A Version of the History of Beltane

History of Beltane from beltanefire.com.au

The Beltane fire festival welcomes the abundance of the fertile earth and is celebrated with bonfires, Maypoles, burning of the Wickerman, dancing, and a feast, with its roots in European traditions, Beltane is observed by many of today’s Pagans and others as a time for performing rituals

The Celts divided the year into two main seasons. Winter, the beginning of the year fell on November 1 (Irish: Samain) and midyear and summer on May 1 (Irish: Beltaine), opposite for us here in the Southern Hemisphere.

These two junctures were thought to be critical periods when the bonds between the human and supernatural worlds were temporarily erased; on May Eve (southern hemisphere)…

Faeries in the Garden

Faeries in the Garden

In some NeoPagan traditions, the Fae are often welcomed and celebrated. In particular, the Beltane season is believed to be a time when the veil between our world and that of the Fae is thin.

It is important to note that the Fae are typically considered mischievous and tricky, and should not be interacted with unless one knows exactly what one is up against. Don’t make offerings or promises that you can’t follow through on, and don’t enter into any bargains with the Fae unless you know exactly what you’re getting – and what is expected of you in return.

If your tradition is one that celebrates the magical link between mortals and Faeries, you may want to take advantage of the fertile Beltane season to invite the Fae into your garden. Here are some ways you can make your outdoor space welcoming to the Fae.

  • Build small houses or caves out of stones in your yard. Tuck them into hidden places under bushes, or in your flower garden.
  • Craft small wooden chairs and tables to place outside. Paint them in bright colors, and wrap them in ivy or other vining plants.
  • Some people believe the Fae are attracted to water. Place a birdbath or a small wishing well as an inviting spot for Faeries.
  • Create a circle of stones as a magical place for the Fae.
  • Faeries are often associated with the sound of bells. Make a bell wand and place it in a spot where the breeze with catch it and draw the Fae in, or hang tiny bells from your tree branches.

Some gardeners believe that certain types of flowers are practically magnets for the faerie folk. If you’d like to attract them to your flower garden, plant things like sunflowers, tulips, heliotrope and other flowers that typically draw butterflies. Your herb garden can be a good place for faeries as well, if you include plants such as rosemary, thyme, mugwort, and members of the mint family.

If you’re partial to trees, in addition to your flower and herb gardens, you might want to consider planting tree that are associated with the Fae. Oak trees, in particular, are often linked to faeries, and in some areas it is believed that a great oak is the home of the Faerie King. Another tree to plant for the fae is the hawthorn, which is seen as a portal to the faerie realm. Along with the ash tree, known as a home for faerie clans, the oak and hawthorn form a perfect trifecta of fae-attracting trees.

To see beautiful image incuded in this article by Patti Wigington please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/welcoming-the-fae-at-beltane-2561634

Beltaine Lore History, Customs, Myths and More

Celtic Mythology

Beltaine is the time of the yearly battle between Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwythur ap Greidawl for Creudylad in Welsh mythology. Gwyn ap Nudd, the Wild Huntsman of Wales, is a God of death and the Annwn. Creudylad is the daughter of Llew of the Silver Hand (son of Beli). She is the most beautiful maiden on the Island of Mighty. This is a myth of the battle of winter and summer for the magnificent blossoming earth.

In the myth of Rhiannon and Pwyll, it is the evening of Beltaine, that Rhiannon gives birth to their son. The midwives all fell asleep at the same time, as they were watching over Rhiannon and her new baby, during which he was taken. In order to protect themselves, they smeared blood (from a pup) all over Rhiannon, to which they claim she had eaten her son. The midwives were believed, and Rhiannon was forced to pay penance for seven years. She had to carrying people on her back from the outside of the gate to the palace, although rarely would any allow her to do so. The baby’s whereabouts were a mystery. Oddly, every Beltaine night, one of Pwyll’s vassals, Teirnyon Twryv Vliant, had a mare that gave birth but the colt disappeared. One Beltaine night Teirnyon Twryv Vliant awaited in the barn for the mare to foaled, when she did, he heard a tremendous noise and a clawed arm came through the window and grabbed the colt. Teirnyon cut off the arm with his sword, and then heard a wailing. He opened the door and found a baby, he brought it to his wife and they adopted Gwri Wallt Euryn (Gwri of the Golden Hair). As he grew he looked like Pwyll and they remembered they found him on the night Rhiannon’s baby became lost. Teirnyon brought Gwri of the Golden Hair to the castle, told the story, and he was adopted back to his parents, Rhiannon and Pwyll, and named by the head druid, Pryderi (trouble) from the first word his mother had said when he was restored to her. “Trouble is, indeed, at an end for me, if this be true”.

