What is Beltane and how do I celebrate it?


What is Beltane and how do I celebrate it?

May 1 is Beltane in the Northern Hemisphere and on that day we honor nature’s oldest love story. Beltane means bright fire, and in earth-based traditions, it represents the symbolic marriage of the God and Goddess and their eternal embrace.

According to ancient lore, the two have been separated all winter long, and their glorious reunion on Beltane is celebrated with food, drink, and multi-colored maypoles to symbolize female energies wrapping themselves around the male form. The entire world comes alive with new life and bright colors to celebrate this union of the Divine Feminine with the Divine Masculine.

This holiday is a celebration that honors the divine balance in the union of masculine and feminine. Having reached maturity after their long, wintry separation, Lord and Lady can now come together as one and give birth to new life, ideas, passions, projects, and wonderful expressions of unbridled sensuality.

Beltane is one of my favorite Celtic holidays. It honors fertility, abundance, sex, and the growth of everything beautiful on Earth. It is wildly hedonistic and teeming with abundance, fertility, fire, and fun. All the symbols of Beltane are sexy, right down to the ritual way in which the Beltane fire is usually lit – by striking two pieces of wood together, rubbing and grinding, until the sparks fly.

Fires are the traditional staple and symbol of Beltane. Traditionally, pastoral herds were driven through two fire posts for blessing and purification. The young, unmarried men would then leap over the bonfire and wish for a wife, while young women would leap to ensure their fertility.

Beltane is a day to embrace the divinity of our sexual nature. Like Samhain, the opposite holiday on the Wheel of the Year, this is also a time when the veil between the realms is thin, and it is an ideal time to communicate with the spirit world, especially nature spirits.

Five Simple Rituals for honoring Beltane

Here are my favorite ways to create your own special Beltane ritual, honoring the Old Ways and ancient wisdom of the holiday.

  1. We are surrounded by the beauty and bounty of Mother Nature. Decorate your sacred space in full living color with roses and flowers in every shade imaginable. Bring out your gems and minerals in myriad colors and shapes. Hang colorful framed art that speaks to you. Remember, this is a celebration of life. There really is no better place to reflect the divinity of the natural world than in your own home.
  1. Embrace your creativity and craft your own sacred maypole using found wood, rainbow ribbons, and top it with a quartz point or another beautiful gem from your collection.
  1. Go outside and build a sacred fire. And if you really want to party like an ancient goddess, dance around it with your partner or friends. In ancient times this was done naked after drinking a fair amount of wine. I’ll be honest – it’s more fun that way! But even a tame and fully-clothed fire ceremony can be very sacred and fun.
  1. If you’re looking to attract your Twin Flame, light a purple or green candle on the evening before May 1 and again on May 1 night and visualize that relationship coming into your life, asking that it manifest for your Highest Good and the Highest Good of all.
  1. Finally, ask yourself (and your guides, in meditation) what it would look like for the garden of your soul to burst fully into bloom. Imagine a thousand of your dreams like flowers spreading their glorious multi-colored petals. What would it look like for your soul fire to engulf you in flame? Visualize your fire and your blooming in as much detail as possible and then get to work on making those visualizations come to life. You are powerful beyond your imagination. If you desire it, it shall come to pass.

So it is, so it shall be, and so it has always been. As you celebrate this special day let the colors of nature inspire you to remember that love blooms and time stops to make space for lovers to find each other again. May you find yourself, your spirit, your passion, and your twin spirit in the bale fire, beloveds! It’s never, never too late for you to become what you are intended to be.