This is the festival that marks the beginning of Summer, the Goddess changes her robes to Mother and the God comes as her consort. This is the wedding of the Lord and Lady with the ensuing fertility in all the land. Many Wiccans also celebrate their wedding or handfasting on this day or around this time. This is a festival of fertility and is marked by fires. Cattle used to be driven between two fires to be purified and to ensure their fertility, sometimes called Belfires due to the association to the God Bel at this time, people also used to jump fires at this time to ensure their own fertility. Similar set ups can be done at home with a small candle, but beware of loose clothing.
The festival of Beltane marks the onset of summer: the Hawthorn is in blossom, as are many other plants, wild animals and birds are busy raising their young.
All around us we can see the life of the land. This is the time to welcome the Mother Goddess in all her bounty, and the God her consort as they come to bring fertility to the land and the crops.
Take a little wine or fruit juice, honey and fruit out into the woods. Find a well-grown, mature tree and make your offering under its branches. Then sit down, resting your back on the tree, and take several deep breaths to centre yourself. Look slowly and carefully all around you and observe all the signs of the season. Now close your eyes and visualize the Mother Goddess walking towards you. As you watch her approaching you become aware that walking towards you from the other direction is the God, a young man in the prime of life. Watch as they greet eachother and then turn and smile at you. If you have a question for them you may ask it now. Wait until they say farewell and walk away together. Once they have gone, you can open your eyes. Once again look all around you and take in all the sights, sounds and scents of the season. Look carefully to see if there is anything special which catches your eye; a piece of wood, stone or whatever. If there is, you may take it with you as a reminder of the festival."
Until the advent of the Puritans it was common to see Maypoles on every village green.
A tall pole would be placed in the centre of an open space; at the top would be tied ribbons of many colours, the whole crowned by a garland of flowers. Children and young people would take the ribbons and dance around the pole, weaving in and out of one another, in such a way that the ribbons tightened and the garland was gracefully lowered down the pole, in an unmistakeable symbolist of the union of male and female.
Whilst you may not wish to have a full-sized Maypole in your home or garden, you can, however, create a smaller version to celebrate the season. Take a stick or garden cane about 15 inches long (42 cm) tall and place it in apot full of earth or sand. Tie ribbons in the seasonal colours of red and green to the top. They will need to be approximately three times the length of the stick. Create a small circle of seasonal flowers and place it at the top. Weave the ribons back and forth around the pole. Keep this in your garden, or with your pot plants to bring them fertility and growth. If you wish to do a scaled up version for friends, getting one to stand in the centre holding a broom handle or something similar above their head, whilst others weave the ribons. Maypoles are being revived in many places, so if you can, try to get along to a full-sized May dance." The Real Witches Year - Kate West
Belated Happy Beltane everyone!
I hope that you had a wonderful time!