Tag Archives: beltane celebrations

Beltane (Fire Festival) & May Day – May 1, 2023

It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of April already and in just 7 days, it will be time to celebrate Beltane. Or more commonly called depending on where you are in the world, May Day.

Beltane Origins

Beltane is one of the eight Sabbats that are honored by Pagans and Witches – predominantly in North America and Europe and dates back at least 1,000 years. The word Beltane is a Celtic word deriving from northern Europe and means “the fires of Bel.” Ancient Celts would light two bonfires as a way to purify themselves and to help increases the odds of fertility.

Pagans also celebrated Beltane as a way to indicate the halfway mark between Spring Equinox (Ostara) and the upcoming Summer Solstice which is celebrated on June 20-21. Beltane is also referred to as the Fire Festival or in May Day.

It is a time to celebrate light and fertility and put the darkness of winter behind us, focusing on creation and “birthing” of new ideas, projects or relationships.

May Pole Dancing / May Day

In some parts of the worlds, Pagans (and witches too) will celebrate by dressing up in pretty white or frilly dresses for the girls/women, and dance around a tall pole that is decorated by colorful ribbons.

Photo credit: Brittany Jepsen on Pinterest

Floral Decorations

Many of the dancers wear flower or garland wreaths that they made by using supplies from their own gardens. The May pole dance is considered to be a fertility ritual. Some dancers may choose to wear flowers that are braided or woven into their hair as well. Other ways to “give back” include making a “May Basket” and filling them with flowers and goodwill (food, non-perishable items), and then give the baskets to a friend or neighbor in need of of support.

Photo credit: The Beauty Gypsy (Pinterest)

Spiritual Symbolism & Correspondences

  • Colors: greens, red, white, blue or pastels
  • Elements: fire, smoke (incense), air
  • Herbs: sandalwood, lavender, thyme, rosemary
  • Plants: rosemary, mint, daffodils, dandelions, tulips
  • Symbols: flowers, fire, wreath, May Pole, ribbons

Beltane Meal Planning

It is customary to eat foods that are in season for Beltane or May Day such as fruits and vegetables that are grown locally. A great way to give back to the Earth, is to support your local farmers and buy fresh produce at a local farmer’s market. Other people, especially those from Indigenous backgrounds, will often prepare bannock bread with berry jam made from scratch. Or you could bake scones or fritters.

For meat eaters, goat, beef or chicken are typically consumed at Beltane Feasts. For drinks, you may want to consider grape wine, mead or homemade ale. Anything made from fruit is a good option.

Here’s another list of options you could prepare for your guests if you are hosting a dinner with friends. I was just outside and the sun is shining so bright and warm – I’m hoping and praying for good weather next week.

Beltane Activities

The following are some suggestions you can do in a group setting, or alone. Try looking for groups or activities in your area on Facebook or Meetup.com if you are new to the practice or don’t have anyone to celebrate with. As a solo practitioner, I will be partaking in activities I can do alone from home.

  • Craft a May Pole out of homemade items such as popsicle sticks and giftwrap ribbons using an array of colors (typically pastels or bold colors).
  • Make a crown or wreath out of supplies from your garden to wear on your head.
  • Prepare a basket of goodies including wine, food, pastries or fruit and give to someone in need of support. Make a casserole and bring to a friend who is ill.
  • Gather with friends and light a bonfire, enjoy some wine, fruits and vegetables and dance or sing songs around the fire.
  • Prepare an offering for Mother Earth of flowers, herbs, or other biodegradable items that you can leave somewhere in nature – WITHOUT disturbing the natural habitat.
  • Fertility rituals – if you’re in a relationship and trying to conceive, now is the time to get busy in the bedroom!
  • Go on a nature walk alone or with family, take in the amazing scenery, relish in the fresh spring air and say hello to woodland creatures you might stumble across.
  • Grab a bunch of friends and head out to a local park, roast some hotdogs or hamburgers on the open flames, enjoy a cold ale, sit outside until the night sky comes in and admire the moon and stars
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Solo Practice

Solo practitioners like me that live in the city, might not have access to a bon fire or nature trails. Or may not be able to walk or drive to these places for health reasons. If you’re like me and you live alone, it is perfectly fine to make do with what you have available to you. Make a healthy meal, light a candle if you are allowed to, recite a blessing, or go for a walk or sit outside on your balcony.

Honouring the Sabbats doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money or create an elaborate event – find the things that you enjoy doing and resources you have available in your environment. You can make new traditions with your family or friends, or just celebrate on your own.

Are you a witchy type of person? Or are you of Pagan origins? If so, do you celebrate the Sabbat holidays? If so, let me know what your plans are in the comments. Always looking to connect with fellow practitioners.

If you’d like to learn more about my spiritual journey, please head over to my spiritual practice page.

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April 2023 Intentions: Creating Space & Beltane Celebrations

The year is moving fast, and April is just a few days away as I’m writing this. Soon, the winter cold will be gone and spring will really be here! We had a few nice days and then hit another cold snap. But things are looking up – and April is often the beginning of our rainy season.

One thing I’m really looking forward to is end of April, early May weather – the snow is pretty much gone by then, and you rarely need a jacket. I’m looking forward to getting outside and being able to walk the trails again.

March recap and highlights

Instead of recapping my list of goals for March, I think I’ll just leave the link here for you to check out for yourself. But one of the major highlights was a change I made to my daily diet about three weeks ago.

