Tuesday, April 29, 2014

15 Beltane RITUAL ACTS

BROWSE THROUGH these 15 ritual acts performed by ancient Celts at Beltane, to get ideas for your own Beltane festival or ceremony this year: 

1.  Kindle a bonfire, on a hill.
2.  Kindle a fire beneath a sacred tree. 
3.  Deck out a pole in greenery and surround it by fire.
4.  Dance sunwise around fire.
5.  Race through fields with burning branches (to imitate the course of the sun).
6.  Decorate houses with boughs (to give them protection by the spirit of vegetation).
7.  Find a May queen and king to symbolize the spirits of vegetation and fertility.
8.  Roll Beltane cakes down a slope (a magical act imitating the course of the sun, and helping it stay on course).
9.  Toss part of a cake over your shoulder and say, "This I give to thee, preserve my horses; this to thee, preserve my sheep; this to thee, O fox, preserve my lambs; this to thee, O hooded crow; this to thee, O eagle."
10.  Break up a Beltane cake and hand out the pieces; the person who gets the black piece is the Beltane "carline" or "devoted."
11.  Pretend to throw the Beltane carline into the fire; speak of the carline as "dead" during the festival. 
12.  Trek to a sacred spring.  Perform a ceremony with its water (maybe sprinkle it over your Beltane tree -- to promote rainfall for vegetation).
13.  Roll in the grass (probably connected with magical rites in which moisture played an important part).
14.  Hold “mimic combats” between Summer and Winter.   
15.  Give women big things to do (“The persistent place given the May queen over the king suggests an earlier prominence of women and of female spirits of fertility, or of a great Mother-goddess in Beltane rites.”)

Thnx much to Gwenhwyfar28 for the art.  Go HERE to see more of her work.  


Aquila ka Hecate said...

That Summer vs Winter fight was one my son and I used to do twice a year, on Beltaine and Samhain.
Merry Beltaine to you, Athana. We are celebrating Samhain down here, of course.
Terri in Joburg

Athana said...

My guess is you've raised a very fine son, Terri.

Have a glorious Samhain down there!