Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Let's Discuss Beltane Magicks! It is a Sexy Sabbat!
Today I wish to discuss the Beltane Sabbat with you. It occurs on May 1st and for Pagans it is our last Spring Sabbat and it, at the same time, marks the first day of our Summer. But many of you already know all of this. What I want to discuss with you today are some little juicy tidbits about Beltane you may or may not have known.
Firstly, Beltane, or Beltaine is a very sexy Sabbat. It was known to the ancients as a fertility celebration and when the sun went down after the Beltane rituals and feasts, men and women would pair off and go off into the woods and fields to have sex. It was believed that babies conceived at Beltane, who would be born the following February, around Imbolc, would be especially blessed and considered quite magickal.
It was ancient man's version of sympathetic magick, they felt by having sex in the fields, the fields would be magickally fertilized and the crops would grow strong and tall. They also would slaughter white steers or bulls to be consumed during the Beltane feast, and the slain animals blood would be drizzled over the fields. To them, they were symbolically giving life back to the earth, most likely not realizing that blood was in actuality a true fertilizer. Even today, one can purchase dried blood at a garden center to help fertilize the gardens.
The May pole that is often danced around during the Beltane ritual was a very sacred ritual tool in ancient times. The act of dancing around the May pole, in ancient times the ribbons were only two colors, red and white, wrapping the ribbons around the pole, symbolized the Goddess wrapping her vagina around the God's phallus. This was in a sense a symbolic Great Rite by Proxy which represented the Goddess and God copulating and giving life to the Earth, the fields, the crops and the people and all living things. It was and still is a celebration.
After The Maypole is wrapped with pretty ribbons, the ribbons stay wrapped around the pole until Samhain, where they are then cut off of the pole and burned in the Samhain fires. At this time, if desired, ribbons of black, purple and silver can be tied to the top of the pole and allowed to hang freely, representing the time of the Crone being upon us. But the ancients then used the May pole at Yule to be burned in the town or village center as the Yule log. During the burning of the Yule log, a small unburned piece is removed from the fire and saved to be used to kindle next year's Yule log, symbolically uniting every Yule log that has been burned year after year. For a simple May pole, it certainly has a lot of responsibility during the year.
There are some other interesting tid-bits about this happy, Spring Sabbat. The ancient Druids, who were the spiritual leaders of the Celts, believed the year was split into two distinct halves. Winter, which went from November 1st (Samhain) to May 1st (Beltaine) and then Summer, which goes from May 1st to November 1st. Because of the Druids belief that "things in between" were especially sacred, they attributed sacred energies to the half times between seasons. "Things in between." What this means for example, take ice. It is water, but not fluid, but solid like rock. It is in between. Fog or mist, is not air totally, but not completely water, but in between. This belief was also placed on times of day/night such as midnight, which at the very stroke of, is not yesterday yet not quite today. So the time that falls at the cusp of winter/summer or summer/winter were also given sacred status.
It is often heard of that at Samhain, November 1st, "The veils between the worlds grows thin", and this is commonly thought to mean that the natural spiritual barriers between the physical world of the living and the other world of the spirits and ghosts grows thin and it is easier to communicate with spirits. This is true. But the thinning also allows for other magicks and at Beltane the veil also thins. This is not as commonly talked about, I believe simply, because soooo much 'stuff' is associated with Samhain which is commonly called Halloween and all of the spooky, and scary and naughty things that go along with it. But Beltane, which more people are not aware of, not as many as are aware of Halloween, to be sure, also has a thinning of the veils.
At Beltane, where, yes, you can also communicate with spirits more easily such as at Samhain, it is also easier to communicate with Deity at this time, and many take this opportunity to speak directly with their Goddess or God, and give thanks or to ask for help in some fashion.
Another thing that was done years ago, that you might like to try is collecting Beltane dew. To do this, take a tiny glass vial or jar with a good cap. Go out in the early morning of Beltane and collect the dew. You do this by laying on the grass and uncapping the vial, holding it carefully next to a blade of grass with a dew drop upon it, and tap the blade of grass so the dew drop falls into the vial. You continue to do this, and it will take some time, until you have filled the vial up, at least half ways. Then you can put the vial on top of the altar pentacle on your altar and just by doing so it will be blessed and consecrated. Then afterwards you can use the dew to anoint yourself. It is said to keep one youthful and beautiful. Or it can be put into love potions. Or you can anoint a love candle with it.
Beltane has traditionally been a lovers holiday, and many couple choose to get hand-fasted during a Beltane celebration. Sweets, often honey and little seed cakes were traditionally served during the festivities of Beltane. Flowers are also traditionally given to loved ones at Beltane and the later tradition of May baskets of flowers stems from this ancient Pagan holiday.
Even when I was a little girl, in the 1960's and 70's I would go outside and pick violets, buttercups any flowers that were blooming and make a bouquet of them, leave them on the door step and ring the bell and run away, so my mother would think the fairies left them.
For many years after the Christians tried to eliminate the Pagan holidays by changing their names and dates, Beltane became known as the Lady's Day (for some meaning the Goddess, for other's the Mother of God, Mary). Then for many years it became and is still known as May Day, and is still celebrated in many parts of the world as a celebration of spring and a forerunner of Summer.
Have a Bright and Blessed Beltane!
Peace and Happiness, Ms. Faith
© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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at Wednesday, April 27, 2016