Due to higher rent payments and the cost of food, I’m trying to make cuts where it seems logical to do so and food is one of those budgets I’m trying to stretch out. Instead of buying expensive cuts of meats, I’ve learned to add beans to my daily diet – about 1/2 to 1 cup per every meal. Though last night, I decided to give my digestive track a break from beans and it was a bit needed.

I’ve noticed a difference in how my skin feels, clothes are feeling looser, I feel less bloated and swelling seems to have gone down too! I didn’t get out for walks as we hit some really cold weather, but I did make use of my balcony on those warmer days. I’m also craving sweets less, and find I’m losing fat around my midsection and face. It’s such a difference, even though the scales have not budged. Yet. It will. It needs to!

Spring cleaning has begun, and I fixed my vacuum yesterday! It needed a deep clean and I managed to get it working again, saving me more money.

I did not get out and socialize like I wanted to – I had a bad flare early in the month and a snowstorm on the weekend killed plans to attend a witchy market. But there will be more and I hope to hit flea markets soon and perhaps, a farmers market.

Now… we let go of March and move onto April!

April Intentions: Creating Space

April usually means that spring is here if you are living in the Northern Hemisphere. This means warmer weather, and soon, people in Canada will be able to plant seeds in their gardens and watch them grow over the summer!

This month’s spiritual focus should be on:

  • Creating and producing (plants, seeds, food, arts, crafts, energy, etc)
  • Connecting with nature and spending time in your gardens
  • Balance – overall balance of physical and emotional self (anger)
  • Building on self confidence and assertiveness
  • Welcoming new opportunities into your life and accepting them

Start your day off with intention setting

Sit with your morning coffee or tea, meditate while you stir (counterclockwise), Soak in the delicious aromas and think about what you want to get accomplished for the day. Run through a list of plans in your head, or jot them down in a notepad (or digital notebook) – whatever medium you use.

Stop. Deep breaths. Repeat regularly. Your anxiety will thank you.

My Personal Intentions for April 2023

  • Deep clean my condo (windows, floors, walls), organize my balcony and outdoor living space;
  • Decorate the balcony with fairy lights, plant herbs, daisies, and search flea markets and garage sales for cute gnomes or fairy statues;
  • Get out! Be with friends! Start seeing friends again for coffees, lunches and host monthly craft nights here. Attend at least one spring market. This will help with confidence and strengthening connections!
  • Go outside daily: Whether it’s sitting on the balcony, going for walks, or getting together with friends to explore nearby trails and connect with nature. Enjoy at least one outdoor picnic when weather is warm;
  • Meditations and grounding: Meditate daily, practice selfcare (baths, hygiene, exercise, eating healthy), continue with monthly therapy appointments, journal often, focus on healthy relationships and talk with partners when issues come up in a respectful and non-toxic manner;
  • Work on creative projects: Digital art, writing books and stories, crafting and using up beading supplies in my spare room and organize crafting supplies!
Mindfulness Planning Board – created with Canva

Mindfulness Journaling

Do you practice daily mindfulness? If so, how do you incorporate it into your daily life? Do you find that it helps lessen your anxiety? Let me know in the comments what you loved about this post and what you might carry on with you this month.

Word of advice: if you do a 30 day challenge, keep a diary or journal of what you did every day and how it made you feel – you can refer back it to every month 🙂

If you are looking for an online journal, I have a few on my Etsy store – check out the link here.

Site wide sale for 50%!

Thank you for reading!

Beltane & Gaelic May Day

Celebrated on April 30 – May 01, Beltane is known as Gaelic May Day and celebrated in the northern hemisphere to mark the midpoint between spring and summer.

It is known as a Pagan holiday and is one of the eight Sabbats according to the wheel of the year (honored by Pagans, Witches and Wiccans). Festivals can include bonfires, maypoles, dancing, singing, and ahem, performing fertility rituals – whatever that looks like in your part of the world. Beltane, the fires of Bel, honors the Celtic Sun God, Belenus.

I’m including this for April as some stretch Sabbat celebrations for an entire week, and I’d like to do more of this for myself!

For more information, please subscribe to this blog – a full post will be scheduled for the end of the month about Beltane traditions and origins!

What’s happening this month spiritually?

  • April 06 – The Growing Moon or Pink Moon
  • April 06-09 – Christian Easter / Good Friday
  • April 30-May01 – Beltane (Gaelic May Day)

April Correspondences

  • Astrological signs: Aries and Taurus
  • Colors: Red and Gold
  • Elements: Fire (red) and Earth (green)
  • Herbs and Flowers: Basil, Chives, Dragons Blood, Geranium, Thistle, Daisies, Sweetpea, Lilac, Willow, Hazel, Dandelion, Dogwood
  • Incense: Pine, Bay, Bergamot, Patchouli
  • Spirit Animals: Bear, Wolf, Hawk and Magpie
  • Spirits: Plant and Land Spirits, Fairies or Little Folk
  • Stones: Ruby, Garnet, Sand, Quartz, Selenite, Angelite, Diamond
  • The Growing Moon or Pink Moon

Related Information

For more information about my spiritual practices, please visit my Spirituality page. It is a work in progress, like this blog.

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All original artwork was created and licensed through Canva Premium services. By me 🙂