Celebrate this springtime holiday with a ritual for inviting in creative energy and blessings.
Beltane is May Day, the cross-quarter festival that celebrates the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It is high spring, the peak moment of springtime when the flowers are blooming, the sun is warm (but not yet too hot), and the summer berries are poised to ripen.
The Origins of Beltane
In traditional Celtic communities, Beltane would be celebrated by decorating a May Tree, usually a hawthorn, which represents the three faces of the Goddess. The hawthorn is fresh with blossoms in its Maiden form in springtime, fruits in its Mother form in summer, then turns withered and bare in its Crone phase in the wintertime. It is a symbol of life and the power of the goddess returning again and again every springtime.
This would also be a time of feasting and gathering around the fire. Traditionally, young people would meet and court during the May Day festivities and marry the very next month, in June.
How to Perform a Beltane Ritual
With Beltane, we invite the energies of life, joy, playfulness, beauty, and hope into our lives. We remember pleasure and presence and offer our gratitude for having survived the winter season and made it to the rebirth of spring. We celebrate the energies of the Maiden aspect of the goddess, which is about life, fertility, and potential. Here is a simple ritual that you can practice to celebrate Beltane this year.
You may also want to use my Heart-Centered Meditation for Beltane as a part of your Beltane ritual.
A candle (or perform this ritual by a bonfire)
Flowers, ideally wildflowers in bloom or a hawthorn branch, harvested ethically and respectfully
A “maypole,” which could be a simple stick, your hawthorn branch, or a dowel
Colored ribbons or other objects to decorate the maypole
Find a place to sit and get comfortable with your ritual items. Light your candle or bonfire. Place the flowers in front of you.
Take a moment to close your eyes. Focus on your breath and check in with your body. Acknowledge the land that you are on and your relationship with it.
Imagine a circle of protection around you, perhaps made of chalk or stones. Set the intention that only loving, healing energies that serve your highest self are welcome here. Everything else is filtered out.
Now, take some time to think about your intentions for yourself in the coming season. What would you like to ignite in your life using this spring fire energy? What do you wish for, hope for? This could be anything, but you may want to consider the realm of romance, sexuality, and fertility, which are key concepts here. You may like to gaze on the blossoms to help inspire you. If you like, use my Beltane meditation here.
When you are ready, begin decorating your maypole. Imagine that you are weaving your wishes and intentions into the maypole as you wind the ribbons around it and add any other decorations you like. You may or may not want to weave the flowers into your maypole decorations.
When this is complete for you, take a moment to thank the land, the earth, the sky, the fire, the flowers, and the maypole. Place the maypole on your altar or wherever you might see it often to bring you luck in moving toward your intentions. You can do the same with your flowers while they are still fresh, remembering to enjoy them while you can.
Learn more about the spiritual meaning of Beltane here.