Beltane Rituals and Traditions

Beltane Rituals and Traditions

Beltane is upon us and we are greeted with the reminder of the Earth’s enduring powers of renewal.

In this season of love and connection—even in these trying times—we remember that we are still in community, that we can still reach out, create art, send letters, write love songs, and notice what is thriving in the world. Let us plant the gardens of our future, because we know that what grows in the dark will burst through thick earth with color and life.

May 1 Beltane/Mid-Spring: planting, fertility, sexuality—May Day (Euro-American), Wulpurgisnacht/Valborg (German and Scandinavian), Root Festival (Yakima), Ching Ming (Chinese), Whitsuntide (Dutch), Goddess Festivals: Aphrodite (Greek), Venus (Roman), Lada (Slavic). 

Amaterasu, Japanese Goddess of the Sun art by Hrana Janto
Amaterasu © Hrana Janto 1991

The seasonal cycle of the year is created by Earth’s annual orbit around the sun.

Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes.

We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle.

Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.

Joyful time of flowers, softening the world.

The chains of winter are broken. Break your symbolic bindings by planting seeds. As these seeds unclench in the darkness, ask what choices can you make in response to the needs of this sacred moment? What is it that you value and how can you align your life with that? 

Bear with Hearts painting denise kester art love awakensLove Awakens © Denise Kester 2017

In simpler times, communities gathered to jump over fires in the fields and participate in the great round of fertility.

Listen to the voices of the universe saying YES—the sun shines, the birds sing, the flowers bloom. The purpose of the universe is to celebrate the delight of its existence. May that inspiration hot-wire us into the living voltage of the Mother. Renew your life with others. 

What we all long for is the relationship with other beings; it's the only thing that cures this massive alienation.

Lying on your back in the woods, see how the trees lift themselves in a circle. Reach out and extend your circle. Community, the geography of Somewhere, is the We that balances the Me. Women know this, in the compass of our bones. 

Written by the incredible, Oak Chezar. From We'Moon 2020

Helixical- Flame -firedancer-art-by-Miss-Ascentia
Helixical Flame © Miss Ascentia 2005

The sun has started her dance.

She is gracing us with her rays late into the day and teasing us with cloudbursts and rainbows. The new growth of green buds stimulates growth within ourselves.

This is an ideal season to take small moments to shed things that do not serve you.

Dig deep in the dirt and within yourself to carve out space for new challenges and insights. Dance in the golden light of sunshine welcoming this new time of abundance and magick. May your gardens be fruitful and your soul rivers flowing sweetly. 

Beltane Love from the We'Moon Creatrix Team

Robin Quinlivan art titled What Was Given from We'Moon 2016
What Was Given © Robin Lea Quinlivan 2009

Do you know we are all on fire? 

Life is literally a fire burning in our bodies. Our biology magically takes in energy in tiny increments so we don’t ignite. Still, it’s a wonder more of us don’t just spontaneously burst into flames!

Beltane is a traditional time to renew, reawaken our fire:

Inner fire, hearth fire, community fire, sexual and fertility fire of people, animals, plants, the land.

What about when there’s way too much fire everywhere:

In wars, in forests, in collapsed nuclear reactors, even freak fires in the arctic? What about depression—not enough creative fire, soul fire, wemoon fire, to bring balance and healing to offset the devastation? No way to get there from here?

Today is our holy moment to quantum jump over the impossible and make love to the Possible. (If your head can’t do it, let your heart try.)

Newborns of the body or imagination conceived on Beltane are “Merry Begots,” full of enough aliveness, love, joy, humor to confound the toughest logic and direst doomsday predictions.

—Miriam Dyak © Mother Tongue Ink 2015

Beltane Blessing by Kim Duckett from We'Moon 2017:

Autumn Skye Art titled Making like ocean artWe celebrate the Maiden or Maen (an alternative word for this life-phase for those who do not resonate with the term Maiden) in the month of April and Menarche in May. We create this distinction to unlearn the trance of equating Maidenhood with reproduction and sexuality, focusing instead on sacred Desire.


