Beltane is fast approaching, as we look forward to 1 May in the northern hemisphere. In Wales we call it Calan Mai.
This festival is usually commemorated with bonfires, maypoles, dancing, and performing other rituals. And, as well there is a couple of English videos that you might like to watch.
“A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.”
– Emily Dickinson
Ancient Celts used to light two bonfires. At one bonfires they believed the would purify themselves, as well as increase fertility in the world. At another bonfire they would pass cattle between them, and they belief they would would purify the cattle, and ensure the fertility of the herd. Although many modern Celtic doesn’t do the ritual, as you will see something similar that will encourage you to do some relevant practice.
Here is how you might like to do something close for Beltane (and there are a couple of videos that will show you Beltane being used in England), such as:
- how about you use google for a photo of a maypole of (usually girl) children on the alter, and imagine it for five or ten minutes, and maybe use imagine yourself as part in it, or watching it close by. Here is a video of young children using a maypole in England: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncIAdeQGxoo
- you may like to use five or ten minutes to imagine in your mind that you’re dancing (for men usually) as part of Morris dancers (and here is an English video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZjLATAUwao
- you might like to use one small flower to plant a little cup of water to think of nature, ecology and fertility.
- maybe you might like to spend 30-60 minutes for a walk in a forest or city park etc.
- you might like to read a poem, such as
There is no time like Spring,
When life’s alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing,
Before cleft swallows speed their journey back
Along the trackless track –
God guides their wing,
He spreads their table that they nothing lack, –
Before the daisy grows a common flower
Before the sun has power
To scorch the world up in his noontide hour…
(Christina Rossetti, by ‘Spring)
- you may might celebrate a small altar (maybe with a small cloth, a candle, a small posies of yellow flowers)
- maybe you might like to use a prayer for Beltane, one below here, or one of yourself:
Creator God, forgive our moments of ingratitude,
the spiritual blindness that prevents us
from appreciating the wonder that is this world,
the endless cycle of nature,
of life and death and rebirth.
Forgive us for taking without giving,
reaping without sowing.
Open our eyes to see,
our lips to praise,
our hands to share,
and may our feet tread lightly
on the road that, together, we travel.
(Copyright © John Birch, 2016 · Prayer written when copied freely for worship).
Do have something special for Beltane for yourself – have a liturgy or prayer, an altar, a meditation or imaginational time for a few minutes, or use the time in the forest or city park for a small time to celebrate this time of Beltane.
Many blesses, Tadhg.