Today is October 31st, and in the Southern Hemisphere many witches celebrate Beltane. Spring has well and truly sprung and Summer is making it’s presence felt. Traditionally, Beltane is a pretty important sabbat as it is one of the two times on the Wheel of the Year that the veil is at it’s thinnest (the other, of course, being Samhain). The exact date of Beltane falls halfway between the equinox and the soltice- this year, on November 7th-8th. Covens and solitary practitioners celebrate it at varying times.
If you’re not able to celebrate it with a coven or a ‘special someone’, Beltane can potentially be depressing. What if you are single, or a solitary witch without the bonds of coven sisterhood/brotherhood to give you a little lift? I know, I’ve been there!
The thing is, you might think Beltane is for lovers. Traditionally it is a fertility festival, celebrated with couples copulating on fields and merry skyclad dancing around bonfires. The maypole is a famed symbol of Beltane with distinct phallic connotations. For a single neo-pagan it might be a cause a little angst, but I’m here to argue it needn’t be! Here are my tips for single witches on Beltane;
- Flowers! Beltane should be a flower-filled festival so go into your garden and see what’s up. Pick some flowers to put in a vase or on your altar. They can instantly lighten up a room, and your mood. If you are flower-deprived, you could by yourself a bunch of flowers or a pot of colour from your local nursery.
- Watch out for faeries! The veil is at it’s thinnest this time of year and Beltane is reknowned for faery sightings. You can honour the fae with an offering inside your home or your garden to keep them appeased.
- Alternatively, you can do a fairy meditation to get you in touch with your inner fae. Or look up your favourite faery artists and enjoy their work- Brian Froud is one of my very favourites. Research fairy tales, especially the darker, older ones.
- Make a pair of faery wings! This is my favourite tutorial courtesy of Emilie Autumn. Be inspired on what the fae energy can offer you!
- Treat yourself. When I was single I co-opted Valentine’s Day as ‘Single’s Awareness Day’ and I do the same sorts of things for Beltane. Single or not, a little self-love NEVER goes out of fashion. Beltane has a distinct love-themed flavour so you should do nice things for yourself. Bake chocolate goodies, enjoy a nice glass of wine, buy a beautiful punnet of in-season strawberries, or run a bubble bath and soak. To make your bubble bath extra special, add rose petals or essential oils. Play yourself some romantic music- whatever you choose- and drift. Lush is my favourite store for bath-time treats.
- Beltane is a fire festival so light some candles and practice some candle meditation. Focus on the flames and the way they dance or waver. Every time a distracting thought enters your mind, imagine the flame burning it away into a puff of smoke.
- You could even try a bit of divination with flames, known as Pyromancy. As the veil is very thin, it is a perfect time for divination! Still your mind and observe the flames and see if you can interpret shapes, symbols, faces or letters. Write them in your journal. Our coven practiced wax divination during Imbolc, and even though our interpretations made no sense at the time, when I looked over my journal notes I noticed how all of the odd symbols, characters and signs that we observed in my lump of wax actually did come to pass for me! The moral of this story is- always write your divinations down, as what might seem nonsense may make sense later on.
- Start your own mirror book, if you don’t have one. Find a journal or diary and decorate the front page or cover with images that resonate with you. Consecrate it in a small ritual and use it to write divinations, dreams, meditations or journeys.
- For a bit of fun, watch witchy documentaries and video blogs on Youtube. Ethony linked us to this one today. Take or leave what you view with a grain of salt though!
That’s it! If you can think of anything else to add for solitary pagans on Beltane, be sure to comment with your ideas!