Beltaine

The Tree of Life

May, 2013

Honouring Our Descendants at Beltane

 

At Beltane it is said that the veil between the worlds thins, just as it is said to do at Samhain. Beltane – also known as May Day or Walpurgisnacht – traditionally marked the beginning of summer, and is directly opposite Samhain, the beginning of winter, on the Wheel of the Year. At Samhain many Pagans choose to use this thinning of the veil to honour and work with the spirit of their ancestors. Accordingly, why not balance this by honouring and working with the spirit of our descendants at Beltane?

 

I believe every moment of the present is a magical blend of the wisdom inherited  from the past and the chance to create the future. With every choice we make we are constructing the future our descendants will inherit in their turn. Just think about that for a moment. What a responsibility – and what an amazing gift! We have a great opportunity in every minute of every day to create – or at least tip the balance towards – a peaceful, abundant and just world.

 

When I speak of descendants, I don’t just mean those who inherit our genes. I believe my ancestors include not only ancestors of blood (my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents etc.), but also ancestors of culture (those who shaped the society I live in – inventors, craftspeople, healers, warriors, artists, philosophers, musicians, politicians, psychopaths and philanthropists alike) and ancestors of choice (those heroes and heras who inspire me with their words, thoughts and deeds). Together these three types of ancestors have made me who I am today.

 

Each of us, then, will have the chance to one day become an ancestor of blood, culture and/or choice. In this way, although I myself have no children, I will have descendants. I have a dearly-loved nephew, cousins and three beloved Goddess-children. But there are also the descendants I will not necessarily ever meet – those to whom I will unknowingly pass the legacy of my actions and choices during this lifetime. To me this brings a sense not only of responsibility but also opportunity.

 

If you would like to work with the spirit of your descendants this Beltane, I suggest first building an altar to them. If you already have a permanent altar for your ancestors, you may like to make this new altar next to it. You could even put a photo or other representation of yourself between them to signify that you are the connection between the two. Place photos or items to represent any descendants of blood that you may have, or the children that you plan to have in future. Add pictures or items representing the gifts, skills or wisdom you would like to pass on. You could also have representations of the kind of world you would like to have an active role in creating.

 

It may be helpful to meditate before you start, to clarify your vision and your wishes. What is the worst future you believe is likely to happen? What is the best? What can you do in the present and the immediate future to tip the balance towards the best future and away from the worst? What special gifts, talents or skills can you offer? What changes can you make in your daily life that will have a positive effect?

 

At Samhain, some people lay out a feast for their ancestors, cooking the foods their beloved dead enjoyed while they were alive, or the traditional foods of their cultural ancestors. Usually this feast is then shared by the living celebrants, though a portion of food is set aside for the spirits. In working with our descendants, it is harder to know what they will enjoy eating. So how about making your best recipe as an offering? You know the one – it’s the dish you’re always asked to bring to pot luck suppers, or when the family gets together. Making such a dish is an act of love, and what better offering could there be? Share the meal amongst those gathered – but remember to set aside a portion for your descendants.

 

If you would like to continue working with your descendants after Beltane you could maintain a permanent altar for them. I would also suggest regular meditation or trancework to connect with their spirit and find out what they would like from you.

And most importantly, remember that you are a conduit between the past and the future. The past is fixed, but the future is constantly in flux, tweaked and nudged by our every move. That gives us power. Let’s use it wisely, compassionately, mindfully. Let’s work towards being the best ancestors we can be.

Betane Correspondences

May, 2013

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.

Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldron

Stones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartzColors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine

Beltane Correspondences

April, 2013

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,

artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldronStones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartzColors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine

Meditation Moment

May, 2012

A Sacred Union

Beltaine is a time of pleasure, joy, and sacred sexuality.  It is the marriage and consummation of the Goddess and the God according to Wiccan and some other Pagan mythologies.  This meditation seeks to unite the God and Goddess within you.

You need a quiet comfortable space, uninterrupted time, and possibly something to write with and on.  You may choose to have someone read this to you, or to record your own voice reading it with appropriate pauses so that you can meditate with your eyes closed.

Imagine you are lying in a hammock strung up between two palm trees on a Caribbean beach.  Sunlight sparkles on the turquoise water as the waves sing you to sleep.  A balmy breeze keeps you cool as you rock back and forth, back and forth, loving life, rocking back and forth, relaxing, relaxing, relaxed.

There is a tidal pool nearby, and you feel drawn to it.  You kneel beside the pool and look over the edge, expecting to see all sorts of colorful sea life.  Instead, you see that the bottom of the pool is black obsidian.  The pool forms a mirror, reflecting the darkest parts of yourself back at you, distorted by the waters of emotion.

Even the darkest parts of you are beautiful.  In the brilliant sunlight, on the beautiful, peaceful, healing beach, you can see yourself through the eyes of unconditional love.  You are looking into the eyes of the Goddess.  You are looking into the eyes of the God.  And Both are smiling back at you with total loving acceptance.

Looking into your own Divine eyes, you realize that what you sometimes see as a flaw is actually just a part of your wholeness.  The thoughts, behaviors, memories, emotions, and habits that upset or embarass you are all still a part of you.  You have denied them, repressed them, and turned them into your sacred Shadow.

Now you have the opportunity to embrace the darkest part of yourself and bring it into the light.  You have the power to transform those fears, doubts, and pains into new passions, adventures, and joys.

