5 Awesome Beltane Celebration Ideas for Solitaries
Beltane is a time for fun, mythology, food, and happy indulgence. It is great to spend the day in the sun with those you admire. Group outings and coven experiences are wonderful this time of year.
Groups and covens are not the only ones allowed to have all the fun. I have been a solitary for MANY years and I have yet to miss a Beltane celebration. Why should I? There are so many fun and inexpensive things to do. With or without a coven or group, you can have a blast.
The best part of going at it alone is, you don’t have to clear or coordinate your plans with anyone! Why? You call the shots! There are no misunderstandings about when and where to meet. You don’t have to hear anyone complain about this that, and any other issue than may pop up. The only winer in the group is you, so if you can tolerate yourself you’re in business. *chuckle*
In this post I will take you through some of my favorite solitary Beltane activities. Many of these activities are flexible so you can include friends and family if you choose. So here we go!
1. Host a Solitary Beltane Tea.
We all know Beltane is the counter to Samhain where the veil once again thins and we are able to commune and communicate with our ancestors and departed loved ones. The practice of having a silent Dumb Supper during Samhain is very common. Why not extend that tradition to Beltane with its own twist?
Serve your tea as you would your Dumb Supper, just make it more colorful with spring flowers and your favorite tea foods and treats. This activity is flexible, invite others to join you if you like. Make sure you take time to fully connect and honor your ancestors and departed loved ones.
2. Get out in Nature.
This an inexpensive way to feel the energy Beltane has to spare. Go on a hike, walk in the park, or even visit a botanical garden. Anywhere you can see, listen, smell, and touch nature is a good place to visit. Find a place to sit and quietly meditate or just relax while you feel the breeze and listen to the birds.
Another idea (one of my favs), is include planting as part of your outdoor ritual. I am sure there are plenty of flowers, herbs, etc. you still want to get in the ground. Why not make planting your remaining seed, seedlings, and plants a part of your Beltane ritual? It’s perfect.
3. Attend a May Day Festival
Out here we have the annual May Day Faerie Festival at Spoutwood Farm. This is a great event where adults and kids dress up and everyone plays. There are drum circles, belly dancing, bubbles, and lots of faeries.
The nice thing about events like this is that you don’t have to attend with a barrage of friends and family in tow. You don’t even have to dress up. Just show up! Sometimes going alone gives you the best experiences. You meet new people, dance like nobody is watching, and play with the fae. Look for similar events in your area where you can get out and have a great time.
4. Stoke a “Bale” Fire.
To me Beltane is just not Beltane without Bon or Bale Fire. Don’t worry if you don’t have a large outdoor place to do this. You can use candles, your fireplace, or a small fire pit; whatever you have available will do. I usually use our outdoor fire pit, which is fairly small and fits nicely on our deck. Your fire can be big or small, either will do.
OH! Don’t forget to take the opportunity to do some fire gazing…
5. Make a Beltane Craft
Crafts are a favorite in my home because I have a young heathen to entertain. Traditionally, I like to make head/hair garlands, and wreaths. The wreath is for the front door and the head garland I use for some Beltane Magick. Find a craft you have been itching to create and do it!
Making Beltane Special
It does not matter if you have a group to celebrate with or not. Beltane can be an enriching celebration when you get creative and try something new. Sometimes the best spiritual experiences are the ones we discover alone. There is no disruption, or distraction. It is only you and your ability to experience the energy of the moment.
So ready your bonfires, get all of your old wooden things and load your little dolls with all of the ill-health and bad things that happened for the last year and get ready to burn them on April 30 or May 1 and celebrate the coming year! I will post more as the holiday approaches.
I am the dream of awakening.
I am the returning of the light.
I am the tough green shoot pushing up through the pavestones, I am the first kiss of sunlight on the unfurling petals of the snowdrop. I am the wind which whispers the gentle pull of home to the migratory bird.
I am the drop of ice melting on the mountainside with its great dream of the ocean.
I am the sap rising in the blossom tree just before it reveals its sticky buds to the sky; I am the riotous celebration humming away beneath the earth’s mantle of frozen sleep.
I am the rousing of the bee from its winter slumber, and the soft pad of the mother-wolf’s paw on the snow as she prepares to birth her pups.
I am hope, potential, rebirth and promise. I am the kindling breath which transforms the flicker of inspiration in your creative core into a blazing torch.
Give me the silent crescent moon rising over the sea and I will build you a bridge of silver light so you can walk up and lie in it.
Give me the frost-hardened wilderness and I will breathe radiant green life over it.
Give me the healer, the writer, the craftsperson and the storyteller, and I will replenish her essence and make her new again.
