If you are bored and despondent, in need of motivation and fresh ideas, this day, the 1st of May, has the power to change your life for the better.
It is a time to ‘transplant’ your energy into a new ‘fertile field’ with ‘summer grasses’ filled with sensual pleasure and Divine Delight.
So what is Beltane all about?
Why use this ancient Celtic Ritual Day as the launch date for my new ebook, “Doing it with The Divine… why be a beggar for love?’ The month of May was named for the Celtic Fertility Goddess of the Earth, ‘Mai’ who was celebrated at the beginning of summer each year…
Why not use the Spring Equinox for such a celebration?
Yes, the Spring Equinox in late March represents rebirth …it’s a good time to rid yourself of bad habits… but Beltane (also known as Balefire) on the other hand is like the innocent younger sister of ‘The Great Mother’ who is present at the Spring Equinox, waiting for her moment of maturity and fertility…
On the first day of May, she was annually ripe for ‘the taking’, officially a woman…
Think of it… the nights were long and the days were warm at last! It was a time of fragrant grasses and birdsong after the long cold European winter. This new freedom was celebrated broadly.
“The Night of Fires”… The Eve of May Day (April 30th) was the eve of the Festival of Beltane or Balefire (Looking at this word ‘Balefire’ it is clear that the word ‘bale’ is still in our language and refers to the same thing… ‘hay’…) the people celebrated the change of season by the lighting of great bonfires fuelled by the old bedding and flooring of the previous year.
This vermin filled hay and sweet grass, was brought from all the homes of the villagers to the fires as a symbolic form of physical, spiritual and ritual purification… these community fires were strategically placed on mountains and hills of ritual, religious and political significance, to lend power to the most important festival of the culture… the annual celebration of purification and fertility for the year to come.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I would like to activate that energy in my own life on the 1st of May this year… what do you think?
For the Celts, Beltane marked the beginning of the warm season when the herds of livestock were driven out to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands. The spring lambs were big enough and every ram out in the fields was making love with the ewes… It was a time of warmth and fellowship. This was a culture not unlike Bali today… a community that relied on each other for survival…
Boughs of Juniper or other aromatic herbs were thrown on the fires to add an additional element of purification and blessing to the smoke. In some districts people and cattle would pass between two fires to purify themselves. This was echoed throughout history after Christianization, with lay people instead of Druid priests creating the need-fire on the eve of Beltane.
The festival persisted widely in country regions in Britain up until the 1950s, and in some places the celebration of Beltane continues even today…
Leaping through or over the flames of the ‘Balefire’ is a more recent custom developed from the original rituals and performed as an act of purification and to bring ‘good luck’ for the year ahead.
They are said to be jumping the Balefire in honor of the God Bel, Baal or Balder. (Note the linguistic connection to ‘Bali’… a place where the Goddess is still worshiped every day.
I find it fascinating that this is the same name given to the fertility God the people were reported to be worshiping in the Bible at the time of Moses… the Egyptian Pharaohs etc, when he went up to talk to the burning bush on Mount Sinai.
Is it possible that the Church of the middle ages used the local word (Bale.. (of hay) or a derivation of the word to describe earth worship? …when writing up The Holy Bible for the people of Europe? Or is the word so universally used that it transposed from the middle East in BC to the local villages in Britain in the late middle ages?)
The Catholic Church, try as they might, could not stamp out this ancient pagan tradition.
So who did stamp them out for the mainstream?
The dour (Sex fearing) Protestants, suppressed “May Eve” celebrations in England when they came to political power in the 16th century. They passed and enforced laws against public gatherings around Maypoles with their accompanying dances and fertility rites. Why was the Maypole Ritual considered an affront to the Protestant Christian God?
Raising the Maypole represented the “Divine Erection” and was a ritual sexual act performed by the men of the village. The pole represented the penis of the Male God Force, and the hole it entered within the earth, which was dug and prepared by the women, represented the yoni or vagina of the Earth Goddess.
Bright ribbons fall from the top of the pole, and are woven around it as dancers raise the energy through joy, symbolically fertilizing the Earth’s body so that She would be fruitful during the growing season and provide a bountiful harvest. (When finished their weaving these ribbons look remarkably like the interwoven strands of our DNA.)
From ancient times, up until the 16th century after the dance was completed, couples disappeared into the freshly ploughed fields to take advantage of the energy roused by the fertility rituals… A community service to ensure fertility for their crops.
The children born of these sacred sexual unions were considered ‘gifted’ and often trained to become the next generation of Druid Priest or Priestess… no wonder the Protestants were against it!
There are Modern Mystics across the world who are resurrecting these old traditions in honor of the earth and The Great Mother of All Creation in dynamic relationship with ‘Great Spirit’… the Masculine aspect of the God Force.
Leaping through or over the flames of the Balefire is a more recent custom performed as an act of purification and to bring good luck. Choosing a stranger of the opposite sex is an invitation to the fields later on…chuckle….chuckle
Beltane is a time to be dancing naked under the moonlight, twirling ribbons around the pole, laughing and flirting with one another. This is the true Valentine’s Day of the Solar calendar.
Alternative Beltane Rituals:
Ranging from the simplest to the most outrageous…
- Transplant a seedling tree you love into the ground where it can grow big and strong, with its roots penetrating deep within the earth… symbolizing the interwoven nature of life in all forms… with prayers for fertility and abundance.
- Offer someone you love a massage and spend an hour worshiping The Goddess through service to the body of another….
- Some people like to blindfold themselves in their own private room or area and light incense and let their senses and their imagination carry them away with the green man of the forest…
- Beltane usually brings good weather, sweet winds, and a new start. Spend some time with candles burning and incense, and pray to the gods and goddesses, your guides and angels. Tell them of your troubles and then walk outside and kiss the ground. I’m not asking you to suck the dirt… you can kiss the grass… or if you are really paranoid, why not a flower? ..Don’t go smooching topsoil, try to find a grassy area and be with nature and her bounty… Spend as much time as you can outside, (remember to stay warm).
- Also, this is a good time to call upon the Sidhe or fairy realm.. and the nymphs. They come out from the ground, trees and rocks where they have been hiding to stay warm all winter long. If you see anything flash silver like a single piece of glitter floating in the air, that is a sign the Fairy Realm are close. Nymphs can be seen as a blur… as they prance, dance and fly around you, if you are quiet and creative you can hear their laughter on the breeze. If you ask them politely to play a sensual game with you, they will!
- Or then again you could always take yourself into your full erotic imagination and dance with the Divine Consort on the night of Beltane….our world is overpopulated… I am sure the Goddess of fertility would be happy if you were dancing for the success of your creative projects and the protection of your home and family…
The celebration of Kundalini in action is a true parallel to Beltane and the reason why I have chosen this date to be the date I release this very special book… I trust that this book “DOING IT WITH THE DIVINE… Why be a beggar for love?” and the information and stories shared within will open your heart and mind, heal your body and spirit, awakening you to a new destiny upon the earth.
I believe with this information you can access new vitality and celebration in each moment of the rest of your life, no matter your age today…. Since we already know, nothing dies, God is simply not that wasteful… everything is in a constant state of change, through our genuine desire for evolution, we keep moving on…. To the Light…
The Great Mother of All Creation is kind and loving, forgiving and caring, she is quick to heal your aching soul. Her consort, Great Spirit is the Holy Father to her Divine Mother… full of love and protection, strength and power… may they become your intimate friends in many forms…