15 Practices for Beltane

So Beltane is almost upon us. Here are 15 practices you can do that are either inspired by historical practices, folklore or modern Neo-paganism.

1) Perform a Ritual

2) Light a Bonfire as the ancient Druids did.

3) Extinguish and relight the main fire of your hearth. This could be a literal fire or the pilot light of your boiler.

4) Give an offering to the local river. The ancient Celts saw their local river as the embodiment of the land goddess and offerings were left for her.

5) “Bring in the May” by decorating your house with hawthorn, yellow flowers and greenery

6) Do a saining/ cleansing of your house. Walk the boundaries with fire.

7) Collect dew or the first water of a local well in the morning. The dew is believed to help keep you beautiful while the “cream of the well” can be used in healing rites throughout the year.

8) Learn to make butter and cheese. The ancient Anglo-Saxons called May “Thrimilci” which means three milkings because the cows were milked three times. It is the beginning of the main pastoral season and a traditional time to make butter and cheese.

9) Eat a meal of seasonal wild greens. There are many wild edibles around now – hawthorn leaves, jack by the hedge, nettles, goosegrass, wild garlic, dandelions and more.

10) Read the tale of Taliesin. He was reborn on May eve and thrown into a river by the welsh goddess Ceridwen.

11) Dance around a Maypole.

12) Get outside, walk, camp or go for a picnic.

13) Make a protective Rowan cross charm to hang in the doorway.

14) It’s a time to focus on fertility and romance, so spend some time with your partner. And have sex…..maybe in a forest like they used to.

15) Visit a may day fair or parade and watch morris dancers or the May Queen being crowned.

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Celebrating Beltane

English: Crowds gather at the beltane fire fes...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Beltane eve everyone. In ancient times, this was a the time of “bright fire”, a great fire festival that signalled the end of the dark half of the year and the beginning of summer. It was a time of purification and renewal when families would clean out their homes, repair broken boundaries, relight their hearth fires and decorate their homes with flowers and boughs of hawthorn. Mid-point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, it marked the end of the planting season and the beginning of the pastoral and growing season. Cattle would leave their winter buildings at this point and, after being driven between two bonfires for purification and blessing, would go out to the fields.

At this time, many flowers, including bluebells, are out, the butterflies and bees are looking for pollen, many trees have leaves on them now and the world around us is green and alive again. The land is fertile and the air is warm. It is a season of fertility, love, passion and fire.

It is traditional to celebrate this festival by having bonfires, dancing around maypoles, camping, spending the evening in the woods making love, wearing flowers in your hair, having a party and being romantic. It is a time to decorate our houses with flowers, dress in bright colours, eat seasonal foods like salads, make home-made lemonade and spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the blessings of Mother Nature.

hope you have a wonderful Beltane and don’t get up to anything too naughty ;).