The Between Time
Beltane is one of the most important festivals of the pagan year traditionally marking the arrival of summer in ancient times.
With its counterpart Samhain, Beltane divides the year into its two primary seasons, Winter the Dark and Summer the Light.
It’s the festival of fertility, celebrating beginnings and reproduction, the height of Spring and the flowering of life. Beltane is also known as May Eve, May Day, and Walpurgis Night. Sacred woods are kindled, (make sure you jump over the Beltane Fire, move through it, or dance clockwise around it).
In ancient Rome, the Floralia from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora and on May 1 offerings were made to Bona Dea, Mother Earth, the Lares household guardian spirits, and Maia, Goddess of Increase, from whom May gets its name. In Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter and Summer were enacted at this time. In the twentieth century, May Day has been a workers’ holiday in many places
It’s a time of “between time” when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest and most fragile. The two worlds intersect at the crossroads of Beltane where they intermingle and unite and anything may happen. It’s the time when the Faeries return from their winter respite, and people placed rowan branches at their windows and doors for protection from the otherworld. It’s a time of divination and communion with Faery Folk and all Nature Spirits
It is said that the Queen of the Faeries rides out on her white horse on Beltane Eve . If you sit quietly beneath a tree on that night, you may hear the sound of her horse’s bells as she rides by. Turn away quickly and hide your face for if you look upon her she may choose you ! The Scots tell of Thomas the Rhymer who looked on the Queen and has not been seen since.
May is the month of sensuality and sexuality, the reawakening of the earth in vivid colours, vibrant scents, fresh greenery and the sheer joy of summer after a long dormant winter.