November 6, 2022

Guest Post – The Abundance of Beltane


The Northern Hemisphere is currently enjoying Samhain in preparation for the coming dark months of Winter. But here in the South, the world is just coming into life before Summer, and the land is brimming with abundance during Beltane. It’s a time that we connect to the growth of Spring and our own plans and hopes that are bursting into life. The last of the Winter frosts have come to an end; it is a time of fertility. The days are getting longer, all life is bursting with potent fertility, and sexuality is at its peak.

The origins of Beltane are said to be rooted in the celebration of Floralia, or the Festival of Flora, a five-day ceremony to honour the Roman goddess of flowers. This holiday began around 340 BCE in the hopes of pleasing the goddess Flora so she would protect the Spring flowers that would later bear fruit in the Summer. The Floralia festival was celebrated by dancing, gathering flowers, and wearing more colourful garments. We see echoes of this celebration in nature at this time – birds are nesting, and the bush is full of native flowers, especially the bright red of the Rewarewa spikes and the fragrant yellow Tarata here in Aotearoa. In Australia, native Acacia and Waratah are also in full bloom.

Beltane is a day for fun, light-hearted celebration, and love. It is often celebrated with maypole dancing and performing fire rituals. The ancient Celts believed that the sun was held prisoner during Winter, only to be released each Spring at Beltane to rule the summer sky. They celebrated this with fire ceremonies and feasting. It was traditionally a time when special bonfires were made. Their flames, smoke, and ashes were believed to have protective powers against the fae. It was thought that the veil between the human and faerie realms was thin during Beltane, enabling the fae to play tricks on humans if protective measures were not taken. For this reason, people and their cattle would walk around the bonfires and sometimes even leap over the flames or embers.


If dancing around a maypole or jumping over bonfires isn’t for you, try taking a short walk instead; notice how green everything is, and take deep breaths of the fresh morning air. If possible, the best place to celebrate Beltane is outdoors. In warmer locales, it’s even a good time to start thinking about taking the first swim of the Summer months and turning it into a healing ritual of renewal, connecting with the life-giving energies of water. If it’s still a bit cold where you live, pour yourself a floral-infused bath or take a cleansing ritual shower.

You may feel prompted to hold a personal or group abundance ritual. Remember that in addition to sexual fertility, the Spring season is about creation and abundance in all forms. You don’t need to only focus on material gains, either – celebrate the growth of the earth and its bounty with a Green Feast of salads, sprouts, avocado, kiwifruit, and cucumber. You may prefer to indulge in cheese with honey and pair them with mead or crisp white wine. Celebrate your spiritual and emotional inner wealth that is blooming forth by creating a flower garland to hang above your altar.

At the turning of any season, it is always a good idea to turn your focus inwards for a moment. At Beltane, spend some time meditating or journalling about what is strong and flourishing within you. What ideas or projects are you fertilizing, ready for their future growth? Which areas of your life are longing for renewal and rejuvenation? Where do you need cleaning and healing in order for new life to take hold?

Athena Macmillan is a traditional witch from a Romani family who has been actively practicing witchcraft for 28 years. Athena is an outspoken advocate for inclusivity and intersectionality within the Craft and has postgraduate degrees in Anthropology and Health Law. She is a hedgewitch and medium with a strong focus in her personal magical practice on ancestral and spirit work, journeying, and divination. Athena created the online space ‘Kiwi Witch’ as a place for witches throughout Aotearoa to learn and support each other along their spiritual paths, which has been thriving since it was established in 2015.

In the same category

1 Comment

  1. Brigid

    Thank you, this was very informative.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *