Beltane (aka May Day, what is it? is it evil? and how to celebrate)



Beltane is the lovely celebration between the spring equinox and the summer equinox.  All of the original Celtic ceremonies were agricultural holidays.  Traditions always made things sweeter and the intentions and prayers uttered and the community gatherings were looked forward to.  Anyone can celebrate the original holidays regardless of their chosen religion because they came long before most religions.  Pagan holidays are not satanic because Pagans don’t believe in Satan.  He actually wasn’t around back then!  The idea is a fairly new addition to religion, comparatively.  There are many misconceptions about pagan holidays but the original reasons to celebrate and hope are the very same things we need now.  You can find the origins of the original customs of holidays in nearly every current holiday.  Beltane became May Day.  The May pole is original to Beltane and giving flowers on May day is quite nice since we are celebrating the growth, beauty, and prosperity.

Beltane is the holiday where we celebrate the fertility of the earth, the crops that will be, our larders full, our spirits bright.  This is a time where we put out our intentions to receive blessings.  The waxing moon is when we do spells (same thing as a prayer candle, rosary, or wishes) to increase.  So, mind you don’t talk about debt!  You want to ask to increase income.  Be specific.  How?  How much?  Be prepared to work for it.  There are no magic lottery tickets on their way.  Do you want to increase business by 10%?  Doors will open and ideas will come.  Want to increase passion in a relationship?  A large garden?  More luck?  More joy?  Find love?  Have a baby?


Beltane is a fire festival.  Fire is the element that you will use.  Anything that is shaped as a womb is used for increasing.  A cauldron, wine glass, bowl, etc.  Light a candle and think of your desire.  Burn some incense in a small heat proof container.  Have a bonfire outdoors.  You could jump over the bonfire to help your intention come forth.  Being a fertility festival women jump the bonfire in hopes of conceiving a child, or finding a spouse.  You could wish for an idea, clarity, more life.  More joy.  These festivals are about enjoying and having fun.  For gratitude and living with a bit of magic.

It doesn’t matter how you celebrate your own personal Beltane.  Quietly, a candle, a simple prayer, a glass of wine.  It is a good time to make an offering to the beautiful Earth that will bring forth bounty and the light and sun for warmth and life.  We are celebrating the end of winter (and sadness, grief) and bringing in the promise of a fresh beginning.  Maybe offer a little bread and water, or tobacco under a tree.  Or plant a tree!  Giving is part of receiving.  Give gratitude.  Be well.

Happy Beltane!