An ancient Celtic celebration halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. This traditional pagan celebration symbolizes fertility, growth, abundance, new beginnings and the movement, out of the darkness and towards the light. Beltane marks the ‘light’ time of the year and reminds us to celebrate the growing season of the Earth and expansion of natural energy that is inevitable at this time of year.
Beltane is a joyful festival of growth and fertility, lighting fires was customary at Beltane; one of the four great Fire Festivals (in the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), and traditionally a Beltane bonfire was composed of the nine sacred woods of the Celts. All hearth fires were extinguished on Beltane Eve and then kindled again from the sacred "need fires" lit on Beltane. People would leap through the smoke and flames of Beltane fires and cattle were driven through them for purification, fertility, prosperity and protection.
Celebrations included bonfires lit to honor the solar god Belos, rites of cleansing and purification for prosperity. Also dancing around the Maypole, all fueled with plenty of sexual energy and going out in the woods to collect flowers, symbols of the richness of Spring!
The celebration and rituals were meant to insure that the warmth of the sun’s masculine energy would promote the fertility of the feminine earth. In terms of the God and Goddess cycle, Beltane marks the union of the two deities, bringing new life to the earth.
It’s a celebration of sexuality and the fertility that springs from the union of female and male forces. It is a time for practising the art of wooing, for letting passions fly in the exuberant joy of the moment. It is a time to express your self, but also to remember to stay grounded.
Ask yourself what you wish to give energy to? Where will you put your focus? What can you change for the better? What actions can you make that will help the spread of goodwill and love in the world?
For many reasons humans have become more disconnected with the Earth. As the human race has become more aware of this disconnect, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction, drawing us back to a time when we experienced a deeper connection to mother Earth and her rhythms.
I believe the cyclical patterns of nature hold such wisdom for us. As we’ve made our transition from winter to spring and now we are halfway until summer, we should celebrate with festivals and rituals to honor the changing seasons. It helps me to integrate a living yoga practice into my daily life and feel a connection to the Earth and the greater environment, which I live in.
Bowing to Nature, Goddess and Self
Beltane’s energy is one that ignites the fire of life existing within all of us. It’s a time to relish in all that is feminine in this world. As we honor her softness, we embrace our own divine feminine aspects. As women, we can practice honoring all that is beautiful within us, and the feminine qualities we bring to the world around us.
Understanding Goddess energy and its shared theme with nature helps us uncover our own true nature as well as our true gifts and abilities. I write this as a suggestion and instruction for myself as well. Perfection is an illusion and we can forget to honor our goddess energy. We forget so that we can remember.
This new cycle is pregnant with possibilities. What once seemed barren and dead now bursts with life in every bud that emerges from the fertile earth, it is only through harnessing this divine feminine energy that allows for such growth even after the harshest of Winters.
Flowing with Fire
"At Beltane the element of fire is coming up to its height. This is Yang Fire, outer Fire that activates the energy of the Fertile Force and creates fertility on Earth. I explore my connection with Fire and what I am activating and setting in motion. I unite Fire with Spirit and feel the powerful energy of the Life Force expanding in all directions simultaneously. Fire is Light. Light is Energy. Fire is Star-Fire, our link to the beginning of Life, Life Fire, Life force. Fire is the Spark of life, the initiator, the Transformer, The Spirit of Change. What I give to my Spirit Fire will expand outwards, will manifest. My choice to set Life in motion and my will to begin co-create abundance through the transference of energy from 'Within' to 'Without'. Fire is in my intention and what I consciously focus on. Whatever I give my attention to and what I concentrate on will grow and continue. I fire up my passion for the transformative power of Unconditional Love, for this is what I want to multiply." ~ Glennie Kindred "The Alchemist's Journey"