Beltane is a springtime festival of optimism and fertility, as the power of daylight waxes stronger, and the cold winter nights recede into memory...
"Great Earth mother!
We give you praise today
and ask for your blessing upon us.
As seeds spring forth
and grass grows green
and winds blow gently
and the rivers flow
and the sun shines down
upon our land,
we offer thanks to you for your blessings
and your gifts of life each spring."
May 1 marks Beltane, the Celtic festival between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Beltane is a springtime festival of optimism and fertility, as the power of daylight waxes stronger, and the cold winter nights recede into memory. In ancient Gaelic society, Beltane marked the beginning of summer, and the time when livestock were taken to the summer pastures. Great bonfires were lit for purification and protection. There were also rituals to protect crops, dairy products and people, and to encourage growth. The aos sí, often referred to as spirits or fairies, were thought to be especially active at this time, and the goal of many Beltane rituals was to appease them.
(To find books about Beltane, the Wheel of the Year, and how to live life in rhythm with the cycles of nature, visit The Wheel of the Year: Annual Cycles of Celebration and Wisdom, a curated list of titles on our Bookshop.org page.)
~Light a candle - Beltane is a fire festival and while it may not be possible to attend a great bonfire this year, you can certainly light a candle or two to honor the energies of this sabbat. Colors associated with Beltane are white and silver for cleansing, green for growth, fertility and abundance and red for vitality, passion and strength.
~Make a wish-ribbon - Infuse a ribbon with your intentions and wishes and decorate your plants with it. Traditionally a small tree or branch would be decorated with bright flowers, ribbons, painted shells or eggshells from Easter...
~Decorate your altar with spring flowers, herbs, candles infused with herbs for candle magick, offerings to the fae, seeds, wreaths and antlers. Crystals: Tourmaline, Emerald, Malachite, Rose Quartz and Garnet. Gods and goddesses honoured during this time are The Green Man, Pan, Maia Gaia, Artemis, Bes, Venus, Bacchus, Cernunnos, Flora, Hera, Kokopelli, Sheela-na-gig.
~Bake a honey cake - Don’t forget to share some of it with the fairies! Offerings to "appease the fae" include a bowl of milk left at the front doorstep overnight, or milk poured at the base of a sacred tree.
~Bless your garden - As a festival of fertility, Beltane is a great time to bless your plants, your garden or your balcony.
Beltane is a time for remembering the beauty and sweetness of the dance of life and the essential deep desire for it.
It may be a time of celebration of the power of attraction/allurement, the holy desire that turns the wheel, and brings all things forth.
Beltane is a moment of celebration of Light and its processes: the warmth received, the manifestation of flowers, fruits and beauty...
...The diverse color wavelengths received into eyes, awakening the senses, and the passion enkindled out of which relational connections of all kinds deepen.
Photo credit: "Beltane Altar" by MichiTermo via Canva