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Blessed Beltane 

The recent rains in the area have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. October 31 - November 1 The Southern Hemisphere Family), festivities typically begin on the early Morning of October 31st .

May 1st in the alternate hemisphere families.

It’s a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.

We are a little more sedate these days but no less I can confirm that Witches most definitely have a wild streak of fire. Often misunderstood in their cheeky demeanour we have a zest for life and living that will force any shadow to lift . We are One with Goddess and God alike. We are from all varied cultures, beliefs and faiths within Our Circle…. White Witch Carmen <*)Circle of Galadrial(*>

But we are one by heart and in the Magick. Blessed Be <><*)O(*><>

There are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It's the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead. Try some of these rituals and ceremonies for your Beltane sabbat celebration


01.    Set Up Your Beltane Altar



Use symbols of the season to decorate your Beltane altar.

Okay, so we know that Beltane is a fertility festival... but how do you translate that into altar setup? This spring celebration is all about new life, fire, passion and rebirth, so there are all kinds of creative ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most. Here are some tips on how to set up your altar to celebrate the Beltane sabbat. 

02 Beltane Prayers


Looking for prayers to celebrate Beltane? Please find them at the end of this piece. By the time Beltane rolls around, sprouts and seedlings are appearing, the grass is growing, and the forests are alive with new life. If you're looking for prayers to say at your Beltane ceremony, try these simple ones that celebrate the greening of the earth during the fertility feast of Beltane. Here are a few you may wish to add to your upcoming rites and rituals, including prayers to honour the God Cernunnos, the May Queen, and the Gods of the forest.


03.

Celebrate Beltane With a Maypole Dance

Maypole Dancers


The tradition of the Maypole Dance has been around for a long time — it's a celebration of the fertility of the season. Because Beltane festivities usually kicked off the night before with a big bonfire, the Maypole celebration usually took place shortly after sunrise the next morning. Young people came and danced around the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. As they wove in and out, men going one way and women the other, it created a sleeve of sorts — the enveloping womb of the earth — around the pole. By the time they were done, the Maypole was nearly invisible beneath a sheath of ribbons. If you have a big group of friends and a lot of ribbons, you can easily hold your own Maypole Dance as part of your Beltane festivities. 

04

Honour the Sacred Feminine with a Goddess Ritual

When spring arrives, we can see the fertility of the earth in full bloom. For many traditions, this brings the opportunity to celebrate the sacred feminine energy of the universe. Take advantage of the blooming of spring, and use this time to celebrate the archetype of the mother goddess, and honour your own female ancestors and friends.

This simple ritual can be performed by both men and women and is designed to honour the feminine aspects of the universe as well as our female ancestors. If you have a particular deity, you call upon, feel free to change names or attributes around where needed. This Goddess ritual honours the feminine, while also celebrating our female ancestors.

05

Beltane Bonfire Ritual for Groups

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06

Planting Rights for Solitaires.

This ritual is designed for the solitary practitioner, but it can easily be adapted for a small group to perform together. It’s a simple rite that celebrates the fertility of the planting season, and so it’s one that should be performed outside. If you don’t have a yard of your own, you can use pots of soil in place of a garden plot. Don’t worry if the weather is a bit inclement – rain shouldn’t be a deterrent to gardening. 

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07

Handfasting Ceremonies – Wedding Party 

Many people opt to hold a handfasting or wedding at Beltane. Looking for information on how to hold your own handfasting ceremony? Here's where we've got it all covered, from the origins of handfastings to jumping the broom to selecting your cake! Also, be sure to learn about magical handfasting favours to give your guests and find out what you need to ask the person who's performing your ceremony.

08

Celebrating Beltane with Little ones.

Every year, when Beltane rolls around, we get emails from folks who are comfortable with the sexual fertility aspect of the season for adults, but who’d like to reign things in just a little when it comes to practising with their young children. Here are five fun ways you can celebrate Beltane with your young children, and let them participate in family rituals, without having to discuss certain aspects of the season that you’re just not ready to explain yet.




White Witch Carmen

Blessings of Beltane to all.

Love and Light During Halloween

This is the time to rejoice the fertility of Life


In Australia, our clocks are Down Under so at This time it is also the Blessing of The Ancestors with Halloween Blessed Be <><*)O(*><>

Please scroll on for varied rights and prayers.

History and Worship of Cernunnos


In Margaret Murray's 1931 book, God of the Witches, she posits that Herne the Hunter is a manifestation of Cernunnos. Because he is found only in Berkshire, and not in the rest of the Windsor Forest area, Herne is considered a "localized" god and could indeed be the Berkshire interpretation of Cernunnos. During the Elizabethan age, Cernunnos appears as Herne in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. He also embodies fealty to the realm, and guardianship of royalty.

