Beltane, Fire Festival
Archetypal Energy: Light-Lunar-Masculine
Archetype: Bael, The Earthly Father God
Beltane is the season between May 1 stand June 21 st. Beltane is the second most important season, marking the onset of the light half of the year. As at Samhain, the barriers between reality and the spirit worlds are thin, so it is another powerful occasion for divining the future. Beltane for the Celtic people is the time of the sacred alchemical marriage between their solar, father god Bael and their earth mother goddess Danu. The May pole dance is performed at this time of year symbolic of the intercourse and marriage between the solar sky father (Bael) and the earth mother goddess (Danu). This is a time to celebrate our earthly parents and their intercourse
which created us. It is a time to celebrate mating and fecundity throughout the earth. Children who were conceived at orgiastic rituals upon Beltane were seen as incarnating the divine energies of Bael and Danu and as having special, magical abilities. Beltane like Samhain, is a time when the doorways between the worlds are most open; a time of connection to the faery realms and to oracle. Beltane rituals always include the crowning of a May King and a May Queen who represent the archetypes of Bael and Danu. This is therefore and auspicious season for marriages and betrothals.
Associated energies and symbols for the season of Beltane
1. Associated Element: Fire
2. Direction: Southeast
3. Season: Summer
4. Faery Realm: Finias; Realm of The Fire Salamanders
5. Animal: The Serpent and The Rabbit
6. Plant/Tree: Hawthorne
7. Color: Red and White
8. Earthly Realm: Animal
9. Arch Angel: Michael
10. Polarity: Masculine/Passive
11. Energy: Dark/Negative (-)/ Lunar
12. Focus: Inner/Introverted
13. Sacred Tool: Staff or Spear (Merlin’s staff or Lugh’s Spear)
14. Stage of Life: Youth/Young Adulthood
15. Time of Day/Night: Midday/High Noon
16. Body Consciousness/Chakra: Heart Chakra (Celtic and Hindu)
17. Consciousness: Solar Consciousness
18. Jungian Functions of Personality: Intuition
The season of Beltaine begins around May 1. It is the celebration of the birthday of the sun god Beale. He is the consort of the mother earth goddess Danu in the Celtic tradition. He is an archetypal solar sky father god. Summer is the most masculine of the four seasons. It is the time when the child is born into the world into material form. It is time of long-growing season; the time of most activity, like playfulness, enjoyment of fruits of the world; the time of youth, sexuality, sensuality, dating, mating, the body, physical activity, prowess, and achievement. In the Celtic tradition, it is the time of the many-colored land, celtic heaven, eternal summer. Time of color, fruits and flowers and brilliant light. Full expression, action, the heroic self, of really going for it. Time of youth and the warrior, time for heroic actions, being present in the physical world.
The personal focus of ritual during the season of Beltane is on the following: Focus upon one’s earthly parent’s relationship and how it has effected oneself; focus upon one’s own important sexual and romantic relationships/marriages in one’s life; focus upon one’s sexual life and libido.
Ritual for the season:
It is performed in the Monarch Bear Grove, in the Celtic cross circle, dedicated to the sun.The ritual occurs in Monarch Bear Grove and focuses upon the maypole dance. In the maypole dance, participants tie ribbons of different colors around the maypole and dance in a circle. Half of the participants dance clockwise and half of them dance counter-clockwise. The clockwise movement involves pulling down of energies from the sky, creating the cone of power, and the counter-clockwise movement involves the pulling up of the energies from within the earth, thus creating a vortex of power. This powerful ritual involves the inter-weaving and inter-marriage of a multitude of energy polarities being brought down from the stellar and the solar realms and brought up from the underworld and faery realms and interwoven within the middle-world of the earth. This interweaving of polarities includes masculine and feminine, and sky and earth and a multitude of others. Frequently at Beltaine, we honor and toast our mothers and fathers. This is the time of purification through fire. Time to celebrate one's sexuality, whether male or female. Time to welcome faery beings and to commune with them since their world is very accessible at this time.
The time where the spirit fully manifests within the body and the material world of manifestations and polarities. In spring time we are a fetus in a physical form we are spirit and body protected within our mother's womb; at Beltaine it is the time of coming out being born into the material world, becoming fully spirit and body existing between the polarities of the material world. Beltaine is beginning of the light half of the year, time of the manifest, it is the ending of the dark half the year, which is the time of the un-manifest. Beltaine is the polarity of Samhuin energetically. Samhuin is the beginning of the un-manifest (inner) part of the year and Beltaine is the beginning of the manifest (outer) part of the year. Beltaine is based on several event in the outer world, like the rising of the Pleiades, which occurs sometime between May 4 to May 8, and also the blooming of the hawthorne trees (sacred trees of the faery queen.) Another aspect of this season and ritual is the crowning of the May King and Queen to honor the polarities of this season.
In Celtic Shamanistic Traditions, each of the different directions has different elemental and energetic and behavioral associations.
Begining about Nov. 1st -- Samhain is the Pagan New Year. It literally means "summer's end" in Irish Gaelic, and is the hallmark of the feminine half of the year. It is the time we honor those beloved who have died, particularly in the last year.
Yule is the celebration of the rebirth of light. It is humanity's oldest celebration which honors the Goddess giving birth to her son - the God, the Sun, and the Light.
February 1st - Brighid honors the time just before spring, when the earth is preparing to burst forth in productivity. It is the time when ewe's milk begins to flow in preparation for birthing, a symbol of the mother's milk of the earth.
Marks the shift from the lethargy and darkness of winter into the fruitfulness of Spring. The festival honors the time for new beginnings, as we travel into the light and action of spring, in gratitude for its warmth and light.
May 1st - Beltaine is the hallmark of the male part of the year, and honors the fecundity of earth. The God and Goddess are in sexual union - the maypole represents the phallus of the God planted in the Earth Goddess. The plants and flowers we lash to the maypole with ribbons represent the fertility of the Goddess. The festival celebrates vitality and passion - we cherish the joys life has to offer.
A festival in honor of the sun, of passion, and of the ripeness of the earth. The Goddess and the earth are heavy with pregnancy. This is a time when sacred and magical plants are gathered, dried, and stored for the coming winter.
August 1st - A time of thansgiving for the first fruits of the harvest. The God, a metaphor for the grain, is sacrificed - cut down in the fields to feed us. We make offerings of gratitude, ever mindful of the bounty the earth provides.
The light and darkness again are equal, but light grows less. The God, sacrificed in the harvest to nurture us, begins his journey into the Underworld. Mabon is a celebration of the completion of the harvest begun at Lughnasadh.