Friday 30th April is the Eve of Beltane; Pagan celebrations begin with people singing and dancing clockwise around the fire. The name 'Beltane' derives from the Celtic Deity 'Bel' (definition = 'the bright one') together with 'teine' – the Gaelic word for fire.
The combined meaning is 'Goodly Fire' or 'Bright Fire', hence bonfires were lit to encourage the Sun to nurture the forthcoming harvest and to honour Bel ask for his protection of the local community.
Bel seemingly required human effort before providing support so traditionally all community fires were extinguished and two Tein-eigen (translates as need-fire) bonfires were specially kindled for Beltane.
Cattle were driven between the fires to purify them with the smoke and bring fertility. People jumped over the fire (not the huge ones I presume) to cleanse, purify and enhance fertility.
Couples pledged themselves to each other by jumping the fires together and to bless their union. After the celebrations, which ran from sunset 30th April to sunset on 1st May, the villagers took a bit of the Teineigen to start fresh fires in their home hearth.
Beltane is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Lughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc - as shown on the Pagan Wheel on the right, courtesy of Shutterstock (licence paid).
Dew gathered at dawn from the grass is traditionally used in potions for luck and it is thought to be lucky to roll naked in the dew!!! I remember collecting the dew at dawn for luck as an adolescent but I didn't try the rolling naked in the dew so can't testify to whether that works for anything other than risking (indecent) exposure.
On Beltane itself, it's traditional to drink from a well before sunrise, then wash in the morning dew, adorn yourself with greenery, watch the sun come up, dance round the Maypole and otherwise abandon yourself to the season! Round Full Moon Cakes are eaten together with blackberry, elderberry, dandelion wine (or cider) being drunk. Visits are made to sacred springs where healing water is drunk.
Thanks also to Glastonbury-based Goddessandgreenman.co.uk website who also credit Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred as their information source. There are always amazing annual Beltane and May Day celebrations in Glastonbury, though this year if there are any they will probably have to be virtual.
By keeping traditions, Pagan communities retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.
Joanna's Harmony Healing activities - not involving any rolling in the dew celebrations - are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life.
The next RSE 1 module series starts 14th May with Violet Flame of Amenti and 17th May with Chakra Balancing, Axiatonal Alignment and Unity Consciousness.
If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities following lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle on Wednesday 26th May at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1), and costs £20 (+ £2 Paypal fee). During this session, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme.
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