|Traditional Maypole Dancing|
Beltain or Beltane is celebrated on 30th April - May Eve, often when bonfires are lit and/or 1st May. Traditionally Beltain celebrated the union of the Goddess and the God, their glorious fertility over the coming months seen in the green leafy finery budding and delicate flowers blossoming across the land. A time for animals to mate and for us to revel in our sexuality - the traditional custom of dancing round the Maypole a cheekily phallic symbol of the male form adorned with flowery and leafy garlands representing the female form, the entwining of ribbons around it by 'maidens' revelling in the act! Reflecting the changes in the land around us, this was a time for courtship, with couples sloping off into the woods at the Beltain fires and a flurry of hand fastings or marriages a few months later when the signs of ensuing fertility had come to light!
It's been suggested that Beltain is named for the Celtic God Bel and the fires
|Glorious Hampshire - Our Setting for|
The Maiden has grown into a young woman, ready to leave childhood behind, full of sensuous longing, yearning for the fulfillment of love, ripe to explore and enjoy her sexuality. What a glorious time!
This time of year has long been a special time
|The Wicker Man|
|My Request to The Goddess To Be |
Taken Up In The Flames
This year I asked if she was game for a Beltain adventure, as long as it doesn't involve climbing hills was the reply! No hill climbing policy in situ, we headed off to Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire, a drive of about an hour and a half from us. Alerted to this by some lovely drumming friends from the fabulous Pentacle Drummers, we found reconstructed Stone Age, Iron Age, Saxon and Roman Buildings and farms, displays of crafts, workshops, reenactments and a wicker man over 30 feet high, that took a month to construct that would later be burnt as an offering to the Gods and Goddesses for fertility and a fruitful harvest.
After taking part several times in an awesome shamanic drumming circle in a 'stone age' round house (we were well away with that!) maypole dancing and experiencing food samples that would have been around at the time, learning that you can get fresh water mussels (and then I found one today!) we headed over to the amazing construction pictured above, added and tied our individual requests and prayers to the wicker man to be sent to the Goddess and God through the flames later that evening. A after quick sampling of the local cider - a mere mouthful
|Goddess of Grain - Of Course!|
Interestingly neither of us felt at home at all in the Saxon House, but enjoyed the Roman Villa, these are based on actual local findings, I found this beautiful painted mural there, of course it's a depiction of a Goddess of Corn/Wheat/Grain! Just goes to reinforce that She is ever present in all cultures, all beliefs and all things.
More drumming, singing, dancing and eating - all sorts, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free and drinking ensued, before as dusk approached we all
Have a Blessed Beltain BB x x