Here are Jan's thoughts:
We have come to the third of those festivals that celebrate the
bursting forth of life which is Spring. Here, the energies
have built an undeniable power which must inevitably explode into
fulfilment and fruition. The Earth goddess is, here, both
receptive and welcoming. And the Lord stands proud and free
in all his rampant glory. From this you will gather that this
is not only a Fire Festival, but also one with a great many sexual
undercurrents. That said, it is also a time where deep and
loving commitments are made, one person to another.
This is a very popular period for handfastings – the uniting of two
people in a shared commitment for a year and a day - perhaps because of
the intensity of passionate energy inherent here.
If you follow through the logic which has threaded each of these last
ceremonies, you will see Imbolc plants the seed, the Vernal marks its
germination and gathering strength – and here we see that same energy
gathering to itself the strength which will eventually leading to
fruiting, and a fertile harvest. In many senses, therefor,
Beltane is a blessing ceremony. It not only imbues the
swelling buds with the promise of bounty; it also introduces the
concept of fertility to all living and growing things.
Another tradition that might have grown up as a result of the blessing
aspect of this ceremony is that of well-decking. Sacred
springs and wells were often garlanded with flowers (especially
hawthorn) on Beltane. This acknowledged the gift of pure
water, and also of the healing qualities many such wells and springs
were credited with. [More...]
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