BEALTAINE stemming from ‘Bel’ meaning ‘bright light’ and ‘teine’ meaning fire. Belenus being a Celtic God of the sun and healing. This is one of the most important prehistoric and early historic festivals in Ireland.
Bealtaine Eve- 30th April, saw great bonfires being lit to greet the dawn of the 1st of May.
Symbolising the peak of Spring and the start of summer and brighter days to follow. A celebration of fertility and abundance- the Maiden Goddess or Goddess of Spring, a time of growth and renewal.
In times gone the main Bealtaine fire would be lit on the Hill of Uisneach in Co Westmeath. Thought to symbolise the navel of Ireland.
Other traditions involve the hanging of yellow flowers symbolising the sun or bows of Mountain Ash / Rowan over doorways and gates to offer protection and blessings on houses.
To this day the first of May- May Day marks this ancient festival of Bealtaine or Beltane. It is the cross quarter day marking the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.
Today the Welsh Goddess Creidylad- Goddess of love and flowers re- ignites and deepens our love, refreshes our relationships, and celebrates the union of woman and man, yin and yang, the Divine feminine and masculine. Within us, and within our relationships.
Amongst some of the traditions up held on this day are the celebration of the sacred fire, smoke and ashes. Both people and cattle and other livestock would jump over the ambers or between fires to purify, promote fertility and obtain protection, health and abundance. Household hearths would be extinguished and re-lit using the central Bealtaine fire- symbolically re-lighting or re igniting the fires for warmth, passion and protection.
Dancing around the May Pole is another popular activity. The long pole, often made with Birch- a tree of longevity and youth, crowned with a ring of flower and ribbons in many colours symbolising the meeting of heaven and earth.
The colours of Beltane are green, red and white/silver. Green represents growth, abundance and fertility. Red represents strength, vitality, passion and vibrancy. White represents cleansing and clearing and the power to disperse negativity.
So take some time to dance today, connect to your favourite May flower, give thanks for the abundance and fertility of Mother Earth and celebrate love in all its shapes and forms 🌸💗🌸
Karin Mueller is co-owner of Solaris tea and has been working in the field of wellness and health for over 20 years now.
She is a Medical Herbalist (BSc Hons), practising Midwife (BSc Hons), Massage and Spa therapist and experienced course facilitator and teacher on a wide range of topics related to mindfulness, meditation and women’s health.
She is currently also studying in the ‘Medicine of Light’ school to deepen her spiritual practise.