5 Ways to Celebrate Beltane
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I know it was a loooong time ago, but I remember celebrating May 1st – Beltane – in school. We made crowns out of flowers and danced with tied ribbons around a “maypole.” (The tetherball pole on the playground with the balls removed.)
Color was everywhere.
It was so much fun!
By the time my children were in school no one seemed to know what I was talking about.
I’d say, “It’s that celebration about welcoming light, life, and fertility.”
It was the cover of my favorite song book as a little girl!
They thought I was weird.
This celebration has history! (Like waaaay back)
Still no idea what I was talking about.
Beltane, (basically translated as “bright or brilliant fire”).
An ancient Gaelic tradition, Beltane was the day communities convened after being cooped up during long, dark, dead winter and celebrated the season of fertility, sunshine and summer ahead with fire, flowers, and dancing.
The celebration begins at sunset of April 30th and goes through sunset May 1st.
Goodbye cabin fever, hello great outdoors!
Beltane is considered a turning point (as is Samhain celebrated Oct 31 – Nov 1). Winter and darkness are giving way to summer and sunshine. Traditionally, it was a celebration of the new light and new growth.
More importantly, celebrating Beltane kept the community connected. Precursor to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat?
It’s like an ancient block party: eating, drinking and dancing with neighbors and friends. After a long, dark winter, Beltane was a colorful and fun tradition re-connecting with each other and boosting optimism, encouragement, and prosperity for the coming season.
So the whole huge community gathering fizzled out in the 1800’s. While pockets of groups are reviving Beltane festivities you may not be near any of them and it may not be your thing.
What if you still want to reap the benefits?
Sunshine still provides Vitamin D which boosts weight loss, reduces depression and makes our bones stronger.
Fertility (whether physically or mentally) is still desired and sharing joy with others remains a huge bonus by lowering anxiety and boosting confidence.
Here are 5 traditional ceremonies with a personal spin. Building on the festivities, these activities will manifest the desires we still seek today. By participating in any of these you will burn up blockages, fuel your desires, reclaim your sexy self, boost fertility and creativity, and make love deposits!
Beltane Ceremony #1
Considered as cleansing, healing, and purifying, the Beltane fire was believed to get the cattle ready for the great outdoors. Cattle were paraded between two huge bonfires. (I imagine school rallies with the band, cheerleaders and big bonfires. The cows are the football players running through whoopin’ and hollerin’.)
The belief was that the bonfires destroyed any parasites before the cattle headed out to pastures. (Jumping over the bonfire or through the ashes was also believed to promote fertility, protection and good luck.)
Perhaps you don’t have room for a bonfire where you live. (I don’t either and I think we need a permit.) But maybe you still need a cleansing and shift.
Are there any “parasites” that need to be removed from your life? This could be people that drain you, habits keeping you stuck or even thought patterns that are holding you back.
This exercise will burn away those joy stoppers so you can heal and experience a new season of joy (and whoopin’!)
Blockages Be Gone!
Pencil and paper.
Fire pit, bowl, or tin that is able to handle a flame.
Matches or lighter.
Grab your pencil and paper.
Consider any lingering hurts and disappointments. Write them down.
Are any of these memories blocking you from living your dream or keeping you in a dark place? Add it!
Are there any beliefs holding you back from living a bright life? Ya know those self-doubt talks that make themselves known when something great is about to happen? “You can’t do that,” that inner voice whispers. “You’re not good enough” or “No one will like you.” (That limiting and fear-filled inner tape has got to go!) Jot it!
Are you stuck in a job you hate?
Are you feeling unfulfilled?
Is there a dark cloud that needs to be removed?
Write. Write. Write.
This is going to be really good, so go deeper!
Do a mini meditation or anything that helps you center, feel calm and at peace.
Remember, when you meditate thoughts may try to slip in but you can let them zip on through without giving all your attention. Acknowledge the distraction and let if flow on by.
Once you’re feeling content, take 3 cleansing breaths (inhale through your nose 3 counts and then mighty exhale through an open mouth for 1 count.)
Once you open your eyes, add to your list anything that came up for you.
Include everything you can think of that needs to be released, forgiven, and healed.
Add as much detail as you’d like. Names. Situations. Emotions.
If you’re thinking it, write it.
Feeling like your list is complete?
Next, look at each item you’ve written. Visualize each item. Consider any positive lessons that have come from this experience. (Not always an easy feat.)
Offer forgiveness. Then, thank the experience and lesson learned.
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it,” Confucius.
Take a cleansing breath (inhale for 3 counts in through your nose and powerful exhale through your mouth.)
