Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy Beltane!

Cross-Quarter Fire Festival April 30th - May 1st “Beltane honors Life”
Beltane is the Gaelic May Day festival, beginning Beltane Eve at Moonrise April 30, and heralds the Celtic May Day Solar Fire Festival May 1. At this Cross-Quarter, the mid-point between the equinoxes and the solstices, we observe the increase of the light in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2018 the astronomical Cross-Quarter day is May 5.

The word 'Beltane' originates from the Celtic God 'Bel', meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire. Together they make 'Bright Fire' or 'Goodly Fire,' and traditionally bonfires were lit to honor the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun's light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community.

A special fire was kindled for Beltane. "This was the Tein-eigen, the need fire. People jumped the fire to purify, cleanse and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire together to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other animals were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility. At the end of the evening, the villagers would take some of the Teineigen to start their fires anew." (Sacred Celebrations, Glennie Kindred)

The spring Cross-Quarter represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent fertility. On May Eve the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility on all levels is the central theme enacted in a symbolic ritual, Hieros gamos, or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία), the "holy marriage” between a god and a goddess.

Beltane reminds us to participate in the joyfulness of nature symbolized by budding trees and Venusian delights of love, pleasure, and romance. Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight represented with the ribbons of the Maypole streaming in the Rainbow spectrum. The flower associated with Beltane is the Elder Flower. At Beltane, the Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora and the God emerges as the May King and Jack in the Green. The MAYPOLE represents their unity, with the pole itself being the God and the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess.

In 2018 Beltane occurs with the fully illumined Full 'Pink' Moon in the Venus-ruled sign of Libra signifying beauty and harmony in relationships and opposes exalted Sun in in sidereal Aries in the lunar constellation called the "bearer of new life," whose symbol is the female organ for reproduction. VENUS, the planet of love and beauty, is exalted in the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus and in the Moon’s own seductive fixed sign of Aldebaran, one of five stars of the head of the Bull (the Hyades). A night made for lovers and revelry under the light of the Moon. 

~Blessed Beltane 
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© 2018  Janna Lynn