Welcome to the beginning of Summer! Yes, I know that everyone including the calendar says that Summer begins in June. We’ll get to that when we talk about Litha. For now, trust me when I say that Beltane is the beginning of Summer.
One of the things that sets Sabbats apart from holidays of other Faiths, is the way they interconnect. While we are beginning Summer in the northern hemisphere, the southern is entering Winter and Samhain. Now you may be wondering how Beltane and Samhain could be connected.
If you look at the Wheel of The Year, you’ll see that Beltane and Samhain are directly opposite each other. Not only that, but they are also direct opposites in what they celebrate. Samhain is the season of Death, and Beltane the season of Conception. One is the end of life, the other, the beginning. If you look at the other Sabbats, and the Wheel of The Year, you will see the same type of correlation between each of the opposing Sabbats.
This is the Polarity and Balance that we celebrate in our Spirituality. The Polarity of opposing forces, in balance with each other. It is the balance we see in Nature. In a perfect world, for every conception and birth, there would also be a death. We celebrate this balance and opposition at Beltane.
While we celebrate the thinness of the veil at Samhain, when the spirits of those who’ve departed leave this plain, the veil is just as thin at Beltane, when the spirits return from The Summerland, and return to life at conception, to be born again.
Beltane is a celebration of life, and since life is created in the act of sex, that too is celebrated. Without sex, there would be no human life, no matter what your Sunday School Teacher told you. Sex is a Sacred Act, and should always be considered so, even, or perhaps especially, when it is done for pleasure.
As Witches and Pagans, our spirituality has no taboos about sex, as long as all participants are capable of, and willing to give their consent. What you choose to do with others sexually, is between you, them, and your Gods.
This attitude of sexual freedom has brought us into conflict with the more Puritan belief systems. They see our celebrations of sexuality and joy as “orgies” to be avoided and vanquished. It’s not surprising that the two things Christianity fears most in their beliefs, sex and death, are the two things we celebrate, that they have been demonized the most.
I honestly cannot understand why any person would decide that something that feels as good as sex, could be sinful. I suppose it goes along with their belief that this life is some sort of test, or payment for a perfect Afterlife, but even there, they don’t have sex.
We Witches have no such issues. This life is for living. Do what you will with it, as long as you harm none along the way. Enjoy the pleasures that this life gives you, when you can. There are plenty of pit falls and bad times in this life, enjoy the good things as much as you can, for you will suffer the bad, just as much. Remember, polarity and balance in all things.
Beltane is ripe with fertility. What was pure potential at Imbolc, is now realized. Beltane is the new Mother, who has just conceived a new live with Her partner. Within her, Beltane takes the opposing polarities of masculine and feminine, and creates new life. Much of the potential that was Beltane's, now transfers to the child within. The child of Imbolc, now takes on the responsibility of becoming Mother Beltane. The carefree child is no more, and Beltane knows that many of Imbolc's dreams will never be.
With the new pleasures of life Beltane is discovering, also come responsibilities. Loving Her partner is one of the most joyful experiences Beltane has yet discovered, but now She must take care of and protect this new life She has just created, just as Her Mother did for Her.
If nothing else, the one thing you should remember, is that Beltane is not a celebration of sex, it is a celebration of life. It just so happens that life can only happen through sex, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that sex feels so good.
Below is a recording of Selena Fox, talking about Beltane.
The audio file below about Beltane, is from the Season of The Witch Podcast.