Behind our tent was a lovely little Grove where Witchlette and I had a small morning ritual Saturday morning before the activities began.
Our view up
This photo feels rather disingenuous since this is 10 feet into the hiking trail and is as far as we got as a foursome.
Hubby went about his trail competition and the Littles and I hung around the campsite. Witchling napped and Witchlette rested, then we did a nature scavenger hunt.
Witchling found this “flutterflyby”
Saturday night, a fire was had and we walked in circles around the campfire waving our ribboned bellsticks and chanting “Welcome warm woodland spirits! Blessed summer finding!” The four of us went around three times, then the kids of one of the neighbor camps each took a stick and we did the chant again. After, we all roasted marshmallows and made smores.
Sunday, we attempted hiking again, but Witchlette still wasn’t having any of it. The kids chose instead to play in the fire pit from the night before.
Pictured: the Littles fire pit ash aftermath
Monday evening, we lit our meal blessing candle, which is presently our Sabbat candle because I have to get more candles in general, and we lit our Moon candle to discuss Beltane. We talked about the Wheel of the Year and how Beltane is opposite Samhain. I shared with everyone that these two points is when the veil that separates our world and the Eather is the thinnest. At Samhain, we can communicate with our loved ones who have died and gone to the Eather. At Beltane, it’s a great time for spirits who are coming out of the Eather and looking to be born. We talked about fertility, which means to be born or to grow and we listed all of the things just starting to grow: the baby goats at the farm, the roses on our bush, the leaves on our tree, the robins will soon set up nests and have eggs, sheep and cows and pigs and babies all come out of the Eather and get born. All of the pollen all around means that it’s time for plants to grow.
Stone of Destiny mentioned in his post today how Beltane is becoming a sexless fertility rite. My Littles are still too young for the mechanical details, but they do get the fertility part!
Well…I’m going to go ahead and guess a whole bunch of folks. But not me, until just today.
May Day is Walpurgisnacht. The rituals happened at the same time, with different sets of rural farming peoples, who saw the world differently. Celts celebrated in the day and through the night. Northmen celebrated in the night and through the day. The point of the festivities was the same: Yay! Warmth! Sunlight! Our food is going to grow!
Depending on which text you read and from which area the text is derived, Walpurgisnacht is either driving away Witches (or celebrating Witches, as is the modern case) or purely the welcoming of the warm weather with Summer Finding or, another multi-night festival dedicated to Odin.
It is said Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil for nine nights to gain the knowledge of language and the Runes. Walpurgisnacht is then celebrated from April 22 (aka Earth Day) to April 30th. The Celts began their celebration on May 1st with Beltane.
This year, the family is going camping for Hubby’s tiny truck driving competition. We are going to be right smack in the middle of the woods on Walpurgisnacht. How beautifully fascinating is that?
We have sicks with ribbons and bells left over from a friend’s wedding which we will bring with us to celebrate the holiday as we pick a tree to dance around. Perhaps we’ll just dance around the whole camp ground.
Either way, I’m excited to continue to learn more about the Nordic Wheel and develop my craft in line with the gods who have chosen me.
Perhaps next year we will do all nine nights for the gift of the Runes.
There are many variations, which will lead to lots of studying.
Poor me! I have to get my student on! (If I could make a living being a student, I would do so in a heartbeat!!)
Beltane, as I see it, is a fertility holiday. The phallic maypole is decorated to bless the phallus to give seed to the womb. Bonfires are lit and dances are had. Fire is clearly metaphoric for passion, and with passion comes sex and with sex comes the next generation. Dancing is also an aphrodisiac, physical, passionate, firey movements which ignite the senses to carnal activities.
Beltane is a look at “What is the point of life?” If we listen to most music and poetry, the point of life is love. If we look at biology, the point of life is procreation. Both avenues end in the same place: igniting an animalistic passion for the purpose of passing along a genetic code to sustain one’s species.
Blessed Beltane to all! May everyone enjoy the warming weather, the blooming flowers, and the sights and signs that Nature is again fertile and ripe.
Beltane, May Day, is the ancient Celtic festival of fertility. Depending on one’s specific traditions, the fertility aspect could be focused on the livestock, the crops, the land, or human reproduction.
Last year, I tried to ignore Beltane. I was still pseudo freshly diagnosed with infertility and the thought of celebrating a holiday focused on fertility felt like a giant slap in the face.
This year, however, my belly is plump and my breasts are bulging. I am actually thrilled to be celebrating a Sabbat focused on fertility since, with a push from medical science, I myself am indeed fertile.
Previous years, I LOVED celebrating Beltane because the raw beauty of humanity is something I find sacred. Two consenting adults making love is a beautiful thing.
May you find bounty in whatever area you want to see grow in your life. Blessed Beltane.