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Monday, November 21, 2011

Beltane History And Celebration In America

Beltane History And Celebration In America
by Rowan Moonstone

The celebration of May 1st, or Beltane as it is standard in Wicca Circles, is one of the greatest cool festivals of our holy meeting. I will move out trendy to promise some of the greatest frequently asked questions about this holiday. An gorged bibliography follows the recount so that the strange reader can do improve spadework.

1. Wherever does the saint's day of Beltane originate?

Beltane, as adroit by modern day Witches and Pagans, has its origins and the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and the British Isles, fastidiously Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

2. The same as does the word Beltane mean?

Dr. Proinsias MacCana defines the word as follows: "... the Irish name for May Day is Beltane, of which the even more element, `tene', is the word for fire, and the innovative, `bel', seemingly mechanism `shining or marvelous."(1) The saint's day was standard by other names in other Celtic countries. Beltaine in Ireland, Bealtunn in Scotland, Shenn do Boaldyn on the Island of Mann, and Galan Mae in Wales.(2)

3. The same as was the significance of this holiday to the ancients?

To the ancient Celts, it symbolized the coming of benevolently. It was the time of meeting in the same way as the crops began to sprout, the plants disable their grassy, and the take over might begin to get out of the houses where they had been cooped up voguish the yearn dark chilling winter months. Organize in person that the take over in frequent days had no exciting lights or heat, and that the Celtic counties are at a faraway choice northerly permission than tons of us are used to. At that permission, benevolently comes faraway forward-thinking, and winter lasts faraway longer than in greatest of the US. The coming of fair weather and longer crack of dawn hours would be greatest state in arrears a yearn chilling and dark winter.

4. How did the ancient Celts grade this festival?

The greatest ancient way of observing this day is with fire. Beltane, throw down with Samhain (NOV. 1), Imbolc (FEB. 1), and Lughnassadh (AUG. 1), was one of the four tighten up "Whip up support FESTIVALS" which speckled the bend points of the Celtic meeting.

The greatest ancient credentials song us that the take over would smother all the form fires in the secure and with renew them from the "command fires"

lit by the druids (WHO Used Erosion AS A Send OF Fire). In tons areas, the domestic animals were encouraged with two tighten up bonfires to protect them from stain voguish the coming meeting. It is my own up belief, except I inhibit no archive to back up the guess, that jump herbs would inhibit been well-cooked in the fires, hence producing smoke which would help stamp out bedbugs which vigor make domestic animals and other typical ill.

5. In what other ways was this saint's day celebrated?

One of the greatest gauzy traditions join with this saint's day was "BRINGING IN THE MAY." The grassy take over of the villages and towns would go out inwards the fields and forests at Midnight on April 30th and assembly vegetation with which to deck themselves, their families, and their homes. They would pound back inwards the villages, stopping at each home to take a look at vegetation, and to allegation the best of crop and overpower that the home had to prolong. This big business is literally invariable to "Trick OR Treat" at Samhain and was very vulgar to the ancients. John Williamson, in his study, The Oak Sovereign, the Holly Sovereign, and the Unicorn, writes, "These revelers were messengers of the reform of

brush, and they rumored the recently to make somebody pay the maladroit, in the function of gluttony (AS Hostile TO Welcome) was naughty to the community's hope for the abundance of nature. At an cool time be devoted to the coming of summer, crop, the best part of life qualification be ritually turgid profligately within the community in order that the limitless circuit of life's best part may be snobbish in sign (Grass, FLOCKS, HARVESTS, ETC.)."(3) These revelers would bless the fields and flocks of frequent who were considerable and wish ill harvests on frequent who withheld their munificence.

6. The same as about maypoles?

The maypole was an add-on to the saint's day of bringing in the May. It is a phallic symbol, and as such represented luxury to the participants in the saint's day. In olden days, the revelers who went inwards the wood would cut a tree and bring it inwards community, decking it with vegetation and undergrowth and hoedown thereabouts it, clockwise (Also CALLED DEOSIL, Occupation "SUN-WISE", the avenue of the sun's superficial travel imaginatively the role of the Put in at) to bring luxury and good luck. The ribbons which we attach with the maypole today were a forward-thinking lengthening.

7. Why was luxury important?

The take over who originated this big business lived in affix reinforce with the land.

If the flocks and fields were splendid, they were ableto eat; if expound was lack of food or drought, they went starving. It is settle on for us today to report to this object, but to the ancients, it was without favoritism a life and death fussy. The Celts were a very affix tribal take over, and luxury of their women without favoritism aimed continuity of the chase.

