Beltane Fire Celebration, wikicommons
Today marks Beltane Eve for the Northern Hemisphere.
Beltane is typically seen as the starting of the Summer season and Sabbats, falling roughly half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. It is around this time that flowers are beginning to bloom, and the spring rains are bringing everything back to life. Eggs are being laid, baby animals are being born, and the world is getting ready to welcome the summer months with warmer days and longer light hours.
Depending on your pathway will depend on how you celebrate this day. Celebrations can start this evening and go into May 1st, with multiple different ways to bring in the light of the Sabbat. You can also wait until the timing is exactly between the Equinox and Solstice, by waiting until the sun is exactly at 45 degrees.
In Wicca, this is the time when the Horned God and the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess would get together and he would impregnate her with himself to born later in the year. The Oak King reigns supreme right now, having overthrown his twin brother The Holly King at the Winter Solstice.
In Celtic festivals, Beltaine was when farmers would move their livestock into the pastures.
For Druids, celebrations were hosted when the sun was exactly 15 degrees relative to the constellation Taurus.
For the modern pagan outside of Wicca, Beltane takes its name and its traditions from the Roman celebrations of Floria, and borrows some customs from early Celtic festivals.
To the Irish, it is known as Bealtaine and to the Scottish it s called Bealltainn.
So it is no surprise that the God most commonly known to be active and celebrated at this time is the Celtic God Bel (or Belenos/Beal). Most of the deities celebrated at this time are Sun or flower deities, Gods and Goddess where fertility, growth, flowers and sun are their main deal.
Common practices around the world for Beltane seem to be jumping over fires, walking through two fires for protection, and creating May Poles. If you aren't in an area where you can have large fires or even open fires, lighting a small candle is more than appropriate.
May Poles were typically decorated with several people all holding one end of a ribbon and dancing or running around a pole in a specific order to create a wonderful pattern running up the pole and that would stay risen for the time of the celebration.
Decorating the May Pole, wikicommons
I live in a rural setting, and currently I'm writing this during the global COVID-19A pandemic, so even if I did have pagans to celebrate with in the area, we couldn't put together the May Pole this year anyway. So I will decorate a small one and place it on my alter as a center piece! I've done this multiple times as I haven't always had the ability to practice openly that would allow me a grand May Pole.
If you're looking for more information or inspiration, below you'll find a list of correspondences associate with Beltane to help you get started!
Honey, light cakes, lemonade, May Wine
Bloodstone, Emerald, Rose Quartz, Copper, Gold, Silver.
Lemon, mint, mugwort, woodruff, birch, hawthorn, oak, pink, willow, frankincense, jasmine, lemon, mint, pine, rose, woodruff, ylang-ylang
Bonfires, Fire, Flowers, May Pole, Priapic Wand (pine-cone tipped wand)
Bees, Cow, Dove, Frog, Rabbit
If you can't have a big grand celerbation for the Sabbat, dont think that that makes you a "bad witch" or lazy. Not just because of the global pandemic, but if you're practicing in the closet or you don't have the means to get supplies don't let it bother you. The magic is in you, you are all you truly need for your craft.