Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Plan Your Beltane

Beltane is a major Wiccan Sabbat. There are 4 major sabbats: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. For some reason, Beltane and Samhain seem to speak more to modern Pagans in general, and are usually treated as the utmost important Sabbats. 

Originally in Wicca, the holiday was known as 'May Eve' (Gardner started with only four Sabbats: May Eve, August Eve, November Eve and February Eve. The Solstices/Equinoxes were added later by his coven, and only later were the names changed to the Celtic & Germanic words we know now).  It was celebrated the night of April 30th, but now people tend to move their celebrations to the most convenient date. 

The 1st of May falls on a Friday this year-- considering it is celebrated as the sexual joining of God and Goddess (the union of opposites), it is perhaps very appropriate when it falls on the day ruled by Venus. 

Attuning with the Wheel of the Year is very important in Wicca. The Wheel of the Year has multiple levels of meaning. I think of it as layers:
- The Deities
- Seasonal
- Agricultural
- The life cycle
- Ages & Stages of life
- Mythological (the bigger picture)

It's far too much detail for me to go into here in a blog entry, but I write more in depth about each of these layers in my hub An Overview of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.

So in some way (at least in my trad) it's very important to mark the Sabbats as they pass. 

My Tip for You Today: Plan your Beltane!

What are you waiting for? You should be thinking about this now, with only less than a week to go. 

  • Plan an elaborate ritual.
  • If you're new and lack tools or knowledge, go for a simple ritual. 
  • If you're unable to do a ritual at all, plan an activity: go to the park to meditate for a while, and have some water or iced tea-- toast to the season and pour out a libation to the Earth.
  • If you can't get away, do something special at home; throw out a summer decoration, brew a potion, make a charm, or cook a nice meal.
Basically, find something you can do to attune with this cycle. Treat the Sabbats like the special occasions they are, not as an afterthought you scrounge for at the last minute. Give them their due by thinking ahead; this is how the Sabbats go from 'something you do because a book tells you' to real holy days that you begin to internalize and look forward to. 

If you don't know what to do, you can always refer to my "Wicca for Beginners: Wheel of the Year Resource Guide" and check under the Beltane section. 

I give a very simple, no tool necessary Beltane ritual, some simple magical workings and spells, activities, and even my famous hummus trio recipe (a hit at many a Beltane ritual pot lucks, if I do say so myself).

So now you have no excuse to procrastinate! Get cracking!

 Share your Beltane plans!

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