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Celebrating New Life & Fertility – Beltane is Here!


Beltane May Pole

It’s official, summer time is lastly right here! Nicely it’s in pagan circles, and celebrated as such on Could 1st – in any other case referred to as Beltane. Beltane is a competition of flowers, fertility, fecundity and hearth, a day to enjoy sensuality and delight. Thought to originate from the Celtic “Blessing Fires”, and named in honour of the Celtic Solar God “Bel”, it’s a celebration of the fertility of the land in addition to that of people and animals, plentiful fertility on all ranges is the central theme. It’s a massively vital hearth competition, the solar has actually returned, spring has peaked and summer time is effectively on its means.  Historically, herds have been turned out to the wild pastures, with cattle being pushed by the “Belfires” to guard them from hurt. To indicate the corn how excessive to develop, the Could Queen and Summer season King jumped the Belfires, with younger {couples} following to pledge themselves to one another. Leaping the fires was performed to cleanse and purify oneself – contact with hearth was interpreted as symbolic contact with the solar. 

The Beltane morning dew was thought to own magical properties – to scrub one’s face in it assured a flawless complexion for one yr – not solely that, it was in a position to take away spots, freckles and pimples too!

The honest maid who, the primary of Could

Goes to the fields at daybreak

And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree

Will ever after good-looking be

Historically this was a lusty time of yr – morals got the night time off throughout Beltane celebrations. In Celtic occasions, younger {couples} would spend the night time within the woods “A-Maying”, gathering flowering hawthorn and making love, this was referred to as a “greenwood marriage”. Infants conceived presently have been believed to blossom into each highly effective healers and non secular adepts having been conceived in a strong, sacred power – these infants would invariably be born round Imbolc, one other vital Celtic Hearth Competition.

Within the “Wheel of Life”, the power of Beltane could be likened to that of our adolescent years – the time when our hormones kick in and we start to awaken sexually. Though we would not be youngsters anymore, Beltane invitations us to reconnect with that power once more, it symbolises the constructive qualities of youthful power.

The female and masculine features of nature are honoured in many various methods reminiscent of maypole dancing and the wedding of the Earth Goddess, the Queen O’ the Could to the younger Solar God, the Summer season King. Let’s delve into a few of the well-liked celebrations and traditions nonetheless taking place in the present day!

All Hail The Queen O’ The Could

Historically chosen by the villagers to characterize the divine female, the Could Queen is a logo of magnificence, spring and new beginnings. She is the personification of the “Maiden” facet of the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mom, Crone) and the manifestation of progress and renewal – springtime’s fertile power in human type. She battles the Queen of Winter (the Crone) and sends her away for six months so the earth can bloom as soon as once more. She accepts the hand of the Summer season King and conceives on Beltane and bringing forth life and progress within the pure world. She progresses onto the position of the Mom because the earth comes into full bloom and the lushness of nature reigns supreme.

Jack within the Inexperienced – The Summer season King

Showing beneath many guises is the embodiment of the sacred masculine facet of nature, the Inexperienced Man. At Beltane, he takes on the type of the Summer season King and is the god of vegetation and flora. He battles with the Holly (winter) King to win the hand of the Could Queen and collectively they characterize the sacred marriage of the solar and the earth, the sacred masculine and divine female impregnate the earth with fertility.

Earlier than Christianisation, the Inexperienced Man represented such a strong power – that of virility and progress – that many church buildings have a Inexperienced Man hidden within the ceiling or peering down from a darkened nook. We people have been fully reliant on nature till very lately in evolutionary phrases, the Inexperienced Man personified this shut relationship, one which many stone masons have been very reluctant to surrender – even within the face of accelerating strain from the church.

Maypole Mayhem..

It was conventional for the Inexperienced Males of the village to enter the forest the day earlier than Beltane to decide on the Maypole. Birch bushes symbolising purification have been normally chosen because the tree of alternative, permission was requested earlier than felling the tree and carving it with runes and symbols to additional imbue magical powers. 

In his e-book “The Stations of the Solar”, Professor Ronald Hutton suggests the origin of the maypole might be the Irminsul – the mighty pillar of Odin. The maypole itself is a phallic image, used to characterize the planting of the God’s phallus into the womb of Mom Earth. The ribbons are crimson and white – crimson to characterize the feminine menstrual blood and white representing the male’s semen. The maypole dancers took their respective ribbons, weaving them collectively in a dance to create a brand new ingredient representing sexual union and the promise of wholesome offspring. The power raised by this dancing is shipped down into the womb of the earth, bringing about her full awakening and fruitfulness.

