Roughly translated, Beltane means ‘bright fire,’ and Beltane is celebrated on the first of May. One of its most important rituals revolves around the fires of celebration.
Centuries ago, fires, believed to be the great purifier, were built to dance and walk around. Cattle were walked between the bonfires to cleanse and bless them. Homes extinguished their hearth fires and relit them anew from the Beltane fires.
Both the fields and the hunt were honored on this day. But how does the modern-day witch celebrate an ancient practice?
Beltane is celebrated as a time of fertility: for animals, people and the land. Not only is it a time to be grateful for the fertility of the land and forest, it is also a time to ask the gods to bless fertility upon families as well. So why not take the time to practice a little sex or fertility magick (hell, make it both). If not for you, perhaps for someone you love.
Fertility Juju Bag
Create your fertility juju bag with the ingredients below.
Red flannel bag (or use pink or blue)
High John Root
Gold Ring (a fake one will do, even drawing one or making one out of a gold foil twist tie or something like that, you get the point, right?)
The dirt from a midwife’s yard or a birthing clinic or woman’s hospital
Put everything together inside the bag on Beltane (or a New Moon) and set your intention. SEE, FEEL, and KNOW it to be happening and give thanks.
Place it on your altar, between your mattresses or tied to your bedpost.
Celebrate Beltane by decorating your altar for the holiday. You can do this with bright spring flowers. Creating a flower crown and placing it on your altar is even more interactive and fun. Add candles to signify the Beltane bonfires-green is best as this represents the bounty of the earth. Place items that represent fertility like stag horns, seeds, or a Mother Goddess statue.
Add an offering of honey or cake. Place stones for abundance and prosperity on your altar such as malachite, aventurine or bloodstone. Sprigs of mint or lemongrass add a nice touch as well.
If you can, have a bonfire of your own. Or if you have a fire pit use that. We have a firepit, but the neighbor’s pine tree drops needles in it, and sometimes I’m just too lazy to clean it out, so I use my larger cauldron instead. Sometimes you have to find a workaround.
My large cauldron is actually a dutch oven. There isn’t a lot of difference except in price. It’s well worth taking the time to comparison shop. But when I can’t get outside I use my smaller ones for indoor use. I have a 5″ cauldron and a 3″ one for burning incense on a piece of charcoal.
Welcome in the Fae
It’s believed that the veil between humans and Fae is thin during Beltane, so plant herbs and flowers they love on this day. Basically, any plant that attracts butterflies or bees are said to attract fairies.
Getting your children together and planting a fairy garden with little miniatures is fun for the whole family. I have a Pinterest board where I like to save inspiration to year-round. You can see it HERE.
Every witchy holiday includes food, whether it be traditional foods or new takes on old recipes. Foods made of oat, dairy, and nuts are appropriate.
This oatmeal cake from Allrecipes is worth trying, get it HERE. It’s a non-traditional recipe but is a delicious take nonetheless. It has coconut and I know that is a big turnoff for a lot of people but dig through your pantry and see what else you can sub in if it isn’t a favorite.
Make it Special
No matter how you choose to celebrate, I hope you enjoy this quarter pagan holiday. We may be self-isolating, but the Wheel of the Year still turns. There are still many small ways you can make it special. Putting your own twist on things is always what makes it special and endearing.
If nothing else, take time to research the holiday further and write about it in your Book of Shadows. Do a tarot reading for yourself through to the next holiday. Set the Wheel of Year in motion that way. At home or out and about there is always a way to get those Beltane fires burning even if they are just in your heart.
I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
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