Happy Beltane
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Happy Beltane

Happiness on Beltane May 1st 2016

Beltane is also known as Walburge,Vappu , Bealtaine, Bhealtainn and May Day.

Beltane kicks off the merry month of May, and has a long history. This fire festival is celebrated on April 30th at sunset and celebrated May 1-3rd with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy

There are many Goddess and Gods from many Pagan Pantheons Associated with Beltane.  Such as
Flora the Roman Goddess of Flowers. Her Greek name is: Chloris.

Some Historians  believe that the rites of Beltane are traceable to the ancient Roman festival of Floralia, which was celebrated with floral processions. Others believe it originated among the Celts that inhabited the British Isles. but others believe it dates back into ancient Egyptian / Babylonian and Sumerian times.

Bes (Egyptian): Worshipped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection god, and watched over mothers and young children. He and his wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility.

Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus was the party god -- grapes, wine, and general debauchery were his domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility

Kokopelli (Hopi): This flute-playing, dancing spring god carries unborn children upon his own back, and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, he is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of his fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with his consort, Kokopelmana.

Xochiquetzal (Aztec): This fertility goddess was associated with spring, and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron goddess of prostitutes and craftsmen

Other Goddess and Gods Associated with Beltane include all Virgin-Mother Goddesses, all Young Father Gods, all Gods and Goddesses of the Hunt, of Love, and of Fertility. Some Beltane Goddesses to mention by name here include Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Artemis, Astarte, Venus, Diana, Ariel, Var, Skadi, Shiela-na-gig, Cybele, Xochiquetzal, Freya, and Rhiannon. Beltane Gods include Apollo, Bel/Belanos, Cernunnos, Pan, Herne, Faunus, Cupid/Eros, Odin, Orion, Frey, Robin Goodfellow, Puck, and The Great Horned God and of course Gaia also called Mother Earth. and many more too numerous to list.

As Beltane is the Great Wedding of the Goddess and the God, it is a popular time for pagan weddings or Handfastings, a traditional betrothal for 'a year and a day' after which the couple would either choose to stay together or part without recrimination. Today, the length of commitment is a matter of choice for the couple, and can often be for life. Handfasting ceremonies are often unique to the couple, but include common elements, most importantly the exchange of vows and rings (or a token of their choice). The act of handfasting always involves tying the hands Handfasting('tying the knot') of the two people involved, in a figure of eight, at some point in the ceremony and later unbinding. This is done with a red cord or ribbon. Tying the hands together symbolises that the two people have come together and the untying means that they remain together of their own free will.

Another common element is 'jumping the broomstick' - this goes back to a time when two people who could not afford a church ceremony, or want one, would be accepted in the community as a married couple if they literally jumped over a broom laid on the floor. The broom marked a 'threshold', moving from an old life to a new one.

Mead and cakes are often shared in communion as part of the ceremony. Mead is known as the Brew of the Divine, made from honey which is appropriate for a love ceremony (and is the oldest alcoholic drink known to humankind).

Going A-Maying

Handfasting or not, both young and old went A-Maying... Couples spent the night in the woods and fields, made love and brought back armfuls of the first May or haw thorn blossoms to decorate their homes and barns. Hawthorn was never brought into the home except at Beltane - at other times it was considered unlucky. Young women gathered the dew to wash their faces, made Flower Crowns and May B askets to give as gifts. Everyone was free to enact the Sacred Marriage of Goddess and God, and there was an accepted tradition of Beltane babies arriving nine months later!

Maypole

The Maypole is a popular and familiar image of May Day and Beltane. A phallic pole, often made from birch, was inserted into the Earth representing the potency of the God. The ring of flowers at the top of the Maypole represents the fertile Goddess. Its many coloured ribbons and the ensuing weaving dance symbolise the spiral of Life and the union of the Goddess and God, the union between Earth and Sky.


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