This myth illustrates the precariousness of the Beltaine season, at the threshold of Summer, the earth awakening, winter can still reach its long arm in and snatch the Sun away (Gwri of the Golden hair). “Ne’er cast a clout ’til May be out” (clout: Old English for cloth/clothing). If indeed the return of summer is true than the trouble (winter) is certainly over, however one must be vigilant.

Wiccan Lore

For the rest of this article please click on this  link: http://www.angelfire.com/wa3/angelline/beltaine_lore.htm

Beltane Rite Poem

Beltane plate

 

“The pole stands straight and true,

As the dancers grab their brightly colored ribbons,

They begin to dance,

They weave the wisdom passed down through the ages.

The fires burn bright all through the night,

The vibrational frequency that your Heart feels and your Soul knows.

The music notes are carried on the wind, to start again.

A glance across the crowded hall,

With none to fear he comes near.

Maiden’s laughter rings in his ear,

Her eyes gaze into his,

He knows she is dear.

They wait their turn,

To dance together as ONE,

Forsaking none.

Bells rings,

Announcing the feast,

They sit side by side,

Knowing this is right.

They pay homage to their Lord and Lady,

That they may be blessed as ONE tonight.

The Maypole had worked its magic once again,

For the couple found their bliss

By the simple act of a kiss under the star strewn sky.

Their fingers are laced together tight,

For they know this is their night.

They hold each other in their arms

Throughout the starry night.

They are awakened by dawn’s early light.

Grateful to have found each other,

They begin their journey together as ONE

Through this Beltane Rite.”

© 04272016 Wolf Woman Ways

The Goddess and The Greenman

Sunset to Sunset.

Beltane honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Maiden goddess has reached her fullness. She is the manifestation of growth and renewal, Flora, the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen, the May Bride. The Young Oak King, as Jack-In-The-Green, as the Green Man, falls in love with her and wins her hand. The union is consummated and the May Queen becomes pregnant. Together the May Queen and the May King are symbols of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos), the union of Earth and Sky, and this union has merrily been re-enacted by humans throughout the centuries. For this is the night of the Greenwood Marriage. It is about sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy. And about conception. A brilliant moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. And have some fun…..

Traditions of Beltane

Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, meaning ‘the bright one’ and the Gaelic word ‘teine’ meaning fire. Together they make ‘Bright Fire’, or ‘Goodly Fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun’s light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. Bel had to be won over through human effort. Traditionally all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. “This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew.” (From Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred) Green Man – Beltane

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/beltane

Walpurgisnacht!: heathen_goddess

This explains more thoroughly about Frau Holda then I ever could. Brightest Blessings Sisters and Brothers,
SunRay Sorceress

http://heathen-goddess.livejournal.com/34182.html l
LiveJournal Inc.

HEATHEN_GODDESS

Terra of the Cloister of the Heart (terra_morganell) wrote in
heathen_goddess,
20080429 08

Walpurgisnacht!

Drawn from an article athttp://starfsfolk.khi.is/salvor/fyrstimai/nornir-harz-fjollin.htm

“In German folklore, Walpurgishnacht is believed to be the night of the Witches’ Sabbath in the Harz Mountains.”
(Terra says: In particular, with Holda on Mt. Brocken…)

“Wandering through Germany’s Harz Mountains, it’s impossible not to realize that you have entered a domain of enchantment, a place where landscape conspires with legend to create a sense of lurking mystery. A terrain of craggy peaks, gloomy forests, and river valleys banked by towering cliffs, the mountains remember folk beliefs dating from pre-Christian times.
Straddling the former border between East and West Germany, they are steeped in tales of witchcraft, magic, and apparitions. Stories collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries show that the region’s mythic reputation reached beyond Germany. From France to Scandinavia, countryfolk traded fireside yarns of strange happenings on the Brockenberg (Brocken Mountain), the Harz’s highest peak at 3,747 feet. Rumor had it that Europe’s witches gathered there on WalpurgisnaMayc Mayc Eve.
Still legendary throughout the Harz region, Walpurgisnacht is rooted in the pagan Frƒhjahrsfest, or Spring Festival.c Directly opposite Allhallows Eve in the seasonal cycle, it was once widely celebrated among all Germanic peoples. Whereas North America associates witches and sorcery with Halloween, April 30 is when things get spooky in Germany. Legends tell of blue flames igniting above buried treasure, ladies flying on broomsticks, and the ghostly Wild Hunt pursuing the goddess Walpurga through snowstorms and hail. “There is a mountain very high and bare, whereon it is given out that witches hold their dance on Walpurgis Night,” writes folklorist Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology about the Brocken, sometimes shown on old maps as thef Blocksberg. “Our forefathers kept the beginning of May as a great festival, and it is still regarded as the trysting time of witches.” Chillingly, he notes that witches invariably resort to places where justice was formerly administered, or blood was spilled: “Almost all witch mountains were once hills of sacrifice.”