In some traditions of Wicca, the cycle of seasons follows the relationship between the Horned God–Cernunnos–and the Goddess. During the fall, the Horned God dies, as the vegetation and land go dormant, and in the spring, at Imbolc, he is resurrected to impregnate the fertile goddess of the land. However, this relationship is a relatively new Neopagan concept, and there is no scholarly evidence to indicate that ancient peoples might have celebrated this "marriage" of the Horned God and a mother goddess.

Because of his horns (and the occasional depiction of a large, erect phallus), Cernunnos has often been misinterpreted by fundamentalists as a symbol of Satan. Certainly, at times, the Christian church has pointed to the Pagan following of Cernunnos as "devil worship." This is in part due to nineteenth-century paintings of Satan which included large, ram-like horns much like those of Cernunnos.

Today, many Pagan traditions honour Cernuous as an aspect of the God, the History and Worship of Cernunnos

In Margaret Murray's 1931 book, God of the Witches, she posits that Herne the Hunter is a manifestation of Cernunnos. Because he is found only in Berkshire, and not in the rest of the Windsor Forest area, Herne is considered a "localized" god and could indeed be the Berkshire interpretation of Cernunnos. During the Elizabethan age, Cernunnos appears as Herne in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. He also embodies fealty to the realm, and guardianship of royalty.

In some traditions of Wicca, the cycle of seasons follows the relationship between the Horned God–Cernunnos–and the Goddess. During the fall, the Horned God dies, as the vegetation and land go dormant, and in the spring, at Imbolc, he is resurrected to impregnate the fertile goddess of the land. However, this relationship is a relatively new Neopagan concept, and there is no scholarly evidence to indicate that ancient peoples might have celebrated this "marriage" of the Horned God and a mother goddess.

Because of his horns (and the occasional depiction of a large, erect phallus), Cernunnos has often been misinterpreted by fundamentalists as a symbol of Satan. Which The Green God is not =. Satan was An Angel cast from Heaven..Certainly, at times, the Christian church has pointed to the Pagan following of Cernunnos as "devil worship." This is in part due to nineteenth-century paintings of Satan which included large, ram-like horns much like those of Cernunnos.

Today, many Pagan traditions honour Cernunnos as an aspect of God, the embodiment of masculine energy and fertility and power.


A Prayer to Cernunnos


God of the green,

Lord of the forest,

I offer you my sacrifice.

I ask you for your blessing.

You are the man in the trees,

the green man of the woods,

who brings life to the dawning spring.

You are the deer in a rut,

mighty Horned One,

who roams the autumn woods,

the hunter circling round the oak,

the antlers of the wild stag,

and the lifeblood that spills upon

the ground each season.

God of the green,

Lord of the forest,

I offer you my sacrifice.

I ask you for your blessing.


May Queen 


In some Pagan belief systems, typically those that follow a Wiccan tradition, the focus of Beltane is on the battle between the May Queen and the Queen of Winter. The May Queen is Flora, the goddess of the flowers, and the young blushing bride, and the princess of the Fae. She is Lady Marian in the Robin Hood tales, and Guinevere in the Arthurian cycle. She is the embodiment of the Maiden, of mother earth in all of her fertile glory.


As the summer rolls on, the May Queen will give forth her bounty, moving into the Mother phase. The earth will blossom and bloom with crops and flowers and trees. When fall approaches, and Samhain comes, the May Queen and Mother are gone, young no more. Instead, the earth becomes the domain of the Crone. She is Cailleach, the hag who brings dark skies and winter storms. She is the Dark Mother, bearing not a basket of bright flowers but instead a sickle and scythe.

When Beltane arrives each spring, the May Queen arises from her winter's sleep and does battle with the Crone. She fights off the Queen of Winter, sending her away for another six months so that the earth can be abundant once more.

The custom evolved of holding celebrations each spring in which boughs and branches were carried from door to door in each village, with great ceremony, to ask for the blessings of a bountiful crop. May Fairs and May Day Festivals have been held for hundreds of years, although the idea of choosing a village maiden to represent the queen is a fairly new one.

"These... processions with May-trees or May-boughs from door to door (‘bringing the May or the summer’) had everywhere originally a serious and, so to speak, sacramental significance; people really believed that the god of growth was present unseen in the bough; by the procession he was brought to each house to bestow his blessing. The names May, Father May, May Lady, Queen of the May, by which the anthropomorphic spirit of vegetation is often denoted, show that the idea of the spirit of vegetation is blent with a personification of the season at which his powers are most strikingly manifested.”

It wasn't just the British Isles where the May Queen ruled, however. Jacob Grimm, of Grimm's Fairy Tales fame, also wrote an extensive collection of Teutonic mythology. In one of his works, he says that in the French province of Bresse, now called Ain, there is a custom in which a village girl is selected to play the role of the May Queen, or the May Bride. She is adorned with ribbons and flowers and is escorted by a young man through the streets, while the blossoms of a May tree are spread out before them.

Although there are pop culture references to human sacrifice related to the May Queen, scholars have been unable to determine the authenticity of such claims. In films like The Wicker Man and Midsommar, there is a connection between lusty spring celebrations and sacrifice, but there doesn't appear to be much academic support for the idea.

Arthur George of Mythology Matters writes that there is some overlap between the Pagan concept of the May Queen and the Virgin Mary. He says,

"In the Catholic Church’s liturgical year the entire month of May became devoted to the veneration of the Virgin Mary. The high point has always been the ritual known as “The Crowning of Mary"... usually performed on May Day...[which] involved a group of young boys and girls proceeding to a statue of Mary and placing a crown of flowers on her head to the accompaniment of singing. After Mary is crowned, a litany is sung or recited in which she is praised and called the Queen of Earth, Queen of Heaven, and Queen of the Universe, among other titles and epithets."

As the summer rolls on, the May Queen will give forth her bounty, moving into the mother phase. The earth will blossom and bloom with crops and flowers and trees. When fall approaches, and Samhain comes, the May Queen and Mother are gone, young no more. Instead, the earth becomes the domain of the Crone. She is Cailleach the hag who brings dark skies and winter storms. She is the Dark Mother, bearing not a basket of bright flowers but instead a sickle and scythe.

When Beltane arrives each spring, the May Queen arises from her winter's sleep, and does battle with the Crone. She fights off the Queen of Winter, sending her away for another six months, so that the earth can be abundant once more.

The custom evolved of holding celebrations each spring in which boughs and branches were carried from door to door in each village, with great ceremony, to ask for the blessings of a bountiful crop. May Fairs and May Day Festivals have been held for hundreds of years, although the idea of choosing a village maiden to represent the queen is a fairly new one. In Sir James George Frazer's The Golden Bough, the author explains,

"These... processions with May-trees or May-boughs from door to door (‘bringing the May or the summer’) had everywhere originally a serious and, so to speak, sacramental significance; people really believed that the god of growth was present unseen in the bough; by the procession he was brought to each house to bestow his blessing. The names May, Father May, May Lady, Queen of the May, by which the anthropomorphic spirit of vegetation is often denoted, show that the idea of the spirit of vegetation is blended with a personification of the season at which his powers are most strikingly manifested.”

It wasn't just the British Isles where the May Queen ruled, however. Jacob Grimm, of Grimm's Fairy Tales fame, also wrote an extensive collection of Teutonic mythology. In one of his works, he says that in the French province of Bresse now called Ain, there is a custom in which a village girl is selected to play the role of the May Queen, or the May Bride. She is adorned with ribbons and flowers and is escorted by a young man through the streets, while the blossoms of a May tree are spread out before them.

Although there are pop culture references to human sacrifice related to the May Queen, scholars have been unable to determine the authenticity of such claims. In films like The Wicker Man and Midsummer, there is a connection between lusty spring celebrations and sacrifice, but there doesn't appear to be much academic support for the idea.


Arthur George of Mythology Matters writes that there is some overlap between the Pagan concept of the May Queen and the Virgin Mary. He says,

"In the Catholic Church’s liturgical year the entire month of May became devoted to the veneration of the Virgin Mary. The high point has always been the ritual known as “The Crowning of Mary"... usually performed on May Day...[which] involved a group of young boys and girls proceeding to a statue of Mary and placing a crown of flowers on her head to the accompaniment of singing. After Mary is crowned, a litany is sung or recited in which she is praised and called the Queen of Earth, Queen of Heaven, and Queen of the Universe, among other titles and epithets."


Prayer to Honour the May Queen


Make an offering of a floral crown, or a libation of honey and milk, to the Queen of the May during your Beltane prayers.


The leaves are budding across the land

on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.

Magic rises around us in the forest

and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.

Dear lady, we offer you a gift,

a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,

woven into the circle of an endless life.

The bright colours of nature herself

blend together to honour you,

Queen of spring,

as we give you honour this day.

Spring is here and the land is fertile,

ready to offer up gifts in your name.

we pay you tribute, our lady,

daughter of The Fae I ask your blessing this Beltane.


Honouring the Gods Of The Forest


Beltane is a time of great fertility—for the earth itself, for animals, and of course for people as well. This season has been celebrated by cultures going back thousands of years, in a variety of ways, but nearly all shared the fertility aspect. Typically, this is a Sabbat to celebrate gods of the hunt or of the forest, and goddesses of passion and motherhood, as well as agricultural deities. Here is a list of gods and goddesses that can be honored as part of your tradition's Beltane rituals.


Artemis (Greek)


The moon goddess Artemis was associated with the hunt and was seen as a goddess of forests and hillsides. This pastoral connection made her a part of spring celebrations in later periods. Although she hunts animals, she is also a protector of the forest and its young creatures. Artemis was known as a goddess who valued her chastity and was fiercely protective of her status as a divine virgin.


Bes (Egyptian)


Worshipped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection god and watched over mothers and young children. He and his wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility. According to Ancient Egypt Online, he was "a god of war, yet he was also a patron of childbirth and the home, and was associated with sexuality, humour, music and dancing." The cult of Bes reached its peak during the Ptolemaic Period when he was often petitioned for help with fertility and sexual needs. He soon became popular with the Phoenicians and Romans as well; in artwork, he is typically portrayed with an unusually large phallus.


Bacchus (Roman)


Considered the equivalent of the Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus was the party god—grapes, wine, and general debauchery were his domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies on the Aventine Hill, called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility. Bacchus has a divine mission, and that is his role of liberator. During his drunken frenzies, Bacchus loosens the tongues of those who partake of wine and other beverages and allows people the freedom to say and do what they wish.


Cernunnos (Celtic)


Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair — he is, after all, the lord of the forest. Because of his horns (and the occasional depiction of a large, erect phallus), Cernunnos has often been misinterpreted by fundamentalists as a symbol of Satan.


Flora (Roman)


This goddess of spring and flowers had her own festival, Floralia, which was celebrated every year between April 28 to May 3. Romans dressed in bright robes and floral wreaths and attended theatre performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess. Ancient History expert NS Gill says, "The Floralia festival began in Rome in 240 or 238 B.C., when the temple to Flora was dedicated, to please the goddess Flora into protecting the blossoms."


Hera (Greek)


This Goddess of marriage was the equivalent of the Roman Juno and took it upon herself to bestow good tidings to new brides. In her earliest forms, she appears to have been a nature goddess, who presides over wildlife and nurses the young animals which she holds in her arms. Greek women who wished to conceive—particularly those who wanted a son—might make offerings to Hera in the form of votives, small statues and paintings, or apples and other fruits representing fertility. In some cities, Hera was honoured with an event called the Heraia, which was an all-female athletic competition, beginning as early as the sixth-century B.C.E.


Kokopelli (Hopi) 


This flute-playing, dancing spring god carries unborn children upon his own back and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, he is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of his fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with his consort, Kokopelmana. In one legend, Kokopelli was travelling through the land, turning winter into spring with the beautiful notes from his flute, and calling the rain to come so that there would be a successful harvest later in the year. The hunch on his back represents the bag of seeds and the songs he carries. As he played his flute, he melted the snow and brought the warmth of spring back to the land.


Mbaba Mwana Waresa (Zulu)


Mbaba Mwana Waresa is a Zulu Goddess who is associated with both the harvest season and the spring rains. According to legend, she is the one who taught women how to brew beer from grains; beer-making is traditionally women's work in South Africa. Thanks to her connection to the grain harvest, Mbaba Mwana Waresa is a Goddess of fertility and is also associated with the rainy season that falls in late May, as well as rainbows.


Pan (Greek)


This agricultural god watched over shepherds and their flocks. He was a rustic sort of god, spending lots of time roaming the woods and pastures, hunting and playing music on his flute. Pan is typically portrayed as having the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to a faun. Because of his connection to fields and the forest, he is often honoured as a spring fertility God.


Priapus (Greek)


This fairly minor rural god has one giant claim to fame — his permanently erect and enormous phallus. The son of Aphrodite by Dionysus (or possibly Zeus, depending on the source), Priapus was mostly worshiped in homes rather than in an organized cult. Despite his constant lust, most stories portray him as sexually frustrated, or even impotent. However, in agricultural areas, he was still regarded as a god of fertility, and at one point he was considered a protective god, who threatened sexual violence against anyone -- male or female -- who transgressed the boundaries he guarded.


Sheela-Na-Gig (Celtic)


Although the Sheela-Na-Gig is technically the name applied to the carvings of women with exaggerated vulvae that have been found in Ireland and England, there's a theory that the carvings are representative of a lost pre-Christian goddess. Typically, the Sheela-Na-Gig adorns buildings in areas of Ireland that were part of the Anglo-Norman conquests in the 12th century. She is shown as a homely woman with a giant yoni, which is spread wide to accept the seed of the male. Folkloric evidence indicates that the figures were part of a fertility rite, similar to "birthing stones," which were used to bring on conception.


Xochiquetzal (Aztec)


This fertility Goddess was associated with spring and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron goddess of wild women of the night and craftsmen.

Blessed Beltane <><*)O(*><> 

White Witch Carmen 

Sydney Australia 


www.whitewitchcarmen.com 

PH +61 0246212223