Beltane is the Celtic Pagan (and adopted by most Wiccans) spring fertility rite. It is a celebration of LIFE symbolized by flowers, feasting, drinking, dancing, bonfires… and what happens when you add all of those things together on a beautiful spring night. 😉 Though the Goddess is ever-present in Celtic Pagan traditions, this holiday focuses more on the God (The Sun/Fire, The Horned One, The Green Man), the male aspect of fertility (phallic symbols, anyone?), and general Spring randiness that’s probably to blame for Pagans getting such a bad rap for their “heathen ways.” LOL. It’s when the fields and livestock were blessed for a good growing season and harvest. I’m not going to detail the history of it – you can read more about it here if you want.
As a little girl, like many high festival nights held in our house, things would be bustling for the preparation for the Beltane feast, setting up an altar and circle, making candles, etc.
But this is the only time of year when the girls wore pretty white dresses, had flowers woven into their hair, and wore bells on their ankles – what little girl wouldn’t love that? It was also the one time a year when the Maypole that lived behind my mother’s bedroom door got to come out. It was my job to tie the ribbons to the top of the pole, and it was a special time when I was allowed to touch my mother’s Book of Shadows, which listed off the different colors and their meanings. The Maypole dance is by far one of my favorite memories of growing up Wiccan, and the finished product was so pretty. Beltane was always a day of laughter and joy. A time when the Wiccan adage, Merry Meet and Merry Part, Bright the Cheeks and Warm the Heart, shone through.
I don’t know enough Wiccans to do a Maypole dance this year (though I would in a heartbeat!) but I do plan on going on a midnight run to liberate some Lilac blooms in the area (shhhhhh). Lilacs are my absolute favorite flower and they are in full swing here in Seattle. 🙂 I have missed a month of blogging, 10 days of which I spent on vacation in paradise. More updates on my writing and on my Mayan Jungle Adventure soon.
However you celebrate, a joyous May Day and Blessed Beltane to you!