Lá Bealtaine

Yesterday, Ramses and I rescued a bee. It was smallish and had the same markings as a honey bee. Somehow it had fallen into a pile of empty pots. Ramses evidently heard it because he would NOT leave that area alone. Upon closer inspection I saw the bee with a tiny spider (by size comparison) attempting to encase her. Although the poor thing was probably dying (either naturally or from spider venom) I still wanted to save her. So I scooped her up very gently with a trowel and deposited her in my Datura’s pot where she could get some sun if she wanted. She was trying valiantly to rouse herself. Ramses could still hear her buzzing her wings and made a bee-line (!) to the pot. That’s when we called it an afternoon and went back into the house. Unfortunately, when I checked on the bee this morning I found she had perished. We do what we can do, leaving the rest to Mother Nature. R.I.P. little one.

So today saw the last of 2022’s Black Moons: A New Moon/Partial Solar Eclipse occurred at 1:28pm here on the West Coast. Like the other three Black Moons this year, it marks the day before either a holiday (Imbolc, Beltane) or other day of significance (Ash Wednesday, April 1st). This New Moon takes place in the sign of Taurus. New Moons kick my ass. I have plenty of energy and positivity surrounding Full Moons, but just the opposite a few days before each New Moon. (Hmm…)

Tomorrow is May 1st. May Day. Beltane. In Irish the name for this festival day is Lá Bealtaine (la bel-te-nah) and represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Rituals to ensure prosperity, health, fertility, and the well-being of one’s livestock and other assets were performed, as this was a time to tune in to Nature’s tides of strength, growth, and abundance.

Beltane (“Bright Fire”) is a FIRE festival so it was customary to build a huge bonfire and then dance around it; however, if one doesn’t have the luxury to build a bonfire (Safety first!), substitute a red candle in a firesafe bowl. Light the candle and let it burn down completely. Dancing around it is purely optional – but fun!

White and yellow flowers are used traditionally. In 19th century Ireland flowers such as primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel, and marsh marigold were placed at doorways and windows in the form of bouquets and/or garlands.

All Springtime veggies and meats are eaten on Beltane. I’m going to cook a batch of Bannock tomorrow (Unleavened breads shaped into round, flat cakes which are then fried or baked). Mead was often drunk at Beltane but the traditional drink is May Wine which is customarily served as a punch with strawberries and Sweet Woodruff leaves.

I picked-up some Sweet Woodruff from the nursery last year with the specific purpose of using it to make my own May Wine. In fact, I am steeping some in my favorite white wine (Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling) right now!

The wine is plenty sweet without adding honey and I infused the herb with Magickal intent before using. Cannot wait to try it.

Let me leave you with a blast from the (70s) past – A song written and performed by Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex (of “Bang A Gong” fame) which contains the line: “Ride a white Swan like the people of the Beltane”. (Gorgeous man who died way too young. Actually, now that I see the band again most of them were drop-dead gorgeous.)

Have a bitchin’ Beltane!!

ℳ –

One response to “Lá Bealtaine

  1. Added raisins to the Bannock recipe. It’s very similar to drop biscuits in taste but the texture is lighter. Will be making it again and next time will add a bit of sugar.

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