Sunday, 26 April 2020

More Beltane Inspiration

 

Beltane is coming up on 1st May, (a Friday this year). (Or Thursday 31st April, since some people celebrate from sundown to sundown on both days). The past few years I've written posts with celebration ideas and inspiration for Beltane. You can read them below:

Beltane Celebration Ideas:  https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html

April Update + Beltane Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-update-beltane-inspiration.html


Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Samhain is coming! Check out my Samhain Celebration posts here:

Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html

More Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/more-halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html

Samhain/Hallowe'en Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/10/samhainhalloween-inspiration.html


This year I'm featuring more Beltane inspiration. :)

Note: Although this year's Beltane will be different due to to lockdown/quarantines because of the coronavirus, I hope you can still can find some things to inspire you. :)

Beltane is the 3rd and final spring festival on the Wheel of the Year, preceeded by Imbolg/Imbolc at the beginning of February and Oestara/Ostara aka the Spring Equinox in mid-late March. It's a fire festival associated with the Fire God Bel. Another association is fertility because it's the time of year when things are really coming to life. It's also what's known as a cross quarter day (the others are Imbolg, Lammas and Samhain and they are fire festivals too). In some traditions they celebrate one group or the other, while others celebrate both. You can read more about quarter days and cross quarter days here: https://www.learnreligions.com/quarter-days-and-cross-quarter-days-2562061

The astrological date of Beltane- midway between the Spring Equinox (Oestara) and the Summer Solstice (Litha)- is 7.49pm CST on 4th May in the US and 12.49am on 5th May in the UK this year, so some people may celebrate on those dates instead. (I'm not sure whether to refer to it as astrological or astronomical, but perhaps astrological is relevant in this case).

Check out the links below for more on astrological timing:

https://waywardinspiration.com/wheel-of-the-year/

Lists dates up to 2019: http://hearthandhedge.blogspot.com/2014/11/astronomical-cross-quarter-dates-2015.html


As with Imbolg marking the start of the transition from winter to spring, Beltane (also spelt Beltaine) celebrates the start of the transition from spring to summer. Since Oestara/Ostara aka the Spring Equinox, the days have been getting longer and lighter, although summer won't properly start till June (the meteorological start of summer is 1st June and the astronomical start is around the 21st).

May Day which is also on 1st May, is the modern version of Beltane and still celebrated in many countries, including the UK. I wrote about in the 2018 post, which you can see here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html


May Day itself is not a public holiday here (unless it falls on the first Monday in May), but there are two bank (public) holidays in May, Early May Bank Holiday and the Spring Bank Holiday.

Please note: The first May bank holiday in England and Wales (Early May Bank Holiday) is usually on the first Monday in May, but this year it has been moved to Friday the 8th,  due to 8th May being the 75th anniversary of VE Day (the day when fighting stopped towards the end of World War II). Read more about the change here: https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/26/ve-day-bank-holiday-2020-may-bank-holiday-moving-10631947/

The Spring Bank Holiday (Late May) is 25th May this year.

You can read more about the May bank holidays here: https://publicholidays.co.uk/early-may-bank-holiday/

And here is a link to information for Scotland: https://publicholidays.co.uk/scotland/2020-dates/


Now here are some links with more info  about Beltane and ideas for celebrating. Although this year you can't do some of these activities right now due to the lockdowns/quarantines in lots of places, perhaps you can adapt them in some way to do at home, or get ideas for later when the lockdowns may be easing up. :)

https://www.witchywords.com/2020/03/may-day-beltane-may-4th-2020.html (Now a private blog)

http://www.thepeculiarbrunette.com/the-complete-guide-to-beltane/

https://cauldronandbrew.com/celebrating-beltane/

5 Ways to Celebrate: https://www.trishmckinnley.com/5-ways-to-celebrate-beltane/

11 Ways to Celebrate: http://www.obscureclouds.com/11-ways-to-celebrate-beltane-this-year/

Witches' ladder spell for Beltane: https://www.thetetraktys.com/2019/beltane-weaving-ritual-witchs-ladder-spell/

Celebrating Beltane: Activating Your Inner Power: http://www.thehoodwitch.com/blog/2019/5/1/celebrating-beltane-activating-and-reclaiming-your-inner-power

Quarantine friendly Beltane ideas from Tess Whitehurst: https://tesswhitehurst.com/8-quarantine-friendly-beltane-ideas-8/


The Hood Witch article Celebrating Beltane: Activating Your Inner Power (6th link) mentions activating your sacral chakra. I'm currently doing a free online belly dance programme with Katie Holland called Awakened Bellydance, and we are "dancing through the chakras".

