The veil becomes thin again at this halfway mark between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Beltane is a time of fertility, freedom and sexuality. It is the height of spring and the flowering time. The flowers open in a sensual bloom. They feel no shame for their confident unfolding. The power and sacredness of expressed sexuality is appreciated by the Earth Goddess, stimulating her fertility and crops. The Maypole dance whirls people and spins a rainbow of ribbons and petals. The two circles interweave around a tree pole in a clockwise motion. The spiral dance symbolizes the union of the Flora Goddess and the May King.
May Day Giving
One of my favorite spring tradition as a child was leaving May Day baskets for our elderly neighbors. We decorated construction paper and rolled it into a cone, stapled it together and tied on a string handle. We filled it with whatever flowers were the first to pop up in the garden. We would leave them on the door steps, ring the doorbell, then quickly run and hide! My sister and I loved doing this and it made for a very happy street.
Hosting a bonfire on May Day is traditional. The fire festivities include jumping over the fire, dancing in circles around it or sacrificing herbs to the fire. A fun activity for Beltane is to throw herbs of lavender, st. John’s wort or calendula into the bonfire, casting your wishes into the flame.
Beltane festivities included blessing the land, herds and fields. Lovers meet in the garden to bring on the fertility of the earth.
For me, Beltane is a time to go outside, pick some flowers and bring them into the house. We have felt shut off from the green living plants for so long, bringing them into our homes to freshen up and brighten our day is a nice way to welcome in the warmer months to come. After a long dark winter and a spring filled with blackened snow mush it is life saving to see the earth come alive again. In the spring I love to nourish my winter worn body with stinging nettles. This is the perfect time of year to go out and harvest the leaves for teas or soups. The nettles lose their sting when cooked and can be used in place of spinach in most recipes. Stinging nettle grows almost everywhere it seems. Nettle is full of iron, vitamin B,C and K, calcium, potassium, silica, proteins, tannins, magnesium and so much more. It is a great way to strengthen the body after a long winter. We also look forward to the fun treasure hunting of morel mushrooms this time of year. *
Beltane is a time of noticing spring’s awakening, of smelling the flowers and connecting with others. This is a time of creative force and freedom. Do something today that makes you feel wild, joyous and free.
Beltane Tarot Spread
- The creative fire within you.
- What needs to be expressed? Released? Freed?
- What is holding you back?
- How to embody your sacred sensuality and sexuality?
*Remember if you are wild harvesting plants: go respectfully, ask permission, leave gratitude for the plants, don’t take more than you need, be mindful of threatened and endangered plants and of course don’t go out with little to no knowledge and don’t take medicine you know nothing about. Plant medicines are powerful and need to be used responsibly. Do your research!
About the Wheel of The Year
The wheel of the year is a round of festivals that celebrate the cyclical nature of the Earth. The wheel of the year integrates festivals from many ancient cultures. Living your life in accordance with the seasons and rhythms of nature will help bring you into balance and leave you feeling in tune with your non linear, cyclical self. Learn about all the other festivals on the wheel of the year in the Learning Center.