Beltane marks the change of the seasons from winter to summer. Although we acknowledge four seasons, it’s possible the ancient people of the British Isles only recognized two, hence the move from winter to summer.
At any rate, Beltane is the time when we bid the cold and dark winter goodbye and welcome in the warmth and light of spring. In many places, trees have begun to get their leaves, flowers have begun to bloom, and the sun is finally starting to shine.
On a side note, I’m not a fan of the literal fertility aspect of this holiday. While I can see why it might have been important to the ancient British Isles people, I think it’s unfortunately exclusive in our modern times. There is nothing wrong with feeling called to celebrate Beltane as a time of fertility rites, sacred sex, or handfasting. However, I prefer to look at the coming together of god and goddess more as the coming together of our own active and receptive energies. Looking at it this way enables us to use that energy for conceiving new things in our life, such as jobs or creative projects. And it also ensures that those who are not cis-gendered, heterosexual people don’t feel excluded from a holiday whose emphasis is often on a male and female mating.
The maypole, fires, and flowers are associated with Beltane. When I was young, I remember making May Day baskets of flowers to give to people. For most people who practice alone, a maypole isn’t a practical item to create for Beltane. Likewise, bonfires aren’t practical for most people, and they can pose safety concerns as well. But don’t fear, there are still numerous simple ways you can celebrate this wonderful holiday.
After all, living a magickal life is about learning how to incorporate magick into your daily life. You’ll probably want to do something special for the holiday. But that doesn’t mean you have to perform a big ritual. You can use some of these ideas to find simple yet magickal ways to celebrate Beltane.
Simple Ways to Celebrate Beltane
Bring in the green!
If you’re doing some yard work, bring in tree trimmings, flowers, or even pretty weeds. You can use these to decorate your hearth, altar, or anywhere else in your home. (Be sure to thank the plants for their donations.) You can also go find a field of daisies or bluebells, or whatever plant grows in abundance near you, and pick those, being mindful to ensure you’re doing so legally and with permission.
Light a bunch of candles
Beltane is a fire festival, so create your own with candles. You might not be able to have a bonfire, but light a bunch of candles and dance at your altar. Or soak in a pleasurable bath with candles lit all around. Use the light of the candles to enjoy, symbolically, the return of the sun’s warmth and pleasure.
Make May Baskets
May Day was once a big holiday here in the States, but it isn’t celebrated much anymore. However, making May baskets is still a fun way to herald in the spring, and it’s a great craft idea to do with children.
Get Out In Nature
There is no better way to celebrate the coming of warm weather than to spend time in nature. If the weather where you are allows for it, go take a walk, a hike, or have a picnic. The ideas are really endless, but getting outside and appreciating nature is always a great way to honor the seasons.
Honor the Fairies
Fairies are associated with Beltane and springtime, so now is a perfect time to honor them. Leave them an offering of flowers, milk, or honey. Create a little space in your yard if you have one and honor this space for the fairies. You can meditate in the space and see if any of them show themselves to you!
If you have a love of gardening, it’s a great way to connect with the earth at Beltane. I personally have no luck with plants and I can’t tell a weed from a flower half the time, but I still enjoy spending some time digging in the dirt. The Earth is full of life at this time, and digging in the dirt is a fun way to connect with the Earth’s energy.
Beltane Journal Prompts
Whether you go all out for a ritual or you like to do something simpler, acknowledging the changing of the seasons is important. When you honor the turning of the wheel, you can synchronize the inner work you do with the cycles of nature.
This helps you to feel connected to nature. It’s also useful for helping you to keep track of how you’re feeling, what energy you’re giving out into the universe, and what you’d like to bring into your life. If you take the time each cycle to determine what you want in your life, then you can regularly cleanse yourself of energy that is no longer productive and work to invite what you want into your life.
Journal prompts are a fantastic way to get in touch with how you’re feeling deep down. Journaling can also help you see where you need to release thought patterns and behaviors that aren’t helping you achieve your goals.
Here are some journal prompts for the change in seasons:
- What behaviors or thought patterns do I need to release as I bid winter farewell?
- Where do I need fertility or abundance in my life?
- What makes me feel balanced?
- Where in my life could I use the transformative and creative power of fire?
- What can I do to connect with nature?
- What energies or new ways of thinking do I need to draw into or create in my life?
Beltane Tarot Spread
I don’t know about you, but I love doing a tarot spread at the start of a new cycle!
Here’s a quick and simple tarot spread I created to help you see what you need to let go of with winter, what you need to begin with the new season, and what brings you balance and harmony. Grab your cards, create some sacred space, and try out this spread.
- Energy and thought patterns that need to be released
- What you need to begin in your life
- What will help you to create balance in your life
Tell me what you think of the spread in the comments! Have a joyous Beltane!