhaps as a remnant of this very important Celtic Festival.

Fire is an important part of this festival, for Beltane is often translated as "the fires of Bel", who was a sun deity. All household fires were extinguished on the eve of Beltane, and then fires were lit on hilltops at dawn, similar to but in reverse at Samhain, where fires were lit at sunset.[1] It was important to not give away any fire from your household at Beltane, for your luck would soon run out. In Ireland, the focus on fire and hilltops shifted from Tlachtga and Tara to Uisnech.  It is said that the first Beltane fire was lit at Uisnech by the Druid, Mide, whose name means "the centre". Beltane is a hinge for the world to open and change, as at Samhain. [2] In Scotland and Wales, the Beltane bonfires were made from nine woods collected and put together by nine men, and called "needfires". [3] Cattle were driven between two bonfires on this day before heading out to their summer pastures. They were said to pass close enough to the fires so that their hair might be singed. The heat and smoke of the bonfires might have been enough to cause any parasites to fall off the animals that may have taken up residence in the winter quarters. Fire is also an important part of the Beltane ceremonies today, as at Edinburgh with the Beltane Fire Society putting on a spectacular event every year, as previously mentioned.

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