Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the time of Bel; Beltainne 2011

It's hard to believe that Beltainne is closing upon me once again. It seem just like a few weeks ago I celebrated last years Beltainne. Beltainne is one of my most favorite of the Sabbots. I have always thought that the word "Beltainne" translates best as "The fire of Bel", Bel being the sun god. It is fitting to honor this god at this time of the year as this is when he really seems to step up into his power and sends his life giving forces to the great mother Danu to make life spring forth. I bet it was easy for ancients to get into a celebratory mood this time of year. The days are warm and comfortable again, wild game and edibles are everywhere, so food is plentiful. There would be much to enjoy. I too find it easy to get into a celebratory mood for this sabbat. A time to rejoice in life. To let the hair down and sing a bawdy song! Time to drink mead in a glass from between the breasts! To me Beltainne is about loving life and living that. It's about drinking from the well of the five senses. Not a sip, not a cup, but to plunge one's head deep and drink deep. It's the sabbot of new life!

Growing up we didn't have a celebration at this time of year, so I don't have any traditions that I will carry over from my childhood. There are plenty of others in folklore that we can draw from however. Mostly I just like to have a feast with friends, music, drumming circle, and a fire. I don't drink as a rule except from a horn on occasion during ritual. This beltaine I think I'll have some mead and a few sips of the kitchen witches home brewed cordial. I now many people have sex on Beltaine, and I would be one of them for sure, though last year my b'loved and I hosted the celebration at our home (and again this year), and people didn't leave till 1:30am and we were too tired! After sleeping though, there was much love to be had late the next morning!

The may pole is another common tradition of this time of year that stretches back to the days of our ancestors, though it's exact history has been lost in time as well as it's original meanings, it has, it seems taken on the meaning of a phallic symbol and a fertility celebration.
Flowers bursting, grass deep greening,
river bulging, bee buzzing
fruit tree ripening,
I know the time of Beltaine!

new leaves crowning, air pollen scented,
Ewes lambing, cattle calving
all things sun kissed once again,
I know the time of Beltaine!

Mead drinking, warmth making,
feast eating, may pole circling,
late night love making,
I know the time of Beltaine!

Beltaine is about celebrating life in it's glory. What ever that means to each individual. Some might like to hike, or camp, others might be a small dinner with a few friends, or if your like me it means inviting LOTS of people over, having a ritual, a huge feast, drinking, drumming, dancing and love making.

1 comment: