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Magickal May - Practices For Bealtaine/Beltane

The magick of May - practices for Beltane

Bealtaine/Beltane is one of the Days Of Power celebrated throughout Gaelic cultures, especially Irish and Scots, and which we now call May Day. It arrives around April 30th/1st May, halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. I say ‘around’ these dates as Days of Power do not adhere to our manmade calendar – they go with their own natural, powerful cycles. Be guided by your intuition for when you feel Bealtaine is arriving around this time – you may feel the atmosphere to be different, energetically charged, and this energy can change at different points during Bealtaine so if you are planning on celebrating, go with the times that feel right to you.

Sun and Moon Energies

Bealtaine is one of the Four Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year in pagan tradition, and sabbats are marked by their dedication to solar energy. Celebrations traditionally took place at dawn or noon, marking the point in the Sun’s yearly cycle. The Sun is indicative of the masculine God energy and the Moon, the feminine Goddess aspect. While we might feel that these celebrations are not conventionally recognised in modern times, dancing around the maypole on May Day is still done today and this is a celebration of the Sun energy. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, this is a celebration of the phallic, masculine aspect from what we might today consider to be mythology but as human beings we are also creations of the universe – the Sun, the Moon, the Earth and the Stars – and they are all a part of us.

If you are planning on celebrating, here are some magickal practices for Bealtaine/Beltane and beyond into May.

Hawthorn magick and medicine

By scattering and surrounding the maypole Sun energy with flowers and herbs, we are also recognising the feminine aspects, both the watery Moon and grounding Earth energies. The intertwining and joining together of these energies creates another and is what this festival can bring to us; it is a good time for energetically manifesting the beginnings of a new life force, created from the male and female energies, to release a newly created form. This maypole ceremony can be done on a smaller, more personal scale by placing a standing crystal on your altar with a small cauldron or vessel of water at the base and scattered flowers of the season, like Hawthorn. In my blog post Hawthorn, The May Queen - Beltane's Plant Magick, there's a little more on the wonderful medicine and magick of this beautiful plant and how it can be used for personal healing and insight.

As a Fire festival, we can celebrate the Sun energy by lighting our own altar candles, building (safe!) outdoor fires or smudging our spaces using the combined power of Fire and Earth - I use my own organic smudge sticks. My Pink Heart Mugwort sticks, which were harvested at the Summer Solstice, are perfect for connecting with the self love Heart energy and embracing the power of the coming Summer and for love and joy for ourselves. My Heart Mugwort Sticks are intended to connect us with the Heart of the Earth, the heart of compassion.

Scrying and Reading

I always feel May is a little like a gateway; a space between one place and another, and this makes it perfect for works of scrying in smoke or water and consulting with cards. When we are presented with a gateway to walk through one incarnation into another, it can often be difficult to see our options or pathways clearly - we often get led by the mind when the reality is we have to balance body, mind and soul. It can also be a little tricky to see the wisdom behind the cards we pull for ourselves for this very reason. If you scrying or pulling cards for yourself, create a peaceful space for yourself where you can focus your intention and leave the worldy worries behind. If you find consulting with a reader more beneficial, here are my recommendations for spreads I have specifically created for such times.

The month of May, and not just Bealtaine/Beltane, is a beneficial time for conceiving in all things as it embraces passion, vitality and the manifestation of our intentions and hopes. This is not solely in the traditional fertility and physical sense of conceiving, but also embracing the Sun, Moon, Earth and Star energies within us to create something new and wonderful for ourselves.

Some days have a little more oomph than others but all days are powerful days if we choose them to be - we need not wait for a specific day for our works of loving craft.

Wishing you an abundance of glorious creativity!


Copyright and IP 2024 VOLVA and Andrea Doran


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