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Beltane Sabbat – The celebration of fertility

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Beltane Sabbat represents the ultimate moment of fertility and love. It’s the union between the Goddess and the God.

On the Wheel of the Year, it is in Beltane that the young God (Bel) reaches his adulthood and attracts the attention of the Goddess who chooses him to be his lover. Due to this, Fires are light up (Tinne in Celtic and therefore “Beltine”, called in English of Belfires) that represents the sexual energy, life and love and that also serves for purification.

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Beltane Sabbat
  • Northern Hemisphere: May 1st
  • Southern Hemisphere: November 1st
  • Colour: Green

The Beltane Sabbat celebrations include bonfires and lots of energy. Some people would go to the forest at night to pick some flowers and then return to the villages and give the villagers the flowers in their homes. In return, the residents offered meals prepared for this occasion. This reinforced the bond of union and represented the gifts the Goddess offered people and animals by means of the earth.

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Beltane Sabbat and the Sexual Energy

Beltane Sabbat is a great Sabbat and one of the most celebrated ones.

One of the greatest traditions in ancient Europe was the Maypole Festival. In this celebration a large tree trunk that symbolizes the penis of the God is erected with a wreath on top, symbolizing the Goddess’s vagina.

Around it, people dance in a circle wrapping colourful ribbons that represent the sexual union between the Goddess and the God. By uniting the Goddess’s creative power with the fertility of her lover’s penis, all life began to flourish.

Wheel of the Year - Beltane Sabbat - Sexual Energy

Another way to celebrate Beltane was through sexual healings held in the forest. The children born on this occasion were seen as the very children of the Goddess and the God.

The practice of sexual acts in the forests was a kind of magic capable of maintaining the balance between the animal, vegetable and human kingdoms.

Also at this time, springtime, animals used to come out of their burrows to mate.

The Great Rite of the Beltane Sabbat represents the sexual union between the Goddess and the God, the union that will bring life and abundance to the Earth.

This rite is done by plunging the Athame (symbolizing the penis) into the Chalice (symbolizing the vagina).

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Beltane Sabbat and the Power of Fire

Wheel of the Year - Beltane Sabbat - Fire

Fire is the most important element present in all the Sabbats. However, in the Beltane Sabbat, it is of even greater importance.

Its light and its warmth represent the virility and the fertile power of the God. In the centre of the village, people used to light up a big bonfire in His honour and they ran and jumped over it in a ritual of purification, burning out all the negative energies.

By the end of the holiday, people carried ashes from the great fire to the house to take the energy of the God and attract good energies, as well as to be free of diseases and bad times.

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Now that you know about Beltane Sabbat, you can also read about Beltane Rituals.

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Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year

You can also read about the other Sabbats which are part of the Wheel of the Year:

General FAQ

What is Beltane Sabbat?

Beltane is one of the most celebrated Sabbats of all. It represents fertility and all the creation between the God and the Goddess.

When is Beltane celebrated?

Beltane is celebrated after Ostara, the Vernal Equinox. It is celebrated on May 1st.

What happens in Beltane?

The God and the Goddess make their union providing fertility, energy and growth to nature.

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