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)…

Willow ~ a tree witch

Willow

Willows which by water stand
Ease us to the Summerland.

 

Salix alba

Tree of Enchantment, Tree of Witcheries

Fifth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 

April 15th – May 12th

 

Fifth consonant of the Ogham alphabet – Saille


Saille Ogham

Planet: Moon

Element: Water

Symbolism: Resonance and Harmony

Stone: Moonstone

Birds: Hawk, Snowy Owl

Color: Silver

Deity: Persephone, Hecate, Cerridwen, 

Artemis, Selene, Luna, Diana, Brigit

Sabbat: Beltane

Folk names: Osier, Pussy Willow, Saille, Salicyn Willow, Saugh Tree, White Willow, 

Witches Aspirin, Withe, Withy

 

Medicinal properties

Willow bark contains salicin, or Salicylic acid, used to make aspirin. 

Infusions from the bark have long been used as a remedy for cholls, rheumatism, and fevers. 

Willow sap applied to the skin can remedy acne, and a strong decoction of boiling 

the bark and leaves in water can be rubbed into the scalp for dandruff.

 

Magickal properties

New Moon magick, creativity, fertility, female rights of passage, inspiration, emotion, binding. Love, Love divination, protection, healing.

 

Also known as the tree of immortality because of its ability to 

re grow from a fallen branch in moist ground.

 

A wand made from Willow wood has many uses: 

sleep with it and have more vivid dreams, use it to draw down the moon, 

protection for underworld journeying

 

Magickal Brooms, witch’s brooms are traditionally bound with a willow’s branch.

 

 

There once was a Willow, and he was very old,

And all his leaves fell off from him, and left him in the cold;

But ere the rude winter could buffet him with snow,

There grew upon his hoary head a crop of mistletoe.

All wrinkled and furrowed was this old Willow’s skin,

His taper finger trembled, and his arms were very thin;

Two round eyes and hollow, that stared but did not see;

And sprawling feet that never walked, had this most ancient tree.

~Julianna Horatia Ewing, “The Willow Man” ”

Read more from the original post

Thanks to

http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Willow.htm

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

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 – 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

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ Beltane/May Day

Beltane Comments & Graphics

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ Beltane/May Day

 

May Day is the ancient festival of Beltane, the midway point between the vernal (spring) equinox and the summer solstice. The days are growing longer, coaxing the earth to open to the life-giving qualities of the sun and to bring forth every kind of fruit. Beltane is a celebration of the fertility of the earth and the fertility of our own souls. It is a call to gratitude that everything in the universe is continually being re-created, including ourselves.

The air and Earth begin to warm, Spring has arrived in full force and is making way for Summer. The leaves and grass have greened and the flowers are in full bloom (as are the allergies for some!) Man and woman begin to start their lives together, new loves are born, new lives are created.

The word “Beltane” in modern Irish means May. Beltane comes from the meaning “fire of Bel”, in which Bel is the “bright or shining one”. In his honor, the Ancient Celts set two large fires made up of nine of the sacred woods:

During this time, the herds of cattle were driven through these fires to clean off the ticks and mites and also as a symbol of purification to protect them. They were left to graze in the pastures until the new year and winter. Witches’ celebrate the fruitfulness of Mother Earth in the union between Witches’ celebrate the fruitfulness of Mother Earth in the union between Her and the young Horned God. This coupling symbolizes the new fertility of the Earth, the beginnings of Spring going into Summer.

May or Beltane, has traditionally represented the sensuality and revitalization of love-making in all living things. This is why many couples traditionally marry around this time of year. In ancient Celtic days, couples would live together for a year and a day, after which they may decide to get married or part ways. The Celts believed in the idea of marriage, but understood people and nature grow, change and sometimes move apart. This is not to say they did not believe in the family unit and still remain together as a family.

In some cultures, the May pole traditionally represented a fertility symbol – specifically a phallic symbol – dancing around it in celebration was a ritual of thanks for the time of season with which all life begins the cycle. From GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast 2002

Beltane/CetSamhain/MayDay – The first day of May is celebrated in many parts of the world. It is believed it evolved from ancient agricultural and fertility rites of spring. There are signs of the first celebrations in Egypt. However, the majority of the current traditions stem from the Roman Festival, Floralia. This was a five day festival to honor the Goddess Flora with offerings of flowers, dancing, ringing bells, May Queens and erecting a Maypole.

The May Queen would oversee crops and rule the day. Some places also selected May Kings. The crowns were typical made of twigs, leaves and flowers.

The Maypole was typically fabricated the night before. The men would strip down a birch tree and plant it in the ground; this ceremony was symbolic of fertility rites. The next day both men and women danced about the Maypole. Several longs ribbons hung from the top of the Maypole holding up a crown of colorful flowers. Each dancer held an end of one of the ribbons. The dancers alternated man and women. All the women would dance in one direction and the men danced in the other direction. The dancers would go under the first person and over the next weaving the ribbons about the tree and lowering the ring to the ground. Today this tradition is still practiced but danced mostly boys and girls.

The Celts had a similar celebration known as Beltain, Beltane, or Bealtaine which in Gaelic means “Fires of Bel” or “Bright Fires”. The ceremony honored the god of the Sun and the rebirth of the earth. Feasting, games and bonfires, began on the eve of May Day and continued through the next day with a day of bonfires and merrymaking. It was customary for couples to walk through the fires smoke or leap over the flames to insure a successful relationship. Faeries were (and are) abundant on the first day of May. Windows were decorated with flowers and food was left on the doorstep to keep the mischievous faeries out.

Those traditions created a wonderful medieval holiday that is still celebrated today. We still elect May Queens and Kings and dance around Maypoles. During this time women would wash their faces with the May Day’s morning dew believing it would bring a good complexion and everlasting beauty.

“The fair maid who, the First of May, Goes to the field at break of day And washes in the dew from the hawthorn tree, Will ever after handsome be.”

People began gathering twigs and flowers to decorate their homes and the lovely tradition of May baskets began. Children would leave baskets made from twigs and filled with flowers on their neighbor’s doorstep, knock and then hide waiting to see the expression of the lucky recipient.

From Folklore, Magic and Superstitions )0(

From: GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Coventry of Healing Arts and Pagan Studies Enroll Now!

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – May Day

Beltane Comments & Graphics

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year

May Day

 

Nature if often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.

—Sir Francis Bacon

Common in Europe and North America, May Day is celebrated ebrated by the crowning of the May Queen; dancing around the maypole; and mumming from house to house carrying blossoms soms and soliciting gifts of food. Most of the activities that take place on May Day symbolize Spring, relating human fertility tility to crop fertility and rebirth. In the past it was common for young people to pair up, often by lot, and then gather in the woods all May Eve night.

In English folklore, May Day, Bringing in The May, and Going-a-Maying refers to the practice of going out into the countryside tryside to gather flowers and greenery, much of which was used to adorn the May Queen. Bringing in the May remained a staple tradition throughout most of the 16th century, before it was banned by the Protestant reform-fundamentalists who took moral outrage at the unchaperoned activities of the young people. May Day was banned, along with many other traditional customs in the Commonwealth period, but returned after the Restoration.

Today, many of the old customs still prevail, such as woodland land weddings and the gathering of morning dew for skin renewal. newal. Horse racing, parades, and dancing around the maypole have made a comeback, as have garland parties and mumming.