Beltane is an ancient fire festival that marks the turning of the Wheel of the Year and heralds the coming of Summer. Beltane is a vibrant celebration of life and a time of honoring the explosion of growth, fertility and new life that is Spring!
In the Northern Hemisphere Beltane takes place at the beginning of May and is sometimes called May Day, as it is often celebrated on May 1st.
Beltane is halfway around the year from Samhain on the Wheel of the Year and so in the Southern Hemisphere Beltane is observed at the end of October.
Samhain is a time of harvest and begins a time of decline moving into Fall and Winter. It’s the time where we lovingly face death and celebrate our ancestors in Spirit. Beltane on the other hand is the celebration of the living world, plants, animals and humans.
Both Samhain and Beltane are times when the veil is incredibly thin. At Samhain the realm of the Ancestors becomes easily within reach, and on Beltane it is the realm of the Fae that opens.
If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere you can learn about Samhain here.
The Beltane Cross Quarter Date
Astronomically Beltane occurs at the half-way point between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, this is known as the cross-quarter date and astrologically can be observed when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Taurus.
For Modern convenience many people choose to celebrate on May 1st, others beginning the night of April 30th… Or others on the actual cross-quarter-date.
Go with what works for you, this is a magical time on Earth where Spring has reached its peak and the Earth is absolutely bursting forth with new life. You may even want to check your weather and choose to celebrate on a sunny warm day that’s somewhere around the 1st of May.
How to Celebrate Beltane
There are many powerful customs, rituals and traditions for how to celebrate Beltane that have been passed through time. There are also many new customs being created, adapted from ancient ways, refreshed, revived and made new, as humanity realizes more and more now, the vital importance of our connection with nature.
There really is incredible power that can be accessed by honoring and celebrating the changes of the seasons, and observing the depth and power of our journey through the cycles of life.
The Thinning of the Veil
Additionally, Beltane is a time in which the veils between the physical and spiritual realms are thin. Specifically, during this the heart of Springtime, the veil between the physical and the realm of the Fae is as thin as it gets.
So how can you celebrate Beltane?
Celebrate Beltane in a way that is fun and magical for you! You can do this by tuning into the magic of nature, and the power of growth, fertility and new life inherently present now. You can do this in more traditional ways like building a bonfire, dancing around a May Pole, constructing a Spring Altar, or crafting a ritual for fertility and transporting your consciousness into the realms of Spirit…
The key though, is to honor this sacred time in a way that feels right and meaningful for you.
There is incredible power in becoming fully present in the moment, connecting with the Earth and sensing the changes unfolding in nature, in the world, and in your own life.
Remember that it is through your connection with the forces of love and life that you are positively realigned with the highest possibilities for your future. Amidst the potent window of energy that is Beltane, this is the perfect thing to do!
With that in mind, here are 9 Beltane Ritual and Celebration ideas to inspire your celebrations.
Light A Beltane Fire (or Candle)
A Beltane bonfire is one of the traditional Celtic rituals for celebrating Beltane. In fact, the very word Beltane comes from the Gaelic word bealltainn which literally means Blazing Fire.
Fire is an incredibly purifying force, and so a fire ceremony is a powerful way of symbolically burning away the remnants of stagnant or distorted energy you’re still carrying.
If you’re able to, a wonderful way to celebrate Beltane is to safely light a fire in your backyard. As you gaze into the flames and feel the warmth and ancient elemental power of fire, reflect on what you’re now letting go of (burning away), and what you’d now like to energize, bring to light and illuminate through your life.
Not able to have a fire? You can still tap into the elemental power of fire with a candle ceremony.
Place a candle on a plate and then arrange some natural Earth elements like twigs, rocks and crystals around it.
Light the candle and gaze into the flame. Sense the presence of the fire, and feel into its power and primal elemental energy as you allow the vibrational energy of fire to support you in cleansing and releasing the old and outdated within you so you can boldly and with newly rekindled life-force dance into Spring.
