Dancing through Beltane Fiery Nights
The two sabbats that occur during this season are Walpurgis and Beltane. These festivals celebrate the fertility of the earth, the emergence of new life, and the thinning of the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds. Walpurgis and Beltane are times for purification, letting go of the old, setting intentions for the coming year, and connecting with nature: these celebrations hold deep spiritual significance and provide an opportunity to honour the cycles of nature and the interconnectedness of all things.
30th of April
The Walpurgis Night, also known as Walpurgisnacht, is a traditional festival celebrated in some parts of Europe, particularly in Germany, Czech Republic, and Sweden, on the night of April 30th. The festival is named after Saint Walpurga, an English missionary who was canonized on May 1st, and it is believed to have pagan roots. During the Walpurgis Night, people light bonfires, dance, and make noise to ward off evil spirits and witches. The festival is also associated with fertility, and it is a time when young people would traditionally gather in the forest to engage in courtship rituals. Today, the Walpurgis Night is often celebrated with parades, fireworks, and other festive activities.
1st of May - 4th of May
Beltane, known also as May Day, is an ancient celebration that has been observed across numerous cultures worldwide for centuries. This momentous occasion, marking the midpoint between the spring equinox and summer solstice, symbolizes a time of fecundity, growth, and new beginnings. Join us as we delve briefly into the roots of Beltane and its spiritual significance, as well as the herbs and stones associated with this celebration.
The Roots of Beltane
Beltane's origins can be traced back to the Celtic culture, primarily in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. The name Beltane derives from the Irish Gaelic word "Bealtaine," which translates to "Bright Fire" or "May Day." Although usually celebrated on the 1st of May, Beltane was sometimes observed on the nearest full moon instead.
Beltane was an occasion to celebrate the arrival of spring and the fecundity of the land. Festivities included lighting bonfires and dancing around them while singing and feasting. Additionally, the event was a time for handfasting ceremonies, temporary unions lasting for a year and a day, allowing couples to determine their compatibility before committing to a lifelong bond.
Spiritual Significance of Beltane
Beltane is a momentous occasion of great spiritual significance, believed to be when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is at its thinnest. As such, it is an ideal time for spiritual practices such as divination.
During Beltane, many people choose to perform rituals acknowledging the fertility of the earth and the emergence of new life. This may involve sowing seeds or decorating an altar with symbols of fertility, such as flowers, eggs, and foliage. The festival is also a time for purification, letting go of the old, and setting intentions for the upcoming year.
Herbs Associated with Beltane
Several herbs are associated with Beltane and are used in rituals, including:
- Hawthorn: This herb is associated with Beltaine and often used to protect against negative energies. It is also considered a harbinger of fortune and prosperity.
- Meadowsweet: This herb is frequently used in love spells and associated with fertility and abundance.
- Mugwort: This herb is believed to enhance psychic abilities and is commonly used in divination.
- Rowan: This herb is associated with protection and often used to repel negative energies.
- Mint: This herb is associated with abundance, prosperity, and protection. It can be used in spells and rituals to attract positive energy, success, and good fortune. Mint can also be used in purification rituals and is believed to aid in psychic development.
- Black Sage: This herb is associated with purification and protection. It is often used in rituals to banish negative energies and to ward off evil spirits. Black Sage is also believed to have healing properties and can be used in smudging rituals to cleanse the aura and promote emotional and spiritual balance.
By incorporating Mint and Black Sage into Beltane rituals, this festival's energy may be further enhanced and intentions set during the event bolstered. By including these herbs along with others mentioned earlier, a powerful and meaningful Beltane celebration can be created honouring the fertility of the earth, new beginnings, and the spiritual significance of this ancient festival.
Stones Associated with Beltaine
Stones can also be used during Beltane to amplify the festival's energy. Here are a few stones associated with Beltane:
- Fire Agate: This stone is associated with courage, protection, and manifestation, making it an excellent choice for Beltane rituals.
- Carnelian: This stone is associated with passion, creativity, and fertility, making it an ideal choice for Beltane rituals.
- Garnet: This stone is associated with love, passion, and devotion, making it an excellent choice for love spells and Beltane rituals.
- Rose Quartz: This stone is associated with emotional healing, compassion, and unconditional love, making it a perfect choice for Beltane rituals centered around love and relationships.
- Sunstone: This stone is associated with abundance, joy, and vitality, making it an excellent choice for Beltane rituals centered around prosperity and new beginnings.
- Tourmaline: This stone is associated with protection, grounding, and purification, making it an excellent choice for Beltane rituals focused on letting go of the old and embracing the new.
Beltane is a festival that celebrates the fertility of the earth and the emergence of new life. It is a time to purify oneself, set intentions for the coming year, and connect with nature.
As above, so below.