“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beltane

Beltane is the last of the three spring fertility festivals (the others being Imbolc and Ostara) celebrated approximately halfway between the Vernal (spring) Equinox and Midsummer (Summer Solstice) usually on May 1st. Festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. However, depending on your tradition, it is also celebrated on May 4th or 5th, when the sun is in 15 degrees of Taurus.

I've made up my Beltane altar in my sacred space on a smaller table than I normally set my altars out on. I wanted this altar to be more intimate and to be able to incorporate it into my Beltane ritual.

Beltane and its counterpart Samhain divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (dark part) and summer (light part). As Samhain is about honoring death, Beltane is about honoring life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from His bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.

Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of "no time" when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. No time is when the two worlds intermingle and unite and magick abounds! It is the time when Faeries return from their winter respite, carefree and full of faery mischief and faery delight.

Traditionally, on the night before Beltane, it was customary for folks to place Rowan branches at their windows and doors for protection as many other-worldly occurrences could transpire during this time of "no time". On the Isle of Man, the youngest member of the family would gather Primroses on the eve before Beltane and throw the flowers at the door of the home for protection. In Ireland it is believed that food left over from May Eve must not be eaten, but rather buried or left as an offering to the Faery instead - much like the tradition of leaving whatever is not harvested from the fields on Samhain, food at the time of "no time" is treated with great care.

Beltane is a time of fertility and fire and this is often reflected in the magick of the season. In some, but not all, traditions of Wicca and Paganism sacred sex is part of spiritual practice which takes place in the 'Great Rite' which is a ritualized connection between the God and Goddess and is often performed symbolically with an athame and chalice.

Beltane is a time to celebrate the union of the God and Goddess and to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth. Depending on your tradition, there are a number of ways you can celebrate this Sabbat. There are also many crafts that can be incorporated into your celebrations including making a May Pole for you altar.

I'll be celebrating Beltane beginning the evening of April 30th by doing a ritual to honor the 'Sacred Feminine' (you'll find the ritual here). Then on May 1st I'll plan on some little celebration - maybe I'll plant some herbs that will go into my herb garden this year, and if the weather cooperates, I may even work out in the yard preparing it for the great abundance of flowers, shrubs and trees that surround my yard with beauty.

Whatever way you celebrate Beltane, be sure to include the God and Goddess in your celebrations, for without their union and blessings on the Earth, the abundance that we enjoy would not 'spring' forth. Happy Beltane!


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5 comments:

~*Gumbo Soul*~ said...

Your altars are hands down, the most beautiful representations of the Sabbats I have ever seen. EVER. I think you have a true gift for that.

Celestial Elf said...

Beautiful Post :D
thought you might enjoy my Beltane Blessing machinima film
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VElZSplpxQc
Bright Blessings
elf ~

Monique said...

This is such a beautiful altar. I love the way you have used those flowers and the May pole.
Thank you so much for sharing !!
Have a wonderful day.

Mina said...

Oh Tereza, your altar is the most beautiful representation of Beltane I have ever seen. Each detail is perfect and the overall ambiance warms the soul. Thank you so much for sharing.

sophiadawn said...

Your altar is absolutely gorgeous!! I don't seem to have that flair.

I also wanted you to know that last night I kept your blog open on my monitor for quite a while just listening to your music selection while I browsed the web. Lovely!