It’s finally here! Beltane (aka May Day) the final of the three spring fertility celebrations. I was trying to explain it’s significance to my husband (a staunch atheist) last night and thought I’d share with you, too. I think a key point to keep in mind about all eight Sabbats is this: they revolve around the seasons; which really dictated life in a time before technology & industrialization. Beltane was the celebration of summer’s aproach. It was a time for putting the livestock out to pasture for the summer, it was a time of food & flowers coming to life, and it was a time for procreation. Talk about a party, right?
Beltane and Samhain are both considered to be the time when the veil betweens our world and the world of the dead is thinned. These are holy days with much power in them. Personally, I am not one for a lot of pomp and circumstance, so I keep it pretty simple. Although, I do dream that one day I may have a coven of sisters to share these days with. There are many traditions for the celebration of Beltane/May Day. I’m going to list just a few that really resonate with me and work for my family. If you want more detail on the day, here’s a wonderful post I found, and here’s one more.
As it happens, flower crowns are uber trendy these days, so they are easy to find. This is my daughter wearing hers on Ostara. Ideally, this would be made from freshly picked flowers. What can I say? I take the easy way sometimes. A quick google search will lead you to simple tutorials on making daisy chain crowns, if you’d like. This is really just about embodying the season and seeing yourself as the goddess, in tune with nature. Another wonderful option is to just stick baby’s breath in your hair. I did it recently and loved the result!
Morris Bells were worn by dancers on May Day back in the 19th century (and most likely long before). Dancing is a wonderful way to celebrate Beltane, as it brings your body to life. The bells are also a wonderful way to introduce your kids to the celebration.
Flowers, Flowers, Flowers!
This is a day of celebration and it’s wonderful to share the joy. Leaving small bouquets like this for your neighbors is a wonderful way to spread the love. I plan to make mine in the morning after a walk in the park.
The May Pole
I think everyone recognizes a May Pole, right? This tradition goes back centuries! I, myself, do not have space for a May Pole in my apartment. So I have plans to make a tiny one with an embroidery hoop and colored ribbons. Yes, I usually make my decorations the day of most sabbats as part of my observation of them. Or, if you use an altar, you can just decorate it with flowers and colorful ribbons and candles. It’s really more about your intent than the actual physical thing you make, in my opinion. For that matter, tie ribbons in your hair and be the May Pole!
It doesn’t really matter how you do, just do it. Tarot, candles, water scrying, runes, crystal ball…whichever feels right to you. Take advantage of the thinned veils. In fact, if you prefer, I think meditation can be a wonderful tool for personal divination, too.