Beltane is another of our great Wicca sabots. It is celebrated from the eve of May Day (night of April 30th) and all through the next day of May 1st. Modern times know it as May Day.
Beltane is the dawn of our summer. Exactly half a year from Samhain also known as Halloween which is when we celebrate our dead Beltane is our celebration of life!
It stands for many things like love, sex, fertility, life, joy, growth, beauty, health and luck. A prime time to come in contact and work magic with the fairies. A time to celebrate the start of summer and all that it brings. To give thanks and tribute the gods and goddesses of our beliefs. A chance to use all the magical energy of this time in our spells and rituals. The most popular time for weddings and hand fasting’s. Dancing around the maypole and going for picnics to pick flowers and frolic in the woods. There are so many different things to do on this day!
Some of the most popular things to do include of course dancing around the may pole for fertility or just for fun. The may pole is supposed to represent our goddess with all the pretty flowers and bright colors. As the pole itself is a phallic symbol for the god. Since it Is said Beltane is the time the young god becomes a man and the goddess takes him as her lover and they learn the secrets of love and sensuality through their union.
There is another fire worth mentioning on this day. Another great things to do is to hang rowan branched above your fireplace in mayday since the house fire represents the houses luck!
Jump for luck!
Another great tradition is the Beltane fire. A scared fire built with the nine of the sacred woods to our craft. It is said you are supposed to jump the Beltane fire for luck. As stated in the witches rede the ten sacred woods are Birch, Oak, Rowan, Willows, Hawthorn, Hazel, Apple, Grapevines, Fir, and Elder. Yes,that's right...the fire is only made with 9 of the 10 woods. As the Beltane chant goes...
"Nine woods in the Cauldron go,
Burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes
To represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might,
In the fire it brings the God's insight.
Rowan is a tree of power,
Causing life and magic to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand
Ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify
And to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel - the tree of wisdom and learning
Adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree
That brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine
Giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen
To represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady's tree
Burn it not or cursed you'll be."
Of course there are 10 listed but like it stated Never burn elder tree!
Beltane water is also a great thing! If you roll in the dew on the grass and flowers on the morning of may day it will bring you beauty and luck. Others say anointing your head with Beltane rain water or dew from a rowan tree to bless yourself with the spirit of Beltane. Collecting Beltane rain water is also great for scrying.
Faeries & Trees
Today is a big day for the sidhe! Leaving out gifts for the fairies helps make sure they bring you luck and don’t play tricks on you or your family and animals for the year. You can pay them tribute with their favorite snacks, making flower wreaths or tying ribbons on trees!
Perfect time for planting a few! The 3 main trees that attract the fey-folk are oak, hawthorn and ash! Hang wind chimes as the sound is meant to attract them to your garden! Build houses and special places just for them. Since they are attracted to water build bird baths to honor them and Gaia!
Making Beltane altars is a big thing for Wiccans! Since our altars are sacred to us we want to use things that best represent what we are honoring. A few things to know before making your altar are things like who you are trying to honor and what Beltane stands for and using things to represent just that!
The gods and goddesses of Beltane include all the flower goddesses. Mauve, Flora, Maia, Danu, Luna, and of course, Mother Gaia! The gods consist of Robin Hood, the green man, cernuous, pan, bel (who the holiday is named after) and all the gods of the hunt!
So statues or anything to represent them is a great add to any altar! Of course flowers and any greenery is perfect too! And don’t forget your normal altar items like candles incense and crystals. Some of the best scents and incenses to use are again anything that represent the spirit of the holiday such as jasmine, lavender and cinnamon. All have an association with love sex, or beauty.
Crystals that are good to associate with Beltane are those for love, fertility, health, spiritual and emotional balance and luck. These include crystals like rose quarts, moon stone, bloodstone (hematite) unakite, rhodonite, dolomite, amethyst, and lapis lazuli. I could go on and on about all the different crystals you can use that associate with the energy of Beltane.