zaterdag 28 april 2012

The feast of Beltaine

The first of May is almost upon us. Beltaine, the feast of Flame and Faerie! On this day the Beltaine fires merrily burn, bringing blessings and wishes to all who leap through them. It is the day of letting go, of dancing and singing and frolicing about, not caring who is watching. It is one of my favourite festivals.

The festival of Beltaine is also an important Faerie Feast. Together with Samha'in it is the day that the veil between the world is at its thinnest. Beings from both sides of the veil can cross over and communicate and most importantly, celebrate with each other. I was taught that the festival of Samha'in was the time that our ancestors crossed to our side to dine and celebrate with us. On the festival of Beltaine it is the Fair Folk who come out to dance and sing with us!

Beltane by Julia Helen Jeffrey
Beltaine is also the day that the Seelie Court will rule again. The court of Summer and Light. It is said that the tradition of electing a May Queen is a reminiscense of the Queen of the Summer Court. The Seelie Court is the Court of Fae who are more benevolent towards humans. They will warn us when we have offended them, even if we didn't even know we had done it. The Seelie Fae are also more prone to bestow blessings and gifts on ones who have treated them well.

In the cycle of the God and Goddess, Beltaine is the festival where they become one. They dance and lay together and wherever they walk, flowers and grain will sprout up from the ground. It is the day of fertility and growth. The animals go out into the field again, together with their little ones. The Goddess is now pregnant with the Sun Child and has turned from the Maiden into the Mother.

Beltane by Mickie Mueller
Taken from the Hidden Path Oracle deck

Join us on this first of May,
To sing and dance,
to laugh and play.

Leaping over the roaring fire,
we cry and chant,
our heart's desire.

We call out, for all to hear;
Blessings upon you all,
Summer is here!

Beltaine by Marjolijn Ashara

What to do on Beltaine.

Here I've put together some ways to celebrate Beltaine. Some are more elaborate than others. Personally, I prefer the small, more natural celebrations. Enjoy and happy Beltaine to you all!

One way to honour the Summer Lady is to wear a wreath of flowers in your hair.

If you bathe in dew on the morning of Beltaine, it is said to bring beauty and happiness for the rest of the year.
Dance and Sing songs of summer and Beltaine. Go out into an open field and dance and sing to your hearts desire!
In twilight or at dawn, take a thin branch of Rowan. Twist it in a ring. It is said that if you look through it, you're able to see the Fair Folk.
Paint a branch silver and tie silver bells to it. Walk with the silver bough, chiming as you go. This will attract the Faeries to come out and play.
Leave offerings to the Fair Folk. They love milk with honey, May wine and sweet sugary cookies. Present it in a pretty way, make an effort. Beware of iron, the Fair Folk will consider it and insult if you offer them anything of iron.
Weave ribbons around a maypole. Big or small, it doens't matter. Make a small maypole by putting your wand or another wooden branch into a flowerpot!
Have a picknick or go for a long walk. Look around you and search for the signs of Beltaine. Small animals, hares, beltaine flowers. Bring some things home with you and decorate a shelf or a corner of your garden. This would make a perfect place to attract Faeries into your home!

Of course there are tons of other things that I haven't covered here. So go out on the May Morn' and celebrate with us this feast of Flame and Faerie. May the Blessing of the Summer Queen be upon you.

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

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