Visualize the experience healed, feeling the joy and love of the release. Breathe in joy, exhaling any tightness or lingering sadness. Let peace and happiness radiate in you, around you, and through you.
When you’ve completed doing this release for each item, fold your list in half.
Put your completed list in a fire pit or appropriate bowl then light that sucker on fire.
While your list is burning offer a statement of gratitude. “Thank you for these feelings, lessons, and situations. I appreciate the experience and lessons learned. I release all emotions, connections, and ties associated with them. I now open my mind, heart, and soul to welcome in new energy, feelings, and experiences.”
Once you feel content and complete, safely extinguish your fire. Double check that all the little ashes are cooled and unable to be sparked.
Wash your hands symbolically or with water and soap (probably not a bad idea).
Now that all of the yuck has been removed, you are perfectly positioned to welcome the new blessings and set your intentions to receive awesomeness.
Beltane Ceremony #2
Fan the Flame and Receive Awesomeness
After a season of darkness and cold, it was time to get rid of the old and welcome the new. Old fire within the hearth was extinguished. Ashes swept away cleaning and removing old energy of the past.
A new fire was lit welcoming the home and the family for new abundance.
The hearth cleaning and new fire lit of this Beltane celebration emphasized the energy and honored the transition from darkness to increasing sunlight. (Woohoo! Darkness is going away)
Is there a dream in your life you’d like to shine more light and energy? Is there a new project you’d like fueled? Is there an area in your life you’d like to ignite a new fire?
Light It Up!
Pencil and paper.
Candles. (I like using birthday candles.)
Choose the appropriate color for empowering your current goal or situation,
- Red: Courage & Passion.
- Pink: Love & Partnership .
- Yellow: Confidence & Creativity.
- Blue: Inspiration & Peace.
- Green: Abundance & Fertility.
- White: Purity & Innocence.
Matches or lighter.
- What areas would I like to breathe new fire and life?
- Are there any seeds of desires that I put into hibernation?
- Are there any dreams that need new energy?
Do a mini meditation (click here if you need a mini grounding meditation) or anything that helps you center and feel your energy grounded.
Feel the calm rhythm of your heartbeat. The gentle rise and fall of your chest. The soothing sensation of your breath.
(If thoughts slip in during this time, no worries. You’ve got this. Say something like, “Hey thought! That’s cool. I’ll connect back with you later. I’m doing some awesome work right now. Peace out!” Any variation of this works.)
Once you’re feeling content and groovy, take 3 cleansing breaths (each breath is an inhale through your nose for 3 counts and then exhale through an open mouth for a 1 count mighty release- like blowing out stubborn candles.)
- What do you want to attract?
- What do you want renewed with a burst energy?
- What dream would you like highlighting?
- What new seeds of desires need to be planted?
Write your list.
What do you wish to manifest in your life?
Remember to include small things too.
It’s so exciting when you see something quickly come true! You’ll notice a surge in your energy, your confidence, and your faith sparking your flame of desire even higher.
Once your list is complete, at the bottom of your paper write “thank you” and sign your name.
Light your chosen candle.
Look over your list. With each item spend a moment imagining and feeling joy and confidence that each has come true. Imagine the conversations and celebrations of having achieved each.
Verbally state an affirmation for each item on your list. A sample affirmation for this, “I am grateful for receiving this or something better for my good and the good of all.”
When completed place your list in a safe place and extinguish your candle.
Beltane Ceremony #3
Celebrate Your Sexy Self
Celebrating the fertility of the land, of livestock, and of the union between couples was important for the community to thrive and survive. The Maypole festivities captured this season of fertility with music, dancing, drinking, and feeling all sexy.
(We didn’t have ribbons or a pole, but it does remind me of going out with my girls on Saturday night!)
The Maypole was erected before the celebration. Often a permanent pole was installed or a tree was brought in from the forest, stripped of the branches and decorated with flowers, ivy and other greenery. Colorful ribbons streamed from the top with a crown of flowers above that.
Participants would hold a ribbon, dance in between each other in both directions, weaving the ribbons around the pole. This joyous activity captured the essence of this season of fertility.
The colorful, woven ribbon is a beautiful visual capturing the balancing of our own divine feminine energy and divine masculine energy.
Create a mini maypole
By making your own maypole you can celebrate and enhance the blend and balance of your divine feminine and masculine energy.
May pole out of a branch, dowel, straw, empty paper towel roll
Ground for the maypole to be displayed
Adhesive- Glue, hot glue, tape, whatever you prefer for attaching items
Greenery, ivy or markers
4 different colored ribbons
Flowers to create a crown
- Decorate the maypole. Attach greenery or use markers to mimic fresh ivy and plants swirling around the pole.
