It is a fire festival and marks the return of vitality and passion to Mother Earth.
“Have you walked around your parks and towns
so knife-edged orderly?
While the fires are burned on the hills upturned
in far-off wild country?
Come a Beltane. Come a Beltane.”
Whether you choose April 30 or May 1, you will be celebrating Beltane, a cross-quarter celebration that, like Samhain, provides an opportunity to see beyond the veil that separates the mundane world from the spiritual realm. Beltane honors the union of God and Goddess. It is a fire festival, the last of the three spring fertility festivals. It marks the return of vitality and passion to Mother Earth. It is a time to celebrate Life.
This year, 2014, the New Moon occurs on April 30; Beltane is a time to take action on the activities and projects planned and begun at the Vernal Equinox, and having a new or first quarter moon for this celebration is serendipitous, to say the least. Take advantage of this as you focus on maintaining the flow of energy already begun; feel your energies soar with the waxing moon; visualize clearly the completion of your projects.
While all colors of the rainbow may be used in your dress and decorations, white, dark green, and red are the most appropriate. Serve dairy foods; green salads; oatmeal or barley cakes or cookies; all red fruits such as cherries, strawberries, and blood oranges; sweets of all kinds; breads; and red or pink wine punch such as sangria.
Decorate the area with May poles, anything braided, mirrors, baskets of roses and/or lilies. Roses represent the flowering of the soul and, as well as lilies, can be considered representative of the Goddess. Images of Robin and Marian, the Green Man, and honeybees would also be appropriate.
You may also choose to make small May baskets for your guests by weaving brightly-colored ribbons through the slats of a ready-made basket and filling the baskets with fresh greenery and flowers. If you decorate a living tree or bush in your yard with bells and pretty ribbons, this will please the fairies and nature spirits and they, in turn, will be pleased to protect your garden and outdoor spaces.
If at all possible, celebrate outdoors and have a safe fire burning if you are within city limits. A barbeque pit or grill or a chiminea would serve nicely, as would luminaria, candles, or storm lanterns. If possible, when your fire is reduced to ashes, toss some healing herbs such as rosemary on the ashes and use a feather to direct the smoke over you, your guests, and any animals present.
At Beltane, it is proper to honor all household guardian spirits. Spiritual energies are high. Do not be surprised if you dream of loved ones who have passed over, and if they come to you in a dream do your best to pay attention to whatever they may choose to tell you. The veil between worlds is quite thin on this night; many magickal things are possible.