Beltane oil

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Beltane is one of the "cross-quarter days," a time in between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, usually celebrated on May 1st or May Day. Beltane oil is a sweet, sensuous smell to celebrate the lush eroticism of the season, as well as to greet the waking Faery folk with a fragrance worth a merry dance or two. No more than three. Okay, we're dancing all night!

On or about May 1st, Beltane is one sexy holiday, a celebration of the erotic awakening of the Goddess and God, sometimes portrayed by participants as a Sacred Marriage between the May Queen and May King. We dance around the May Pole with ribbons, adorning a phallic symbol with our wishes and desires. This tradition was originally NOT a children’s game! Then there was the balefire jumping, where it was alleged that the flame that got up under the maidens’ skirts was what caused the pregnancy (obviously it was NOT what happened in the bushes around the bonfire after the rituals). In general, as we watch Wild Nature in the raptures of rutting, growing, and blooming, we are invited to celebrate with equally lusty and wild abandon. Music, often very bawdy songs, dancing, costuming, and oh, the mead!

Beltane is also the biggest worldwide celebration of human labor, and it is only in the U.S. that “Labor Day” is not celebrated on May 1st. All over Europe and South America, May Day is about workers marching in parades and socializing at picnics in solidarity with unions, organized labor, and the working class in general all over the globe. It is tempting to wonder if there are any historical connections between the Pagan holiday and the labor holiday.

The holidays of Beltane and Samhain are also connected to the stars, to wit, our most beloved Pleiadean cluster. The Pleiades are in the area of the Heavens ruled by Taurus, and we go into Taurus at Beltane. By some accounting, and according to most Celtic traditions, it is not the exact date May 1st or October 31st which determined the dates of Beltane and Samhain, but the dates where the Pleiades rise at dawn and sundown, respectively. So depending on which latitude you were in, the date would change accordingly. This helped link the Pleiades and Beltane to the agricultural cycle, and in MesoAmerican traditions the Pleiades strictly ruled the planting season as well.

The final Pagan association with Beltane that I will leave you with may also be related to Pleiadean myth. It is often said that the “bad Faeries” go underground at Beltane while the “good Faeries” come out to the surface of Earth to live. Then at Samhain they change places. So this is why the “Veil Between the Worlds” is said to be very thin at these two times of year, good for spirit contact, divinations, and journeys into the UnderWorld or OtherWorld. I have always found that these two holidays are very much linked across the Wheel of the Year. There is always something of Halloween in Beltane, something scary and death-dealing that contrasts with all the flesh and flowers, and conversely, there is always something of May Day in Samhain, a sexy sub theme to all of the death, ghosts, and monsters. So we could celebrate Beltane by welcoming the Bright Faeries who have awakened, and send the Dark Fae back to sleep with one last hoo-haw.

If you don’t have any Pagan kinsmen to celebrate Beltane with, just look to the secular celebrations that crowd the Events section of the local newspapers at this time of year. Because of the (hopefully) mild weather this time of year, there are all sorts of festivals and fundraisers planned for the weekends around May Day. You can probably find a delightfully Pagan theme within any of them, or create one by joining in the planning committee. I bet they’d love it if you offered to set up a May Pole “for the children,” hee hee.

One way to connect the celebration of Earth Day with Beltane would to be to ally ourselves with the Faery races for the Re-Greening of the world. The Earth Spirits would probably love to see humans joining together to heal the planet as opposed to our current endeavor to drive ourselves and everything else extinct. Perhaps we could listen well during this time that the Veil is thin, for messages and suggestions on how we can make our footsteps fall more lightly on Earth, and live in a more balanced reciprocating way. Then all we would need is the courage to do it.

These magick oils are also called ritual oils, anointing oils or condition oils. They can be used to anoint a person, candle, mojo bag, lucky coins, jewelry, amulets, statues, prayer or spell scrolls, or anything that has a connection with the purpose of the oil or the "condition" it is made to address. Use them according to your inspiration, imagination, the instructions in a book, your Spirit Guide, teacher or Angel's recommendations, or how your Grandma taught you.