Fertility, Fire and Flowers
Beltane (1 May) is a Cross Quarter Day, halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. It is the last of three Celtic Spring celebrations (the others being Imbolc and Ostara) and represents the sacred union of the Earth and Sun resulting in new growth. On a spiritual level, this is a celebration of the union of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine.
Beltane means “bright /brilliant fire” and has been celebrated for centuries with the lighting of fires - an invocation to the Sun for blessings of light, fertility, and growth. On May Day’s eve, young and old would spend the night in the woods making love and then return to their villages in the morning bearing boughs of hawthorn and spring flowers. A maypole would be erected in the village and the eating and dancing would begin.
Samhain is Beltane’s counterpart in the southern hemisphere. Beltane is a time of blessing and planting while Samhain is a time of harvesting and the Dead. The veil between the two worlds is said to be at its thinnest during this time and magic abounds!
The Floralia festival, in honor of Flora, is also held at this time (27 April - 3 May).
Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and gardens is still ritually honored today with offerings of flowers, milk, and honey.
Whether you celebrate these holidays or not, May Day offers an opportunity to celebrate Life.
Here are a few things you can do:
Write and share a blessing or three!
Here’s an example of a Beltane blessing:
May you be blessed with power, passion, and wisdom, and may the sacred flame of creativity be ignited in you.
If you live near water, make a garland or posy of spring flowers and cast it into a lake or river as a blessing to the water spirits.
Prepare a May basket of flowers and food and give it to a friend or someone in need.
Create a Spring altar and fill it with your favourite flowers, gemstones, and beautiful art.
If you’re in the southern hemisphere (Samhain) is your Halloween:
Create a meal with plenty of root vegetables and serve cider and wine.
Create an altar with an orange or gold cloth that includes Autumn fruits like apples, pomegranates, and pumpkins. You may add dark stones like obsidian.
Light a candle (a 7-day candle is an option) and pray for the souls of departed loved ones.
Blessings to you!