If you are ready, look into your eyes and promise to honor and cherish all of your Self.  Promise to love and take care of yourself in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, as long as this lifetime shall last.  Kiss your reflection if you feel moved to do so.  Perhaps you’d like to bathe in this sacred pool, or in the waves that beckon a few yards away.

If you are not ready to make that much commitment, ask your Self, or the Divine, what steps you can take in your day to day life to help you on your path to loving yourself and making your life the best one so far.  Listen, watch, feel.

When you are done, find your way back to your hammock.  Watch the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows of the rejuvenating sunset over the violets, blues, and greens of the living water as you rock back and forth, back and forth, loving life as you rock back and forth, back to your body, relaxing, relaxing, opening your eyes.

Welcome back!

Now you might want to have a drink or a snack.  Perhaps consummate your new relationship with yourself?  All acts of love and pleasure…

Blessed Beltaine, Happy Mother’s Day, and make it a fantastic month!

Rayne’s Ritual Way

May, 2012

Making Your Beltane

I’m going to do something a little different for this month. Because Beltane is so close to a lot of us, it’s all about releasing that creative fire! Which is why I’m not going to be doing a set ritual this article, instead I’m going to give you, my readers, all the tools necessary, to create, preform, and celebrate this lovely Sabbat.

A lot of the lore around this time of the year involves sex, Beltane being one of my personal favorite Sabbats what you would find around this time of the year normally includes, bright colors, bonfires, balefires, maypoles couples jumping the Beltane fire, and fire divination…to name a few.

So let’s look at some of the symbolic/magical meaning behind some of these things.

1)      The maypole has been seen as a traditional Beltane ritual rite for a very long time. Basically as the people dance around the pole they weave ribbon down its length. The hole that the pole is placed in is usually seen as the Goddess’s womb, the pole representing the phallic. To me, the weaving of the coveners represents the beautiful, renewing union between the Goddess, and God.

2)      Jumping the Beltane fire is something I’ve personally done on Beltane every year since I started practicing. For me it means an ending to a certain aspect of my life, and the beginning of something new. A lot of divination work can be done with the Beltane fire. Really get your creative energies flowing with this Sabbat, and a jump over the Beltane fire can be a great way to start.

3)      I’ve always thought to release something you burn it. Beltane is a great time to make a medicine bag, a poppet, or simply a cheese cloth filled with herbs/trinkets/bones or whatever you want. You charge the bag with intention, to bring or banish something from your life, and throw it into the Beltane fire.

Spells around this time would include things such as, renewal, changing, divination, it’s a great time to start a new witchy practice! And if you can get your hands on it, snakeskin is GREAT for banishing. I like to do spells for self-healing around this time. And if you have one, you and your partner could even explore some tantric magic.

Whatever you choose to do this Beltane, make sure it’s safe, that your fire is watched and that you enjoy yourself! Close your eyes, feel the heat of the fire, think about the Goddess and God’s passion as they make love and bring in the fire of the year.

**I hope everyone has a Blessed Beltane!**

Beltane Correspondences

May, 2012

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,

artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.
Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldron
Stones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz
Colors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine.

Beltaine Correspondences

April, 2012

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,

artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldronStones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartzColors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine

Enchanting Eats

May, 2011

Beltane, or May Day, is the time to release your inner Pan. Cut loose! Revel in your innocent gaiety. Take pleasure in the senses. Fertility and the Great Rite are the focus here. The God and Goddess join together, as well as many of our animal brothers and sisters.

We can honor this union through foods that resemble the phallus and vulva. Try items such as bread and pretzel sticks, bagels, doughnuts, rigatoni, tortellini, etc. Cookies, breads, and crackers can be shaped into representations as realistic as you deem appropriate, although simple ovals and rectangles will suffice.

Nature also provides symbols through bananas, peaches, asparagus, oysters, walnut halves, zucchini, and cucumbers. Foods known to be aphrodisiacs are also appropriate, including avocado, figs, pineapple, and chocolate. Of course, fertility foods, especially milk, eggs, and honey, are a great addition.

The recipe I’d like to share today combines a nod to the tradition of leaping over the Beltane fire as well as the male genitalia, while using foods that honor procreation. Last year I heard a wonderful joke, which shared a wise proverb for the men: Never leap over the bale fire sky-clad…unless you want roasted nuts.

Roasted Beltane Nuts

1.             Preheat oven to 325.

2.             In a large bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.

3.             Smash 1 garlic clove and heat over medium in a skillet along with ¼ cup honey. Stir in ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot!). Remove garlic clove.

4.             Stir in 4 cups roasted, unsalted nuts. Any nuts will do; pick your favorite. Or use almonds, pine nuts, and/or walnuts for a double wammy. Toss well to coat.

5.             Spread nuts in a single layer on a sprayed sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

6.             Let cool slightly. Toss with sugar and salt mixture. Let cool completely before eating.

Notes: If avoiding nuts, swap in chickpeas! Just drain, rinse, and pat dry. Roast at 350 for about 45 minutes or until crunchy. Jiggle the pan every few minutes so they brown evenly and do not burn. Then follow the steps above.

Enjoy & Blessed Be!

Beltane Correspondences

April, 2011

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,

artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldronStones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartzColors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine.

Beltaine Correspondences

May, 2010

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,

artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldronStones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz

Colors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine.

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