Our Celtic ancestors marked the passage of time through the seasonal wheel of the year. This was a wheel of eight festivals, based on the changing of the seasons alongside solar and lunar events. They were traditionally celebrated at the full moon, nearest the time.
At Beltane (approx May 1st) the warm season finally returns and we feel the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active and all of life is bursting with potent fertility. It is the time of marriage between the maiden goddess who has reached her fullness, and the young oak king otherwise known as the Green Man.
The goddess is signified by the hawthorn in blossom, and together, the May King and Queen are symbols of sacred marriage. It is a time of sexuality and sensuality, passion, vitality and joy, and all about conception. A perfect moment in the Wheel of the Year to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action, to make a little magic, and have some fun too!
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', and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. This was in the days when the sacred
elements were still honoured.
Beltane is also a time of faery revels, when the doors of the Otherworld are opened for all once again. Folklore suggested more movement of faery troops during Beltane and the time of Samhain (Halloween). People would leave offerings outside which suggestions an ancient connection between human and faery energies. In my opinion, offerings should always be something that can go back to the land. Foods for local wildlife, flowers, songs or dance. Tying rope to trees might look pretty but can cause damage to the tree and leaving lit candles near wood gets a big NO from me. If Faery magic is something you are keen to explore, I highly recommend the courses designed by Danu Forest. I have learnt a lot about nature spirits and connecting to the land under her guidance. Click here to visit her website.
Making spells and performing rituals at this time is great because of all the fertile energy. Making a fire, or lighting a candle with the pure intention to honour the Sun God will bring more prosperity and joy to your life. Its a good time for planting wishes and spells for anything you would like to grow, imagining the rich and nutritious soil from the Earth feeding your dreams.
Because this time in the wheel of the year is about sacred union and marriage, here’s a little suggestion for a Love spell….
You will need…
Small Cardboard Box (large match box sort of size)
Pencil and paper
Bowl of water (spring water if possible)
Crystals and stones
One large open flower (Rose would be perfect)
Some Hawthorn Blossom (female) and Oak leaf (Masculine) - Always ask first before taking, and leave an offering if it feels right.
EVERYTHING starts from within, so if you want to attract love into your life, you need to feel some love for yourself. This spell includes a way to bless yourself and is a beautiful way to balance your yin and yang energy.
Start by laying out your alter in a way that is appealing to your eyes. Use objects and crystals that make you feel good and inspire joy.
Standing or sitting by your alter, take a few deep breaths to gather all your consciousness back inside. Feel your energy come back and turn your attention inward.
Use the power of your breath to direct energy out of your Root Chakra (base of your spine or feet if standing) into the ground beneath you, like the roots of a plant or tree. Allow your breath to send energetic roots down until they meet with the Heart of Mother Earth.
Once a connection has been made to the Heart of the Earth, continue focusing on the breath to pull a warm, loving, supportive energy up into your body. When you feel your body vibrating full of her love, place your hands over your bowl of water and use your breath and focus to release the Earth's healing love into the bowl.
Take your attention to the crown of your head and feel light pouring in from the stars above. Using the same breathing technique, transfer this loving stellar energy to your bowl of water.
Now you have blessed the water, it's time to bless your self. Keeping your focus on the love energy you have raised, dip your flower in the water and gently wet your crown, forehead, both palms stating "I bless and love myself", or any other kind words that feel appropriate to you. Then continue with any other parts of your body you would like to bless with love. Take a moment to understand how love is always available to you.
Holding on to this knowing that you are loved, write down what you desire as a lover. Try to write qualities rather than real people because you can't mess with free will. Place the paper in your box with some Hawthorn Blossom and Oak leaf to represent the masculine and feminine... but of course adjust according to your taste!
Find a spot outside to plant your spell. Dig a hole at least 6 inches deeper than your box. Place your dreams into the hole and focus on the idea of new growth opening up in your heart. Place your flower on top of the box and any remaining Hawthorn and Oak, and return the soil.
To finish the spell, offer the remaining blessed water back to the Earth with some words of gratitude.