Belated Beltane

I celebrated Beltane/May Day yesterday, which broke my every-ritual-celebrated-on-the-actual-day streak that I’d managed to keep up since Yule. However, I’d always planned on doing the ritual on the 2nd as opposed to the 1st, due to my original May Day plans. I had planned to drive down to my friend’s in Portsmouth on Friday night, commute from there to the Living History event I was supposed to attend, make the mini-wreaths in the evenings, drive home on Monday, do ritual. Instead I ended up not going to work on Friday, stayed home all weekend, made wreaths on Sunday, and celebrated yesterday. The plans I originally had for celebrating didn’t change, aside from not being able to dance the Maypole at the event.

I started by having a long hot bath with candles, which was the first time I’ve used the bath in my flat as I only got round to buying a bath plug last week, and it also gave me the chance to try out the present of rose-scented bath salts that my flatmate brought me back from a trip he made to Bath. And it was lovely just lying there is the water, watching the steam rise, smelling the faint scent of roses, and poking the floating rose petals. It was really odd having those in the bath with me – I have an abhorrance to seaweed (aside from in sushi), especially when it’s in the water and plastering itself against me, and I was expecting the rose petals to do a similar thing, but they just floated and mostly left me alone. The candle I lit was one I’ve had for years but never got around to burning – a teddy bear figurine holding a love-letter, which I thought was fairly appropriate for the Sabbat that celebrates union.

Once I’d dried off and eaten dinner I headed into my bedroom for a low-key ritual. I was planning on celebrating in the nude, as to me Beltane has always been a sensual and sensuous festival, but it was late evening by the time I got round to it and bloody cold, so I wound up wearing my night attire but I did wrap my Freyja cord around my waist under my dressing gown. After casting a circle and lighting the candles I read some poems, two that came with the Pagan Dreams kit for Beltane, John Donne’s On His Mistress Going to Bed, which for me is one of the most erotic poems ever written, and the Song of Songs from the Bible (yes, it’s read as an allegory for Christ’s love for the Church, but as far as I’m concerned it was originally written as just a sexy poem and given its allegorical meaning by the early compilers of the Bible because they felt it should be included as it was written by Solomon but needed a way of being able to include what is essentailly porn). Then I rebraided my Beltane charm, also from the Pagan Dreams kit, burnt the bindings I’d used last year, used my Freyja prayer beads, and closed circle.

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My May Day altar with my newly-braided charm on my pentacle, Beltane-coloured candles, and plastic roses that I use as set-dressing for this festival with my bale-fire in front of them.

While I did enjoy the bath and ritual I have to keep in mind that I should really leave more time between starting ritual and when I need to be in bed. Feeling slightly sleepy I could cope with, if it wasn’t for my concentration drifting off.

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