Beltaine 1May Day…
Commonly mispronounced in the USA as “BELL-TAYNE,” when the correct pronunciation is more like “BEE-ELL-TIN-UH.”  I think. Anyway….back in the day, this was a good time for baby-making. If women could get pregnant at Bealtaine, they could work the fields and help with the harvest before they got too big to help, and would give birth toward the end of the winter (in early February) when the ewes would begin to lactate. This meant that food was more plentiful than in leaner times of the year and birth rates were higher. Ancestors had very practical reasons for shagging the night away this time of year. Dancingaround a maypole (as you can see in the upper corner) had (seriously obvious) fertility connotations.

Nowadays, the timing of baby-making is not so tied to the cycles of agriculture, but there’s still plenty of reason to celebrate.Witches honor the Dead at Samhain (November 1.) It makes sense that the polar-opposite Sabbat would honor Life and all the earthly pleasures that come along with it.  And like its Death-counterpart, sometimes costumes play a role.

My Coveners bedecked in Bealtaine finery.

My Coveners bedecked in Bealtaine finery.

Moments of Sacred Dorkdom usually emerge.Dorky photos are a part of life, after all. Therefore, we honor them at Bealtaine.

Beltaine 3
It’s also a time to honor life commitments partners may choose to make to one another. At Brid’s Closet Festival, this is symbolized by tying two people to the Maypole and then being all, “HA! Bye.”

Beltaine 4
They don’t mind.

Beltaine 5
At its Spiritual Core, Bealtaine is about truly waking in us that which is dormant and also getting us moving again.If Ostara is the Spring’s alarm clock, Bealtaine is its second cup of coffee. At the Friday night ritual, we ran through the vines and chanted this beautiful old rhyme. To me, I could not think of better prose to define this sacred day:

Friends that in the circle stand, Heart to heart and hand to hand, Bringing Beltane to the land, Let the sleeper awake!
Let the flames of Beltane burn, May the Old Ones now return, May we of their magick learn, Let the sleeper awake!
Let the streams and fields be pure, Earth and sky be clean once more, Love and laughter long endure, Let the sleeper awake!
Forests spreading, peace returning, Where the Pagan fires are burning, Now the inner light discerning, Let the sleeper awake!
May the Lady’s touch again, Rest upon the barren plain, With the sunshine and the rain, Let the sleeper awake!
Beltane magick here we sing, Chant the rune and dance the ring, Joy and blessing shall it bring, Let the sleeper awake!
“Oh, do not tell the Priest of our Art,
Or he would call it sin;
But we shall be out in the woods all night, Aconjuring summer in!
And we bring you news by word of mouth For women, cattle and corn
Now is the sun come up from the South
With Oak, and Ash and Thorn!”

Blessed Bealtaine, everyone! Now that we’re awake, let’s get some shite done.  🙂

P.s., Thank you to George Courtney for contributing these photos! Thank you to Bernadette, Deidra, Chandra, and the rest of the Brid’s Closet community for a glorious festival, once again!