Fire and fertility:
The Goddess is receptive to Lord Sun
By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / April 23, 2010
“O doo not tell the priest our plight,
For he would call it sin,
For we’ve been out in the woods all night,
A’conjuring summer in.”
Friday, April 30, 2010, closely following the Full Planting Moon on April 28 is Beltane, aka Roodmas, May Day, Walpurgisnacht, and May Eve. Lady Moon starts her 3rd Quarter, in Scorpio, a Fixed Water Sign. Friday is Freya’s day and Freya is a goddess of fertility, among other things, so the emphasis on planting and generation is interesting.
In the Long Ago, Beltane traditionally marked the beginning of Summer. “Bel” is an ancient Sun God name and “Tan” means Fire. This is a fire festival as well as a fertility festival. If possible, celebrate outdoors. The Goddess is now Matron, ripe and receptive to Lord Sun’s attentions, and as we celebrate the changing season we also celebrate the new life to come from their union.
Decorate with flowers, especially roses. Use mirrors to reflect Lord Sun’s light. Representations of honeybees will indicate the fertility aspect of your festivities. Braid your hair and/or beard and wear braided ribbons or cords as part of your attire. Macrame work is also acceptable: the joining of two strands to create a third is another way to represent the union of God and Goddess. Dress yourself, your table, and your altar primarily in white, dark green, and red; use other colors of your choice for accent colors. At this celebration, all colors are appropriate.
Let your menu include dairy foods, sweets of all kinds. breads, cereals, all red fruits, green salads, and honey. As it is taboo to give away fire or food on this day, if you host a pot-luck party, please ask that any leftovers be taken home by whomever brought the dish.
If you have an outdoor fire, when it is reduced to embers toss healing and protective herbs and incense such as rosemary, frankincense, and vanilla on the embers and use a feather or a feather fan to direct the smoke around all your guests. If this is not possible, light a charcoal disc and put it in a safe container such as a cauldron, adding the herbs and incense to the charcoal when it is ready, then fanning the smoke around the room and all those present.
As at Samhain, Beltane is a time when the veil between worlds is very thin. It is a time of Great Magick, The powers of elves and fairies are growing and will reach their peak at the Summer Solstice. Keep these entities content and happy by planting (or allowing to grow) clover, lobelia, red carnations, heliotrope, foxglove, and mushrooms.
Creating a garden shrine by decorating a living tree or bush with bells and ribbons will please fairies and nature spirits who, in turn, will protect your garden and outdoor spaces. This is an activity in which both you and your guests can participate; leftover ribbons and bells may become party favors your guests may take home and use to decorate their own gardens.