In our modern age, we often forget about the things that are important to us. We stay so connected that we forget the work that we’re supposed to be about. We forget that we’re here to connect (with people, not tech), that we’re here to celebrate our bodies, that we’re here to celebrate life. In my mind, it’s about celebrating all aspects of the self, and a lot of “self” is about relationship.
Beltane is about connection. I don’t meet a lot of Pagan people in my everyday life. Or, if I do, they’re very hush-hush about it. I, on the other hand, just don’t give a rat’s ass. I don’t make it a point to blurt it out, but if I’m asked about some weird art on my cubicle wall at work, or the fact that I have an obsession with goats, and saying, “I’m Wiccan,” or, “I’m Pagan,” helps explain it, I will in a heartbeat. So not knowing an enormous amount of Pagans or Witches in my daily life means I have to find other opportunities to spend time with those of like mind and connect on a heart level. Beltane allows me to do that.
Beltane is about “fertility.” I realize that, in ancient times, certain folk had to do certain things to get by. For example, if the Druids didn’t select a young man from the village to spill his seed onto the ground at Beltane, there may not have been a harvest come Samhain. Or, if the Stag God (a masked man) didn’t chase down and bed the Bride (a masked woman), likewise, there may not be a harvest. But these days, fertility isn’t just about birthing babies and raising good crops. Today, fertility is about creativity, imagination, the ability to coalesce plans into a cohesive whole. The Irish god Bel is the patron of Beltane and he’s an etymological evolution of Belbucca, in the form of Bucca Gwidder (the white goat), who is the sun, the healer, and has a sexual prowess you’d never imagine. So while it is about fertility in the literal and figurative senses, it’s also about sex.
Yes. There I said it. For Witches, Beltane can be about outright sex for sex’s sake. And that’s okay. It’s part of our work to embrace and own the beauty of our bodies. Our bodies are our earthly vessels. They are the earth upon which we walk and the embodiment of God and Goddess in this planet. As part of nature, our bodies are precious connections in a very sensual sense to Nature and the Universe.
Beltane is about celebration. One of my favorite things about Beltane, as I said earlier, is about being with other people of like mind. No religious bashing, no political leanings, no body shaming. No hatred or judgment or “witch wars” or any of that other shit that happens in regular life. No one running around screaming, “So-and-so is psychically attacking me in my sleep!” None of that shit. Just hanging, chilling. Set up camp, hang out with the gang. Do a Maypole. Dance around a bonfire after dark, naked if you so choose (the way nature intended). Drinking adult beverages.
All of the things that Beltane really should be about, and doing them all with people you love.