Saturday, May 1, 2010
Beltane, Spring Festival of Fertility
Beltane is the last of the three spring fire festivals. Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into two primary seasons, winter and summer. As Samhain is about honoring death, Beltane is about honoring life. This is also a time when the veils between worlds is thin, as it is at Samhain. It is a time to connect with the faeries and other nature spirits. A time to celebrate life, rebirth and sexuality.
At Beltane, we honor Blodeuwedd, the flower maiden. Blodeuwedd was created from the flowers of oak, broom and meadowseet, and was known as a flower Goddess. The purpose of her creation, was to be the bride of Llew, the son of Arianrhod. For the Goddess Arianrhod deems her son shall never marry a mortal woman. Soon after they are married, Blodeuwedd falls in love with another man, and has her husband killed. Since her husband is immortal, he doesnt die and turns Blodeuwedd into an owl as punishment.
Some people say that the meaning behind Blodeuwedd being turned into an owl, symbolizes her transformation into the wise crone. There are many things to do to celebrate Beltane and Blodeuwedd. You could make a tiara of flowers to wear at your ritual, or you could make a May basket. I chose to make the latter of the two. You could decorate your basket with ribbons, and fill it with picked flowers. Or, if you can't pick wild flowers for this, just purchase some from your grocery store.
Fire is another big part of this sabbat. Bonfires were very popular in the ancient pagan days on this holiday. Since many of us today cannot have bonfires, a candle will do.
There is a poem about Blodeuwedd that was featured in Robert Graves book "The White Goddess"
I am formed from nine blossoms,
Nine buds of various kinds,
From primroses of the mountains,
Broom, meadow sweet and cockle,
From the bean in its shade bearing,
A special white army
Of earth, of earthly kind,
From the blossoms of the nettle,
Oak, thorn and bashful chestnut,
Nine powers of nine flowers,
Nine powers in me combine,
Nine buds of plant and tree,
Long and white are my fingers,
As the ninth wave of the sea.
Have a blessed Beltane!
This amazing drawing courtesy of Fine Art America
Posted by Tara at 11:44 AM