May 1st or 15 degrees of Taurus
This is the third of the four great fire festivals in the Wheel of the Year. It is an ancient Celtic celebration of the return of life and fertility to the barren world we’ve been living in for months now. Beltane is a time for renewal. Spring is at her peak now and that good, earthy green smell is everywhere around us. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming and the Earth is moist with fertility. The promise of life made to us on the Spring Equinox is fulfilled. This is the time of year when the ancients danced and wove ribbons around the Maypole, made love in the meadows filled with flowers and jumped over bonfires so they could be purified.
We pay homage to the Earth at this time by picnicking beneath an old apple tree with a lover, drinking wine and frolicking in dew laden flower fields. We are sowing our oats at this time of year and generally making merry, happy to be alive as the warmer seasons get under way. This is the celebration of the ecstasy of love as it fills the earth with blossoming life. Rejoice!
Also Called- Celtic Flower Festival, May Day, Walpurga, Feast of Tanna, Whitsun, Lilac Sunday, Lady’s Day, Walpurisnacht.
Traditions- sexual license, May Pole erection, gathering flowers, wearing green, fire calling, feasting, making merry, dance and weave ribbons around a may pole, leaping bonfires.
Symbols– May Pole, Daffodils, bright colors, smiling sun.
Foods- sweets and sugar products, heather mead, cakes, cookies, fruits, no meat.
Herbs– lilac, heather, apples, blossoms, hawthorn, St. John’s Wort, honeysuckle, woodruff, all flowers.
Stones– sapphire, bloodstone, malachite, garnet, rose quartz, emerald, beryl, tourmaline.
Colors– bright colors, dark green
Deities– Bel Flora, Belinos, Bloddeuwedd.
Time of Day-Dawn