It’s May Day! Also known as Beltane, this Gaelic festival marks the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Originally celebrated to protect cattle, crops, and people; special bonfires were lit and said to have protective powers through their flames, smoke and ash. Like a mass smudging, people and their cattle would walk around the fire or sometimes leap over the flames and embers.
Modern versions of Beltane still include the bonfire to be a key part of the celebration but central themes tend to significantly focus on life, fertility and growth. Other customs include decorating the “May Bush” with bright yellow flowers of the season and dancing around the Maypole.
Beltane is a great time for bringing intentions to life! One thing you can do to celebrate this year is to create a wish box charm.
· A small cardboard box (shoe boxes are great)
· Rose petals
· Sunflower and/or poppy seeds
· A piece of willow or birch bark, an acorn or leaves
· Something that represents your wish/intention
Start by writing your wishes/intentions on a piece of paper, while doing so, visualize them manifesting into reality. You can get extra creative by decorating your box with symbols such as the triple moon, pentacles, hearts … or whatever you’re feeling.
Poke several holes in the lid, as this will help your plants to grow. Next, take your box and put some earth into it. Then add a layer of your paper wishes with the bark/acorn and “wish representation” and then cover with another layer of earth. Now mix your rose petals with your seeds and scatter them on the top. Cover with a final layer of earth and place the lid back onto the box.
The best time to plant your wish box is after a fresh rainfall, but if you’re experiencing a dry season, just make sure to give your planting area a good watering the night before. Dig a hole 2 inches deeper than your wish box and lower it carefully into the hole while concentrating on your intention. Imagine your wish growing with the flowers as they reach skyward. As you cover your box with earth, say: “Dream that lies within the earth awaken now. Hope that sleeps awaken now. The stars await as so do I. Grow true, grow strong, toward the sky.”
If you don’t have a garden, you can also plant this in a pot.
I’d love to hear how you and your loved ones celebrate Beltane. Send me a message and let me know about your yearly traditions!