Thursday, April 30, 2015

5 Ways to Celebrate Beltane in 5 Minutes or Less, by the incomparable Tess Whitehurst

5 Ways to Celebrate Beltane in 5 Minutes or Less

As you may know, Friday is Beltane, or May Day: the day opposite Samhain/Halloween on the Wheel of the Year, when the veil between the worlds is lifted and the portal between the realm of humans and the realm of the faeries is open wide. It's a time associated with abundance, fertility, sensuality, romance, celebration, and purification. And while Beltane festivals abound and you can certainly build a bonfire and drum or dance the night away if you so desire, even a brief ritual of magic or devotion can have a powerful resonance, and can transport your consciousness into the realm of the sacred. With that in mind, here are five ways to celebrate Beltane in 5 minutes or less.

1. Make a candle bonfire. Beltane bonfires are traditional ways to purify by burning away the last remnants of winter and turning stuck energy into vibrant power and life. To perform the same energetic action in miniature, place a red pillar candle on a plate and arrange naturally shed twigs and fresh blossoms around its base. Light the candle, breathe deeply, and send your consciousness into the center of the flame, feeling/seeing/sensing the fire burn away all old unnecessary conditions and stuck energy into beautiful, radiant light.

2. Dance wildly. Find a song that fills you with equal parts joy, wildness, and sensuality. Then blare it loudly and dance, being as silly and free as possible. Make sure hip shaking and pelvis grinding is involved, and if you make yourself laugh in the process, that's extra credit.

3. Make a faerie offering. Celebrate your interconnection to the web of all life, including the life of the fae, also known as the aliveness and consciousness within all of nature. A handful of birdseed can be an excellent offering to the fae, as can polished or faceted crystals, shiny coins, and beer, ale, or champagne in walnut shells.

4. Purify your threshold. Beltane is a particularly powerful time for purification, and doorways are very much in alignment with this expansive and transitional time. As such, smudging your front door with white sage, desert sage, or palo santo, washing it with warm water into which you've added essential oils like spearmint or cedar, or misting it with a smudge spray, can be an excellent way to purify your life and attract beautiful blessings and opportunities.

5. Engage in a pleasure ritual. Sensuality and pleasure are in Beltane's domain, and taking even a short moment for it can reap wonderful, lasting benefits. Mindfully eat a bit of your favorite chocolate, revel in walking barefoot across a lawn, or anoint yourself with an adored essential oil blend and lose yourself in its scent.

As well, my family will hold a ritual to bless the Guardians of our home (two pet gargoyles) and my little guy will leave a treat of strawberries and cream out for the faeries. Oh, what fun is Beltane!

Here is a list of offerings for various aspects of home Guardians if you are inclined to make your own offering:

FOOD: Bread, Cakes
DRINKS: Ale, Beer, Wine, Brandy, Fruit Juice
OTHER: Flowers, Coins, Semi-Precious Stones, Crystals

FOOD: Bread, Butter, Oil, Salt
DRINK: Wine, Milk, Tea, Coffee.
INCENSE: Pine, Rosemary.
OTHER: A small portion of all food.

FOOD: Barley, Bread, Oil.
DRINK: Wine.
INCENSE: Juniper.
OTHER: Perfumed oil, Garlands.

FOOD: Bread, Salt, Oil, Fruit, Cakes.
DRINK: Milk, Wine, Beer, Cider, Juice.
INCENSE: Frankincense, Rosemary.
OTHER: Ritual food.

(Usually we just light a candle before each and thank them for all they do, but things have been a bit wonky lately, all of it outside the home, so I think Ezekiel and Gabriel deserve a bit extra this year for all the extra work they've been doing!)

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