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Wheel of the Year





Beltane is a Pagan celebration in May that focuses on love, fertility, and purification.


Beltane is the spring Wiccan sabbat that is celebrated on May 1. It is the celebration of fertility of the land by the joining of the young God and Goddess. Handfastings are often performed at this time (the joining of two Wiccans in a ceremonial marriage).


Correspondences of Beltane


Astrology: The Sun is in Taurus during this time


Lunar: Waxing gibbous


Deities: Bel, Mabon, Pan, Apollo, Balder, Freya


Colors: Green, white, black


Herbs: All flowers blooming in May, lily of the valley, rose, hawthorn, apple, heather, yarrow, rosemary, tulips


Altar decorations: Spring flowers or wreaths of flowers, candles


Beltane translates to “the fire of Bel.” Bel is a Celtic god with only a few true stories remaining. He is said to be a god of solar light and fire.


Beltane is the ritual of the first union of the God and Goddess. The God is grown into his power on earth, and into sexual maturity. The Goddess is maiden of the land, taking the seed of the God to fulfill the promise of a fruitful harvest.


Beltane is a fire festival, and is about both sexuality and purification. An old Celtic tradition involved two large fires being set up. The people would pass between these two fires to purify themselves. Water for cleansing was also often used during the preparation of the ritual.


Fertility rituals were common on Beltane, and some covens still do them. There was, and still is, free expression of sexuality among these tribes and covens. Children that were born nine months later would be considered very blessed, special children, and were often raised by the entire coven. It was not uncommon when a child would be fatherless, but it was also not looked down on.


Maypoles were a big part of celebrating Beltane. In the days of the ancients, and in some covens now, the pole would be made from a tree by the man and planted by the woman. Ribbons and cords were tied to the top, which the dancers would grab onto, and they would dance around the pole, weaving over and under each other until the cords and ribbons were wrapped around the pole. Due to the rush of our generation, poles are now merely broomsticks without the thistles, or already carved poles.


To celebrate Beltane, one can focus on their own passion and how they can express that passion. Do something fun as part of your ritual, using flowers, song, dance, movement, or anything that your heart desires. If you are with a group, create and dance around a Maypole. No matter the celebration, remember to think on pure, lasting love. Also remember that, no matter how you celebrate, you should give thanks to the God and Goddess for that beautiful day, as Pagans should observe it.