Tonight I bestow my gifts of power and courage at the hearth of your soul: power to step out of the shadows of self-doubt and negativity which have held you in darkness for too long, power to shed all that which no longer serves you, and courage to clear your heart and mind for the dawn that awaits you.
I am the time to honor your unique gifts for their true worth and to protect and nurture your creative self as you would a child. I am the deep longing of the spirit which refuses to be consumed by a narrative of fear and chooses instead to place itself vivaciously on the side of love.
I am the stirring in your belly which knows exactly what you are capable of — and that it’s time the world found out.
I am the fire within which will not be contained any longer.
I am the quickening, I am the serpent uncoiling, I am Imbolc.
I am the dream of awakening.
Caroline Mellor lives close to the sea and the green hills of southern England with her daughter, cat, and husband. As well as being a mum, writer and massage therapist, she enjoys traveling, one-pot cookery, gardening, Yoga, and drinking red wine. When not partaking in one of the above, she is probably daydreaming about her next holiday. You can connect with Caroline through her Facebook page or her blog.
For many in the U.S., the only ‘religious’ event this time of year is the Super Bowl. But for many pagans and Wiccans, February 2 marks the important holiday, Imbolc, and their attention may be focused somewhere other than the television screen.
1. Imbolc is one of four major pagan sabbats, or holidays, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. In between these sabbats, pagans celebrate the seasonal solstices and equinoxes.
2. Imbolc is pronounced “IM-bulk” or “EM-bowlk.”
3. Imbolc falls on the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Although it is attributed to the ancient Celts, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and indigenous groups are also believed to have celebrated an equivalent holiday.
5. Also called Brigid’s Day, Imbolc honors the Celtic goddess of fire, fertility, midwifery and the young. Many Pagans will pay tribute to Brigid by arranging an altar and ‘invoking’ the goddess through prayer.
6. The term ‘Imbolc’ derives from Old Irish and means “in the belly,” or alternately “ewe’s milk.” The interpretation lends significance to the holiday as a celebration of fertility, reproduction and the young — all overseen by the goddess Brigid.
7. Imbolc observes the waning of winter and approach of spring. Pagans often use fire and other forms of light to encourage the lengthening of day. Seed and bud imagery may be used, as well, to promote the growth of new life ensured by springtime.
8. As with many pagan holidays, food and music are essential. Dishes for Imbolc tend to incorporate seeds, dairy and other spring-evoking foods.
9. Celebrants often prepare talismans to use during Imbolc ceremonies and then keep in their homes. These include a Brideog — a small straw doll dressed in white cloth — and a Brigid’s Cross, also often woven from straw.
10. Imbolc is a time for spring cleaning. Some clean their homes, take ritual baths and de-clutter their lives in other ways. This is believed to create space for the goddess to come into people’s live and for new seeds to take root in the coming spring.
From my personal diary:
In this card we see a woman standing in a green robe with her hood over her head so that we son’t see much of her face. She holds two swords crossed in front of her. The two swords are identical showing that she has a balanced mind. She faces a white swan who sits high above her in a very twisty tree. Directly in front of the swan, hanging from the tree branch, is a red heart hanging from a piece of red thread. It seems as though either the swan is offering her heart to the woman or that that is the woman’s heart hanging from the tree and she must get past the swan to retrieve it.
There is another white swan close behind the woman. It is standing on the ground with its face upturned to her and seems to be offering her a flower, but because her back is turned, she doesn’t see this offering. It could be a willful turning away or simply something she does not notice because her attention is focused on what is in front of her.
This woman has a decision to make, but she is currently at an impasse, She either doesn’t want to make the decision, in which case she would be in denial. On the other hand, it could be because she can’t see what is behind her, she may not have all the information she needs to make her decision. The swords represent that her decision must be made using her logic and intellect rather than her intuition and emotion.
At the top of the card, there is a waxing moon (not waning) showing that whatever decision she makes will form a new beginning for her. There is a need for a truce here so that a decision can be made logically and intellectually. This woman needs to realize that she cannot avoid a situation by not making a decision one way or the other. She may be in denial of her emotions about this situation and although this calls for logic and her intellectual gifts,s he would be wise to unblock her emotions and thereby come out of her denial. The Goddess is all around her represented by the two swans, the twisted tree which is flowering and the new moon above, but she cannot see all of this because all of her attention is focused on the stalemate at hand.
The stalemate or impasse may also be her attempt to protect her self from some unknown factor. She needs more information in order to dig deeper so that she can make her decision to find out the truth of the situation. However, this will require a temporary lowering of her swords to do that.
