Beltane is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere around and on May 1st. Some of the traditions of Beltane have become intertwined with the holiday of May Day which is also celebrated on this day.
This day is exactly opposite from Samhain on the round calendar and it is and opposite type of celebration. Where Samhain is a day of remembrance of our ancestors, Beltane is a festival of life. Samhain marks the coming cold, dark days of winter, Beltane brings warmth and light back in to the world around us.
We are at the peak of springtime and summer is just around the corner and with it comes hotter and lighter days. At this time we honor fertility, earth energy, sexuality, and passion. It's a time to celebrate the earth and the new life it is stimulating.
Traditionally, Beltane was a festival to bring about fertility and give luck for growing season. The triple goddess in her maiden form and the horned god or green man would enter into marriage that brought love and fertility and life.
How to Celebrate Beltane
This Sabbat is an amazing time, full of light-hearted and joyous energy. It is a time where your hopes and dreams begin to manifest and the earth gives new gifts of life and growth everywhere.
1. Become a beacon of joy
Wake up on Beltane and be a catalyst and a beacon of joy to other people and yourself. Se this as your intention when you first wake up and remind yourself throughout the day. When you see yourself in the mirror, tell your reflection how awesome they are. Give other people compliments whenever you interact. Use this day as an opportunity to perform random acts of kindness throughout your town. For example, leave pennies on the ground head side up, write little notes on stickies and put them on products in the grocery store or in library books, or bring in your neighbors trash can. Tell jokes, laugh loudly, dance wildly, and sing along to your favorite song.
If you feel resistant to do this, that is all the more reason to try it as an experiment. See how it changes your mood.
1. Give the Gift of Rose Quartz
A lovely tradition is to give a piece of rose quartz to a person you love. This stone is thought to reduce anger, jealousy or emotional negativity. Whether these emotions have crept into your relationship or you know someone who is struggling with them, Rose Quartz is called the Love Stone and it is full of gentle, calming energy.
2. Meditate on the Heart Chakra
This day is full of love, be sure you can experience all the joyous emotions associated with love. When your heart chakra is active and balanced, you become more compassionate, understanding, loving toward yourself and others, empathetic and peaceful. Try this guided meditation:
3. Spend Time in Nature
Each of the eight Sabbats are closely tied with what the seasons bring throughout the year. Go for a walk either by yourself or with your loved ones. Notice the little changes you can see. Are the leaves budding on trees and bushes? Are there flowers blooming? Is the grass greener? While you are out you may wish to collect some signs of peak springtime. Try to only collect things that have already fallen from plants. If you must take something from a living plant, ask permission and thank you plant. Be sure to plant something new whenever you take something from nature.
4. Decorate your Altar
During your nature walk, you may have collected some flowers and branches. If you did, you might use these to decorate your altar. Fill your altar with seasonal flowers. Hawthorn and Birch trees are very important at this time of year. Use green cloth and ribbons wherever makes sense. Light red and green candles to represent love and growth. Burn earthy or floral incense.
5. Start a Garden
Today is a great day to start plants for your garden. If you live closer to the equator you may have already started a garden. The further north you go the later you should start planting things outside. In some places, Beltane may still be too early to plant. You can always start seeds inside and take them out to replant in the soil once the threat of frost has passed. You might try growing a magical herb garden, a flower garden, or a vegetable garden. Whatever you plant, be sure to harness the magical, fertile, earth energy of Beltane.
6. Find a Maypole
Most people are familiar with the image of children holding colorful ribbons and weaving together a tapestry around a central pole. This tradition began as a fertility ritual but it continues to the present as a fun and festive activity to celebrate springtime. You'd be surprised how many place have maypole festivals. Snoop around in your community to see if there is an established ceremony. If not, maybe you could start it.
This is by now means a required activity to celebrate Beltane, but it is a fun way. If you have a willing partner in which to engage in sexual activities, Beltane is a wonderful time to participate, especially if you are trying to conceive a child. The world is filled with plant and animal sex, why not human sex too? Under no circumstances should you feel obligated to have sex at Beltane.
8. Spend Time with Loved Ones
The love energy of Beltane is not exclusive to romantic partnerships. Make sure to spend time with your family and friends too. Take a picnic to a nature area where you can see wildflowers and wildlife. Be sure to bring fresh, light food, reminiscent of springtime.
The ceremony of handfasting is really beautiful. Two people stand holding hands while another person wraps red ribbon around them. The ceremony symbolizes a commitment the two people have to one another. Once they remove the ribbon, they know they will stay together without having to have their hands tied. Handfasting can be done for a romantic couple, friends, parents with children or any two people who want to show how much they love each other.
Bonus: Acts of Service
- Brings flowers and fresh herbs to a neighbor
- Plant a tree
- Rehabilitate the bans of a stream
- Clean up litter from and outdoor area
- Work on a community garden
My top ten choices of stones that can be helpful dealing with the many emotions and themes of this season would be Bloodstone, Emerald, Rose Quartz, Jade, Rhodonite, Selenite, Serpentine, Moss Agate, Moonstone, and Sunstone.
- SPIRITUAL FOCUS: abundance, creation, fertility, growth, love, psychic ability, purification, sexuality, union
- MAGICAL FOCUS: abundance, cooperation, fertility, growth, love, manifestation, passion, protection, purification, union
- SUGGESTED WORKINGS: building sacred fires, giving offerings, handfasting, protecting plants, animals, people, and possessions, visiting sacred wells, walking the boundaries of your property, working with faeries
- Brown - animals, earth energies, family, protections, wealth
- Green - abundance, fertility, growth, health, life, prosperity, vegetation, wealth
- Pink - beauty, cooperation, contentment, friendship, love, nurture, romance
- White - lunar energies, purity, power, protection
- Yellow - communication, dream work, happiness, solar energies
Follow my Beltane board on Pinterest for more ideas!
What are some of your Beltane tradtions? Tell me about them on the Mumbles & Things Facebook page or comment below.