And when it comes to lockdown Tess Whitehurst has quarantine friendly ideas in her post (last link). My favourites are Frolic Around a Beltane "Fire" (No. 5 on the list), Do a Love Spell on Yourself (No. 7) and Spread Joy and Have Fun! (No. 8).

I also like this post by Siobhan Johnson about celebrating Beltane as a season rather than just a day: https://www.siobhanjohnson.com/celebrating-beltane-as-a-season/


Update 30/4/20: Here are a couple more links I just came across:

A Might-do List for Beltane from Worts and Cunning: http://www.wortsandcunning.com/blog/a-might-do-list-for-beltane

Post which shares a May Day printable and a lovely idea about baking cookies for your neighbours: https://www.brightgreendoor.com/may-day-printable/

I'm not sure if you can do this at moment due to lockdown rules, but it's a good one to keep in mind for future (maybe for Litha instead). For now you could just bake some and share them with the people you live with. :)


Food/Meal Ideas

My main celebration for sabbats is with food and drink and last Beltane I made an African tomato and onion salad called Kachumbari. I thought it would be nice to add an African touch since I'm part Cameroonian. The recipe is actually Kenyan but the site is run by Precious, who is originally from Cameroon. You can find the Kachumbari recipe here: https://www.preciouscore.com/kachumbari/

I usually make tomato and onion salad (recipe from The Kitchen Witch) for Litha, so it made a change to have it for Beltane instead. This year I'm making Precious' avocado salad: https://www.preciouscore.com/simple-healthy-avocado-salad/

For the past few years I've made guacamole for Beltane. My favourite recipe is from The Kitchen Witch book by Soraya. Last year I used one from the recipe site Don't Waste The Crumbs for a change though. It was nice, but this Beltane I'll use the Kitchen Witch one again. You can see the ingredients for The Kitchen Witch recipe here (and a link to another recipe, since I can't copy it all out legally): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2015/05/beltane-2015.html

And here's the recipe from Don't Waste The Crumbs:   https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/simple-guacamole-recipe/

I'm thinking of having my guacamole and salad with some ciabatta bread like I did 2 years ago. But it all depends what in the shops, since it's a bit hit and miss with some products right now. I like to have some kind of elderflower drink too.


Other suggestions

I like to light a candle for Beltane ( I use white but green would be good, or any colour you want) since it's a fire festival. Also see the idea in Tess Whitehurst's post for celebrating with a fire or candle at home.

Another thing I like to do at the sabbats is go to my favourite nature reserve on a hill, to the beach or the park, but obviously this year you can't really do that. I did go to a local park around Oestara just before lockdown in March. We are allowed out once a day for exercise (in the UK), so you could just go for a walk close to home and notice seasonal changes. Or get out in the garden instead.

Although this year there won't be any public gatherings (such as May Fairs and Morris dancers) you could make your own mini Maypole  and set it up in your garden! I shared tho posts with instructions on how do that in last year's  post and thought they'd be good to share again this year:

https://moodymoons.com/2019/04/21/beltane-craft-mini-maypoles-in-3-steps/ 

https://www.vegankitchenmagick.com/make-a-miniature-maypole-for-beltane/


In the 2018 celebration post I mentioned celebrating love and relationships since Beltane is a fertility festival and about the Sacred Marriage of the Goddess and God. You can celebrate Beltane no matter your sexuality though. :) Read more about that here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/witchonfire/2016/04/beltane-once-you-go-witch-youll-never-switch/

May is when wedding season usually starts, but this year a lot of weddings have sadly been postponed due to the current situation.  And so while you can't go out on a date night or anything either at the moment (not that I'm suggesting that's a subsitute for a wedding), if you're isolating at home with your partner, you could just have a romantic night at home. :)


Hope you enjoyed the post and got some ideas for celebrating! I will do a post on what I did for Beltane next weekend. Hope everyone is staying safe and doing ok. Happy Beltane! (Or Samhain!). :)

Photo: Moonsparkle 2020.

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