The weather is supposed to be cold and rainy here in the Northeast, so I probably won’t be doing much outside.
I’ll probably cast my little solitary circle in the living room, then go outside briefly to say “hi” to my garden and be thankful for my 1/4 acre of mother earth.
In past years, I’ve traveled to Salem, Ma. to participate in the public Beltane circle that Laurie Cabot holds, but I just never really clicked with that crowd.
What are your plans? Do you have any special Beltane traditions you’d like to share?
The SO and I attended a Beltane ritual last Sunday, which would have been my first one. I must say, we had lots of fun! The ritual took place in a campground just north of Los Angeles. I was surprised to see the number of people there. We played games to determine the May King and Queen, had lunch, and then decorated the maypole. A good time was had by all!
I have no Beltane plans, and never have, which brings me to my point.
AFAIK, Beltane, or “The Fire Festival” or “Mayday” as I’ve heard it more often called is Gaelic in origin. Not all Pagans are Gaelic, nor do we celebrate Beltane.
Just a small nitpick, but in all honesty, as a Pagan, I take offense to being lumped into any particular practice or religion. Look at it this way, it’d be the same as calling a Christian person a Catholic, when they’re really a Methodist.
For Dopers in the Baltimore / Pennsylvania area, I can recommend The Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm in Glen Rock, PA. It’s about an hour from Baltimore City, and maybe 45 minutes from Towson. They’re holding it this weekend, May 4th and 5th. It’s been expanded to two days because of its popularity. This is a really neat festival; my mom and I went about four years ago and had a great time. The link below gives directions and other useful info. I’m going on Saturday. Hope the weather holds!!
My best Beltane ever was in Olympia, WA. A friend of mine organized an Alice in Wonderland party, to which we all showed up dressed as appropriate characters. The house was decorated with Tulgey Wood signs and the like; I baked tarts (in the shape, naturally, of hearts), and we tried to play croquet with lawn flamingos. It’s harder than it sounds.
Eventually there was a bonfire, and we all took our clothes off and ran around in the meadow behind her house. That was the Beltane part :).
Didn’t mean to lump ya, Simetra! I consider myself Pagan, not Wiccan, because I don’t generally practice specific Wiccan rituals or believe in indoctrination into specific dogma. I take what I like, and leave what I don’t - sort of a “Pagan Universalist.”
I happen to really like Beltane, because Spring just makes me so happy (especially here in Massachusetts where it seems Winter lasts forever), and I love the sex magic symbolism of the Beltane rites. I also love Samhain, mostly because I’ve always loved Halloween. There’s something just so primal about both festivals that speaks to me.
To each his own, which is one thing that is great about the nature religions in general. Though by the links you posted, it seems that you may not define paganism as necessarily a nature religion. I’m interested in your perspective - maybe you can start a different thread to discuss?
DanielWithrow, that sounds like a great time! The lilac and forsythia bushes around my yard aren’t quite thick enough for running around naked, and I bet the Worcester fire squad would be here on the double if I lit a bonfire after dark. Oh well, the woes of a city pagan.