May 1 • Festival of Fire
On the sacred sabbat of Beltane, translated as Bright Fire from old Gaelic, the energies of the earth are at their most potent. The plant world is blooming, we are midway between the Spring and Summer equinoxes and the triple goddess is turning from maiden to mother. Beltane is a festival of love, fertility, renewal and honouring the Great Goddess.
To me, Beltane is the Hawthorn festival. Hawthorn is known as the May tree, and traditionally, this sabbat was marked by the arrival of hawthorn blossom. People would tie ribbons and rags on them as offerings to the fae who dwell beneath them.
Hawthorn is closely associated with the heart in both a medicinal and spiritual sense. Hawthorn berries, leaves and flowers make a powerful cardiovascular tonic, supporting heart vitality and function. The whole tree is also energetically heart healing. Connecting with the spirit of hawthorn opens the heart chakra and invites in warm, soft, heart healing energies. Try standing with hawthorn, holding a branch in your left hand and see what you can feel.
I’ve been gathering and drying hawthorn leaf and blossom for a week now and on Beltane morning I will be making a heart tonic tincture along with berries I gathered on Mabon last year.
🌿 Ways to celebrate Beltane:
🌿 I will start the day by burning a sacred mix of hawthorn, rowan and birch over charcoal.
🌿 Decorate altars with hawthorn blossom, leaves and berries. I have made a triskelion to honour the Great Goddess of hawthorn leaf and blossom (pictured)
🌿 The energies of earth and spirit will be strong so this is a good day to meditate, walk barefoot upon the grass and give thanks for all we have.
🌿 Visit hawthorn trees if you safely can, and leave an offering for the elementals. Make sure to use biodegradable material!
🌿 Drink nourishing cups of hawthorn tea to connect with the spirit of this sacred Beltane tree. (Not if you’re pregnant or on heart meds though!)