Hunt for Wildflowers
Beltane is the season of Spring and the Earth is celebrating with flowers!
A beautiful way to join in the celebration is to go for a walk or hike in nature and hunt for wildflowers and blossom trees.
Don’t pick the flowers you find (leave them for the bees)… But do see which flowers you find, and take a moment to celebrate the vibrant life force and beauty of each.
As you come upon a flower, pause and take a moment to tune into it. Recognize it as an expression and message from Mother Earth, and as you appreciate its color, shape, fragrance and beauty, pay attention to the emotions, feelings and thoughts it evokes in you. How does the flower speak to you? What message does it bring you?
Take pictures of the flowers you find and see if you can identify them using an app like PlantNet. Once you’ve learned the type of flowers you’ve encountered, research their spiritual, magical and medicinal properties.
Print out and color illustrations of any of the wildflowers you’ve found that you particularly resonate with, or draw them in your journal reflecting on their unique qualities and what they mean to you.
Meditate on the Forces of Life and Spring
On Beltane, in the heat of the day, find a quite place outside in nature where you can go within, and quietly embrace the magic of Nature around you. Sitting at the base of a tree is a perfect place! If you can’t find a private place outside where you feel safe and comfortable to go deep within, you can find a spot indoors in front of a window, or in a place with good natural light.
Close your eyes and breathe. Feel the presence of Earth below your feet, and the energy of the Sky above your head. Slowly and deliberately breathe, savoring each breath of fresh air and feeling the air move in through your nostrils, into your lungs and deep into the belly. Gently exhale, savoring the moment and powerful release. Let your mind become emptied of thought. Enter in to the stillness and space within. Feeling a sense of peace, calm and suppleness within your body, mind and energy.
Tune into the force of Life within the Earth. Feel into the energies present in this season of Spring.
Ask yourself, and your guides in Spirit; what would your life look like were you to bloom into all you can be as a Divine Spiritual being?
Let inspiration and imagination guide you to see, sense, and feel the incredible beauty, joy and wonder that is possible for you. Relish in the vibrant scene that emerges. Notice how you may be able to take steps, or embrace change that will empower your vision to be grounded into your reality.
Tune into gratitude for the Earth, for the elements, and for all of life.
Smile knowing that your time has come to grow and bloom into the fullest Soul embodiment possible for you in this life.
Prefer a Guided Meditation? Get One Free Here!
Celebrate Sacred Sexuality and Sensuality
Sensuality and sexuality are central themes of Beltane, and by consciously tuning into these powerful forces, you can align with many beautiful blessings in your life.
There many ways to celebrate sensuality and sexuality.
For example, you might mindfully and deliberately eat strawberries and chocolate, reveling in the taste, sensation and energy evoked as you do.
You can also anoint yourself with a romantic essential oil blend, put on some music and seductively and sensually dance, burn a sensual incense like rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, peach, or vanilla … Or journal about how you connect to sensual pleasure, or how you feel about sexuality while sipping a warm mug of rose hip tea while feeling and experience its energy with all your senses.
Leave An Offering for the Earth, Faeries and Nature Spirits
Faeries are nature spirits who typically reside in natural places like the mountains, forests, streams, rivers and meadows.
There are ways to attract Faeries into your garden, but I’d only recommend doing so if you’re on a path of honoring, protecting and appreciating nature. Faeries appreciate people who respect nature, and like to play tricks on and mess with those who do not. Which means if you’re not respecting the Earth… Having faeries in your garden is probably not going to be a positive thing.
Around Beltane, the Faeries are out and about in full force, and when approached with loving care and respect, the Fae can bring an additional playful sense of fun and magic to your celebrations and to your life.
Faeries are not like Angels in that they’re unconditionally available to be of loving service to you… The Fae are like humans in that they have egos and strong personality selves. In fact, the Fae can have a very mischievous side you need to be aware of because if you engage them, you engage their magic yes, but you also engage their trickery.
