Beltane Rituals for Every Element

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Written by  Lisa Stardust

Beltane is here! It’s May 1st, May Day, halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. It’s time to invite some friends over eat, drink, and be merry, embracing the beauty within and outside of ourselves as we celebrate the awakened, blooming flora and fauna of Earth. Originally celebrated as a Gaelic festival to protect cattle and encourage growth, Beltane is the light and beauty where we celebrate the sun and blossoms which perfume the air. In this May Day ritual, we are celebrating and giving back to the Earth, using all the elements (fire, earth, air, water) to ignite the hearth of Beltane. 

 
FIRE

Ideally, a bale fire is traditional merriment for the last night of April going into Beltane, May 1st. However, in this modern world, it may be impossible to have access to space which permits a bonfire. Consider using a small cauldron or candles. The colors of the earth, including red for passion, green for prosperity, purple for spirituality, yellow for happiness, white for harmony (or as a stand-in for any other colors. Red, green, and white are traditional Beltane colors. If you don’t have access to colored candles, you can use tea light candles. It’s ok to use the materials you have, remembering that the most important thing about magic is your intentions. 


Facing North, light the candles, evoking the goddesses you cherish and ancestors you admire as you go. Take a deep breath. As you inhale, close your eyes while the warm glow surrounds you. Amidst the warmth of the flames, envision a protective light surrounding, purifying, and stoking your own inner hearth. Open your eyes to the beauty of the flames burning. Let the heat serve as a shield against negativity, as you welcome in positive vibrations. 

EARTH 
Any urbanite can grab a fist full of fresh greenery and place it in a cauldron. Smelling fresh grass and flowers will bring life and abundance to any room. Honor their magical power and embrace the evergreen aroma. If possible, add some dandelions for positivity, hawthorn for fertility, and violets for protection. Try crossing twigs together with a red string to create a talisman that will also serve as a protective force against evil. When done using, recycle back to the universe by placing all remains outside to give back to Mother Earth. 

AIR
Make a wish for Beltane and release it to the air. Write down your desires on flying wish paper and let your desires travel on the wind. Through setting the intention and releasing your dream into the universe, you have the opportunity to plant valuable seeds of hope and creative renewal during these festivities. Giving prayers to the earth goddesses, pleases and inspires their support of your deepest desires to be manifested in the months to come. 

WATER 
Milk and honey is an offering made to Flora, Goddess of Flowers, to ensure vegetation blossoms in abundance during the Spring season. Added to baths, this mixture was notably used by the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra freshen up her soft, vibrant look and add beauty to her appearance. The mixture of milk and honey adds an element of fertility and sensuality to daily life. Rose petals infuse bathwater with feelings of self love and emotional healing. Use this combination for some bath magic to connect to the Earth Goddesses (such as Flora) and meditate. In this bath, be sure to take a moment of pause to connect to Flora’s lustful springtime earthy desires and evoke her spirit, as well as other water spirits like the river Goddess Oshun, who is also giver of love and fertility, and abundance, meditating on what you hope to grow. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Honey 
  • 1 Cup Salt 
  • Rose Petals 
  •  

Directions: 

  • Run warm bath water. 
  • Add milk, honey, and salt in a jar. 
  • Seal the jar and shake to mix ingredients together. 
  • Pour the mixture into bath.
  • Add rose petals to bath.
  • Lie back, relax, allowing your skin to absorb the 
  • Gently rub skin and soak in bath. 

Becoming the Earth: Contemplation, Visioning & Aesthesis.

Written By Alicia Bello

I wanted to write an erotic love article to you. I wanted to write love to you by saying: May all kinds of milks, honeys, fragrant oils and flowers fill your home, altar, and bath. Let there be Eros possession in which every word rolled off the tongue is a spiced nectar. Let there be every lush nude sensation. Let every body in whatever sensual embrace undulate, hum, shudder and drunk on rhythm and ecstasy … whether crying out or soft sigh of respiration, mouth the genuine expression of ecstatic release (and please do always). Hopefully that article will want to be written soon because, well… what a sensation. Instead this article transformed from body in relationship to body into body in relationship to earth… a different kind of body, of intimacy.. the same and different.. but kind of the same. I have found myself outside significantly more than being inside anywhere. My hands and feet have been constantly investigating and trampling through the tropical landscape of Florida and so the intimacy running through me has been the aesthesis of shoots of new green covered in dew, balmy air scented with salty wet earth, and bees pressed deep into the center of flowers… and all of this is happening in the wide open, no shame, Nature needing no permission to burst with her blatant sensuality.

