“…the force that drives the green fuse through the flower.” ~ Dylan Thomas
Every Spring, as May draws near, the weather warms up, and you can feel a change in the air. You may feel restless or excited, or you may be motivated to make change or make merry. But either way, there’s no denying it; magic is afoot.
Beltaine, which means bright fire, or sacred fire (and even good fire), is celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans, and honors fertility and the creative and playful aspects of love. It marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, and is one of the Celtic fire festivals.
The celebration of Beltaine, or May Day, actually starts on May Eve, or April 30. Druids used to light great bonfires to empower the sun, and bring purification and fertility to the land and community. Fire, seen as a bridge between man and the divine, is especially sacred at this time of year, and the ancient Celts believed that to build a sacred bonfire would guarantee prosperous blessings upon all those in the community. To jump between two Beltaine fires would most assuredly bring luck, love and good health throughout the rest of the year, and even farmers would herd their livestock between the two fires to ensure health and fertility for their animals.
Children and young lovers would dance around may poles or gather flowers. Faery women, or faery doctors, would gather the healing and protective herb, Yarrow, during Beltaine and do love divinations and make charms that offered protection from the faeries.
During the flowering season, the faeries return in full force. It is said that during this time of year the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, as during Samhain, and that contact with the other side is highly likely, so be wary of falling asleep under a solitary Hawthorne tree, a tree sacred to the faerie folk, for you may slip into the land of faerie, never to return again.
Beltaine honors that bright fire that lives in each and every one of us. Passion and creativity that long to be expressed can be honored during this time of year. Now is the ideal time to make the commitment to purify your life and live your passions.
Purify your body, spirit and home by cleaning up your diet, watching your thoughts (no complaining or being judgmental) and even clearing clutter. Purification leads to creative expression, so allow yourself the means to create your dreams.
Build an altar
Altars remind us of our connection to the sacred energy that created us, and help us to honor that and the sacredness of the world around us. This is a good time of year to build an altar that honors your belief in the sacred. Altars can include anything that, to you, represents the divine; such as small figurines, seashells, stones, charms or even dried flowers.
Take advantage of the thinning of the veil, and use this time to connect with your guides, or your loved ones on the other side.
Keep a dream journal
Dreamtime is the perfect time for the subconscious mind, along with spirit guides and elemental beings, to connect with you, and offer advice and support when you need it. However, dreams, which are so symbolic in nature, can sometimes be confusing. By keeping a dream journal, you give yourself the opportunity to delve deeper into your dreamtime journeys. Just remember to write in your dream journal every morning!
The Tuatha De Danann, also known as the Shining Ones, traveled from the stars and arrived in Ireland on Beltaine, the sacred day of bright beginnings.
Every day you are given the opportunity to start anew. The great bonfires of old are simply symbols of the bright fire contained within each and every person, and a reminder of the sacredness within your soul.
How will you celebrate Beltaine?
This song, Bright Fire, is written by Deanna Joseph and Jennifer Hawley-Zechlin. Performed by Deanna Joseph.