The Fire Festival of Beltane marks the lengthening of days and beginning of Summer.
Beltane is fire and sexual heat, growth, vines and leaves, the bloom of a rose.
It is blue skies and electrical storms, warm days and cool nights.
Beltane is the scent of summer in the air, lush gardens and petals.
It is a time for nakedness, for sex and desire, for getting together for joyful celebration.
Beltane is a time of freedom, of cleansing, of growth and choice, of letting go with delightful abandon.
Beltane is creativity and creation, bringing ideas and plans to life.
In my part of the world, Beltane marks the beginning of the cherry harvest.
Cherries are a big deal here, the harvest attracting people from all over the world.
Our local Cherry Festival closely coincides with the Sabbat of Beltane, so it is easy to see the old Pagan roots of my town celebrating the big agricultural event of the district.
So, cherries feature largely in my personal Beltane symbolism.
Cherries symbolize celebration, festivity and fertility, making them the perfect Beltane fruit.
You also have to wonder at the saying “to lose your cherry”.
If the cherry symbolizes virginity, the harvest of the cherries ties in well with the sexual overtones of Beltane.
You can bet that many ‘cherries’ have been lost during the celebration of this lustful Sabbat.
Beltane is when the native Australian bottlebrush bursts into flower.
The bottle brush is sacred to Aphrodite, and its bright red blush is reminiscent of both the Goddess Of Love and the days of ‘greater sun’ that is Beltane.
Beltane falls on the 31st of October in the Southern Hemisphere, officially beginning at moonrise/sunset, on that day.
Astrologically speaking, Beltane actually falls closer to the fifth of September, neatly on the cross-quarter day.
Beltane is an earth based Sabbat and is celebrated under the astrological sign of Taurus, when the sun reaches 15 degrees in the sign, marking the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.
Mythologically, Beltane is the Handfasting (Pagan marriage) of the God and Goddess.
The Horned God has now reached manhood , and the Great Rite is played out in nature, in the rampant reproduction and growth of plants and crops.
The God and Goddess make love amid the ripening crops and she conceives his child, ensuring the fruition of the harvest.
They make love so that we may have food for the year ahead, thus ensuring our survival and that of the Earth.
This Divine coming together also sparks great creative energy.
Beltane is a great time to begin a new creative project or hobby.
The seeds we planted at Yule, our goals for the year, have been gently nurtured up to this point and now is the time to give that extra effort for growth.
We may have to sacrifice some of our seedlings for the growth and health of the others.
Some of your plans may be coming along strongly, others are weak, some may have withered and died all together.
By now, you should have an idea which you would like to keep growing, the rest can be weeded out, so you can focus your attention on those that are most important to you.
Like Samhain, which falls on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year to Beltane, the veil to the other side is thin.
This makes Beltane a good time for ritual, divination and connection with the Divine.
At Samhain, we focus on contacting the dead, at Beltane we can work at connecting with the Divine, our personal Deities and the God and Goddess.
I have heard the idea that Beltane brings a thickening of the veil, where we are heavily divided from the other worlds.
This does make sense, in that we are on the opposite side of Samhain, when the veil is at its thinnest.
With this belief, we would focus on more worldly concerns, rather than the ethereal.
Beltane signifies the return of the Fairy Folk and other little creatures such as Gnomes and Leprechauns.
You can leave offerings to the Fae in your garden to welcome them back, or construct a fairy ring of your own.
There is much magic held within Beltane, a very bewitching magic, something the Fae are well-known for.
Beltane celebrations are held outdoors, a welcome return to nature, with the dark half of the year now firmly behind us.
One of the more well-known Beltane symbols is the May Pole.
The pole itself is a phallic symbol, the garland of flowers at the top symbolic of the Goddess.
The ribbons are colored in the spectrum of the rainbow, a symbol of hope and renewal.
The ribbons are entwined and wound together around the pole, representing the unity of male and female, God and Goddess.
A big part of Beltane tradition is sex.
Beltane being a celebration of love, passion and fertility, the sexual themes are strong, literally as well as symbolically.
On Beltane eve, you can do as the God and Goddess and make love in your orchard or garden.
As well as being a bit of an adventure, this will ensure an abundance come harvest time.
Bonfires have always been a big part of Beltane celebration, as they are at all fire festivals.
At Beltane, the roaring flames welcome back the sun, the light and heat of summer days.
Those that hope to fall pregnant, can jump the flames of the fire, in hope of taking the Divine spark of fertility within themselves.
All Gods and Goddesses of love and fertility are honored at Beltane, as are the more lustful of the Gods, such as the Horned Gods and Satyrs.
Aphrodite and Pan are my personal Beltane Deities, Aphrodite bringing love, beauty and pleasure, Pan bringing lust, growth and abandon.
Looking skyward, Orion the Hunter and the Dog Star have returned to Southern skies.
Both of these constellations can be seen in the east after sunset.
Beside them, in the northeast, is Taurus the Bull, with the red star of Aldebaran and the starry cluster of the Pleiades being very noticable.
Pegasus is prominent in the North, straddling the meridian.
The constellation of Scorpio, which rides the night sky throughout the winter months, is now setting in the southwest.
- 3 pts Frankincense
- 2 pts Sandalwood
- 1 pt Rose Petals
- 4 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
- 4 drops Neroli Essential Oil
- Horned Gods
- May Pole
- The Lovers – Tarot Card
- The Heirophant – Tarot Card – Trump card of Taurus
- Flower Garlands and Crowns
Stones & Gems:
- Rose Quartz
- Moss Agate
- Almond pods and trees
- Dittany of Crete
- Lily of the Valley
- Marigold, Mint, Mugwort
- Rose, Rowan
Nine Scared Woods: