Welcome to the return of Summer. Nature is ramping up her game and soon we will find ourselves in a verdant world humming with precious life. Many Pagans, Witches, and Satanists recognize April 30th / May 1st as Beltane – a Pagan holiday of fertility, fire, and Summer. While we watch the Wheel of The Year turn again, many are left wondering how best to celebrate Beltane in quarantine.
A few aspects of Paganism that I truly connected with were rituals, community, and holiday celebration. I carried those with me when I found my Satanic path, and have made it a tradition to celebrate the holidays and host the rituals that I feel bring something meaningful into our home. We celebrate Beltane to honor the shifts in Nature, to welcome the impending season, and to stay connected to our ancestral roots.
One of the major elements of a Beltane celebration is fertility. Before you panic and think, “But I don’t want kids!”, fertility extends beyond our biological capabilities. Beltane is a time to conceive and create. While that certainly could mean the act of physical reproduction (or at least a lot of practice), it could mean any kind of creative or generative endeavor. This is a good time to begin journaling, learn a new painting technique, try a new project, or apply for the new job you’ve been eyeing.
“Beltane” means “bright fire”, and one of the simplest ways you can host a Beltane ritual at home is by having a fire. It doesn’t get much better than a larger-than-life bonfire, but most of can’t facilitate those at home. You can honor the fire element of the holiday by simply lighting a candle, using an indoor fireplace, or even creating fire-themed art.
My personal favorite way to honor this holiday is with flowers! I have multiple flower gardens in my yard, and I host a bouquet on my dining room table at all times. During Spring and into Beltane I will also incorporate flowers into my altar to pay respect to the current season.
Go for a walk on a Nature trail (while respecting social distancing guidelines) and pick some flowers then take those home to make a flower crown. You can also create a flower basket or bouquet to feature in your home. If you do not have access to flowers but you do have access to seeds you can create a flower seed bomb.
Connecting with Nature is one of the easiest ways we can celebrate the holiday. A longstanding tradition is to collect any rainwater or fresh morning dew from the day of Beltane, and use that liquid to wash ones face – this mini ritual represents cleaning of negative thoughts and welcomes beauty into our lives. Go camping overnight, even if it’s just in your backyard! Stare at the stars and recount how far modern Science has come since the time humans used to be murdered for studying the Universe, and be thankful you are able to pursue knowledge in relative peace.
Satanism provides a strong foundation for personal expression. We are able to celebrate holidays that work for us and constantly revise our worldview with the addition of new information. In this stressful time, people are turning more and more to ritual, and that’s perfectly fine. You don’t have to be a True Believer to benefit from rituals.
Beltane is a time for new beginnings, so whether you’ve been celebrating for many years, or if this is your very first time, I say to you;