Dearest moonbeams, the Wheel of the Year is turning once again and this week we welcome in the festival of Beltain. Beltain, also called Beltane, Bealtaine and Beltine is one of the cross quarter festivals of the wheel of the year along with Imbolc, Lammas and Samhain. Beltain is celebrated on the eve of the 30th of April over into the following day, May 1st (May Day). It's one of the four fire festivals of the wheel of the year and is a celebration of spring at its fullest and also the beginning of summer.
It's a time to celebrate the abundance of mother nature that is so apparent at this time of year and re-establish our connection to Gaia as we enter into these lighter, warmer days. This couldn't more relevant during times such as these when are being given a chance to slow down and re-forge our connection to nature. As the human world stays indoors, the Wild World is rising once again...can you feel it? Mother Earth is healing and we are remembering what it means to be in co-creation with her.
Bel is also the name of the Sun God associated with this time of year and Beltain is a celebration of the union and sacred marriage of the Sun God Bel with the Mother Goddess Danu. This union is what makes this a fertility festival and a time to celebrate sex, love, abundance and the balance of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine. This union of masculine and feminine was represented by the May pole, red and white ribbon was tied around a pole as people danced around the May pole. It was a time of joy and merriment and it was traditionally a time for handfastings -pagan wedding ceremonies. It's a time of year where communities would have come together in celebration, this year however, we will have to find new ways to honour the spirit of this festival and we hope to share some of those with you here.
What is blossoming in you?
In terms of working with goals, ideas and dreams, now is the time to fertilise your intentions and joyfully go about bringing your dreams to fruition. Look back at the intentions you set at the start of this year and see if you can get a sense of what's blossoming right now? Is your hard work paying off? What needs extra attention and nurturing to help it bloom and grow? And maybe there are things that need to be released (see below for fire ritual). Beltain combined with the recent new moon in Taurus is a time to focus on abundance and working on blockages we might have in relation to our self worth. In your journal write down all the things that you can feel an abundance of at the moment, you might even like to do this as an illustration of blossoms and flowers in bloom with your words written inside. Allow this journaling practice to fill you with a deep sense of gratitude. If you find it hard to get going, look to nature first for she is putting on a show at the moment. Birdsong is at it's loudest at this time of year and all of mother earth's energy is devoted to growth at this time, all of life is bursting with potential.
Goddesses of Beltain
Danu is an ancient mother Goddess referred to as the Great Mother of Ireland. She is the mother of the Tuatha De Danann, a magical race of people that brought magic and wisdom to Ireland. She represents wisdom, abundance and life in flow as she is also guardian of the rivers and waters of Ireland. Danu is also associated with the archetype of the High Priestess and so invites us to step into our power and sovereignty and bloom like the Spring flowers.
Maia is a Greek Goddess and gives her name to the month of May. She is one of the seven sisters of the Pleiades - the seven daughters of titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione. Maia is the eldest of the Nymph sisters, who were also companions to the goddess Artemis. Nymphs are nature spirits that look after the environments in which they dwell with their gentle and divine energy. The seven Nymph sisters were believed to have transcended into the sky, transforming in to the Pleiades star cluster. Step outside at night and look to the night sky, see if you can see the Pleiades and connect to the gentle and loving energy of Maia.
Fauna is a Goddess of Wild places, animals and sexuality. She represents the archetype of the Wild Woman - untamed and unapologetic. Call on Fauna's blessings to help you rewild yourself and reclaim your connection to your own wild feminine and sacred sexuality.
Frigg is a Norse Goddess of motherhood, fertility and the home. She is Odin's wife and her name translates to Beloved. Call on Frigg to bless your home and the seeds of your intentions.
Queen Maeve is a sovereign Earth Goddess who represents sexual empowerment, independance, passion and power. She is a warrior Queen of Ireland with the reputation of being intoxicating, forceful and decisive. Do you need some of this Warrior Queen energy in your life at the moment?
ELEN OF THE WAYS
Elen of the Ways goes by many other names - The Green Lady, The Deer Goddess, The Horned Goddess and in her Crone aspect she is also called the Caillech. She is an ancient Celtic Goddess associated with Shamanism. It is said that she is a guide during times of change and also a guide during our dream space. If you are finding it hard to see the path laid out before you, call on Elen of the Ways to help you find your way.