Visiting the witches
When travelers don’t act as if the Harz Mountains are imbued with ancient magic, local tourist authorities are dismayed. They do their utmost to evoke a sense of otherworldliness. Even hotel brochures display a logo depicting a crone riding a broomstick. In the days leading up to Walpurgisnacht, shops do a brisk trade in Harzhexen, miniature felt witch puppets that ride straw broomsticks (hexen is the German word for witches). Postcards, beer steins, and wooden carvings glorify the season of the witch. Little old ladies cheerfully pressure shoppers into pointy black hats, tarot cards, and devilish horns that glow in the dark.

Huddled below the Brocken’s granite bulk, the village of Schierke attracts around six thousand Walpurgisnacht revelers. The day begins with a parade of kindergarteners dressed as witches and pitchfork-wielding devils. Festooned with witch puppets, even the railway station joins in the fun. The local steam train becomes a Hexenexpress, chugging down from the Brockenberg’s summit to Wernigerode–the quintessential “fairytale” town of half-timbered houses and gothic turrets.

In the village, an old apothecary’s shop called Zum Roten Fingerhut (the Red Thimble) is stocked with supplies of Schierke Feuerstein, a potent spirit concocted from a secret recipe of herbs and bitters. A local druggist, Willi Druber, first brewed it in 1908. The inscription on Herr Druber’s grave warns travelers to flee, before the amateur brewer rises from his tomb and joins them for a drink.

Come nightfall, things start to resemble a casting session for a horror movie, though the atmosphere is tongue in cheek. Valkyries (virginal shield maidens), kobolds (goblins), vampires, and witches come “dressed to kill.” The grassy expanse of Schierke’s Kurpark becomes a medieval fairground. Food, drink, and craft booths are set around a giant bonfire, a pantomime is enacted on a woodland stage, and a fireworks display explodes in the midnight sky. In Schierke’s rival for May Eve celebrations, the village of Thale, a huge Walpurgisnacht bonfire blazes on a plateau above the Bode River chasm. This plateau is known as the Hexentanzplatz, the witches’ dancing place.

Women of the mountain
Although the Harz hilltops are buried in all seasons beneath snowy eiderdowns, witching hour on May Eve is the transitional time when winter becomes spring. Winter’s forces have made their final assault, and Dame Holda must summon her witches or wisewomen to dance the snow away. In nursery tales, Dame Holda generally appears as a benign figure, a combination of motherly hausfrau, white lady or moon goddess, and sky goddess.

Also known as Frau Holle, she busies herself checking that people aren’t neglecting their household tasks. In the preindustrial age, her main concerns were flax cultivation and spinning. It’s said that falling snowflakes are a sign that Holda/Holle is shaking her featherbed. It is interesting to recall that the Greek chronicler Herodotus noted ag link between snow and feathers and that the Scythians, a nomadic people of what are now the countries of Romania and Ukraine, believed the northern lands were inaccessible because they lay under feathers.

According to legend, Holda often rides throughout the countryside in a wagon, leaving gifts for those who help her. Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology relates how a peasant carved a new linchpin for her wagon. Sweeping away the wooden shavings, he found they had been transformed into gold. Holda, however, can also ride the clouds. From this arose a belief that witches travel in her company. Yet it wasn’t Holda who lent her name to Walpurgisnacht. That honor is shared by a pagan deity and a Christian abbess. As a spring festival, May Eve was originally dedicated to Walpurga, a fertility goddess of woods and springs, originally known as Walburga or Waldborg. Interestingly, she shares many of Holda’s attributes, including a propensity for rewarding human helpers with gifts of gold. And, just like Holda, Walpurga is also associated with spindles and thread. These commonplace items took on a magical significance on May Eve, when they were used for divination and love spells.

E.L. Rochholz’s 1870 folklore study, Drei Gaugtinen (Three Local Goddesses), describes Walpurga as a white lady with flowing hair, wearing a crown and fiery shoes. She carries a spindle and a three-cornered mirror that foretells the future. In the layer cake of northern European mythology, the symbols strongly suggest connection to the Three Norns, or Fates. These demigoddesses spun and wove the web of life, casting prophecies into their triangular Well of Wyrd, which watered the tree of life.

For the nine nights before May Day, Walpurga is chased by the Wild Hunt, a ghostly troop of riders representing winter. Hounded from place to place, she seeks refuge among mortal villagers. People leave their windows open so the white lady of May, harbinger of summer, can find safety behind the cross-shaped panes. Encountering a farmer she implores him to hide her in a shock of grain. This he does. The next morning his rye crop is sprinkled with grains of gold.

