Summer is here! Lá Bealtaine, Beltane or May Day, marks the transition between spring and summer and celebrates the beginning of the light half of the year.
It’s a day to celebrate this fertile, beautiful world, to bless the crops that will feed us and to feed our creativity and imagination with all the beauty that is around us. It is the mid-morning of the year, full of activity and movement, joy, enthusiasm, growth and harmony. Lady Spring has reached her full potential, The Green Man takes her by the hand and the great marriage is celebrated, as together they dance the land green once more. This is a time of expansion, a time to stretch out into the world, bring new ideas to life and enjoy the energy that is all around us.
Here are three ways you can get your summer off to a good start.
Bless the Threshold - An old tradition on Bealtaine Eve, that you can do at home, is to light a candle and bless the threshold, the hearth, the four corners and the inhabitants of the house. It's a beautiful mindful practice that lets you pause for a moment in the liminal space between spring and summer.
Hold a Front Door Festival - For generations in Ireland people have scattered flowers across their doorsteps on May eve to protect their homes, appease the Fairies and bring luck for the growing season. We have created our own spin on this tradition, Inviting friends near and far to connect in time and intention. Open your doors at 10am on May morning, scatter flowers on your door step, welcome in the energy of summer and send wishes of healing and hope out into the world.
Light a Beltane fire -Traditionally, fires were lit at Bealtaine. A special fire was lit at this time, with all other fires extinguished and then re-lit with the Beltane fire. Couples jumped the fire as an act of union, hoping that it would bring the blessings of fertility to their lives together. Why not light a fire in your garden and if you can, invite close friends and family to share it with you. Have a little feast, and spend some time thinking what you’d like to ‘bring to life’, during the summer.
Decorating a May Bush -A lovely way to welcome the summer is to decorate a May bush. Gather up yellow flowers that are present in the fields and along the roads at this time such as gorse flowers, celandines, primroses and marigolds. Remembering only to take a few from each plant! Visit a bush in your park or garden or, if you are lucky enough to have a Hawthorn tree growing near you, then head there. Spend some time decorating your bush or tree with flowers, paper streamers and coloured eggshells left over from Easter, if you have them.