GREETINGS ALL PAGAN MEMBERS,
Once again we honor this Beltain Sabbat at the Hekate Homestead and invite you to join with the Witches of the Crossroads Coven in its celebration.
I have included some information about this day and of course there will be a Maypole included in our ritual. I hope you will try to attend and join our celebration.
Beltain was an important festival in the Celtic calendar. The name originates from the Celtic god, Bel - the 'bright one', and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire, giving the name 'bealttainn', meaning 'bright fire'.
This is the beginning of the 'lighted half' of the year when the Sun begins to set later in the evening and the hawthorn blossoms. To our ancestors Beltain was the coming of summer and fertility. Nature is in bloom and the earth is full of fecundity and life.
Beltain falls half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice and is a Cross Quarter Day.
Beltain is one of the four Celtic fire festivals marking the quarter points in the year - feasts were held and bonfires were lit throughout the countryside. Fire was believed to have purifying qualities - it cleansed and rejuvenated both the land and the people.
The ritual welcoming of the sun and the lighting of the fires was also believed to ensure fertility of the land and the people. Animals were transfered from winter pens to summer pastures, and were driven between the Beltain fires to cleanse them of evil spirits and to bring fertility and a good milk yield. The Celts leapt over Beltane fires - for fertility and purification.
Young men would circle the Beltain fires holding Rowan branches to bring protection against evil - its bright berries suggested fire - malign powers were considered particularly active at the year's turning-point.
It was considered unlucky to allow anyone to take fire from one's house on May Eve or May Day, as they would gain power over the inhabitants.
A Beltain fire festival is held annually in Edinburgh, at Calton Hill on 30th April - a May Queen and Green Man, representing Beltain fertility and renewal lead the celebrations on the hillside.
The Beltany Stone Circle in the North West of Ireland is named after the Beltain festival as the sunrise at Beltane is aligned with the only decorated stone in the circle.
The Triple Goddess - worshipped by the Ancient Britons - at Beltain is now in her aspect of the Maiden :
The May Queen, May Bride, Goddess of Spring, Flower Bride, Queen of the Fairies
- a symbol of purity, growth and renewal.
The Crone turns to stone on Beltain Eve.
May blossom symbolises female fertility, with its creamy/ white, fragrant flowers. Hawthorn blossom was worn during Beltain celebrations, especially by the May Queen.
It is believed to be a potent magical plant and it is considered unlucky to bring the blossom inside the house, apart from on May eve.
High Priest Hawthorne and I look forward to greeting you on this special occasion.
We will proceed to the Hyde Park Brewery after ritual for food and libations.
Lady Morgana Avallone, HPS/Organizer