Bealtaine: Embrace the Passion and Joy of Life

Beltane (Bealtane / Bealtaine) is a fire ceremony that signifies the midpoint between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice and is said to mark the peak of spring and start of summer. It’s been a long winter here in Ireland and I am delighted these last few weeks we’ve had some days of sunshine! It’s great to feel the warmth in the body and the fire energy rising. Beltane originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’. People may celebrate Beltane on different days, all the days in-between are also an opportunity to mark this turning point on the wheel of the year.

  • Lunar Beltane: The Full Moon in Scorpio (29th April, Ireland)
  • Calendar Beltane: 1st May
  • Astrological Beltane: 5th May 14.13 the exact mid point between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.

Can you feel it?

Bealtaine is a celebration of life, of fertility and of sexuality. At the Spring Equinox, life was just beginning to emerge and even just recently we’ve still had snow and cold weather. As we enter into the beginning of May we can see that nature is reborn as the colors become more vibrant and the warmth of the sun hits our skin (even if it is only for a few hours). At the Spring Equinox, we can see the readiness of the land to receive the seed and now at Bealtaine we plant as the land is fertile. At this point of the year, the potential becomes conception. Of course, we can align to what nature is showing us 🙂 Delight, desire, passion, playfulness, sexuality, sensual, creativity and growth. Think about it, the Maypole was originally a tree tied with flowers and ribbons, which represented the wrapping of female energies around the phallus. This is a time of heightened sexual and sensual energy! The Spring Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal as seen in Goddess Flora, the Goddess of Spring or the May Queen. The Green Man or The Young Oak King falls in love with her and their union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage, the union of Earth and Sky. We can feel and see that the Wheel  of the Year has turned. The energy is growing. You may even feel your own energy rising, the call to be outdoors more, the natural instinct to be active and take action on those seeds you planted and tended to since Winter and Spring Equinox. It is a time to celebrate the fertility of life, not just physically but in all it’s aspects – creativity, dreams, ambitions and abundance. It’s a time to flower from within just like the white blossoms of the Hawthorn tree.

Let the Fire Guide You

Bealtaine is a fire festival (like it’s counterpart in the Southern Hemisphere – Samhain). At Uisneach  in County Westmeath, Ireland (regarded as the centre of the country, the 5th province and traditionally known as the navel of Ireland) the of lighting the Beltane fire continues. It was tradition that the hearth fires of homes were extinguished. Torches from the main bonfire would pass from town to town where each community would light their own bonfires in celebration. It was common to pass between two bonfires for purification. Often herds of cattle were driven between two fires in many villages for good health. People would also pass between the fires for luck and if you dared to jump the bonfire it was to ensure fertility. It is a wonderful time of the year to connect to your inner flame / fire. What does your inner flame need to grow and expand?What dampens your inner flame (think in terms of people, places, situations)? What prevents your from shining your inner flame in its full brightness and glory? Put your answers into your fire and burn them.

“We too can begin a new life, one that brings satisfaction and enrichment, whether this is by singing, dancing, running through the waves, walking barefoot on the grass or making love under the stars. Perhaps your dreams are greater than this, or perhaps more conservative, but whatever they are, Beltane is a wonderful time for expressing who you truly are.” – Carole Carlton

Bealtaine is a time to:

  • Celebrate fertility in all its apects
  • Give gratitude and celebrate all that is growing in your life
  • Celebrate being alive and all the pleasures of life
  • Bring forth your passions and to find what nouris.hes you and to live it fully each day
  • Connect with what is birthing in our lives
  • Appreciate pleasure and beauty.
  • Still your mind and listen deeply to the passion held deep within your body. Allow your body to show and guide you to what it feels like to be truly alive!
  • Call in abundance and cultivate growth in all aspects of life
  • Be curious about your dreams as the veil is thin. Not just the dreams you have when asleep, but also the dreams you have for your life.
  • Nurture what is blossoming in your life now so that it will bear fruit
  • Celebrate the union of the Goddess and God, the great sacred marriage.
  • Celebrates the powerful union of the masculine and feminine principles within us. Notice how they are working together. Is there something they want you to know or are want you to bring forth so they can be in harmony?

Journal Prompts for Bealtaine

 

  • Finish the prompt: I am passionate about…
  • What is currently bringing you joy?
  • Where do you hold back from expressing your joy and passion?
  • How do you express your sensual side?
  • Do you feel connected with your sexual energy?
  • What were you taught / told about being a passionate and sexual person? Do these beliefs support you?
  • What will you devote this fertile and joyful energy to in your life?
  • What do you wish to harvest in the coming season for yourself, your life, your community?
  • What did you learn from Bealtane last year to this cycle? How can you use this to approach this cycle differently?

Ways to honor Bealtaine

There are lots of ways to honor Bealtaine. Choose one (or more) of the below or come up with your own way. Your intention and the energy you bring to it is more important than what you are doing.

  • Honor & feed the fairies. Maybe you have a little fairy area at the bottom of your garden. Leave some offerings (honey, milk, sweet treats) for the fairies to thank them. Beltane is a time like Samhain where the veils are considered to be thin. A perfect time to connect with the elementals.
  • Visit a fairy tree in your local area and leave a food / flower offering.
  • Weave your intentions through different color of ribbons by braiding them (to represent the Maypole)
  • Create a flower crown
  • Connect and meditate with the hawthorn tree which represents love, fertility, the heart, protection, the release of blocked energy and preparation for spiritual growth. Traditionally, cuttings were only made on 1st May, or Beltane. It’s associated with the faery realm. Many would say don’t bring it into your home as it will bring bad luck.
  • Visit the sacred sites – Beltany in Donegal is aligned with the sunrise at Beltane which shines on the only decorated stone in the circle. There is a Fire Festival at Uisneach where a fire is lit in ceremony to celebrate the coming of summer.
  • Celebrate with a bonfire, light a fire or even a candle. Traditionally, you jumped over the fire with your partner to strengthen your connection and passion. Have your own little fire ceremony to release anything preventing you from tending and growing your inner flame, passion and empowerment.
  • Connect with your sacral chakra – dance, self pleasure, hula hoop, wear orange, have a naked picnic (indoors even!)
  • Connect with the element of fire – passion, sensuality, aliveness, seduction
  • Celebrate – dance, sing, move your body energetically, move with passion in your body
  • Review your intentions for the year and see if they fill you with passion and you have the fire energy to get acting on them . If not, do some of them need weeded out to create space for new wishes? Or do you need to invite new energy to renew them?
  • Cleanse your altar space for the new season and add images, statues, crystals, food, oils or herbs to it that represent Bealtaine: Flowers, Images to represent the sexual organs e.g. Sheela Na nGig, Fairy images. The Green Man. Think in terms of color – orange, red and yellow.

How do you celebrate Bealtaine?