Beltane, the last of the three fertility festivals, is all about fire, passion, and fertilization. Many people celebrate this sabbat on April 31st (May Eve), but traditionally, Beltane is a cross-quarter day, occurring exactly between Ostara (the spring equinox), and Litha (the summer solstice). In 2014, Beltane falls on May 5.
On the Wheel of the Year, Beltane sits opposite Samhain, which means they share many attributes, one is the flip side of the other. Beltane, like Samhain, is a night when the Veil is particularly thin, but the danger on Beltane night is stumbling unbeknownst into the world of Faery, and becoming trapped.
Fertility and fertilization, sex, phallic symbols, growth, faerie rings, the Fae Court.
all the bright colors of summer: bold blues, reds, yellows, greens, orange, etc.
Cernunnos, Bacchus, Dionysus, Pan, Priapus, Artemis, Floralia, Bel, Diana, Freya, Vesta, the Green Man
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.
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.
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!
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.