Beltaine is celebrated at the midpoint between Spring and Summer (when the sun is about to establish itself at its full strength), to announce the beginning of the second half of the Celtic year. It represents an important landmark to stop, reflect, relax and celebrate. During this time when everything is sprouting and blossoming, we honour the divine femininity and fertility, as well as the union between the feminine and masculine. It is a very joyful time.
Many people still celebrate the 1st of May by having the day off work to dance around May trees/poles or fires and practice other old rituals. Yet the real reason for this kind of celebration has diminished. The ceremonies mentioned above originate from Celtic times when fires were kindled as part of a ritual to connect and worship the rising of the sun, helping the harvest to ripen. The May tree has been considered a symbol of unity and new life. The masculinity represented by the phallic shape of the tree/pole and the femininity by the floral decoration around the tree/pole. Each village would have a May-tree/pole at the entrance to the village which would spread the creative and reproductive powers of Spring.
A time of rebirth, renewal and reunion
During Spring, I take time to celebrate the beauty and fertility of mother nature, with the people I love. I reunite with my mother to honour our friendship and feminine connection. Whilst making and wearing daisy crowns, we relax at the edge of the forest, sitting in the long grass, enjoying the view and the warm rays of the sun.
On the eve of Beltaine, we lovingly light a fire, sing, dance and leap over the fire, whilst making wishes. Then we join hands whilst watching the flames, feeling the heat, warming our bodies and getting ready for the transition into the second half of the year. Allowing all of the old to be transformed into ashes and reborn as a phoenix, we open the path for new opportunities to come to us. The next morning, we ground our intentions with a beautiful picnic and afternoon tea, whilst connecting with the spirits of the forest.
Gratitude is the key to abundance
It is important to practice gratitude, especially when we are joyful and everything is running smoothly.
With the full moon rising, a group of us women gather to inspire each other to reconnect to our divine feminine and fertile energy; allowing us to blossom and glow, as well as to invite love and abundance into our lives. Being grateful for all we have received in the past, we are then each given a bunch of dried plants and herbs to take home.
After a week-long festivities, I join my closest friend on a walk through the Celtic forest and we engage in a sacred ritual of bread sharing. This is a rite of gratitude as well as an act of opening up our friendship and love for each other. It also ensures that we surrender to the forces and will of mother nature so that we can unite and grow richer.