The month of May is sacred to Mother Mary and she is often referred to as the Queen of May. Mother Mary represents unconditional love and healing. She can soothe our sorrows and comfort our fears.
Samhain marks the beginning of Winter, Beltain marks the beginning of Summer and just like with Samhain, this is another time of year when the veil between worlds is at it's thinnest. During Samhain, the thinning of the veil helps us to connect to the dead and our ancestors, at Beltain it's a chance to connect to the magic of the Fae and the elemental beings. Going back to our theme of rewilding and re-forging our connection and relationship to mother earth, this is a wonderful time of year to pledge ourselves as guardians of nature. In your journal, write down a list of the ways that you would like to be a guardian of nature. Maybe you'll make a promise to always pick up litter when you're out on your walk. Or to try harder to reduce, reuse and recycle. You might even like to make your pledges aloud, as if speaking to the Fae folk, they will be delighted with you!
As with Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's dream, this is also a time of year for mischief and the Fae have been known to cause a fair bit of mischief on the eve of Beltain. Mischief in this way can help us to keep a sense of humour and not take ourselves quite so seriously. If you notice things are out of place or not going quite according to plan can you treat it as a message from the Fae that you might need to lighten up.
Flower Maiden Bath
Remember, we are in Taurus season and this season is all about self love and sensuality. Give yourself a treat for the senses by making yourself a ritual flower bath. Fill your bath with flower petals and arrange crystals and candles around your bathroom. Citrine is beautiful for working with abundance and Rose quartz for tuning into love and sensuality. Then add in your flower maiden bath elixir:
Add the following essential oils to a small dish of milk
Geranium 2 drops
Jasmine 1 drop
Ylang Ylang 1 drop
Rose 1 drop
Patchouli 1 drop
Mix in well with the option to also mix in honey and oats. Oats and honey are incredibly healing and soothing for the skin and the milk will help to bind the essential oils. Please don't add essential oils to the water without something to bind them with. Why not soak in the tub with a book on fairytales or folklore to connect even further to the magic of this time.
Create a Beltain Altar
Tuning into the turning of the seasons by creating altars within the home is such a lovely practice. You can create a simple Beltain altar by gathering flowers and other objects that represent this time of year. You might like to use or make a flower crown to go in the centre of your altar and decorate with crystals, candles and ribbons. You might like to create an Altar in honour of one of the Beltain Goddesses using objects and images that are sacred to that Goddess. You could also decorate branches or twigs with ribbons to represent the blessed Oak Tree or World Tree that our ancestors would have gathered round. As you tie the ribbons onto the branches, make a wish, this is a lovely ritual to do with children.
Beltain Fire Ritual
The word 'Bel' means 'Bright one' and Beltain signifies the start of the light half of the year. In ancient times, the old fires were put out and new fires were lit to signify the start of this new bright time. Beacons were lit all along the country and bonfires were set on the eve of Beltain to be danced around all night till the following morning. The element of Fire along with the Sun himself were honoured and revered.
Fire is such a purifying force and as we are celebrating this shift in to the lighter half of the year now is a good time to leave behind all that no longer serves us, in particular, ways of thinking that prevent us from having an abundance mindset.
Here's a simple Fire Ritual that you can do using a Candle or a small fire pit/wood burning stove depending on what you have access to. Write down a list of self limiting beliefs or scarcity mindset habits that you can identify within yourself. Ask yourself - do you find yourself often worrying about having enough? Do you get jealous/competitive with others? Are you generous of spirit and with your resources? These questions should help you to identify whether you're operating from a place of fear and lack. When you've created your list, burn it and with this act of burning, release all your old fears, old stories and self limiting beliefs.
We really hope you enjoy our blog. We are just working on our Beltain edition of our online Zine where we can share even more ways to connect this magical time of year.
You are also invited to sit in ceremony and celebration with us this Friday to honour Beltain. We are hosting a FREE online Beltain ceremony and Meditation via Zoom at 7:00pm(gmt) - if you would like to join us please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you the Zoom link.
Blessings to you all xx