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Embracing Beltane: A Season of Renewal and Celebration


Beltane is one of the eight Sabbats within the Wheel of the Year, celebrated by many pagans, witches and followers of the Wiccan tradition. It is celebrated on the first of May, and is often called May Day. It comes halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. The name Beltane, or Bealtaine in Gaelic, means, ‘bright fire’. Beltane heralds the arrival of the summer and celebrates the blossoming of life, fertility and renewal.

For pagans and witches, Beltane is a time to honour the sun’s return to full strength and celebrate the purifying and energising force of fire. Beltane is traditionally celebrated with fires, maypole dancing and rituals of union and fertility. These represent the Earth’s summer awakening and encourage growth, prosperity and fertility.

In traditional Celtic cultures, Beltane marked a crucial point in the agrarian calendar, signalling the beginning of the summer season when livestock were let out to the summer pastures. Fire was a significant part of this festival and people often walked or drove their animals between fires. These fires were believed to possess protective powers, purifying the community and livestock and ensuring fertility for the coming season.

If you would like to mark this Sabbat, here are some ways to celebrate the festival.

Lighting a Beltane Fire

Fire is a central element of Beltane, symbolising the return of the light and warmth of the sun. A fire ritual in a cauldron, fire-safe bowl, fire place or fire pit is a lovely way to mark this Sabbat. If this is not possible for you then a candle or LED candle is another lovely way to honour the season. A Beltane fire ritual can serve as a focus for personal growth, passion and the shedding of old barriers to make way for new beginnings. You could write anything you would like to let go of during this season on slips of paper and burn them to symbolise the act of letting go.

Creating a Beltane Altar

Setting up an altar dedicated to Beltane is a powerful way to align with the season’s energies. Decorate the altar with symbols of fertility and renewal, such as flowers (especially those in season like daisies, lilacs and marigolds), green leaves, seeds and symbols of fertility like eggs or rabbits. Adding green, white, pink or pale yellow candles can invoke the freshness of spring and the warmth of the approaching summer. This altar can be a focal point for ritual, meditation and reflection throughout the season.

Morning Dew Ritual

Collecting the morning dew on Beltane is a traditional practice believed to enhance beauty and maintain youthfulness. You might like to rise early on the first of May to collect dew from grass and flowers. This dew, charged with the life force of the Earth and the energy of the rising sun, can be used to anoint the forehead, heart and other chakras, or added to bathwater for a ritual bath, symbolising purification and renewal.

Maypole Ritual

While traditionally a group activity, a solitary witch can adapt the maypole dance as a personal ritual. You might like to create a small maypole, using a stick or branch, and decorate it with ribbons, flowers and symbols of the season. As you weave the ribbons around the pole, focus on your intentions for growth, creativity and the intertwining of your personal goals with the natural world.

Nature Walk Ritual

It is always nice to engage directly with the life force of the Earth at the Sabbats. You might like to take a walk in nature, observing the new growth and the busy activity of the animal world. Collect natural items that speak to you, and use them to craft a talisman or to decorate your altar.

Planting Ritual

Planting something new is also a powerful way of engaging with the theme of fertility and growth—whether it’s a tree, flower or herb. As you plant, set intentions for what you wish to grow in your life, nurturing these seeds of intention as you nurture the plant.

Beltane Abundance Ritual with Fire

Beltane is an excellent time to focus on new growth and the coming abundance of summer. This simple ritual can help you invite abundance and prosperity into your life. This ritual uses fire, so work in a well-ventilated room or outdoors.

What you need

  • A small cauldron or fire-safe container
  • A charcoal disc
  • A piece of paper and a pen
  • Dried herbs associated with abundance and prosperity (such as basil, cinnamon, or mint)
  • A lighter or matches
  • Optional: Crystals such as citrine, green aventurine, or pyrite to amplify your intentions

What to do

Place your cauldron or fire-safe container on a stable surface. Use tongs to hold the charcoal disc as you light it, then place it in your cauldron or fire-safe dish.

Now write down on the piece of paper what you wish to manifest in terms of abundance. This could be anything from financial prosperity to abundant health or love.

Ground and centre yourself by taking deep breaths and visualising roots extending from your feet into the earth, connecting you to its energy.

Cast a circle around your working area if you wish, envisioning a protective barrier of light that encircles you and your ritual space. You may like to invoke any deities or entities you work with to join you in your ritual.

Sprinkle the dried herbs onto the charcoal disc. As you do this, think about the qualities each herb represents and how they can aid in bringing abundance into your life. Watch as the flames ignite, focusing on the transformative power of fire to turn intentions into reality.

Hold the piece of paper with your written intentions close to your heart. Visualize your desires coming to fruition, imagining them in as much detail as possible. Now drop the paper onto the charcoal disc. As the paper burns, spend a few moments meditating on the fire. Visualise it burning away any obstacles that stand in the way of your abundance. Imagine the smoke carrying your intentions out into the universe, where they can manifest into your reality.

Once the herbs and paper have burned, and your intentions have been fully offered to the flames, thank the elements and any deities or spirits you called upon for their guidance and protection.

You might say something like, “With gratitude, I release these energies to the universe. May the transformation brought by this Beltane fire bring abundance into my life. It is done.”

Take a few deep breaths or eat or drink something to ground yourself. Dismantle your circle if you cast one, visualising the energy being absorbed back into the earth.

For a more in-depth look at Beltane, check out this post from Irish Myths. You can also check out my other posts on the Wheel of the Year including Yule, Imbolc and Ostara

How will you be celebrating the Beltane Sabbat this year? Please share your celebration ideas with us in the comments below

Eva May Baker
Eva May Baker
Hello, and welcome to The City Witch, your portal into the magical world that exists within the hustle and bustle of city life. My name is Eva Baker and I am an urban folk witch, author and your guide on this magical journey.


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