Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blessed Beltane! :)))



Beltane is one of the eight Sabbats that we celebrate. This holiday has some of the tratitions from the Gaelic Bealtaine traditions with lighting bonfires. It also has a bit of resemblance to the German May Day celebrations for our May Pole traditions. On Beltane we celebrate the beginning of summer, fertility, passion, and ritual with bonfires and May Pole dancing. It's a day to honor life. The name Beltane translates to "bright fire", the "bale-fire". On the evening of Beltane the Celts would build a fire from nine sacred woods: birch, oak, rowan, willow, hawthorn, hazel, apple, grapevine and fir.

"Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch wood in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest, towers with might in the fire it brings the God's insight.
Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning-adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
But - Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be."


- From the Wiccan Rede

This is a time where the veils between the worlds are thinnest. In ancient times, on the night before Beltane they would put Rowan Branches on the windows and doors for protection during this time from any unwanted spirits that may come through the veil.

It is said that it is the night that the fairies return to us. Legend has it that the Queen of the Fae rides back on the night before Beltane on her white horse and tries to attract people back to Faeryland with her. It is said that if you sit beneath a tree on Beltane Eve, you may catch a glimpse of her or hear her bells.

On the night before Beltane the young people in the town would go out at midnight to gather flowers. They would come back from this all night event dressed in flowers, leaving flowers on doorsteps and blessing the crops in exchange for food. It's a bit similar to trick-or-treating on Samhain. Because of the passion associated on this night it was not uncommon for many a young maiden to come back pregnant after this evening.

Perhaps one of the most well known Beltane customs is that of the Maypole. The Maypole use to be made of the communal pine tree where all the branches were trimmed off. It then moved to a tree that was driven into the ground. The tree represents the world center and Tree of life. It also is a phallic symbol. Red and white ribbons were attached to the top of the pole. The White Ribbons represented the Goddess and the Red Ribbons represented the God. Traditionally there would be 8 dancers, one for each Sabbat, paired into couples. The men held the red ribbons and the women the white ribbons. They then would weave together a representation of the birth canal by moving in circles around the pole, weaving under each other's interlocked upheld arms in mock sexual union. Beltane circles were once constructed with the Maypole at the center and a balefire at a distance at one or all four cardinal points. Because of the sexual connotations, Parliament made Maypoles illegal in Europe in 1644 but they came back with the Restoration and a 134 foot maypole was erected in the Strand in London.

One of the older traditions of Beltane is having a bonfire on Beltane. One of the neat ideas I read for this holiday is using the flames from that bonfire to light candles within your house. :))) So on this night, have a fire outside if you can, dance, celebrate, raise up that powerful energy. :)))) Then when you're ready say the chant below and bring the fire into your house by lighting candles. Don't forget to leave out some little cakes tonight as an offering!

Feathered winds come dance with me
Lift me from the ground.
Join my waltz, my spirit, freed
As we are upward bound.

Tongues of flame come jump with me
Ye purifying fires,
Join my joy, my playful glee
As we move yet higher.

Tears from seas, come sing with me
Roll from out the caves,
Join my verse, my body cleansed
In your healing waves.

Mother Earth come laugh with me
Set aside your toils,
Join my chant of forests green
Secure me in rich soil.

Earth and Air, Fire and Sea
I call you all, come dance with me!
Grant me now a sacred space
While working magic in this place.

- chant written by clown

Love and Blessings,

Jasmeine Moonsong

1 comment:

  1. Emerging Visions visionary art 'zine #22

    http://emergingvisions.blogspot.com


    In celebration of Earth, our Gifting Gaea has emerged.
    Share our Gift; Enjoy our Earth; Blessed Be






    Sense caressing meadow
    Green grain and brilliant petals
    Lovely buzzing, lively hopping
    Warm, yellow light at play
    Luscious wash of pleasure
    Fragrant, rolling, mellow
    Miles of flowering moments
    Celebrate today

    Imagine May Day

    Brazen witches fly, legends say,
    dark Moon nights; arise, stealthy, silent
    in their joyous revelry.
    Bonded to Earth's creation;
    learning at mother's breast
    to manage life's gifts and lessons.

    Historic Man may proclaim, may murder
    for fealty, to swear allegiance to
    their hunt's command.
    They may elevate their One True King
    to kneel and obey. They may employ
    counting measure, ceremony and sacrifice,
    taunting and torture or other trials
    thus finding for each loyal swan a pond
    to plunder, to parade in royal colour,
    their place of pride.

    Cruelty descends, more master than tactic;
    it is the enemy of joy, of flavor,
    bonding, works of love and honor.

    Yet men, on real ground, work companions
    to soil and rain, engineers trained to each
    moment's urgencies, philosophers of stone and mud,
    reason and toil, persist. Their sinew and bone feed
    the ages, build clay and richness on which
    wealth relies.

    Wisdom knows the sweat of practiced movement,
    flexible to unexpected obstacles, able to modulate
    quiet or loud as the crowd ebbs
    or grows in credulity.
    Where wisdom seeps through, counters
    prevailing poisons, invigorates blood to nourish
    minds and hearts, look there for blessing.

    Arise, lovers! Bring forth better days,
    ours to play in open revelry,
    neighbors enjoying shared labors and our fruit.
    Accept truth of magic; imagine life into this world.


    Beltane 2012

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by :))) Love and Blessings, Jasmeine Moonsong

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