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Feast of Beltane

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  • GraceWatcher@aol.com
    Beltane Spell Beltane, also spelled Beltaine, in the new Celtic calendar marks the end of the first half of the year and the beginning of the summer -- the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 7:35 AM
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      Beltane Spell

      Beltane, also spelled Beltaine, in the new Celtic calendar marks the end of the first half of the year and the beginning of the summer -- the end of the year's dark half.  It is dedicated to Belenos, the god of light and healing who in modern British celebrations takes the form of the Green Man - a man with green leaves covering his face and body.  The name Beltane means "fire of Bel" or "bright fire."  It is believed that the god of light has to be rescued from the god of death or from an earth giant that has kept him prisoner for six months.  To accomplish this, in some areas a hawthorn tree, representing the giant, is cut down and used as a maypole.  Dancing around the maypole clockwise brings luck throughout the summer.  In ancient times, two fires containing nine sacred woods were lit for Belenos.  The cattle were passed between the fires to purify and protect them.  Likewise people would jump over the fire for luck.  Beltane is essentially a celebration of fertility.  At this time, sexual activity is encouraged, and spice cakes, called barm brack in Irish and bannock in Scottish, are cooked and eaten.  As we are between the dark and the light now, the veil between this world and the world of spirit is thin.  It is an excellent time for divination.  If you have already received a six-month prediction from the tarot on Halloween, then it is now time to renew your outlook for the next six months.  Also, do not forget to leave some barm brack on the doorstep over night for the fairies.  If you treat them kindly, you will be assured that they will be kind to you through the year.

      Written by Robert Place
      From Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Spell-a-Day Almana
       
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