May Queen's Crown
If you're holding any kind of Beltane celebration at all, it's all about the flowers! Be sure to jazz up your festivities with a crown of flowers -- it looks beautiful on any woman, and really brings out the goddess within. Not only that, it's pretty heavy on the fertility symbolism as well. A floral crown is easy to make with just a few basic craft supplies.
You'll need the following:
• Pipe cleaners (preferably green, but any color works in a pinch)
• Spring flowers, such as daisies, irises, petunias (leave the stems on)
• Ribbon in whatever colors you love
• Take the pipe cleaners and create a circle that will fit your head. This usually takes two pipe cleaners for adults, and maybe one and a half for kids. Twist the ends together to form a ring.
Next, take two more pipe cleaners and twist them around the ring, creating a framework for you to add your flowers.
Take your spring flowers and weave the stems through the pipe cleaner frame. Tuck the flowers in snugly so that the frame is covered. If you have trouble getting them to stay in place, or if they seem loose, wrap a bit of green florist's wire around them for additional stability.
Finally, cut several ribbons in a variety of lengths. Tie them to the back of the flower wreath. Once you put on your floral crown, you'll be all ready to go dance around the Maypole!
Make a Mini-Maypole
For many people, a Maypole Dance is the best way ever to celebrate the fertility holiday of Beltane… but let's face it, you may not have the ability to do that. Not everyone can stick a 20-foot pole in their yard, or you may not even know enough other Pagans (or Pagan-friendly non-Pagans) to have a Maypole Dance in the first place. If that's the case, there's a much smaller alternative.
For this simple craft project, you'll need the following:
• A 1" thick dowel rod, about a foot long
• A wooden circle, about 4" in diameter
• Pieces of ribbon in various colors, about 2 feet long each
• A hot glue gun
Use the hot glue gun to attach the dowel rod to the center of the wooden circle. Once the glue has dried, you can stain or paint the wood if you choose. Attach the center of each ribbon to the top of the dowel rod, as shown in in the photo.
Use the Maypole as a centerpiece on your altar. You can braid the ribbons as a meditation tool, or include it in ritual. Optional: add a small floral crown around the bottom to represent the feminine fertility of the Sabbat, as shown in the photo.
Make a Beltane Basket
An old May Day tradition is to leave baskets on your neighbors doors.
You can make this basket and fill it with the flower that sends the message you want to send along. Hang it on the door of someone special!
You'll need the following supplies:
• Heavy-duty paper
• Scissors and glue (or tape)
• Flowers of your choice
Cut a large circle out of heavy-duty paper. The best kind of paper for this project is actually the 12x12" scrapbooking paper -- it doesn't tear easily, and it comes in an apparently endless variety of designs. To cut the circle, place a large dinner plate on the paper and trace it, and then cut it out.
Cut a wedge-shape out of the circle. Imagine the circle is a pizza with six slices, and remove one of those slices.
In addition to the circle, you'll need a strip about 12" long by an inch wide.
Roll the circle (minus the wedge-piece) up so that it forms a cone shape. Tape or glue the edges in place.
Attach the strip to the open end of the cone, to make a handle.
The Language of Flowers
In the Victorian era, it became popular to send people messages told in the language of flowers. There was a fairly standard list, so if you received a bouquet of lemon blossoms, for example, you'd know that someone was promising you fidelity and faithfulness in their love for you. Many of these centuries-old flower meanings translate well into modern Paganism and Wicca -- after all, if magic uses symbolism, we can take this language of flowers and incorporate it into our day-to-day magical living.
Here is a partial list of flowers and their meanings.
• Acacia: secret love
• Agrimony: gratitude
• Apple blossom: good fortunes
• Arbor vitae: undying friendship
• Bluebell: constancy of the heart, humility
• Buttercup: childhood friendship
• Carnation: pure love, devotion and dedication
• Chrysanthemum: truth and honesty
• Crocus: be cautious with my heart
• Daisy: innocence, purity
• Dandelion: flirtation
• Forget-me-not: true love
• Gardenia: happiness, joy
• Geranium: I love you over all others
• Honeysuckle: faithfulness and devotion
• Iris: respect, honor
• Ivy: marriage, fidelity
• Lavender: distrust, a fickle heart
• Lemon blossom: fidelity and faithfulness
• Lilac: innocence, pure love
• Lily of the valley: happiness
• Magnolia: perseverance
• Morning glory: flirtation, admiration
• Narcissus: self-absorption
• Orchid: rare and exotic beauty
• Peony: shyness, bashful
• Periwinkle: fond memories of past meetings
• Phlox: a joining of two hearts
• Rose: love (pink for innocent love)
• Rosemary: remember me
• Snapdragon: you presume too much about my feelings
• Sunflower: all is not as it seems
• Sweet William: a gallant and honorable admirer
• Tulip: a declaration of love
• Violet: faithfulness, dedication
• Wisteria: welcoming a new person into your life
• Zinnia: missing absent friends
For more comprehensive information on the language of flowers, and a complete list, check out Patricia Telesco's book A Victorian Grimoire.
© MoonShine, Inc. Yule, 2017