Beltane, Love, Passion, Fruitution.
Beltane It’s all about love.
Northern Hemisphere on 30 April – 1 May and 31 October.
Southern Hemisphere on 31st October-1 November.
(Exact dates will vary year to year as the sun must be at 15 degrees this will be explained in a later blog.)
Beltane is driven from the Celtic God name Bel and the Gaelic word Teine which means fire.
Together it means bright fire hence we celebrate the Fire festival and often have bonfires in honor of the sun and to encourage Bel and the sunlight to continue to nurture the harvests of the season and to protect the community in which they live. Traditions where people jump across the fires to be purified, cleanse and to promote fertility. couples as a pledge to one another would jump the fire together. Even farmers would make their livestock walk through the smoke to cleanse them from disease and to bring an abundance of fertility.
Astronomically, Beltane falls in between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, the called cross-quarter days. (which we will delve into more details in that on another day.) Ancient Celts, Beltane represented the start of summer since they followed eight distinct seasons instead of four. For the Celtics, the wheel of the year during Beltane turned where it is meant that energy was growing.
So we get it All the festivals represent the changing seasons, well if you didn’t you do now.
But what’s with the "Green man" and his face being covered in leaves and what’s with all the God and Goddess making out on all the memes surely there is a story behind that other than to just get our attention?
Glad you asked let's get into this aspect of Beltane, shall we?
As we are aware Beltane represents the peak of spring and the begging of summer. Earths energies are extremely strong and active just look around you flowers in bloom, birds calling for there mates and attending there young its the time of year when mother nature has awakened fully from her winter slumber she has to be renewed filled and is birthing her creations and fruits for us to enjoy.
Hang on what’s this got to do with the Green man you say. As legend has it The young oak king (aka the green man) falls deeply in love with the Goddess of spring and he wins her hand in marriage. As with all unions, it is consummated and the Goddess becomes pregnant.
This is the time we celebrate their marriage and the abundance that their union brings. Some people see this time being about a celebration of sexuality, passion, sensuality, happiness, vitality, and conception. Others see it as a time to reap the fruits of one's labors to stop planning and start doing to follow your hopes dreams take actions to build the life you choose, To show gratitude for all we have and to be able to let our hair down and have some fun.
A lot of pagans also in honor of this marriage hold handfasting ceremonies or weddings which is a traditional betrothal for “a year and a day” after which the couple would close to remain together or to go their separate ways without recrimination.
Jumping the broomstick is another common ceremony related to Beltane it dates back to the days when money was the case and people couldn’t always afford a lavash or even a simple church wedding but wanted to be accepted in there village or community as a married couple. the broom was marked with the words “threshold” and holding hands they simply jump over the broom in front of there guest and it would represent going from the old single life to the union of two becoming one. A celebration genially followed these ceremonies of cakes mead and other specialties the consisted of honey as honey also a representation of binding love.
Going A-Maying now I know this might tickle some of your interests whether you where Hand-fasted or not old or young everyone of age went A-maying. Couples would spend the night making love in the field in the forest and once their lustful night was over they would collect Hawthorn to decorate their homes. (Only at Beltane was hawthorn brought into the home other times of the years it was considered back luck and we can’t have that can we.) Everyone shared the freedom to enact the sacred marriage of the God and Goddess and it was very common and also expected an influx of babies would arrive nine months later….
Wow, talk about a night of passion, the memes are starting to make sense now.
Let's take a deep breath or cold shower whichever works for you and let's talk about the May Pole.
Everyone knows the images of the Maypole young Maidens holding on to the ribbons as they danced around in circles intertwine the ribbon around the pole dancing merrily along to music or chanting. So what’s the facts the May pol its self was often made of birch it was then dug into the Earth deep enough to hold it strong and true this part can you guess yes represents the God i sense a running theme here and the ring around the top decorated with flowers and flora represents the Fertile Goddess and together they are a representation of the consummation of the union between Earth and sky God and Goddess. The maidens dancing around the pole with the ribbons is their way of binding toward making them one.
The traditional colors of Beltane are Green, White/silver and red. Green stands for growth, White and sliver stands for cleansing and the power to clear off negativity. Red stands for vitality, passion, and strength.
So if by now you hadn’t been able to tell Beltane is about making unions and connection to unite share love passion and to follow one's heart to commit to the things and people you love, to value and honour each other and to nature your dreams your loves and to light the fire deep inside and to let that flame burn and to take a leap of faith that you have been waiting, for now, it the time to do it.
So now you know the Basics about Beltane enjoy this time of the year and honor yourself and the one you love by honoring The union God and Goddess and giving thanks for the abundance that we all share in our lives.