Beltane is celebrated on May 1 and marks the beginning of summer. Winter is finally over as the wheel turns.
Love is in the air, everyone and everything is twitterpated while the flowers blossom and honey begins to flow.
This is the time that the sacred union of the goddess and the god are celebrated and sexuality increases. The word twitterpated comes from Disney’s Bambi. Remember when Thumper asked the owl why everyone was acting so funny?
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Friend Owl: Why, don’t you know? They’re twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Friend Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re walking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!
Thumper: Gosh, that’s awful.
Maypoles as part of the Beltane festivals was a fertility rite meant to symbolize the union.
A young tree is cut down, representing the masculine and the ribbons and foliage represented the feminine. During the festival, the people would dance around, weaving in and out of each other, wrapping the pole in hopes of blessing them, the livestock and the land with fertile abundance.
Beltane is celebrated as the beginning of the seasonal cycle of planting. The Gaelic May Day is about half way between the spring equinox and summer solstice.
The tradition of Beltane bonfires was an act of burning off the old brush to get the pastures ready to plant again, and hearth fires and candles were extinguished in the home and relit from the fires lit in the community.
In Scotland today, the Beltane Fire Society still hold an annual bonfire. During sabbats, the door to the spirit world is open and thin enough for spirits to pass through.
While the northern hemisphere celebrates Beltane, in the southern hemisphere, it’s Samhain. In the north, it’s the festival of the living and in the south it’s the festival of the dead.
There are Celtic legends say that on this date the first of the ancient deities crossed over from the Otherworld into Ireland.
In celebration of love and fertility, here is a list of candle colors, crystals, herbs, incense and ideas for your Beltane altar:
Colors: green, purple, yellow, pink
Crystals: rose quartz, emerald, garnet, aquamarine
Flowers and herbs: rose, blessed thistle, tulips, dandelion, violets, daffodil, dragon’s blood, nettle, rue. lilac
Incense: jasmine, peach, rose, vanilla
Altar items: antlers, sticks, flower wreaths and crowns, seeds, maypoles, ribbon, honey