April 29, 2018
If there were a “Sexiest Season” award, then it would definitely go to spring, mostly thanks to Beltane.
Beltane comes from Proto-Indo-European bhel- meaning “to shine, flash, burn” and also the name of the Celtic Solar God Bel, and ten related to “hot.” And things definitely heat up with Beltane, and I’m not just talking about the weather ;). Originally Beltane was the Celtic holiday honoring the mating of Green Man and the Earth goddess that marked the beginning of summer. This sacred union symbolized the necessary act to bring about Earth’s fertility.
The traditional rituals of Beltane were also full of erotic imagery and delighting in the senses. As the name would suggest, fires were a huge aspect of the holiday, an ultimate symbol of sexuality- with the rubbing of two sticks and sparks galore. During the bonfires unmarried men and women jumping over the fire wishing for partners and fertility. When we think of Beltane, or May Day, which is actually the Irish Gaelic name for Beltane, the Maypole comes to mind. This dance represented the wrapping of the ribbon (female energies) around the pole (phallic form).
Traditionally, the Beltane festival lasted for several days or weeks depending on location and tradition. In modern days, "May Day" is celebrated May 1, but in ancient times it was more closely associated with the full moon. Because of differences in various calendars throughout history, the traditional date of Beltane is not the same as its astrological date. The astrological Beltane occurs on or around May 5, or typically when the Sun is at 15 degrees Taurus which is halfway between Spring Equinox (Sun moves into Aries) and Summer Solstice (Sun into Cancer). A good plan to celebrate Beltane is from May 1st through the full moon or May 5th, just to keep the good juju going as long as we can!
No matter when you observe Beltane it is a time to honor fertility, mating, sensuality, creativity, and abundance. Celebrate the beauty and bounty of Beltane with some of these ideas below:
If you choose to make an altar, use green, pink, and red candles to enhance fertility and energy, or choose a scented candle, such as rose or jasmine, to increase sexuality. Bouquets of dried flowers such as lavender or rose are great for both altar decor and incense.
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