In this season, no matter our age, we embrace our inner youth.

This is a good time to journey or quest, learn new skills, practice the balance of self-care and care-giving. We seek the inspiration raging in our guts—our genius—that which is ours alone to manifest. Ask the Maens and Maidens in your life, and within yourself:
(art credit: Making Light © Autumn Skye Morrison 2008

Beloved, what is it that you really Desire?

In May, we honor the pattern that replicates itself in the seasons, the waxing and waning moon, the ebb and flow of ocean, and in the bodies of Women.

We respond to both sunlight and moonlight through the magical science of hormones and the pineal gland—“the seat of the soul.” Our hormones dance and flow in synch with these large forces of nature. This cycling is a built-in mechanism for renewing mental and physical health, taking us inward and outward, to release what no longer serves us.

Archaeology and anthropology teach us that menstruation was central to the development of human civilizations:

Women responded to their Blood Cycle by going within to listen, then coming out to share with their tribes what they experienced in their monthly “vision quest.”

This sharing was not about reproduction, but about creation of the whole universe.

I ask women to sit with this remembering. There is science involved in this magic, but it is magic first.

Desire is the Outward call, our internal guidance system. Menarche is the Inward call, where we seek wisdom about how to bring desires to fruition.

The natural and personal cycles are One. We become She Who Cycles. Now that is something to tell a young woman on the day of her First Bloods!

Kim Duckett © Mother Tongue Ink 2016

These articles and images come from the We'Moon datebook, our beloved astrological moon phase planner.

Highlights of our desk-top datebook include information for every day in week at a glance format:

Cover image of We'Moon 2021 spiral bound astrological moon phase planner
  • Astrological data in Pacific Standard Time
  • Moon phases depicted for every day
  • Notation of when the moon changes signs
  • Void of Course Moon date, time and aspects
  • Notation of when the Sun changes signs
  • Astrological predictions for every sun sign in the zodiac
  • Holiday / Holy Day writings about each of the   wiccan / pagan celebrations days
  • Over 100 images of fabulous feminist art and over 100 righteous writings by amazing poets and storytellers. All of these works are submitted by women from all over the world
  • The planner is laid out in a week-at-a-glance format
  • Month-at-a-glance moon phase calendar pages in the appendix
  • Year-at-a-glance calendars with full and new moons for both the current and following year, so you can schedule your full and new moon circles well in advance
  • Full Ephemeris located in the back of the book with retrograde periods highlighted for every planet
  • Bylines for the hundreds of contributors whose work is included in the day planner
  • Information about how you can contribute your creative work for possible publication
  • Intro articles about astrology, Chinese astrology, herbs, the wiccan / pagan holidays, eclipses and mercury retrogrades that are coming up for the year, and more
  • Appendix articles on how to understand the various influences of the planets and signs, a veritable feast of Astrology 101

...And So much more!

 

 

Denise Kester (Ashland, OR) is a mixed media printmaking artist, renowned teacher and founder/artistic director of Drawing on the Dream, an art distribution company. Announcing the new book Drawing on the Dream—Finding My Way by Art. drawingonthedream.com

Kimberly Webber (Taos, NM) Priestess of painting, alchemy and bees. Advocate for the Divine Feminine, personal freedom, youth, pollinators, biodiversity, animals, oceans, forests. Planter of flowers and corn. Pollinator of empowerment. Amplifier of hope. Kimberlywebber.com

Oak Chezar (Jamestown, CO) is a radical dyke, performance artist, Women's studies professor, psychotherapist, writer, & semi-retired barbarian. She lives in a straw bale, womyn-built house. She just published Trespassing, a memoir about Greenham Common Womyn's Peace Camp. Whilst working & playing towards the decimation of patriarchy & industrial civilization, she carries water. oakchezar@gmail.com



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