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Beltane/May Day


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  #1  
March 21st, 2009, 08:34 PM
roving_gypsy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Beltane/May Day

May 1st, Beltane is a cross-quarter point halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

Beltane celebrates sexuality, fertility and spring (the begining of life). Its when the male and female energies come together in union who's fruits are ourselves, the crops, and the livestock.

A very well known Beltane celebration is the Maypole Dance. Which involves a Pole, what was traditionally cut from a fir tree by young men, is topped with red and white streamers and a crown of flowers and placed into the ground. The streamers represent life and death and typically a group of males take one set of streamers and a group of females take the other set of streamers. As they dance and weave in and out of each other they are weaving the forces of life and death together.

Beltane marked the time of year when the Irish and celts sent their herds from the winter pastures to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands.

When the change of the Julian and gregorian calendars came about Scotland celebrated Beltane on May 15th, while Ireland celebrated Beltane around the night of the 11th. They would light fires in the feilds and along the hills/mountains for ritual and political reasons. To this day the county of Limerick Ireland still have their yearly bonfire night celbrations. Other cultural groups have expressed intrest in reviving these celebrations. The bonfires represented purification and the transition of the seasons, hearlding in a hope of a good harvest later in the year.

(The following is provieded by shadow kitten from pagan forum with her permission)

-Welcome in Beltane at dawn with singing and dancing.

-Acknowledge the importance of the God and Goddess in your life.

-During the May Pole dance, think about what you wish to weave into, or out of, your spirit. Dance the May Pole and feel yourself balancing the Divine Female and Male within.

-Create a special wreath for the top of the May Pole.

-Make a miniature May Pole for your altar if you can not make a full size version.

-Keep the May Pole ribbons on the Broom until Mabon. At Mabon, use the ribbons in a ritual (Charge them with all the fear, sorrow, loss, and regret you can recall from the past year & them release/burn them)

-Tie ribbons to trees to celebrate the coming of spring. Make a wish each time you tie a ribbon as it is good luck to wish for things on this day!

-Braid bracelets out of white ribbons and give them as gifts to friends or family.

-Have small baskets of goodies around the room to symbolize the coming abundance and to enjoy after the Circle. Magick is hungry work!

-Make May Day baskets and leave them on your friends and family's doorsteps as a surprise gift. May Day baskets are traditionally filled with flowers but you can also fill yours with crystals and candy. Decorate the baskets with coloured ribbons.

-Once you’ve made your baskets, take the baskets to your friend’s houses, leave them on the porch. Then your friends have to guess who left the baskets. The kids will especially enjoy this because you have to do it undetected and not let on when people wonder who brought them the May flowers.

-Wear flowers in your hair and on your wrists and ankles. Feel yourself radiating joy and beauty.

-Mother & Daughter could braid their hair & weave a few tender blossoms into it.

-If you live near water, make a garland or posy of spring flowers and cast it into stream, lake or river to bless the water spirits.

-Make a May bowl - wine or punch in which the flowers of sweet woodruff or other fragrant blossoms are soaked - and drink with the one you love.

-Fill a cauldron or a large bowl with fresh flowers (wildflowers are best).

-Get a new mirror, or use one you have already, and decorate it with ribbons and flowers for your bedroom.

-Cut branches of fresh green from budding trees, or make garlands of flowers to decorate the home for this celebration. Hang them on the doors and windows early, so the May sunrise finds them there!

-Make an edible flower garden for kids. Flowers that you plant can include Gardenia, Johnny jump-up, lemon verbena, pansy, snapdragon and violet.

-On May Eve, bless your garden in the old way by making love with your lover in it.

-Walk the perimeter of your property to check that everything is in good order. Bring trash bags and do a general clean up of anything that is not where it should be.

-Go to your favourite grove or forest and have a picnic.

-Plant your frost sensitive bulbs now. Use a Bulb Planting Chant.

-Like our forefathers, show joy in the life you have been given and share that joy with others.

-Do a Beltane Day Spell for Health and Happiness.

-Beltane is one of the three "spirit-nights" of the year when the faeries can be seen. At dusk, twist a rowan sprig into a ring and look through it, and you may see them.

-Look for faery rings and leave an offering of flowers, food or pretty stones.

-Make a dish of fruits, berries, nuts and leave in the wood for the animals and faerie folk to enjoy.

-Make some lovely garden furniture for the faerie folk.

-Dig a fire pit in your circle area and jump over the fire for good luck. Back in the old days people used to run the cattle between two fires on Beltane to make them fertile and help the herd increase. They would also jump over the Beltane fire for luck. If someone is too small to jump by themselves you can pass them over the fire by putting them in a carry chair.

-Beltane is also a Tree festival and many fires were lit under a sacred tree. For the Celts, this use of the Tree represents the death and rebirth. The tree, appearing dead in the winter, would begin to spout new branches and leaves during this time, thus signifying the coming of summer. This use of the tree later evolved in the May pole festival. The Celts would also tie rags and pieces of personal articles to the tree in attempt to connect themselves to the spirit of the tree.

-Make a wish as you jump a bonfire or candle flame for good luck - but make sure you tie up long skirts first!

