Merry Beltane! ~ Merry May!

From: Si (SIFAN)30 Apr 17:10
To: ALL1 of 1

Merry Beltane!    Merry May!      

 

'Tis the eve of May, the very gateway to Summer!

May is named in honor of the goddess Maia, originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the most beautiful of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades; and, the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon.

Beltane and May Day are parts of the same celebration, which commences at sunset on April 30, May Eve. As Samhain (Halloween) sends us into the dark time of Winter, Beltane marks High Spring opening the way to the long, bright days of Summer with a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight.

Beltane is also known as Walpurgis Night, Calends of May, Nos Galon-Mai, Whitsun, Tana's Day, Cetshamain, Floralia, Roodmas, feast of Saint Walpurga, Day of Summer. The name, also spelled "Beltaine", comes from Beal-teinne, which translates as "Bel's fire".

In some places community purification customs included symbolic sacrifice of effigy knobs on the Beltane Cake (of barley) to the fire, or, in medieval times, mock sacrifice of the Beltane Carline (Hag) who received a blackened piece of Beltane Cake. In homes, the new hearth fire would be lit at sunrise of May Day.

On the old calendar, May 1st was the beginning of Summer (hence the tradition of celebrating Summer Solstice as "Mid-Summer").  In some Scottish traditions the celebration is on May 15; and, Meryt (Majik9) has mentioned an old, 1768, journal which says that some ancestors celebrated Beltaine on June 21. Still, in most places and traditions, some very old, Beltane begins at sunset on the evening before May 1st.

Since the beginning at equinox of the sun-time half of the year, nature has indeed matured and the emphasis is upon fertility. Some speak of the marriage of the Goddess (white) and the God (red), of the time of the Crone (new life entering and old life exiting), ... . Thus the May Pole twined with red and white ribbons and such traditions as jumping over "need fires", dancing clockwise around poles and fires, and broomsticks.


Remember, on Beltane the veil between the worlds is so very thin. It is an especially fine time for magick and for greeting the fae folk.

Take care this night and be blessed!

 

Activities (Beltane - May Day)

Dressing in bright colors

Making a bouquet and hooking it to your doorknob

Exchanging flowers and greens with those you meet

Putting fresh flowers, especially red and white, all around the home

Making flower wreaths, chaplets, and daisy chains

Decorating your home with green budding branches

Placing a rowan branch near the hearth fire to ward off unwanted enchantment of the flames

Staging a mock battle with friends between Winter and Summer (hint: Summer wins!)

Plaiting and weaving straw, creating things with wicker, making baskets and fabrics

Making a rope out of the tail hair of cows and dragging it in the May dew chanting "Milk of this one down, milk of that one up, into my own big pail" to ensure a good milk supply

Secretly placing a May Basket on the doorstep of a friend

Creating special areas in a garden

Rolling in May Eve dew or washing face in pre-dawn May Day dew for health, luck, beauty

Participating in a May Pole dance
 

Foods
Dairy foods, such as vanilla ice cream and egg custard; also, honey, oats, oatmeal or barley cakes, green herbal salads, all red fruits such as cherries, strawberries, and tomatoes, red or pink wine punch. Teas of burdock, damiana, hibiscus, rose hips, daisy, saffron.

Herbs and Other Plants
Primrose, yellow cowslip, hawthorn, roses, birch trees, rosemary, and lilac; also, almond, angelica, ash trees, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisies, ivy, marigolds, satyrion root, woodruff; hawthorn, whitethorn, quickthorn, and other thorny plants.

Symbols
May Pole, May baskets, flower chaplets, crossroads, eggs, butterchurns, chalices, mirrors.

Colors
Red, white, dark green, dark yellow; also, rainbow color displays.

Gemstones
Sapphire, bloodstone, emerald, orange carnelian, rose quartz.

Incense and Scents
Frankincense, lilac, passionflower, rose, vanilla.


From ...
Citadel of Dragons
The White Goddess
The Wiccan Garden
Spring Wolf's Pagan Path
Celtic Festivals: Beltane
Witch Vox