However, if you are treating nature with love and respect, Faeries can bring a beautiful lightness, playfulness, magick and fun. Additionally, flower and Earth faeries can help to protect your trees and plants support their growth.
Excellent offerings for these beneficial faeries include things like honey, crystals, organic sweets or cakes, organic mushrooms, fruit and seeds.
When you leave offerings, just quietly place them in nature… Faeries typically don’t like large professions of gratitude.
Bake A Strawberry Crisp
Strawberries are the first fruits that ripen in the Spring. They’re also associated with luck, romance, sensuality and fertility, so they’re a perfect addition to your Beltane celebration.
Enjoy fresh strawberries if you can find them, delighting in their taste, color, texture and sweetness with all your senses… Or use frozen berries and bake a strawberry crisp!
Gluten Free Strawberry Crisp
3 1/2 cups frozen sliced strawberries
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 T arrowroot powder (not required for fresh berries)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup almond flour (organic)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup softened coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine oatmeal, almond flour, 1/4 c coconut sugar, cinnamon, salt, and softened coconut oil (use your hands if needed to massage coconut oil in).
In a separate bowl mix sliced frozen strawberries, arrowroot powder, and 1 T coconut sugar.
Evenly spread half the crumb mixture on the bottom of an 8″ greased pan. Cover with strawberries. Spread the rest of the crumb mixture on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm or cold, plain or with coconut whip or coconut ice cream.
Eat your Strawberry crisp mindfully, tuning into it with all your senses and tuning into gratitude for the many gifts of Spring.
Spend Time in Nature
One of the easiest ways to celebrate Beltane, is to quite simply spend time in nature. Go for a walk or hike, by yourself, or with loved ones and allow yourself to be fully present in nature. Sense the changes the Earth is undergoing, feel in to how Spring is (or is not) manifesting where you are. What signs of Spring can you see. What signs of the coming Summer do you notice?
Feel into nature with all your senses, and enjoy connecting with nature with a sense of reverence, gratitude and awe.
Practice the Leave no Trace Principles, and if you do want to collect some magical nature items and signs that remind you of springtime… Let nature gift them to you.
In other words only collect things that have fallen off plants, and doing your best to not disrupt the plants and flowers that are thriving and growing.
Move Your Body!
Many traditional Beltane celebrations include dance, from the awesome Morris Dancers, to dancing around the May Pole, or simply dancing around a bonfire to the sound of beating drums. You can of course do any of these things… Or just put on a song that evokes feelings of joy, wildness, and freedom and dance!
Let your wild woman or wild man out and move freely and without judgement. Move your body, dance freely, jump, flail your arms, spin, laugh and enjoy… This is a celebration after all.
Celebrate life, Spring, the Earth, sexuality, fertility and magic through your movement. An extra bonus for this is dance, shaking and movement can literally shake free blockages of emotion and distorted energy. Release into the light, let the old go and dance your way into the bright new beginnings that are now possible for you in this powerful season of Spring!
Step Into Being of Service Towards the Earth
One of my favorite ways to celebrate Beltane is to come up with ways to be of service to the Earth and nature.
Reflect on your personal connection with the Earth, and take a step now to be of service in some way.
This can be anything from planting trees, cleaning up litter from an outdoor area, starting a compost heap, building birdhouses, putting out birdseed, planting plants in your garden that are native to your area, or contributing to a community garden.
A great way to spend time in nature and to be of service to the Earth on Beltane is to lovingly and mindfully work in your garden or take steps to start one amidst the fertile and magical energy of the Spring season.
However you choose to celebrate Beltane… Enjoy!
Whenever and however you choose to celebrate, Beltane is the time of abundant new life, growth and fertility that is Spring and that can be witnessed through the forces of growth in nature through new plant life, unfurling buds, bright wildflowers and verdant abundance.
What do you think of these celebration ideas? Have you tried any of them? Do you have any celebration ideas or traditions to share? Comment below~
With love and bright blessings,