Friday, January 18, 2013

Pagan Blog Project – B is for Beltane

Maypole Dance, Qu'Appelle, 1919
Beltane is celebrated May 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and November 1st in the Southern Hemisphere.
This is another time when the veil between the worlds is thin though rather than focusing on ancestors as we do with Samhain, this time is when the Faerie are returning and the trickster Gods are around. Due to this it is not the best time for divination as your results may be convoluted!  
Beltane is a fertility festival. This is the time of year when the Goddess becomes the Mother, and the God sheds his irresponsible, youthful persona and becomes her Consort.  During Beltane we celebrate the union of the Goddess and the God; from which we receive the abundance of nature. It marks the return of life from the coldness of winter.
The Maypole is one of the most popular traditions of Beltane. The maypole is usually 9 feet tall and strung with colored ribbons which are twice as long as the Maypole is high. Traditionally two colors of ribbons are used, red and white. The Maypole dancers would weave the ribbons around the pole through their dance until the streamers were too short for them to continue. This weaving of the ribbons represents the joining of the God and Goddess.
Another Beltane custom is the bonfire which symbolizes the coming summer. Leaping over a fire during Beltane is thought to ensure fertility and circling a fire clockwise three times is thought to bring good luck. 
Beltane Correspondences:
Colors: Green, Bright Red, Silver, Gold, Blue, White and even Pink
Gods: The Green Man, pan. Artemis, Pan
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Diana, flora, Maia
Flowers: Thyme, Yarrow, Ivy, Marigold, Lily of the Valley, Honeysuckle,
Stones: Emerald, Orange Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Malachite
Tools: broom, Maypole,
Food: Bread, Wine, Dairy, Oatmeal Cakes

On Beltane my family enjoys warm oatmeal cookies. Here is my favorite Oatmeal Cookie recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 8 min
This recipe is right off the Quaker Oats box. I love looking for recipes online but sometimes the oldies are really good! My family has been making these oatmeal cookies for as long as I can remember.

Beltane by Raven Grimassi
Beltane – Holiday Details and History by Christina Aubin

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