|May Pole. Image from deviantART.|
A time of Great Magick:
Celebrate Beltane on April 30 or May 1
By Kate Braun | The Rag Blog | April 23, 2013
“All things ripen and grow… Abundance in Eternal Flow/ As one the Lord and Lady…”
Either Tuesday, April 30, or Wednesday, May 1, is a good time to celebrate Beltane, also known as Roodmas, Walpurgisnacht, and May Eve. This is a time of Great Magick, second only to Samhain in power.
The powers of elves and fairies are growing and will reach their peak at Summer Solstice, so be nice to them! One way to do this is to decorate a living tree or bush with bells and ribbons. When these elementals are happy, they will protect your outdoor spaces.
All colors are acceptable to use in your decorations, but be sure to use white, dark green, and red. This is a Fire Festival, a Wedding Feast honoring the union of God and Goddess, a time to take action on the activities and projects planned at the Vernal Equinox. As it is the last of the three springtime fertility festivals, plan to generate energy centered on growth of all kinds: growth in spiritual awareness, growth in the garden, growth in your bank accounts.
Serve your guests dairy foods, sweets of all kinds, red fruits, green salads, and cereals. A menu incorporating these elements would be a buffet of: an assortment of breads, crackers, and cheeses; apple slices; strawberries and yogurt; salad of lettuces, baby spinach, sprouts, and parsley; honey-vinaigrette salad dressing; ice cream and oatmeal cookies; red velvet cake; sweet muffins; sangria; mint-hibiscus tea.
|May Pole: Life emerging.|
Your decorations should include braiding of some sort. May Poles are a traditional sight at Beltane, the red and white streamers a manifestation of the life emerging in the Planet Earth. A small pole with red and white ribbon woven around it would make an appropriate centerpiece. If your hair is long enough, braid it. The intertwining represents the union of God and Goddess.
You could also provide the materials for you and your guests to each make a May Basket: small woven baskets, greenery (real or artificial) to fill the baskets, flowers and sprigs of herbs (real or artificial) to add to the greenery, red and white ribbons to make bows for the finished basket.
When choosing flowers to use in the May Baskets, keep in mind that roses can represent spirituality as well as the goddess, red carnations will attract fairies who enjoy healing animals, clover is wildly attractive to fairies, lobelia helps attract winged fairies, heliotrope is enjoyed by fire elementals, morning glory repels unwanted night fairies, and rosemary protects from baneful fairies. But do not use mistletoe, as it can attract unpleasant tree fairies and be aware that fairies tend to not like the smell of dill.
Another activity associated with Beltane is to make a joyful noise. Encourage your guests to bring wind instruments and use them at some point in your festivities. Trumpets, recorders, whistles, flutes, and ocarinas fit the category, as do many other breath-powered instruments. Be creative.
Above all, make it a joyful and joyous event. This is a time to celebrate life, love, and vitality!
[Kate Braun‘s website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of Kate Braun’s writing on The Rag Blog.]
How come Beltane is traditionally celebrated on May 1 when the actual astronomical cross-quarter is May 5? (See http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/).