-Make a wish as you jump over a bonfire, (or campfire, May Day is a good time to go camping).

String beads or flowers for a blessing:

May the God and Goddess and the power
Of the elementals bless me now and always be with me.


-Arise at dawn and wash in the morning dew: the woman who washes her face in it will be beautiful; the man who washes his hands will be skilled with knots and nets.

-Wash in the morning dew. A woman who washes in the magical dew of May Day is said to gain beauty. According to the Mother Goose rhyme:

The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day,
And washes in dew from the hawthorn-tree,
Will ever after handsome be.


Other sources suggest using the dew found under oaks or on ivy leaves. Make a special wish as you wash your face in it or as you drink from a well before sunrise.

-Let your child dress up like the May Queen. Make a pointed hat with a large piece of paper rolled, and tape crepe paper streamer from the top. Decorate with crayons, stickers, and glitter.
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  #2  
March 24th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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Here's the research from the calendar:

Northern Hemisphere. Beltane technically occurs on the cross-quarter point on 5th May but many celebrate it alongside May Day.

Beltane is a fire festival that looks forward to the coming of summer, hence its correspondence to May Day. Two aspects of fire are celebrated at this time: firstly, purification and secondly, sexuality and passion.

Lighting candles or even fires is seen as a purifying act and many Pagan groups do so at this time. Leaping over the Beltane fire is said to bring good fortune, fertility, creativity and abundance over the coming year. Some Pagans may also wish to burn items which represent things which no longer serve them at this time.

Courting activities such as presenting a prospective partner with gifts or flowers are prevalent at Beltane and many Pagans join in with dancing round the maypole which is a phallic symbol of fertility, or dancing as a romantic activity, at this time. In terms of the Wheel of the Year, it is seen as a time when the God becomes lover to the Goddess and brings forth the fruits of her fertility.
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  #3  
March 24th, 2009, 06:05 PM
roving_gypsy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have noticed that when I read up on Beltane that people have celebrated it anytime between the 1st and the 15th of the month. I will be attending an event my mom is hosting on the 3rd of may to celebrate Beltane this year!! Thank you for the info Sharron, I wonder if I will be leaping over a fire during our festivities.....
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  #4  
April 20th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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  #5  
May 1st, 2009, 01:26 PM
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i just did a little Faery work in honor of the day and am feeling SO empowered... you can feel the magick of the season!
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  #6  
April 18th, 2010, 06:48 PM
roving_gypsy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I can't believe it is almost May!! Where does the time go? Please add anything you may do or can think of for Beltane.
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  #7  
April 18th, 2011, 11:40 PM
roving_gypsy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I so want to do a may pole this year! Beltane will be here soon!!
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  #8  
April 19th, 2011, 05:25 AM
Mystixism's Avatar Mistress of the Universe
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I don't have anything to really add as that initial list is great! I really want to do a may pole too. I think there is a local pagan group having a Beltane celebration and they will be doing a may pole. I may look into that and if I can pull myself away from my child long enough.....
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  #9  
April 23rd, 2011, 07:35 AM
Earthy.Mama's Avatar .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.
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If I'm off on May 1st we'll be going to our friend's house for a Beltane celebration, hopefully we can make it!
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  #10  
April 23rd, 2011, 08:16 AM
Mystixism's Avatar Mistress of the Universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2Loves View Post
If I'm off on May 1st we'll be going to our friend's house for a Beltane celebration, hopefully we can make it!
That sounds like fun! I wish I had more pagan friends, but just like a lot of other social circles, it's kinda hard to get in. I hope to make some new friends at the Fertile Ground Gathering on the 8th. I am really looking forward to the main ritual and the May Pole dance. I am also going to take a small belly dancing workshop, introduction to the Norse Gods, and intro to astrological magic. They also provide all 3 meals for the day, there are multiple musical performers, there is a Healing Garden with Reiki healers, and of course the dancing around the bon fire! I hope my husband can handle the boy for a day because I plan on doing it all!

P.S. I am sure when I get home I will hear about how hard of a day he had... uh, welcome to my world everyday, dear
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  #11  
April 23rd, 2011, 10:25 AM
Bella Nyxe's Avatar Serenity in Moonlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystix View Post
That sounds like fun! I wish I had more pagan friends, but just like a lot of other social circles, it's kinda hard to get in. I hope to make some new friends at the Fertile Ground Gathering on the 8th. I am really looking forward to the main ritual and the May Pole dance. I am also going to take a small belly dancing workshop, introduction to the Norse Gods, and intro to astrological magic. They also provide all 3 meals for the day, there are multiple musical performers, there is a Healing Garden with Reiki healers, and of course the dancing around the bon fire! I hope my husband can handle the boy for a day because I plan on doing it all!

P.S. I am sure when I get home I will hear about how hard of a day he had... uh, welcome to my world everyday, dear
iv never attended a Beltane social celebration before but this sounds awesome!

iv gots to start planning for Beltane this weekend.
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  #12  
April 25th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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I forgot that May 1st I will be waking up at my sister's house recovering from Saturday night when she's making me go to a bachelorette party for one of our friends. Maybe I can just pretend to drink a bit so I can wake up early and go to our friends house on Beltane.
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