- Attach the ribbons to the top of the maypole.
- Secure the maypole into the base.
- Gently weave the ribbons as far as you’d like.
- Declare aloud:
“I am comfortable in my divine masculine energy. I am strong, balanced and able to take action. I am logical and focused. I celebrate my divine masculine energy.
I am comfortable in my divine feminine energy. I am creative, nurturing and expressive. I am intuitive and creative. I celebrate my divine feminine energy.”
- Crown your pole with your floral wreath while declaring, “I am strong in my power. I recognize my worth. I am love.”
Beltane Ceremony #4
Vision Book for Fertility & Creativity
Beltane celebrated the spring flowers already blooming. It’s also a time of new seeds being planted and best time for new animals being born. While bunnies seem to be the poster child for fertility, chicks should share the spotlight and get top billing for Beltane.
In nature, baby chicks are typically born in the Beltane cycle of spring. Prolific in laying eggs, chickens symbolize fertility, new life and rebirth. And, for the trifecta of qualifications, chickens exemplify the yellow and orange colors of fire and increasing sunshine of the Beltane celebration! Careful what you wish for!
Tapping into Chicken’s natural gifts and energy, consider what new seeds you’d like to conceive or projects to revitalize. Write down your goals to assist structuring your vision book.
You’ll be carrying your vision book until the Summer Solstice so be sure to make it a comfortable size.
Add color for amplifying wishes. Add shades of brown to boost working with animals, add more silver and white for wishes with people. Beltane colors will supply bonus boosts. Add green for heightening fertility and abundance. Add red to escalate passion and vitality. Use white for cleansing & purifying the situation.
Notebook or album
Photos and/or magazines to cut up
Adhesive- glue or tape
Stickers, ribbons or any decorating items you intuitively sense
Your intuition and creativity.
Set the mood:
For me that includes comfy clothes, my favorite music, candles, and drink.
Get comfy in whatever way is best for you.
Get grounded or centered.
(Meditation and cleansing breaths will help you quickly connect.)
Set your intention:
Focus on breathing new life, new energy, and new abundance into your project, desires, or dream. Imagine the sun shining on your project and revealing any places needing additional enhancements.
State: “I am open, ready and receiving insight. I intuitively feel and know what I need to do and which images will escalate my desires to fruition. This book is representation of my dreams and goals. This energetic time and celebration is inherently fueling and fanning the natural, abundant growth and success of my planted seeds. Thank you for this insight, blessing and gift.”
Create your book with images you intuitively feel inspired to include. Add images that represent the outcome you desire and photos capturing jubilance achieving this. Stickers, drawings or quotes that boost your confidence are always a nice touch.
Once your book is created, review it daily over the following weeks. Review your pages. Add inspiration and thoughts. Every night, jot down gratitude for something you’ve experienced that day and gratitude for attaining success in this endeavor. Flip through your creation adding energy, building momentum and sensing as all of this has come true.
This will be a work in progress. Continue interacting with your book and adding to it’s pages as you feel led. Smile and treasure your journey. You’ve got this!
Beltane Ceremony #5
Spreading the Love
May flowers were an integral part of the decorations and celebrations for Beltane. Besides decorating in our hair or in our home, baskets of flowers were presented or left on the doorstep.
This tradition included children leaving the beautiful floral bouquet on the doorstep of the elderly, those homebound and those simply needing cheering.
This ceremony is reaching out and offering kindness and encouragement to another. Total win-win.
You can pull together a bouquet from your own garden, purchase a bouquet, or have flowers professionally delivered. You can do a random act of kindness or a deliberate delivery of joy.
Looking to further spread the love?
Tiny terra cotta containers.
Paint, ribbon, glue and any additional enhancements for decorating the containers
A flat of flowers.
Additional potting soil.
Note paper if you’d like to attach a message.
1. Decorate the containers.
2. Once set, add potting soil and flowers.
3. Deliver!!! If delivering on May 1st doesn’t work in your schedule, delivering any time will do.
If flowers are a no-go, no worries. Any treat will do. Cookies? Brownies? Chex Mix? Even just a note of appreciation.
Not feeling the vibe with neighbors? Sharing at the office will do, after all, they are your at-work-neighbors.
Whether you choose to do all, one or none of the above celebrations, this holiday is about bringing forth the light and energy of desires, reawakening your dreams and fueling the love around and within you.
No matter how you choose to celebrate May 1st -Beltane- may you experience much abundance in love, success and joy.
Ready to celebrate? Which ceremony are you going to try this year? Have you done something similar in the past? I’d love to hear how your Beltane Celebration goes – please share your comments and photos below!
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