Celebrating the Beltane Sabbat
By Patti Wigington
It’s time for Beltane, and that means it’s a season of fire, fertility, and passion. As we celebrate the greening of the earth, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. It’s the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

For our readers below the equator, it’s nearly Samhain, and the earth is going dormant. Crops are dying, the nights are getting cooler and darker, and it’s a season to honor the endless cycle of life, death, and eventual rebirth. Be sure to scroll down for information on how you can celebrate Samhain.

No matter which one of these you are celebrating in the coming days, I wish you all a joyful and magical Sabbat!

Beltane Rituals & Ceremonies
There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

Setting Up Your Beltane Altar: Here’s how to get started decorating your altar for the Beltane sabbat.
Celebrate Beltane with a Maypole Dance: The Maypole dance is a time-honored tradition. Here’s how to host your own!
Beltane Bonfire Ritual – a group ceremony
Hold a Family Abundance Rite for Beltane: Celebrate the abundance of the land with your family.
Honor the Sacred Feminine with a Goddess Ritual.
Beltane Planting Ritual for Solitaries: If you’re practicing solo, this simple planting ritual will get you into the spirit of the season.
Handfastings and Weddings: Plenty of people are tying the knot during the Beltane season – be sure to read up on all the things you need to know!
Celebrating Beltane with Children: If you’re raising little Pagans, try these fun ways to embrace the Beltane season with your kids.

Beltane Traditions & Customs
Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of May Day? Learn why the Romans had a big party, and who the popular fertility gods are.

Beltane History: Beltane has been observed for a long time – let’s look at some of the history behind the tradition.
Deities of Beltane: There are gods and goddesses from all over the world that are associated with the Beltane sabbat and the greening of the earth.
Maypole History: Maypoles are for more than just a dance – they have a long and colorful history.
Who Were the Mother Goddesses?
Who Is the Green Man? The Green Man archetype is a well known one – but who is he, and why is he important?
Cernunnos, the Wild God of the Forests: In Celtic legend, Cernunnos is the horned god of the forests, and is associated with the fertility of Beltane.
The Greek God, Pan
Morris Dances and Mummer’s Plays: The British custom of Morris dancing and mummer plays is tied to the Beltane season.
Legends and Lore of Beltane
Legends of the Bees: Did you know bees are a popular topic of folklore and mythology? Let’s look at some of the legends surrounding bees.
May 6: Honoring Eyvind Kelda
Floralia: The Roman May Day Celebration: The Romans honored the goddess Flora during this time of year.
The May Queen vs. the Queen of Winter
Faerie Lore
Welcome Faeries to Your Garden
The Secret Language of Flowers: In Victorian times, people sent each other secret messages using flowers to tell their story.
What is the Bale Fire?
The Beltane Hobby Horse

The Magic of Beltane
Beltane is a season of fertility and fire, and we often find this reflected in the magic of the season. Let’s look at some of that spring magic, from ritual sex to fertility magic, along with the magic found in gardens and nature.

Ritual Sex and the Great Rite: Beltane is a time of passion and fertility, so for many people, it’s a time for ritual sex. Here’s what you need to know.
Fertility Magic and Customs: There’s a lot of folklore surrounding fertility. Let’s look at some beliefs from around the world.
Chocolate and Sex: Chocolate as an aphrodisiac? You bet! In fact, it’s scientifically proven.
Make Magic in Your Garden
Sacred Plants of the Beltane Season: Let’s look at some of the plants that are considered sacred to the Beltane season.
Plant a Magical Moon Garden: If you’re a night owl, consider planting a moon garden, full of fragrant plants that open and bloom at night.
Magical Spring Flowers
Spring Garden Folklore
Forsythia Magic and Legends
Lilac Magic & Folklore
The Magic of Dandelions: Dandelions are everywhere in the spring, so let’s look at some of the magic and folklore behind them.
Magical Herbal Correspondences
Magical Prosperity Soap
Horse Magic, Folkore and Legends
Butterfly Myth and Magic
Graveyard Dirt: Do you use graveyard dirt in magic? You can – here’s how.

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