From my personal diary:
A woman sits with her body curled in on itself and her head rests on her knee. Her face is not visible. She is surrounded by a transparent gray-ish bubble. Directly over her head, and inside the bubble, is a pentacle inside its own bubble.
She sits on the higher of two pedestals. Directly below her grow green and flowering vines which have penetrated her bubble. Directly in front of her, only inches from her outstretched arm, is a colorful butterfly inside its own bubble as well. On the pedestal below her (she sits on the higher one) is a chameleon looking at her as if he/she is expecting something.
The backdrop is a mottled and veiny gray wall. Coming directly from the top of the bubble which surrounds the woman, is a crack in the wall which is basically straight. There is one wobbly part (almost as if it wasn’t sure of itself), but then it continues on straight to the top of the card. I also find it interesting that the crack in he wall comes directly out of the bubble that surrounds the woman. As if, in creating this bubble for herself, the energies she has created have affected the wall itself and caused it to crack.
To the left of the crack int he wall and in the top left corner we see a brightly colored and intricately designed stained glass window or painting. It is in the form of a circle with four pentacles inside and the pentacles themselves are inside their own circles. The colors inside the window or painting are basically green, purple, lavender, yellow, gold, white and gray. At the bottom of this circle, in the midst of a slash of bright yellow is a red heart, which is interestingly almost the same color as the butterfly
It seems to me that the main themes of this card are pentacles and circles. I know that when I get ready to cast a spell, I cast a circle to protect myself and I know also that the pentacles inside of a circle is a powerful symbol of protection as well. However, this is juxtaposed with the figure of the lone woman curled in on herself and since we cannot see her face, we have to assume that she also can’t see what is around her. However, the vines that are growing up from the Earth have penetrated her bubble and seem to be either touching her or moving into her. I can only think that this is the Goddess (higher power, Oneness…) attempting to ground her as she may be confused about something.
The woman seems very alone within her bubble. Almost as if she has protected herself so much and so well that she has pushed every other thing away. I know that within the Tarot, the sign of the Pentacle represents money or work. So, she has either lost money or lost work. Either way it’s a financial hardship and she has isolated herself within her bubble in her grief and sadness. She also could be experiencing emotional loss of something he has worked for.
The butterfly that hovers within its own bubble just out of her reach seems to symbolize beauty, hope, change, and/or metamorphosis. She would only have to lift her head a fraction of an inch to see it and reach out with the smallest of movements to pop the bubble surrounding the butterfly, thereby accessing its power for metamorphosis. However, at this point, she seems to be immobilized in her sadness.
I can’t help but think that if she would only move that the bubbles around her would pop and she could let in whatever pain or loss she has protected herself from. She seems to be stuck in a position where she feels sadness and/or grief, but is not letting it in wholly. It seems that if she did let it all the way in, she could finally deal with it and look up to see the beauty and hope around her. She could see that her heart is not in fact cracked in two, but whole, as is shown in the circle in the top left corner of the card.
I also think that the abundance of pentacles in the top left corner circle represent future work and financial successes if she could only come out of her bubble and recognize her own potential. This is a woman who has isolated herself with sadness and possibly self-esteem issues regarding her potential for success. She has experienced hardship and rejection and has decided that even though she is miserable that it is safer inside her bubble that outside of it. The problem with this, however, is that there is so much beauty and hope within inches of her reach if she would only move. If she would just move.
If anyone has anything else to add to this discussion, I would be more than happy to read it.
On a personal note, I pulled this card for myself yesterday when I was feeling particularly sad ( I deal with chronic depression.) and I was missing my mother terribly who died this past October suddenly of several heart attacks. It’s weird to contemplate that at my age and now with a child of my own, that I have no parents. I’m an adult orphan. It’s a weird concept to consider. I am feeling very alone at this time since I am in a new town and have yet to make any real friends. This is partly my fault since I tend to isolate myself and I have some health issues that prevent me from doing everything I would like to do socially. I am like the woman in the bubble who can’t see the beauty and hope for change beyond her own immediate surroundings. If I can only just move outside myself. I keep telling myself that. Just move. Just look around you. Let down your walls and experience life. It’s painful sometimes, but sometimes it’s joyful and hopeful. This is the thought I cling to.
I am also discovering that the grief I am experiencing from the death of my mother isn’t something that I can ever “get over” or “move through”. It has changed me irrevocably. I have to wake up each day with my first thought being, “I need to call my mom,” and then thinking to myself, “Shit, I can’t call her. She’s dead.” I found this floating around on the internet and it helped me so I thought I would share it with you all in the hopes that it may help someone else as well.
This was written by Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847 – 17 March 1918) was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford.