Now let us all go in peace and love and celebrate this glorious Beltane Day.
Dance the May Pole, light a bonfire, make a Green Man Cake, no matter how you choose to celebrate, remember always our Divine Mother and Father who has given
us this blessed season of fertility.
Wishing You & Yours A Very Happy & Blessed Beltane,
May the Goddess Bless You & Keep You Always,
Lady A & The WOTC
A May Day Carol
Awake, awake, my pretty prithy maid,
Come out of your drowsy dream,
And step into your dairy hold,
And fetch me a bowl of cream
If not a bowl of cream, my dear,
A cup of meade to cheer,
For the Lord and Lady know we shall meet again,
To go Maying another year.
A branch of May I brought you here,
While at your keep I stand,
‘Tis but a sprout all budded out,
By the power of our Lady’s hand.
My song is done and I must be gone,
No longer may I stay,
Gods bless you all, the great and small,
And send you a joyous May.
Recipe by Scott Cunningham
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Sandal wood
1 part Woodruff
1 part Rose petals
a few drops Jasmine oil
a few drops Neroli oil
Burn during Wiccan rituals on Beltane (April 30th) or on May Day for fortune and favors and to attune with the changing of the seasons.
(The above recipe for “Beltane Incense” is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham’s book “The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews”, page 60, Llewellyn Publications, 1989/1992.)
Beltane Ritual Potpourri
Recipe by Gerina Dunwich
45 drops frankincense oil
1 cup oak moss
1 cup dried bluebells
1 cup dried lilac
1 cup dried marigold
1 cup dried meadowsweet
1 cup dried rosebuds and petals
1 cup dried yellow cowslips
Mix the frankincense oil with the oak moss and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.
(The above recipe for “Beltane Ritual Potpourri” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes”, page 162, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995)
Put in soap or annoint candles
5 drops frankincense
3 drops rose
3 drops sandalwood
2 drops neroli
2 drops jasmine
Add apiece of sweet woodruff and rosebud with rose quartz and garnet crystals. A very sensual, sexy, summer smell!
Beltane Bannocks – Scottish Oatcakes
In parts of Scotland, the Beltane bannock is a popular custom. It’s said that if you eat one on Beltane morning, you’ll be guaranteed abundance for your crops and livestock. Traditionally, the bannock is made with animal fat (such as bacon grease), and it is placed in a pile of embers, on top of a stone, to cook in the fire. Once it’s blackened on both sides, it can be removed, and eaten with a blend of eggs and milk. This recipe doesn’t require you to build a fire, and you can use butter instead of fat.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 1/2 C oatmeal
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 1/2 cup hot water
Combine oatmeal, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Melt the butter, and drizzle it over the oats. Add the water, and stir the mix until it forms a stiff dough. Turn the dough out on a sheet of wax paper and knead thoroughly.
Separate the dough into two equal portions, and roll each one into a ball. Use a rolling pin to make a flat pancake that is about ¼” thick. Cook your oatcakes on a griddle over medium heat until they are golden brown. Cut each round into quarters to serve.
Traditionally, the Beltane bannock would have been made with meat fat, such as bacon grease, instead of butter. You can use this if you prefer.
By Patti Wigington
Breads seem to be one of the staple foods of Pagan and Wiccan rituals. If you can tie your break baking into the theme of the Beltane Sabbat, even better. In this recipe, use an uncooked loaf of bread (available in the refrigerated section of your grocery) and turn it into a phallus.
To make your fertility bread, you’ll need the following:
- 1 loaf refrigerated bread dough
- Melted butter
The phallus bread, naturally, represents the male. He is the horned god, the lord of the forest, the Oak King, Pan. To make the phallus, use one of your refrigerated tubes of dough. Cut the dough into three pieces – a long piece, and two smaller, rounder pieces. The longest piece is, of course, the shaft of the phallus. Use the two small pieces to form the testes, and place them at the bottom of the shaft. Use your imagination to shape the shaft into a penis-like shape.
Once you’ve shaped your bread, allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour or two. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. When it comes out of the oven, brush with a glaze of melted butter. Use in ritual or for other parts of your Beltane celebrations.
Admittedly, the one in the photo is a bit… thick, but hey, use your imagination!
Fertility Deities of Beltane
Learn About Beltane’s Fertility Gods and Goddesses
By Patti Wigington
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 are 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.
- Bes (Egyptian): Worshiped 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.
- Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of 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 called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility.
- 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.
- 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 theater performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess.
- 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. A maiden about to marry could make offerings to Hera, in the hopes that she would bless the marriage with fertility. 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.
- 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.
- 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 honored 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 vulvas 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 are theory 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 prostitutes and craftsmen
Make a May Day Cone Basket
By Patti Wigington
In some rural societies, May Day flower baskets were a perfect way to send a message to someone you cared for, especially at Beltane. In the Victorian era, it became popular to send people messages told in the language of flowers. There was a fairly standard list, so if you received a bouquet of lemon blossoms, for example, you’d know that someone was promising you fidelity and faithfulness in their love for you.
You can make this basket and fill it with the flower that sends the message you want to send along. Hang it on the door of someone special!
You’ll need the following supplies:
- Heavy-duty paper
- Scissors and glue (or tape)
- Flowers of your choice
Cut a large circle out of heavy-duty paper. The best kind of paper for this project is actually the 12×12″ scrapbooking paper — it doesn’t tear easily, and it comes in an apparently endless variety of designs. To cut the circle, place a large dinner plate on the paper and trace it, and then cut it out.
Cut a wedge-shape out of the circle. Imagine the circle is a pizza with six slices, and remove one of those slices.
In addition to the circle, you’ll need a strip about 12″ long by an inch wide.
Roll the circle (minus the wedge-piece) up so that it forms a cone shape. Tape or glue the edges in place.
Attach the strip to the open end of the cone, to make a handle.
Finally, fill the basket with flowers. You may also want to add ribbon, raffia, magical herb cuttings, or some Spanish moss to jazz it up a little. Hang the basket over the doorknob of someone special, so that when they open their door, they’ll find your gift!