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Beltane of the modern Pagan

Beltane with TERRA 2012
Beltane with TERRA 2012
Paul Marseillan

Each year on May 1st Pagan's worldwide celebrate the holiday of Beltane, also known as May Day. Although the Pagan people of today are far different than their ancient ancestors, they still since the change in the world and can feel the Earth coming to life in all of her wonder and glory. There are many traditions that surround this fertility holiday that are very well known to everyone such as the May Pole dance but there is much more to this ancient holiday that you can incorporate into your modern day life.

At its most basic level Beltane is one of the many celebrations of life and fertility of the land, plants, trees, and animals. In ancient times fertility of this sort was vital to your life and although we live in the day and age of great technology, fertility is still vital to us. During this time of the year it is important to recognize and respect the life sustaining world that we live in and celebrate it. Pagan celebrations for Beltane will differ from person to person, group to group and organization to organization but the purpose is still the same.

As each Pagan path is different and unique the festivities are different. Some may start on the day before May 1st, typically at sun down, or they may begin at sun rise on May 1st. Each individual tradition will have its own set of rituals, ceremonies and other such festivities. In this modern time most paths try to keep their Beltane events fun and casual. After all, Pagan holidays are about celebrating and serious workings are normally not done on these eight days of the year.

In most Pagan paths it is common to have the children and the unwed wear white clothing as a symbol of their youth, innocence and their availability for marriage, age depending. Many paths will also hold a short ritual that maybe as simple as holding hands and saying thank you. As the weather is getting warmer and Pagan's begin to venture outside more it is also common to see barbecues, outdoor games and other such activities as part of the Beltane celebrations.

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