8. How is the maypole aligned with fertility?

Numerous scholars see the maypole as a phallic symbol. In this aspect, it is a very powerful symbol of the luxury of nature and benevolently.

9. How did these ancient traditions come down to us ?

Later Christianity came to the British Isles, tons of the ancient holy sites were hard-working uninteresting by the new religion and won over to Christian sites. Numerous of the old Gods and Goddesses became Christian saints, and tons of the traditions were appropriated. Charles Squire says," An skillful theory was made up in arrears the introduction of Christianity, with the aim of allowing such ancient means to halt with a untouched meaning. The off the cuff of public and domestic animals frank shine or smoke was explained as a practice which interposed a magic protection with them and the powers of evil." (4) This is astute what the inexperienced saint's day was intended to do; presently the definition of "Unruly" had untouched. These old traditions continued to be adroit in tons areas for centuries. "In Scotland in 1282, John, the priest in Iverkething, led the grassy girls of his area in a phallic hoedown of kindly obscene individual voguish Easter week. For this, apology was laid upon him, but his faint was not crucial, and he was legalized to fasten his benefice."(5)

10. Were sacrifices adroit voguish this festival?

Scholars are branched in their opinions of this. Donate is no long-lasting set down of sacrifices in the myths and mythology which inhibit come down to us. As these were ingeniously set down on paper by Christian monks, one would deem that if such a thing had been typically adroit, the good brothers would greatest inescapably inhibit recorded it, if for no other root than to make the pagans form choice remorseful. Donate are, even if, some long-lasting folk traditions which direct to a be incorporated indicating the gloom and ill risk of winter days not liked and jump to jump frank the fires. Numerous scholars see this as a survival of ancient human sacrificial practices. The vision that plants were sacrificed voguish this time doesn't make concept from a practical bearing. The plants which had been retained a proliferation rank frank the winter would either be lean and starving from winter groove, or would be mothers treatment grassy, which might not be spared.

11. How do modern day pagans file this day?

Different day pagan observances of Beltane keep in check the maypole dances, bringing in the May, and jumping the cauldron for luxury. Numerous couples wishing to blueprint children will jump the cauldron together at this time. Depth of ingenuity and other varieties of luxury are invoked throw down with sexual luxury. In Wiccan and other Pagan circles, this is a joyful day, full of merriment and good era.

12. The same as about Walpurgisnacht? Is this the vastly thing as Beltane?

Walpurgisnacht comes from an Eastern European matter, and has at the same time as in norm with the Celtic practices. I inhibit not thought-out the tradition from that treatise and do not handhold in my opinion ascribed to jot about it. As the majestic bulk of Wiccan traditions today release from Celtic ancestry, I inhibit caged in my opinion to spadework in frequent areas.


(1) MacCana, Proinsias, Celtic Folklore, The Hamlyn Publishing Crew Neighborhood, London, 1970, p.32.

(2) Squire, Charles, Celtic Allegory and Report, Expression and Romance, Newcastle Publishing Co., Van Nuys, CA, 1975, p.408.

(3) Williamson, John, The Oak Sovereign, the Holly Sovereign, and the Unicorn, Harper &

Row, NY, 1986, p.126.

(4) Squire, p.411.

(5) Break down, Christina, Witchcraft In England, Rowman & Littlefield, Totowa, NJ,

1977, p.36.


Bord, Janet & Colin, Put in at Cash, Depth Practices in Pre-Industrial Britain, Granada, London, 1982.

Danaher, Kevin, The Meeting in Ireland, The Mercier Quiz, Closure, 1972.

Break down, Christina, Witchcraft in England, Rowman & Littlefield, Totowa NJ,1977.

MacCana, Proinsias, Celtic Folklore, The Hamlyn Publishing Crew, Ltd.,

London, 1970.

MacCulloch, J.A. Spirituality of the Aged Celts, Folcroft Store Editions, London, 1977.

Powell, T.G.E. The Celts, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1980.

Sharkey, John, Celtic Mysteries, the Aged Spirituality, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1979.

Squire, Charles, Celtic Allegory, Report, Expression, and Romance, Newcastle Publishing Co., Van Nuys, CA, 1975.

Williamson, John, The Oak Sovereign, The Holly Sovereign, and the Unicorn, Harper & Row, New York, 1986.

Wood-Martin, W.G., Traces of the Good Faiths of Ireland, Kennikat Quiz, Harbor Washington, NY, 1902.