Sabbat Series: Beltane

Beltane, occurs on May 1st and is one of the four “Greater Sabbats.” The greater sabbats occur at the midpoints between solstices and equinoxes, and due to this, their energy is more palpable. This Sabbat, which sits opposite Samhain on the Wheel of The Year, marks the beginning of the light half of the year!

Beltane is focused on the coming together of God and Goddess and is a combination of their respective masculine and feminine energies. This celebration is one of union, abundance, fertility, and vitality!

Beltane is also a fire festival. Beltane itself is a Celtic word meaning “bright fire,” and as such, this Sabbat is deeply rooted in this element. Historically, the balefire would be lit on the eve of Beltane though tradition varies depending on location. The fire was symbolic of the sun and the return of summer.

How is Beltane Celebrated?

Aside from lighting the balefire, Beltane is celebrated with a feast, dancing, and due to the emphasis on fertility, carnal movement, and activities.

Another common element of Beltane is the maypole, which is typically wooden, with ribbons flowing from the top. The Maypole is considered phallic in nature by many and a nod to the fertility element within the Sabbat. Dancing occurs around the maypole until the ribbons are intertwined and representative of the marriage between god and goddess.

Decorating a May Bush is a continuation of the celebration. The May Bush is erected either on the eve of Beltane or the day of and is then decorated with ribbons, painted eggshells, and flowers.

For your feast, a “Beltane Bannock” is a traditional bread for this Sabbat. It is made with oatmeal and has a flat appearance. Historically, eating bannock was thought to bring abundance for your crops and livestock.

What To Put on Your Altar:

✰ Chalice

✰ Antlers or Horns

✰ Flowers

✰ Nuts, Berries, and Fruits

✰ Fire

✰ Sword or Athame

✰ Ribbons

✰ Spring Colored Candles such as Greens and Yellow

✰ Bannock

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