Beltane is my second favorite Pagan “holy day.” One of the things I love most about Beltane is the time of year: springtime and autumn energize me. The warm languid air feels delicious on my skin. Flowers blooming, getting the cute clothes out of the wardrobe, everything seems fresh and full of promise. Around this time of year I always get a little restless, I want an adventure.
This year’s Beltane was especially fun because it coincided with the Super Moon. While “super moons” aren’t particularly important in magic or witchcraft traditionally I like to think the power of the full moon is especially powerful on a super moon. If I had planned better, I’d say a super moon might be an excellent time to do a drawing down the moon ritual. I did not plan that far however, and I settled for drawing close to my own personal Beltane celebrations, finishing a bottle of wine, gazing at the moon and some meditation time on the rocks by the lake. It was very peaceful and energizing.
I celebrate Beltane for roughly a week: starting on Walpurgis Night (April 31st) to May 6th. For me, this is a time of meditation, welcoming spring, warmth, and the sun. This is also a time of sexual re-awakening, sensual pleasure, and connections and communications. In faerie mythology, on Beltane is when the Sidhe return above ground. For this, I always leave offerings to the fey in way of flowers, milk, honey, and sparkly objects. The faeries are important to my practice because while I believe in faeries, I think it’s important to value mystery. I believe those who refuse to acknowledge that which cannot be seen, heard, or touched are missing a large chunk of the point of life. Where’s the fun in that kind of existence? By choosing to believe in the unbelievable, one can choose to live in a beautiful world. For me, this has been probably the single most helpful choice I’ve made in regard to dealing with depression.
I also celebrate May Day in a political sense, as a celebration of labor and worker’s rights. As a part of my Beltane celebrations, I usually include a candle ceremony to remember activists and workers who have fought for rights that I enjoy and have helped my family members. Some examples of labor heroes are Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Mother Jones, and the victims of the Haymarket Riot (a May Day celebration and labor rally that went turned into a riot in 1886). Without the sacrifices and hard work of these people, I’m aware my life would look very different. So while Beltane may be a celebration about fertility, sexuality, and sensuality I also take a moment to be grateful to people who fought so hard that I might be well acquainted with these notions.