Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic).
Date: May 1
Symbols: May Pole, Egg, Baskets, Flowers, Butterchurn
Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt
Colors: Red and White
Herbs: almond, ash, cinquefoil, frankincense, marigold, meadowsweet, and woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations.
The first of May has been celebrated in song and verse for longer than human history has recorded the date. It is a time to celebrate new life in all its forms, and the time when the Goddess and the God are united in sacred marriage, their relationship consummated, an act which symbolically fertilizes the animals and crops for the coming year.
The most common ritual act which celebrates this union is known as the Great Rite. It is the symbolic union of the male and female principles of creation, the union of the two halves of the All-Power which unite to bring all things into being. The Great Rite is usually performed by ritually placing a male ritual tool, usually the athame, into a female ritual tool representing the cosmic womb. A chalice or small caudron is usually chosen for this purpose. Couples working together will often invoke the deities into themselves and perform the Great Rite de facto, which is also acceptable.
The dancing of the May Pole is another May Day Celtic custom practiced both within and outside of Paganism. The weaving of the red and wite ribbons around the pole, like the Great Rite, symbolized the union of Goddess and God.
Make paper baskets by folding a square piece of decorated paper diagonally and gluing or tying a handel of yarn through punched holes. Then place a few spring flowers inside the basket and place on the front doorknobs of your friends' and neighbors' houses.
The kids will especially enjoy this because you have to do it undetected and not let on when people wonder who brought them the May flowers.
A variation of this is too cut colored construction paper into strips and weave two color strips together to form a square, then proceed as above.
Make a wish as you jump over a bonfire, (or campfire, May Day is a good time to go camping).
String beads or flowers for a a blessing:
May the God and Goddess and the power
Of the elementals bless me now and always be with me.
Make Beltaine bread. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and combine:
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 cups sugar
1 tube almond paste
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon 5 eggs
When dough is worked to medium soft, shape into flattened balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool, ice with a white Solar Cross. You could try this as a single loaf.
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Posted by Judith at 4:46 AM