Celtic Cross-Quarter Festival
Beltane is one of the oldest Celtic cross-quarter festivals that celebrates the beginning of the summer season and the abundance of Mother Earth. Represented by the Horned God and the Fertile Goddess, this festival ignites our human potency and virility. For our ancestors that relied on the earth for survival, every year at this time the Earth was honoured by ritual to ensure the fertility of the newly-planted crops.
The celebration of this festival helps us understand and sync up with the natural ebb and change of nature and the seasons. In our modern world we have gone the other way and lost our ancient knowledge about working symbiotically and in harmony with Nature for our long term survival.
Celebrating Our Abundant Planet
We have divorced ourselves from nature and in so doing have forgotten that we are reliant on the Earth for our food and water, not only for humans but for all the other creatures. With genetic engineering, biotechnology and industrialisation of agriculture we have dominated and abused the planets natural and abundant resources, and in our short-sightedness, taken selfishly and without sustainability for the next generations.
Beltane reminds us of the ancient rituals that honour our living planet and the abundance that we receive freely from the soil, the animals, the fresh water systems, the rain. Even today in towns all over England and Scotland the festival is being revived and celebrated with music, merry-making and traditional Morris dancing to honour this amazing planet.
Sacred fires were traditionally lit throughout the countryside and couples would make love in the firelight, as they burned all night. In ancient times, Druids would chant incantations into the fires, for protection and fertility. People dressed in green to represent nature as the ‘Green Man,’ – the transformation from ‘Winter King’ to ‘Horny God.’ Traditionally, Hawthorne trees were decorated with ribbons tied on their branches and doors, and people danced around the maypole wrapping two ribbons around it signifying the unification of female and male energies.
These rituals were based around the union between man and woman, symbolizing shared power for healthy and prosperous procreation, and releasing an outpouring of fertile energy into the universe, to inspire nature to produce abundant crops. This was also traditionally the time to pledge your commitment and passion to a loved one, in the form of handfasting, or betrothing.
Make Love not War
Honour this Beltane by making Love not war. Let the Scorpio full moon fire up your passion over this weekend and indulge in the fertile Beltane energy. Throw caution to the wind and make that declaration of love. If its warm enough sleep outside under the stars and enjoy the passionate intensity of a moonlit night. If you are trying for a baby this is a potent time, so embody yourselves as the Horned God and Fertile Goddess, let go of any limiting beliefs, and make love with the powerful intention of creating life.
If it’s cold/raining prepare a sacred space, light candles and incense, and decorate it with fresh flowers. Sit opposite each other and spend time looking into your beloved’s eyes connecting from a deep place, diving deep into each others soul. Worship each other, as the Horned God and Goddess. Synchronise your breathing so you are in flow with one another. Open yourself up to the vulnerability and pleasure of being truly yourself.
Enjoy your lover, spending time exploring and honouring each other, as if you were both virgins. When you make love imagine the combined creativity and love energies of the masculine and feminine flowing out into the world, making Love not war and creating peace and harmony. Feel inspired by this empowered love-making.
Spend time in Nature
Over the long weekend go out in the fresh air and spend some time in Nature. Have a long walk, sunbathe, watch the sunrise and set, hug a tree, smell the flowers, take your shoes off and feel the grass beneath your feet supporting, energising you and grounding you. Remember to thank Nature – especially the trees – for their wonderful gifts to us.
Beltane is the best time of year to connect with the faery kingdom, elementals and nature spirits, as the veil that separates our world from theirs becomes very thin.
This is also a good time to let go of that which is holding you back so write down all the things that are not allowing you to move forward and burn it in the Beltane fire while shouting each one out to the Scorpio full moon.