Beltane, the early Celtic feast of the Green Man and the Green Goddess, is celebrated from sunset April 30 through sunset May 2nd, and is more modernly called “May Day.”
It can be pronounced as it appears: bell-tane, or in Irish Gaelic as bee-yawl-tinnuh.
What a time this is of rejoicing as the upcoming season of summer begins to stir. The sap is rising and we look forward to longer and warmer days.
This festival is all about union, sexuality, and fertility!
It is a time for courting, for expressing ourselves, for capturing the raw energy of the awakened Mother Earth.
If ever there was a time to plant the seeds of our desires, it is now. All desires. Physical, emotional, and spiritual. What we ask for now we will reap in the autumn months, like a well-tended crop.
Use the rising energy to spread good will and good deeds around the globe. Begin projects that will spread like wildfire with your intention as fuel. Combine your efforts with like-minded folk who also wish to see the year unfold to a more peaceful, more mindful future.
Just like at Samhain on October 31, the veil between the worlds (physical and spiritual) is especially thin at dawn and dusk.
If the weather co-operates, set up tent in a spot that you find magical and experience the closeness of nature spirits from evening to morning. Bring your journal to record any encounters or visions that might occur. Plan an evening fire and watch the fire sprites dance before you.
You can ask for a message. When listening or watching for a message from the Fay, be open to whatever comes to you, no matter how crazy it sounds. Trust. I’ve always found that my most outlandish messages were a nudge from my inner self to expand into the unknown.
Make sure that you find time during the day to walk barefoot, drawing up the Earth’s electro-magnetic field for healing and soothing of winter ailments.
Dance around a Maypole, (originally a phallic symbol of the King’s good endowment—but I think we can do away with that custom now) and finding a lovely tree, scatter some flowers at its base, or hand colorful ribbons from its branches and make friends with its spirit (dryad), then taking up hands with whomever will join you, dance in a merry way around the foot of the tree. I promise you will laugh and laugh, it is such a joyful experience— especially if you can imagine, or even see, the good amount of fairy folk that will join you.
After dancing, all sit with their backs to the tree and ground yourselves, imagining growing roots deep into the soil beneath you, and then ‘listening’ for the sap rising within your tree friend.
When I’ve been truly still, I have been able to feel the tree spirit wrap itself around me, offering great comfort. There’s nothing like it. Trees have an immense capacity for love and empathy. The tree for Beltane is the Hawthorn. A magical tree that offers protection from the storm like a good mother, and also offers a message of keeping strong on our path to make the world a better place.
Like the Hawthorn, the world can be thorny, but underneath its armor, there is a kindness that we sometimes overlook. So when you’re feeling bruised and need some respite, meditate on the Hawthorn and remember that in people, thorny behavior speaks of a sensitive nature that’s sometimes been abused.
Thorny encounters will require more patience and compassion.
Another activity is creating a stone or leaf or mulch spiral or labyrinth. It does not have to be permanent, therefore, if made with fallen leaves or mulch, it can be deconstructed and used in the garden. I have one such spiral made of rocks from a farmer friend’s field. It is a place of meditation, of finding my center.
Imagine all good thoughts emanating from you in waves outwards to the planet at large as you walk to the middle and then back out again. I like to salute the four directions as well while in the center of my spiral. Just a simple acknowledgement of them will do—it does not have to be out loud.
If you’re shy, just a nod of the head to the powers of North, East, South and West will do.
If the spiral is large enough there might be room for a sun salutation pose or two? This is a powerful way to offer healing to the earth. I like to do it at sunrise.
The herb for Beltane is Chives, and other young greens that are first to pop out of the ground.
The crystals are from the yellow family, such as topaz, tiger’s eye, citrine (my fave), amber and quartz.
Weaving and plaiting are other activities for the day. Perhaps a flower garland for the base of the tree? If access to trees is limited where you live, even a potted tree with a garland at its base will do for the sake of ceremony.
Beltane is the time to seal the energy we experienced at the Spring Equinox and to firmly stand in the knowledge that what we ask for will manifest for us. I should re-phrase that because while we’re used to the ritual of ‘asking’ for what we need from a deity or other energy form, what is truly happening is that we are co-creating. When we cast a spell or utter a prayer, we are in fact, joining forces with the universe to bring our intentions from the unseen world to the physical world.
That is magic!
Just as a woman can knit together an unseen spirit from the other side with a physical form and birth a human being, we are constantly creating something from nothing. And this is often accomplished with words and intentions.
“As above, so below,” goes the powerful alchemical saying.
Shall we make some magic now, co-create our own futures?
A Simple Ritual for Abundance
Magic happens when our intention is clear and comes from our heart center. There are many rituals that are complicated and require the use of tools and special words. But the truth is, we all make magic in our daily lives. The beauty of a Wiccan magical ceremony aside, which requires some study and dedication, simple magic that requires mainly our intention can be just as powerful.
What are we asking for when we ask for abundance?
Personal. Monetary. Spiritual. Why are all three important?
Everyone has their own view of what kind of abundance is best. Some say that personal abundance, as in good physical and emotional health plus stable relationships is all that matters.
Others say that without financial abundance life is a struggle. Still others quote their spiritual journey and gifts as all the abundance they need. And true enough, it must remain a personal decision. I’ve always felt that all three were important, a balance as it were. While there are times that I might be heavy on one area and light on another, all three have been blessings and teachers to me.
My own philosophy is that I seek to honor every aspect of my earthly journey and not deny the fact that I live in a physical world with physical needs, or that I am a spiritual being with spiritual needs.
To start, find yourself in a comfortable place and begin a list of items or areas where abundance would be welcome. The universe is non-judgmental so one does not need to worry whether their list is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Just put down what you need.
It might be a new job, or a specific amount of money to pay a bill, or more patience with your children, or renewed love in your relationship, or more peace between nations…the gift of abundance is as varied as the requests for it.
The one thing that I do suggest strongly though is that you are specific, determined and grateful.
Therefore, confident in your co-creative ability and grateful for the opportunity and abundance to come.
My lists always end with a few words of gratitude and finally, “As above, so below. So mote it be.”
Find a bowl that you are fond of, glass or ceramic is best. Fill it with some water and if possible some dew gathered from early morning flowers with a dropper
1. Add fresh flower petals and some essential oil such as rose and stir clockwise three times.
2. Place a floating candle in the water and fold your abundance list. Place the list under the bowl.
3. Light your candle and allow it to burn until the flame dies. This a good time to meditate on your list.
4. Once the candle has burned out, pour the water upon the earth and again, say a few words of gratitude for the abundance on its way to you.
5. Store your list somewhere safe and return to it now and again to see what has manifested as time has gone by. You’ll be surprised how the universe will conspire with you to make your intention real in the physical dimension.
May your days be blessed with visions and dreams, lovers and friends, family and teachers, lessons and gifts of abundance beyond your wildest dreams.
So it has been written, so mote it be!
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Renée Picard
Images: Wikimedia Commons