Connecting to the earth is not a new concept for those who practice the craft (to each and every guardian of the directions, the elementals, Hail and Welcome). It is a foundation of study and also a potent remembering. Within every natural witch lies dark earth, fertile, lush with the protected seedcrets of ancient ways, alive with mystery and kept sacred and untainted from the “normalization” of the status quo. No matter how we practice, each and every expression of the work that we do is beautiful to behold in its own right. Our earnest devotion to our practice is the catalyst to what peels away the layers so we begin to see the world completely differently. The earth is living, breathing, pulsing and we perceive it perhaps as our ancestors have, not in the grandiose Hollywood kind of way, but magic in the very real sense that begins to show itself when we learn(remember) how to look (be in relationship to it).

The Anima Mundi, the spirit of the world at this point is no longer a concept but so much more. It is perceived in the body and felt in the depths of individual experience. We, in turn, interact with our planet instinctually, in which in any given moment we turn on and tune in, and allow the power to course through our very body vessel. We can play the subtle vibrations like an instrument that opens the gates to other perceptions and other realities. The relationship that we cultivate with the spirits of the land is so very vital and just like any important relationship we’ve got to keep in touch, forget the small talk so to speak, and nurture it. We know the state of earth right now and quite obviously to say that it’s not healthy is a gross understatement. Just being with the understanding is like a glacial shower and it’s a beginning. We start right here, right now, with what is right in front of us. Without projecting rage or blame on anything, or fear, for the current state of the earth but to just be in a state of heightened mindfulness about say, the decline of bees or the poisoning of water… The Mother is where she’s at just as we are. Just to be in a heightened kind of mindfulness before any practice in which we evoke the elements, and contemplate their actual current state is incredibly important because we have to start where we are at. That being said, magic works non-linearly. No matter how we are working we can heal through coming into contact with root essence of the elements. What I am offering, however is to maybe initiate any ritual with that kind of present acknowledgment and then move into connection with the spiritus, gennii loci, and/ or Anima Mundi.

Visioning

I practice this visualization outside with meditation and contemplation either at sunrise or sunset, but as I usually instruct: if it feels right to practice it in ritual then do it. If you feel inspired to practice on the spot totally do it….except if your driving…listen to your intuition.

Demeter, just one name for Earth Mother is birthing and dying and birthing for us constantly...

 Photo: Alicia Bello 

Photo: Alicia Bello 

Vision your body/full self becoming Demeter by dissolving into the earth completely and merging with her creative chaos and order. Lie down on the earth while practicing. If you can, be completely naked or partially naked. See the shape of your body turn into dirt. Watch all of what you were dissolve into the earth completely. You are gone, but now you are also the whole of the earth. You are reborn in spring. See your blooms opening and the bees drinking your nectar. Smell sweetness of the season on the wind. Go through all the seasons of the earth in this way over and over. See the earth, which is you, floating in space. Place the periphery of your attention on the rhythm of the breath of your body. See the earth in your visioning breathing, the rhythms are in synch. Draw the scope of your vision to the place within the earth that you inhabit. See you where you are envisioning yourself as the earth while you are also the earth. Draw this harmonic image into the vision of your heart and let the vision pulse with your breath as you bring your attention back to your physical body. Enjoy your breathing still seeing the earth pulsing with your breath as your beating heart. Start all over again. Do it as many times as you can.

  • Take notes on how this practice affects you after two weeks and a month.

 As you move through your day, contemplate aesthesis as drawing in the essence of the world, the Anima Mundi with robust sensory perception. Drink in everything.


Queen Hecate & Tending The Bone

"As witches we don't just walk in the shadow, we open to it's mysteries like night blooming jasmine. Fragrant with magic and revived in the properties of the night." Journey with Author Alicia Katrina to working with the Dark Mother Goddess Hectae as we learn to "tend the bone".