The Celtic Festival of Beltane
Were I come from we dance to celebrate the night into May.
We welcome the green beauty of the season, the flowers, and the God and Goddess within us.
Practically we cast the winter aside and rejoice into a fertile season with love, abundance, unity and song.
Handfastings as a ritual for unity is common, as this is the time nature provides for growth and fertility.
In local towns a may tree is selected and a large reef of flowers and branches is hung with colorful ribbons. A joyful time of community and festivities, where at the end of the day in the center of town a may stage is erected and music is played, for everyone to come out and dance, old and young together.
Getsetandgo writes: “The symbolism of this has been a cause of debate for centuries and some scholars classify them as symbols of the world axis (axis mundi). One theory also holds that they are a symbol of the world axis, a pagan tradition of the remnant of the Germanic reverence for sacred trees, as there is evidence for various sacred trees and wooden pillars that were venerated by the pagans across much of Germanic Europe, including Thor’s Oak and the Irminsul. It is also known that, in Norse paganism, which is the best attested form of Germanic paganism, cosmological views held that the universe was a world tree, known as Yggdrasil. The maypole is in some way a continuance of this tradition.”
For all of us with a garden, we understand that just like around Samhain when Nature dies down and transcends into winter, cleaning up and making room for the flowers to grow results in much compost, twigs and trimmings.
This is where the bonfires come in: a natural way to cleanse, to transform and to welcome the sun.
Rituals include having the farm animals pass through between the fires, for cleansing and protection. Imagine all of us working out together in the fields raking leaves, putting seedlings into the ground and using the broom for cleaning up. With so much joy and birdsong in the air, it would just be natural for us to celebrate, dance, laugh and sing as a result of this communion.
However the whole thing got weird in the past, when churches blamed the greened thumbed people, mostly women, in commuting with the devil, riding the broom and casting spells. While I was not physically there (or was I?) and can’t deny that some might have possibly thrown a magic mushroom or some Belladona into the cauldron, most people just had a good old time.
And anyone who really works in the garden, knows about the innate joy that comes from the vitamins unleashed from deep within, that the sun brings out and instills a feeling of deep rootedness with nature, the earth, our beloved planet and all we got within the universe. Lets treasure and protect its beauty!
I have very fond memories growing up near Heidelberg, smelling the white and violet lilacs, taking a bicycle trip into the fields and meadows and enjoying the first picnic of the year. Later in Bavaria I had the pleasure dancing many Maypole rounds with dear friends and lovers.
I want to invite you to join into the festivities, by lighting a candle, meditating on abundance and unity, making a faerie offering and purifying your threshold with a broom. If you take off…..I can’t guarantee you won’t, I wish you a jolly good time during Walpurgis Night ❤
The sky is not the limit