So, I am currently reading the Mists of Avalon, the story of King Arthur told from a female (Priestess') perspective, and for the first time ever I encounter the Beltane festivals.
Curiosity got the better of me and as, coincidentally, last weekend was actually Beltane, as well as the Full Moon, I ventured down the rabbit hole of information on the world wide web and this is what I came up with:
Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). Celebrated approximately halfway between Vernal (spring) equinox and the midsummer (Summer Solstice), Beltane traditionally marked the arrival of Summer in ancient times and is the last of the three spring fertility festivals, the others being Imbolc and Ostara.
Observed on May 1st (or October 31 - November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It's a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.
As Samhain is about honoring Death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honouring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.
A holiday of Union--both between the Goddess and the God and between man and woman, Beltane is also a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. It is the season of maturing life and deep found love, a time when sexuality (something we see as holy and intrinsic to us as holy beings) is celebrated.
The Lord and his Lady, having reached maturity, come together in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust to celebrate the joy of their union. This is a time to celebrate the coming together of the masculine and feminine creative energies. Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desired the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms and unite. Together, they learn the secrets of the sexual and the sensual, and through their union, all life begins.
Although considered a pagan tradition, I believe that Beltane and all rituals which honoured the cycles we experience in this time are worthy of acknowledgement and appreciation.
The more you know, the more you grow.
continue to grow and celebrate all aspects of my evolution