Beltane Blessings to you!
(and Samhain blessings to my friends in the Southern hemisphere)
Beltane is a Celtic word meaning 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is one of the four major sabbats (solar festivals), which lie on the cross-quarters between the Solstices and the Equinoxes. The last of three fertility festivals, it is a celebration of the union of God and Goddess. It is a time to seek blessings of fertility and prosperity, and love is in the air.
The Maypole is a phallic symbol, and as such represents fertility. Men and women dance around it while weaving the ribbons around the pole to bring fertility and good luck.
The Beltane Fire is another significant part of the celebration. It has purifying qualities which cleanse and revitalise. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year.
Bless, O threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, my children.
Bless everything within my dwelling and in my possession,
Bless the kine and crops, the flocks and corn,
From Samhain Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.
Be the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,
Taking possession of all to me belonging.
Be the Horned God, the Wild Spirit of the Forest,
Protecting me in truth and honor.
Satisfy my soul and shield my loved ones,
Blessing every thing and every one,
All my land and my surroundings.
Great gods who create and bring life to all,
I ask for your blessings on this day of fire.
(short adaptation of Am Beannachadh Bealltain (The Beltane Blessing) )