Beltane: a Ceremony for You to Try at Home
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Beltane: a Ceremony for You to Try at HomeWelcome the Coming of Spring with this Beltane Ritual
Beltane is a celebration of the potency of the Earth and the forces of Nature. This is the beginning of the most active part of the year and the beginning of Summer. All of life is bursting with fertility, sap is rising, birdsong fills the air and growth is everywhere.
The Earth becomes clothed in green, personified in the past as the Green Goddess and the Green Man. Beltane is a celebration of sexuality and the fertility that springs from the union of female and male forces. It is a time for practising the art of wooing, for letting passions fly in the exuberant joy of the moment. It is a time to express yourself, but also to remember to stay grounded.
Ask yourself what you wish to give energy to. Where will you put your focus? What can you change for the better? What actions can you make that will help the spread of goodwill and Love in the world? All too soon this highly fertile time will be spent, so make the most of its raw energy for initiating plans and visions. Everything you do now will bring you closer to your goals, as the expansive energy of the moment carries you along.
The boundaries between our world and the world of Spirit are thin at this time (as at Samhain), especially at dawn and dusk, and we can become ‘spellbound’ by the moment, spinning off into Dreamtime.
Traditionally, this is a time for staying up all night, for sleeping out on the Earth, especially at springs and wells, for jumping the Beltane Fire, for dancing around the maypole and for walking spirals and labyrinths. Beltane is a festival for celebratingour friends and lovers, and the potency of union of all kinds.
- If possible, celebrate Beltane Eve when the Moon is full or waxing to full and be outside all night. Watch the Sun rise and experience being outside at dawn.
- Arrange a place to gather in a garden or on someone’s land where it is possible to have a fire. Bring tents, sleeping bags, blankets and waterproof sheets so that the children can go to sleep when they are ready.
- Bring food and drink to share, firewood for the fire, and dress as the Spirit of the Green Man or Green Goddess. Bring whistles and drums and use them to conjure up the Spirit of the Greenwood and to facilitate dancing. This is traditionally a time for interweaving dances around a maypole or a tree. Find someone who can teach these or make up your own. Use music and dance to bring people together in celebration of life and each other.
- Create a special moment to jump the Beltane Fire, leaving behind what is holding you back and calling out as you jump: ‘I leave behind…’
- Partners and lovers, parents and children and close friends can hold hands and jump together, pledging themselves to each other, to joint projects and to ways forward. Call out as you jump: ‘I pledge myself to…’
‘Round and round we go.
We hold each other’s hands
And live our lives in a circle.
Our Love is strong
And the dance goes on.’
- Decorate the base of a tree with flowers and place a basket of cut ribbons beneath it.
- Gather around the tree. Build up the energy of a chant, dance and hold hands, welcoming contact with the Dryad of the tree.
- Share a grounding exercise, breathing deeply down into your belly and letting your energy drop down your legs into the Earth. Feel yourself anchored and held stable by your roots as you continue to travel down into the Earth until you reach the living core of Fire at the centre. Draw this limitless fertile power up through your roots and into your body. Feel it bringing you renewed energy.
- Open the circle by welcoming the Spirit of each element using words and sounds and making heartfelt connections, so that you really feel what gifts each element brings to you at this time. Bring this awareness out into the circle: ‘I thank [name the element] for its gift of…’ so that each person conjures up their own links of gratitude and connection.
- To the sound of whistles or drums, let each person dance towards the tree, expressing their most beautiful self and deepest connection to the tree and the Earth.
- Take a piece of ribbon from the basket and tie it to the tree as you give your personal pledge to bring two parts of your life together that need to be joined and healed. Dance back out when you feel ready.
- When everyone in the circle has made their dance and pledge, hold hands and spiral in to stand around the tree decked with pledge ribbons. Send your pledges on their way by letting out a long note on each outbreath, bathing each other and the tree in sound. This works best if it lasts for at least five minutes, so that the very air is vibrating with harmonizing sound.
- In the silence that follows, send your Love and goodwill out into the world, to those you Love and to those in power, whose change of heart could bring peaceful unions and world harmony.
- Close the circle by thanking the elements for their part in the growing season and the tree for being part of your ceremony. Spiral out, dancing and expressing your exuberance and Love for life. The ribbons can be left on the tree or taken with you to remind you of your pledge.