Despite many similarities, Walpurga andb Saint Walburga are entirely separate characters. Believed to have been born around a.d. 710 in what was then the English kingdom of Wessex, Saint Walburga was a missionary-abbess in St. Boniface’s Frankish church. She presided over a community of monks and nuns in the German town of Heidenheim and was canonized after her death in 779.

After Walburga’s relics were interred at Eichstadt, historical writings claim a miracle-working oil flowed from her tomb. The saint thus gained a cult status, and her relics were eventually sent to various churches across Europe. In medieval times, Saint Walburga was called upon to defend the faithful against evil and could offer protection against plague, famine, crop failure, and the bites of rabid dogs. She is also theY patron saint of Antwerp in Belgium and was often invoked to help sailors during storms.

Walburga’s “protectress of crops” aspect suggests an entanglement with the goddess Walpurga. Iconography often depicts the saint carrying a sheaf of grain, the usual symbol of fertility goddesses, not Christian abbesses. Rochholz muses, “What kind of pairing is this, the witches of the Brockenberg with a saint of the church, under one and the same name!”

(Terra notes: Sounds like normal to ME, Herr Rochholz

Bright Blessings,

SunRay Sorceress

Walpurgisnacht Beltane Celebration

In honor of Lady Beltane and her birthday on May 1st, I want to write about a celebration in Germany and most of Northern Europe.

In parts of Germanic Europe, “Walpurgisnacht” is celebrated each year around April 30th, right around the time of Beltane, which is celebrated on May 1st. The festival is named for a Catholic saint who lived a number of years as a Nun in the Frankish empire approxamitally in the year 748. Overtime the celebration of St. Walpurga blended with the Pagan Viking celebration of Spring and Walpurgsnacht was born.

Much like Samhain, six months later Walpurgsnacht is a time to communicate with the Spirit World and The Fae.

Bonfires were traditionally lit to keep away malevolent spirits or those who might do mischief. This is known as a night on which Witches and Sorcerers gather together to do magic, although this tradition appears to be heavily influenced by 16th and 17th German writings.

Today, some Pagans in central and Northern Europe still celebrate Walpurgsnacht as a precursor to Beltane. Although it is named for a martyred saint, many Germanic Pagans try to honor the celebrations of their ancestors by observing this traditional holiday each year. It is typically celebrated with lots of dancing, singing, music Ritual all night around a bonfire, in which Pagans welcome in Spring and new birth after the long cold winter.

To read more on this celebration click on the link:

http//www.paganwiccan.about.com/Walpurgisnacht

Fest300 – Walpurgisnacht Festival

In Germany Walpurgisnacht the night from April 30 to May 1st is the night when Witches are reputed to hold a large celebration  on the Brocken mountain and await the arival of spring.

Brocken is the highest of the Harz Mountains of North central Germany. It’s noted for the phenomenon of the Brocken spectre. The Brocken spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown into a bank of clouds in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on the Brocken.

To read more on this article click on the link:

http//www.fest300.com/Walpurgisnach

Also read:

http//www.paganprincesses.com/walpurgis-night

Brightest Blessings Sisters and Brothers,

SunRay Sorceress

Beltane Altar in a Cup

Beltane Altar in a cup 2015

Beltane Altar in a cup with Forget Me Not, Fern, Rose, Sweet Woodruff and Salt. Forget Me Not gives comfort through dreams by opening up contact with beings in another dimension and comforts because we realize the spiritual nature of these contacts. Fern is for mental clarity, cleansing, purification, and dispelling negativity and is a powerful auric protection. Rose includes attracting love, beauty, clairvoyance, domestic peace, happiness, and promoting the joy of giving. Sweet Woodruff is associated with healing, victory, protection, and money. The main metaphysical properties of salt are: Abundance, manifestation, and anchoring spiritual energies. Connecting to the ocean, the Moon and its cycles, and grounding spiritual energies into the material plane. Devotion, spiritual development, and an alchemical return to wholeness. Hospitality, house warming, and domestic harmony. Purification, spiritual protection, and releasing unwanted influences. Insights on life, death, and spiritual rebirth. Intuition, balancing the emotions and altered states like dreaming. Traditionally used for physical well-being, vitality, and longevity.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways

Beltane – Day 2

Beltane Anointing Oil

Put a Peridot for prosperity and abundance in the bottle

Put a Garnet for ushering in passion in the bottle

3 drops of Jasmine

2 drops of Juniper

3 drops of Fennel

3 drops of Lemon

2 T Jojoba oil

Put the bottle in the center of the Flower of Life grid with a Quartz cluster in the center with it and 3 garnets around the perimeter to form a triangle.  Intent was to bring in prosperity and abundance with the passion of starting new things for Beltane.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways