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Beltane, celebrated on May 1st is a day of fire! Welcoming in the first

day of summer, the rituals around Beltane are all about fertility and


Ancient Celts welcomed the warmth of the sun after the cold and dark

winter, and saw Beltane fires as burning away the constraints of the

past season as the wheel turned.

There are many stories of how Beltane was celebrated in those times;

menstruating women would bleed into the soil for fertility, couples

would make love in the fields and dance around the Beltane fires.

This is also the time of the May Queen. A young woman, often

dressed in white, would lead her court in local processions and ritual.

Young maidens washed their faces with the morning dew on this day

to preserve their youthfulness. May Day baskets of spring flowers

were left on the doors of neighbors and friends.

Although we have moved away from some of those ancient concepts,

the fires of Beltane are still significant to us as we move into the

fertility and abundance of the season. Modern rituals will often include

“jumping the fire” to symbolize leaving the past behind and embracing

the new.

Whether you celebrate Beltane in ritual or in prayer, recognize that the

wheel has turned once again. The woman you were at this time last

year is not the woman you are today. This is the gift of the Spiral - the

wheel turns through the seasons, as we turn through the seasons of

our lives. So on this May Day, wash your face in the morning dew; not for

youthfulness, but in gratitude for newness and growth. Imagine

yourself leaping over a fire into the abundance to come, and leave a

May Day basket for friends and neighbors.

Oh, and perhaps mix up cakes for the Queen of Heaven: Ishtar or Mary Magdalene:

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg (this recipe is best with a large or extra large egg)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsps baking powder

2 3/4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar

with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix baking powder and

flour, add flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

The dough may be stiff.

Roll out your cookie dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into

half moon shapes. Decorate or dust with powdered sugar.

Blessed Be!

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