Memorable May Days

Music. Dancing. Passion. Beltane (also known as May Day) is a time for celebration and commemoration for spiritualists everywhere.

In my book, Sacred Ceremony I dedicate a whole chapter to the events and traditions that mark this holiday at the start of May:

‘It’s the season for the Maypole and for May baskets. The dance around the Maypole honors the life-giving fertility of the Earth. In days gone by men and women would dance in a spiral while holding colorful ribbons, moving ever closer to the middle, where not only the ribbons intertwined, but their bodies would mingle as well. This rite was also an elaborate form of foreplay during this season where lusty passion was unabashedly expressed.’

Calling the holiday Beltane is based on the Celtic tradition of leaping over Beltane fires for good luck and to make wishes come true. The purpose of the leaping was also to heat up one’s loins and carnal desires, since spring is also an intensely erotic time, as I point out in the book:

‘Passion is the strongest theme of this seasonal festivity. Not only sexual passion, but also sensual passion—aromas, sights, and sensations of the Earth’s flourishing bounty. As the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, says, “It’s important to be happy and easy-going and not hold grudges, so that the energy can flow freely and communicate between the external and the internal.“ Take it easy and don’t get stressed! If you do, just go outside and soak in the warmth of the expanding summer.’

If you only observe one or two of the more elaborate seasonal celebrations, I always advise to try and make Beltane one of them. A May Day celebration can be truly memorable for people of all ages. A Maypole dance and plenty of flowers to decorate May baskets can make a lasting impression. So too games and picnics. The women and the girls can make crowns of flowers for their hair, and for the men, garland necklaces from the Spring grasses. And, as I mention in the book, it’s essential to have:

‘…music, music, music! Flutes, guitars, harps, drums—instruments and music that express playfulness and passion.’

If it’s safe, you may wish to build a bonfire and host a fire ceremony. Ideally, build the fire as  night falls, following your May Day celebration and have a feast. You may even want to “leap the Beltane fires”.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a sensual side to Beltane you shouldn’t ignore. To quote from my book:

‘With passion being the primary theme, if you’re in a relationship, set aside some time during Beltane for lovemaking. If you can, make love outdoors, and augment the setting with your own touches, such as candles, additional flowers, blankets, and essential oils. If you prefer, do this inside, and prepare the room such that it will provoke the senses, such as spreading rose petals on the bed. Start the ceremony by taking a ritual bath together, washing one another’s bodies, anointing them with oils of your favorite aromas. Take your time, and spend a lot of time caressing and kissing. I’m sure you’ll know what to do from there.’

To read the entire chapter I dedicate to celebrating Beltane and to discover other ways to create simple ceremonies that will memorably mark important events in your life’s journey, why not order a signed and personalized copy of my book Sacred Ceremony?

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