Wheel of the Year: Beltane
The changing skies of April are past us, and May is bursting forth all around. Planting season is in full swing as the Wheel of the Year turns joyfully from spring toward summer. It’s Beltane once more, and abundance greets us from every direction.
Beltane is a cross-quarter pagan holiday, celebrated on May 1 to mark the beginning of the summer season. Derived from a Gaelic word meaning “bright fire,” this sabbat overflows with life energy, symbolically celebrating the sacred union between the God and Goddess of Celtic lore.
Modern celebrations of May Day tend to skirt the issue where symbolism is concerned, but the old rituals were unashamed of purpose: Beltane is a fertility holiday, and as such, is focused on procreation among everything in nature - including sexual union between humans.
Despite this distinctly mature focus, there’s room for people of all ages to celebrate Beltane. It’s a wonderful time to gather early fruits and vegetables, bring in fresh flowers, and enjoy the company of loved ones around a fire pit…or even a grill. Beltane is filled with life’s beginnings and brings the promise of a beautiful harvest to come.
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