Beltane and Walpurgisnacht

The fires crackles along with the beat of the drum.  The night is electric with energy as the people dance together. Gleaming bodies painted orange by the sacred flames as the spin and leap.

Beltane is celebrated May 1(Nov 1 in the S. Hemisphere). The Fae are more active in our reality during this time and offerings are left for them.

Sacred fires are lit on top of hills and livestock are driven between two bonfires made up of sacred herbs so they are hopefully protected and fertile.  People jump the flames for luck in the coming year. The nights food is cooked on these fires.

Homes are decorated with flowers. Yellow flowers are placed over the doors, in the windows. The flowers are fastened to cows and cow related equipment.

Outside of each house a May Bush is decorated. The “bush” is a small tree or branch , usually from a Hawthorne, Sycamore, or Rowan. Mine is  probably going to be a Maple branch. These are decorated with ribbons and flowers, among other things.  There are often communal May Bushes too.  These are decorated by the whole nighborhood. This occaisionally leading to compitition.

In some places the Maypole is erected.  This is a pole on wich ribbons are hung. People wound take the end of each and dance around the pole in a way that would cause the ribbons to braid around the pole.

This is a time when pilgrimages are made sacred wells.  While there, people pray for healing or health while circling from east to west.  Offerings of coins and clooties, strups of fabrics, are left. Other than wells, dew is important.  At dawn young women roll in the dewy grass, wash in it, or gather it. The idea is to increase sexual atractivness, cure skin ailments, or stay young.

It’s important to take the time on Beltane to appease the fea and other spirits of you land.  This, in the case of the fea at least ment a libation of milk poured is poured onto the steps of your front door and/or at sites they hang out.

Walpurgusnacht or Walpurgus Night.

A Catholic Saint’s Night celebrating St Walpurga, an Abess who lived in Germany.  Germanic pagans use her name or Hexenacht(Witch’s Night) The celibrations are simular to Beltane.  On this night Freyja rides with “witches”, kids may prank thier nieghbors, and people confess their love.  It’s kind of like a combo of Holloween and Valintine’s day.

 

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