A tall young man with flame-red hair came rushing to Caitlin’s side. “Indeed, my darling,” he said, his eyes locked on her breasts, “they are indeed beautiful.”
Caitlin giggled, blushing. “The flowers, Seamus,” she said, sweeping her hand to show him the scene before them.
“Those are nice, too,” he said, slipping an arm around her waist.
She took his hand and led him into the center of the little grove. “Come on now,” she said, setting down the large baskets she’d been carrying.” We have to collect them for tomorrow’s May Day celebration.”
“Aye,” he agreed, “for tomorrow. Which means we have all night.”
Caitlin laughed as Seamus moved closer. “I suppose you’re right,” she said, her voice becoming thick with emotion as she touched his arm and raised her eyes to meet his. “And with this many, we need not look further. These will fill our baskets with much to spare.”
“Let’s crush a few, then,” Seamus said with a sly smile, slipping both arms around Caitlin’s waist this time. “I mean, how else will we know if they smell good?”
She looked into his clear hazel eyes, which were shining with desire for her, as her own body began to sing with an equal desire.“True enough, my love,” she said as Seamus pulled her closer. “For surely it would be insulting to the gods to bring in the May with imperfect flowers.”
~Thuri Calafia, Sabbats Almanac
Ah, intoxicating, lusty, sensual Beltane, the Sabbat of love.
Beltane is the sweet yang to Samhain’s dark yin—a joyous celebration of life and sexuality. Yes, there’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular wedding months.
The followers of the Old Ways met on mountaintops and danced the spiral dance on the night before Beltane, called Walpurgis Night. The ancients believed that the earth appreciated the sexual energy expended in her open fields, that it stimulated the fertility of the crops and animals.
The original purpose of Walpurgisnacht, as the Teutons called it, was to beseech the Horned God, Cernunnos. One of the two primordial nature gods in central and western Europe, he embodies the vitality of animal life, just as the Green Man, who is seen in many current festivals today, represents the surge of vegetation in the spring.
Walpurgis Night was originally a hunt ceremony in which the tribe prayed for an abundance of deer and elk to be born now, to grow fat by Hunter’s moon in October, then feed the people through the winter.
The crucial step in the rites of the Horned One was to address prayers to the spirits of the horned animals who would be giving their lives in the months to come, to bless their sacrifice and ask their forgiveness from the clan’s hunters.
The next night farmers would drive their cattle between two sacred fires, called “need fires” to bring luck, fertility, and an abundant milk yield for the year.
There is so more I could share about Beltane, one of my favorite Sabbats. But I had eye surgery this week and am limiting my computer time to give my eye a chance to heal.
Until next time…Happy Beltane and Blessed Be.