Outlawed in 1644 by the Puritans then repealed in 1660 by Charles II, the customized of maypole dancing resumed in earnest, with many cities and parishes erecting everlasting maypoles in celebration – a few of which boasted 80 – 90 toes!

Meals for Love

No celebration is full with no high quality feast to go along with it – unsurprisingly, conventional Beltane meals are usually of the aphrodisiac selection. Oysters, chilli peppers, avocado, chocolate, honey, almonds and bananas are all within the order of the day. Spring inexperienced salads incorporating asparagus as one of many first greens of the season are extremely popular, as are Beltane Bannock’s – a standard oatcake which is claimed to ensure abundance in your crops and livestock if eaten on Beltane morning. All issues candy and spicy could be included, the spicier the higher as this pertains to the hearth facet of the competition, with candied ginger and flower petals being favourites, all washed down with honey mead. Honey is very related with bees being strongly related to Beltane themes, their golden color suggestive of the solar and hearth.

Listed here are some scrumptious, superfood recipes to include into your Beltane celebrations:

The Love Smoothie

Spicy Spring Green & Coconut Soup

Zinging Ginger & Turmeric Smoothie

Organic Coconut Flower Bark

Goji, Rosehip & Cacao Raw Cookie Hearts

Wild and Sensual Scents for Beltane

Incense, oils and herbs play a giant half in any celebration of the passing of the Wheel of the Yr. Homes and out-buildings have been decked with budding inexperienced branches and flowers have been gathered and exchanged on Beltane Eve or offered earlier than dawn within the morning. Baskets of flowers and spring treats have been organized and secretly left on associates’ doorsteps within the hope they might consider them to be a present from the faeries.

Dwelling areas have been cleared of stale power utilizing incense of the season, this was additionally used to scrub away any negativity and to create area for the recent new power of Beltane.

Magical Beltane Incense

3 Elements Frankincense

2 Elements Sandalwood

1 Half Vanilla

1 Half Jasmine Flowers / Jasmine Oil

1 Half Rose Petals / Rose Oil

Visualise what you want to manifest for the approaching season while mixing collectively, focus in your intent while burning this stunning incense.

Beltane herbs embrace; woodruff, all-heal, blessed thistle, dogwood, marjoram and meadowsweet. Could Wine, historically referred to as Maibowle, makes use of candy woodruff as its base:

Celebrating Beltane Glastonbury Type

Beltane is rising in Glastonbury, every year will get greater and higher, with this yr celebrating the weekend within the run as much as Beltane with the Glastonbury Dragons placing on a Could Fayre: Glastonbury Dragons May Fayre Celebrations

Glastonbury Abbey has kindly allowed free entry to the world surrounding the Abbots Kitchen the place there will likely be stalls, morris dancing, drumming, a mummers play and extra. One other spotlight of the weekend is a Dragon Convention, the place native historian and artist Yuri Leitch will likely be internet hosting audio system on all issues Dragon; Dragon Lore, Communications with Dragons, Looking Dragons in Somerset to say however a couple of.

As for Beltane itself, on Monday Could 1st, many Avalonians will likely be heading up the Tor for dawn, adopted by a meditation round a blazing hearth in Chalice Nicely. The primary maypole dance of the day occurs right here at 8.30 am, accompanied by stay music.

At noon, the ceremony begins at Market Cross the place the wedding of the Could Queen and Summer season King takes place. Our Inexperienced Males could have been to the woods on the previous day the place the maypole could have been chosen, carved and dressed.  Leisure, music and poetry ensues earlier than the maypole procession begins. It is going to first make its approach to the Purple and White Springs the place the wedding is blessed by the sacred waters, then on as much as Bushy Combe the place the maypole will likely be positioned within the gap particularly dug by the Goddesses and handmaidens.

Right here, additional ceremonies and blessings for the land happen adopted by the well-known maypole dance. Picnics, music and frivolity begin for the afternoon, main into the night, when anyone who nonetheless has the power to occasion can select from many bands and bards performing throughout city with the festivities lasting effectively into the night time….

And naturally Indigo Herbs needs you a joyful, plentiful Beltane! 

Right here’s a video of some earlier years, get pleasure from!

 

“Attend this night time of Crystal Hearth

When Candy Delight weds Wild Want

Tis the Greening of the yr…

Beltane, Beltane, Beltane’s right here!

Really feel the world’s Regeneration.

Dance the pole with Veneration.”

–Raven’s Wing

 

Sources for this text and pictures:

Could Queen Picture: www.paganspace.net

Inexperienced Males Pictures: Licensed beneath public area by way of Flickr commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132952433@N02/with/17357275972/

The Stations of the Sun – Professor Ronald Hutton

 





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