Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear friends,

That time of the year is rolling around again, one of the most important festivals and one of my favorite times to celebrate-Beltane. I look forward to it every year and each year try to find new ways to celebrate it and experience it with my family and friends.

Beltane has always been considered the greatest fertility festival of the year and has traditionally been celebrated on April 30th. In the past, men and women gathered in the towns and villages and celebrated with food, drink, and bonfires. Many then separated and practiced their own, erm, fertility rites during the late night hours, returning the next morning. With that aside, it was a celebration that young and old could enjoy, even if they didn’t participate in the pleasures of the flesh.

Houses were decorated with green branches which were then brought inside on May 2st, or “May Day” as it is sometimes called. Remember the Loreena McKennit song that came out awhile back called “The Mummer’s Dance?” “We’ve been rambling all the night and some parts of the day/Now returning back again we bring a garland gay.” Well, folks, Loreena didn’t write that song, as beautiful as it may be. It’s actually a very old folk song that commemorated the Beltane rituals.

That’s actually happened a lot over the years-a popular artist taking an old folk song, rearranging some of the lyrics, and making it their own. But that’s neither here nor there and I like Loreena so I won’t pick on her.

During the day, the men and women would go to houses, knock on doors, and welcome the coming of spring to those who answered. That is also part of the folk song as well: “A garland gay we bring you here/And at your door we stand/Here’s a sprout, well budded out/The work of our Lord’s hand.” I actually remember being a child and folk dancing to this song. It was a lot faster then and we always danced it with sprouts of greenery. At the end of the dance, we would take the sprouts and hand them out to people in the audience, much in the same way that the villagers would do many years ago. I have often wondered if the very Christian college that we sometimes performed at really understood what that song was all about.

They would also tie rowan branches to the tails of cows so that they wouldn’t become bewitched. Cows are easily lead astray and Beltane was a time when the fairies came out to play so one had to be very careful during the first few days of May.

The Maypole was a very big part of the Beltane festivals and can still be found today in some places. So what does it mean? Red and white flowers were wound around the pole in garlands in order to symbolize the milk and blood and mysteries of the Goddess. It was a fertility symbol, which is kind of easy to see when you think about its phallic shape. We also did the Maypole dance in school and I am almost certain that the higher-ups had no idea what it really meant.

Today, you can have your own Beltane ritual. Invite friends and family members over-witches and non-witches alike. Celebrate the coming of spring and decorate your altar with flowers, green garlands, and seeds. Cook lots of food for everyone, especially the sweet kind because faeries love honeyed bread and this is a celebration for them, too. Red, green, and white candles are nice to burn at your altar, as is sandalwood incense. Create your own maypole for the little ones and try to hold the festivities outside if you can.

If you’re making a bonfire, or bonfires as it may be, then do be careful. While this time of the year is usually pretty wet in most parts of the country, you want to be cautious of dry areas. While being spontaneous is nice, forest fires are not.

Just remember not to get caught by the fairies or else you could get trapped in the fairy world for a year and one day! Of course, some people might not have an issue with that, but for others it could be a little bit of a hindrance.

When it comes to fertility rites, well, I’m afraid I can’t help you there. You’re on your own. There are some good fertility rituals available and this is an excellent time of year to put them to use. For the physical aspect of it, all I say is to be cautious and practical when it comes to these things. This might be a magickal time, but common sense must till prevail, too.

Happy Beltane and happy spring to everyone!

Brightest blessings,

Rose Ariadne
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Posted by Rose Comments 5


  1. mona bell says

    :lol::mrgreen::cool:i love your blog rose just read it hugs:)

    April 22nd, 2011 | #
  2. minnie says

    :smile: I always enjoy you blogs. May every breath that you take be more Blessed then the last. Blessed Be.

    April 22nd, 2011 | #
  3. Marcus says

    Your thoughts and opinions are always such a pleasure to read. I look fwd to each time your new posting pops up in my inbox. Bless you and yours! ( I like Loreena too! )

    April 23rd, 2011 | #
  4. Awesome!!!!!!!! I was going to have a fire tonight, but that was about it, after reading this youve inspired me, as ive been in a “funk” lately. Thank you Rose!!! and Blessed BE! )0(

    April 30th, 2011 | #
  5. scorpionwater says

    I am cold he is hot
    For he is the sun and I the moon
    Entwined together in eternal love
    He is my hunter, warrior,protector
    I am his wisdom,guidance,mercy
    Together we bring the world to life
    Nature speaks to us
    The trees dance and sway and swirl their leaves around us
    The birds sing our song of bliss
    Is it so do I speak of the goddess and god of old only you know

    May 1st, 2011 | #

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