Beltain, also called May Day or Beltane is on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year from Samhain. It is the second of the Great High Sabbots which is celebrated regularly on May 1st. On the other side of the world they are celebrating Samhain, so the veil between the worlds is once again thinner than normal. The spirits are likely to come out for a visit with us. This would be a good time to acknowledge departed family, friends and ancestors. You may want to make an altar with your loved ones pictures, favorite flowers and candies. Place some a plate of food outside for any passing spirits who might want to visit.
Summer is coming and it is the time of the Great Marriage between the Lady and Lord. Many marriages occur during this time of the year. In some cultures the men would get on one side of the hedge and the women on the other, so they could not see who was where. They would dance around the hedges. When the music stopped each person would reach through the hedges and grab a partner. They would then become handfasted to that partner. If they stayed together throughout the year a wedding could be performed and if they didn’t stay together they could do the dance again the following year for another chance with whoever was grabbed.
Dancing with the Fae, throwing glitter, blowing bubbles, playing instruments in the light of day and the fire lit night with torches and bonfires makes it nothing but wonderful during this celebration. What joys will come this summer with the raising of meat, veggies and fruits for the coming season. Plant what you need to feed you and yours and plant what you want to come to you and yours. Everything has a purpose, whether it is healing, good vibrations, or a little financial help. We all need something; what do you need?
Other projects might be the cutting of the Yule log to dry out for the Winter Solstice celebration. One of my favorites is the making of Fairy Rock gardens which provide a home for the Fae and a wonderful garden to admire and gain luck. Don’t forget to go out early and wash your face in the morning dew to retain youthful beauty.
Several traditions like to perform the Great Rite which is a re-enactment of the marriage of the God and Goddess. This is a type of sympathy magick for blessings, prosperity and fertility. Many also perform sex magicks during this time because it is a powerful fire festival.
Another highly performed act is the erecting of the Maypole. This is a phallic symbol for the Sun God coming into his power. Attach ribbons to the top and have everyone grab a ribbon, then dance and weave the great Maypole. This is lots of fun and make sure you have lots of long ribbon. I remember one year we thought we had enough ribbon but it wasn’t quite long enough and it was a little funny looking but we had lots of fun, so all was good.