Beltane Blessings

Beltane Blessings

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Beltane is a major Pagan festival called a Sabbat. It is the union of the God and Goddess. The word Beltane means ‘Bright Fire’. It is named after the God Bel and ancient Celtic God. It is a fire festival and it is traditional to build a fire on Beltane night to honor the Sun Gods.

Beltane is also a fertility festival, as it is the height of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth’s energy is very strong and potent with new life. Beltane is also the start of the farming calendar.

Fire is believed to have purifying qualities, it cleansed and rejuvenated both the land and the people. The ritual welcoming of the sun and the lighting of the fires was also believed to ensure fertility of the land and the people. Animals were transferred from winter pens to summer pastures, and were driven between the Beltane fires to cleanse them of evil spirits and to bring fertility and a good milk yield.

In Celtic times, it would be traditional to build a big bonfire in the center of the village and have a big feast. Young men and women would dance around the maypole, while many people would marry in a handfasting (wedding). People wishing to find love or conceive would jump over a Belfire for luck in love and fertility.

On Beltane we celebrate the abundance of the earth, it is a happy time when we give thanks for all we have in our lives and look forward to the bright, sunny days ahead. We celebrate the coming together of the God and the Goddess and the gifts they will bestow upon the earth.

May you have a happy and joyous Beltane.

Full written & photo credit goes to Wicca Teachings. I merely edited this. 

Blessed Samhain & Happy Halloween

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Today is Samhain. It is one of the most important of the 8 Sabbats as it is the Pagan New Year. The wheel of the year has turned full circle and a new year begins. The word ‘Samhain’ means Summers end. It is pronounced ‘Sowin’. Samhain is the third of the harvest festivals, only this isn’t a harvest of crops or grain, it is the harvest of flesh. It was the time of year when farmers and families would slaughter cattle and preserve the meat to last through the cold winter months. Samhain is a festival of death as it is the death of the year and of the waxing Sun. It is also the death of the earth when Plants, seeds, and acorns are now slowly descending underground to ready themselves to be reborn in Spring. Animals will start to hibernate, and the earth will appear barren as it sleeps through the winter months.
Earth energies are being pulled inwards at this time, and this is the time we should also be looking inwards at ourselves. Contemplate the year we have had and the lessons we have learned, whether they were good or bad, what can we take from them and use in the future. The God of the waxing Sun descends into the underworld opening up the veil between the two worlds of the living and the dead. At Samhain, spirits can commune with the living and visit us. We remember our ancestors, the people and pets who have died, and we honor them by placing pictures of them on our altars (you do not need an altar to be Wiccan) and invite them to join us. We should also adorn our altars with seasonal fare such as fallen leaves, twigs, acorns, nuts, turnips, and pumpkins and offer these as gifts to the Triple Goddess who is now in her crone phase. She is the wise, dark mother of knowledge and days past.

Although a time of death, Samhain is also a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. It is a time of ‘out with the old, in with the new’, to start looking forward to our future. On Samhain we should light a fire, as this is primarily a Celtic fire festival where the villagers and townsfolk would light giant bonfires to say goodbye to the God of the waxing Sun, and to thank the Goddess for her gifts bestowed upon the earth. There would also be big feast with stews, corn, and breads, and we would give thanks for people in our lives and show gratitude for all that we have, and give thanks to the people who are no longer with us and invite them to join us at the feast.

Light a candle tonight and put it, safely, near a window facing West to light the way for our lost loved ones and invite their spirits to visit us.

Today is a great time for divination, for doing tarot readings, looking to the future, and asking ourselves how we can improve our lives and move forward for the coming year.

Have a Blessed & Safe Samhain/Halloween.

*Written credit in full goes to Wicca Teachings*
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