Beltane ( Bel’ta-na )-Bright Fire-1st of May-The Path of Strength facing S.E.
The darling buds of May, the yearly fertility festival welcoming in the Summer at the beginning of the light half of the year,and falls in the month of the strong, fertile Oak ( Duir ) .Solid protection, strength and the doorway to the mysteries, the gateways between the worlds.The period from Beltane to Samhain was called ‘an ghrian mor’, ‘the greater sun’, while the period from Samhain to Beltane was ‘an ghrian beag’, ‘the lesser sun’.
Beltane was the time when animals were let out from the byres to eat the fresh Spring grass; herds and flocks were driven between two fires in order to purify them of any diseases resulting from their Winter incarceration. Remnants of many Celtic May customs abound in Britain and Ireland where May Queens were crowned, and May-pole and spiral dancing ensured a good harvest later that year. It is said that one of the early Christian bishops in Britain looked out one Beltane and observed the young couples disappearing into the woods. On asking one of his acolytes the nature of this event, he was told it was the observance of an ancient custom. He wisely decided not to intervene, and encouraged them to carry on !
The gates to the Otherworld stood open at this time, and it was considered lucky to seek the gifts of the sidhe, the faerie folk of the Otherworld, by rising early in the morning. Gifts were granted more easily to the young and the beautiful.
Beltane is the time for coming into our strength and realising our desires.
Happy Beltane !!!!!