Saturday, 20 June 2009


Beltane is a Celtic word, which means 'fires of Bel'. Bel was the Celtic fire God. The main element of Beltane is fire. It is a fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. Springtime is the start of the farming year and in agricultural communities of long ago, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.

The fire when lit, was thought to cleanse and purify, increasing fertility. People, especially young women, would dance around a bonfire and take turns to leap over it. Cattle would be led between two fires with the idea that the fertility of the herd would be increased.

The picture shows Sulis, the Goddess of Beltane, also called Minerva by the Romans.

May 1st – White Rabbits!
To all of you. Saying white rabbits on May 1st is supposed to bring luck for the remainder of the year and it’s worth a try, isn’t it!

May 1st is Mayday or Beltane in the Wicca calendar. It begins the period of enchantment and is a time to win people over. It represents the passage of time from virginal spring to full bodied voluptuous womanhood. Now is the time to draw attention to yourself and attract a suiter.

With the smell of the sacred hawthorn flowers fresh in the air, the Goddess is ready to invite her suiters. Hawthorn flowers or may flowers have a wonderful scent. They are used to adorn the heads of young women during pagan celebrations of returning warmth and sunshine. The blossoms are gathered early in the morning and woven into garlands by the village children, who take great delight in the making of these creations.

Try picking some flowers from your garden as they become more abundant and wear scents such as tuberose, jasmine or gardenia.

If possible, make a maypole to put on your altar table. Festoon it with ribbons of red, white and green to honour the God and his Goddess and Mother Nature. They will thank you for it.

In the old religion, maypoles were used to celebrate the start of spring. The maypole itself is a phallic symbol and usually has a ring of spring flowers placed at the top of it prior to the maypole dance. As the ribbons are intertwined during the dancing, the ring of flowers slips down the maypole, symbolising the creation of new life.

Wicca, as we tend to call the craft today, is a naturistic religion in which there is no other rule than 'and it harm none, do what you will.' There are no priests to obey or churches to maintain and the work can be done alone or with others. Beltane of May Day is the second most important festival in the Wiccan calendar.

Coming as it does at the cusp of Spring, it is an ideal time to get married or become hand-fasted.

Following is a wedding blessing and invocation from Raven Kaldera. It would be used during a handfasting and spoken by the bride and groom to each other in the presence of their guests. Take a few minutes to read it. I can never get through it without a tear or two, it is so beautiful.

Raven’s Blessing Song

May the earth welcome your footsteps
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace;
May the spirit of inspiration light your way.

May you be a friend to your destiny
May you always know your name.
May you learn to dance with lightning,
When life brings storm and rain.
May you never be far from family
Whether kin by blood or heart;
May you never feel completely set apart.

May you walk through life like a balance beam
And never stumble and fall.
May you walk through a hundred angry glares
And may it not matter at all.
May you never cease to teach;
And may you never cease to learn;
May the spark of hope inside you always burn.

May you walk with light through your underworld
May you never fear the dark.
May you learn to love the monsters
That populate your heart.
May you be heeled of your deepest wounds
And wear the scars with pride,
And may your soul never have to hide.

May the earth welcome your footsteps,
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace,
May the spirit of inspiration light your way.

If you have ever felt that you are very close to nature, then you may be surprised to find that you are already a traditional wicce or wicca. If you find yourself and your emotions in tune with the rhythms of the moon and the tides, then you may not be surprised to learn that the waxing period of the moon is a good time to encourage things to happen. It is also a good time to plant seeds and make love potions, to write stories or start new projects.

So Happy Beltane everyone. May your fires burn brightly and your heart glow with happiness forever.

Blessings, Star

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Why not sit down with me beneath a tree and discuss this interesting religion. I'm listening...