BELTANE

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Romance is in the air.  It's warm and is a prelude to Summer.  The Earth us alive and in bloom.  The energy is charged all around us with lots of bursting energy.  It is the time of the "sacred marriage" of man and woman or lover to mate.  It is a time of the self-discovery.  Personal growth.  Nurture yourself and others!

May 1st. Celebrating the union of the Goddess and God, and thus is also a fertility festival. Also celebrates the returning sun (or Sun God). The traditional colors for Mayday are red and white. Flower petals can be strewn about the circle and later swept into a pole and distributed around the perimeter of the house for protection.

Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into Manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, He desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. The Wiccans celebrate the symbol of Her fertility in ritual.

Beltane has long been marked with feasts and rituals. May poles, supremely phallic symbols, were the focal point of old English village rituals. Many persons rose at dawn to gather flowers and green branches from the fields and gardens, using them to decorate the May pole, their homes and themselves.

The flowers and greenery symbolize the Goddess; the May pole the God. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion and hopes consummated.

May poles are sometimes used by Wiccans today during Beltane rituals, but the cauldron is a more common focal point of ceremony. It represents, of course, the Goddess - the essence of womanhood, the end of all desire, the equal but opposite of the May pole, symbolic of the God. You may light a fire in the cauldron (outside of course) and jump the bonfire for future wishes and happiness.

-Foods-red fruits, herbal salads, red or pink wine punch, and large, round oatmeal or barley cakes.
-Incense-frankincense, lilac and rose
-Candles-dark green
-Gemstones-emerald, orange carnelian, sapphire and rose quartz.

Beltane Lore

Weaving and plaiting are traditional arts at this time of year, for the joining together of two substances to form a third is in the spirit of Beltane.
Foods traditionally come from the dairy, and dishes such as marigold custard and vanilla ice cream are fine. Oatmeal cakes are also appropriate.

Ritual for Beltane

If possible, celebrate Beltane in a forest or near a living tree. If this is impossible, bring a small tree within the circle, preferably potted; it can be of any type.  Create a small token or charm in honor of the wedding of the Goddess and God to hang upon the tree. You can make several if you desire. These tokens can be bags filled with fragrant flowers, strings of beads, carvings, flower garlands - whatever your talents and imagination can conjure.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle.
Invoke the Goddess and God.
Stand before the altar and say, with wand upraised:

O Mother Goddess, Queen of the night and of the Earth;  
O Father God, King of the day and of the forests,
I celebrate Your union as nature rejoices in a riotous
blaze of color and life. Accept my gift, Mother Goddess
and Father God, in honor of Your union.


Place the tokens on the tree.

From Your mating shall spring forth life anew;
a profusion of living creatures shall cover the lands,
and the winds will blow pure and sweet.
O Ancient Ones, I celebrate with You!


Works of magick, if necessary, may follow.
Celebrate the Simple Feast.
The Circle is released.

Information from the book Wicca A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner,
by Scott Cunningham.
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