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The Beltane Maypole Dance


The Maypole is one of the traditional symbols of Beltane. Because Beltane festivities usually kicked off the night before with a big bonfire, the Maypole celebration usually took place shortly after sunrise the next morning. This was when couples came staggering in from the fields, clothes in disarray and straw in their hair after a night of bonfire-inspired lustiness.

They danced around the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. As they wove in and out, men going one way and women the other, it created a sleeve of sorts — the enveloping womb of the earth — around the pole. By the time they were done, the Maypole was nearly invisible beneath a sheath of ribbons.


Maypole Chant 1

Oh, do not tell the priests of our Art
For they would call it sin,
But we shall be in the woods all night
A-conjuring summer in
And we bring you good news
By word of mouth
For women cattle and corn
Now is the sun come up from the south
With oak, and ash and thorn!


Chant 2

Weave, weave, it is our fate we weave
By choice, not chance
With love and will
It is our fate we weave.


The Lord of The Dance

When she danced on the water
And the wind was her horn
The Lady laughed
And everything was born
And when she lit the sun
And light gave Him birth
The Lord of the Dance first appeared on Earth

So dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance cried he
And I live in you if you live in me
And I’ll lead you all in a dance said he

I dance in a circle when the flames leap up high
I dance in the fire and I never, ever die
I dance in the waves of the bright summer sea
For I am the Lord of the wave’s mystery (chorus)

I sleep in the kernel and I dance in the rain
I dance in the wind and through the waving grain
And when you cut me down I care naught for the pain
In the spring I’m the Lord of the Dance once again

The horn of the Lady cast it’s sound ‘cross the plain
The birds took the notes and gave them back again
Til the sound of her music was the song in the sky
And to that song there is only one reply (chorus)

The moon in her phases and the tides in the sea
The feel of the earth and the seasons that will be
Are the beat of the dance and a pledge through the years
That the dance goes on through our joy and our tears (chorus)

They danced in the darkness and they danced in the night
They danced on the earth and everything was light
They danced out the darkness and they danced in the dawn
And the day of that dancing still goes on (chorus)



Setting Up Your Beltane Altar

What To Include on Your Beltane Altar

By Patti Wigington

It’s Beltane, the Sabbat where many Wiccans and Pagans choose to celebrate the fertility of the earth. This Sabbat is about new life, fire, passion and rebirth, so there are all kinds of creative ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most.

Colors of the Season

This is a time when the earth is lush and green as new grass and trees return to life after a winter of dormancy. Use lots of greens, as well as bright spring colors — the yellow of the daffodils, forsythia and dandelions; the purples of the lilac; the blue of a spring sky or a robin’s egg. Decorate your altar with any or all of these colors in your altar cloths, candles, or colored ribbons.

Fertility Symbols

The Beltane holiday is the time when, in some traditions, the male energy of the god is at its most potent. He is often portrayed with a large and erect phallus, and other symbols of his fertility include antlers, sticks, acorns, and seeds. You can include any of these on your altar. Consider adding a small Maypole centerpiece — there are few things more phallic than a pole sticking up out of the ground!

In addition to the lusty attributes of the god, the fertile womb of the goddess is honored at Beltane as well. She is the earth, warm and inviting, waiting for seeds to grow within her. Add a goddess symbol, such as a statue, cauldron, cup, or other feminine items. Any circular item, such as a wreath or ring, can be used to represent the goddess as well.

Flowers and Faeries

Beltane is the time when the earth is greening once again — as new life returns, flowers are abundant everywhere. Add a collection of early spring flowers to your altar — daffodils, hyacinths, forsythia, daisies, tulips — or consider making a floral crown to wear yourself. You may even want to pot some flowers or herbs as part of your Sabbat ritual.

In some cultures, Beltane is sacred to the Fae. If you follow a tradition that honors the Faerie realm, leave offerings on your altar for your household helpers.

Fire Festival

Because Beltane is one of the four fire festivals in modern Pagan traditions, find a way to incorporate fire into your altar setup. Although one popular custom is to hold a bonfire outside, that may not be practical for everyone, so instead it can be in the form of candles (the more the better), or a table-top brazier of some sort. A small cast-iron cauldron placed on a heat-resistant tile makes a great place to build an indoor fire.

Other Symbols of Beltane

May Baskets


Honey, Oats, Milk

Antlers or Horns

Fruit Such as Cherries, Mangos, Pomegranates, Peaches

Swords, Lances, Arrows

Day: Wednesday (Wodin’s day)

Dedicated to the Teutonic god Woden or Odin, an aspect of the “All-Father” god of knowledge wisdom 
enlightenment and combat, the parallel of Hermes. Wednesday is ruled by Mercury.


Color: Purple, Yellow, Grey, Mixed Hues

Planet: Mercury

Metal: Mercury (Quicksilver)

Deities: Odin, Hermes, Mercury, Athena, Lugh

Gemstones: Adventurine, Agate,

Aroma: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Mercury Oil, Jasmine, Sweetpea

Herbs & Plants: Aspen Trees, Lilies, Lavender, Ferns

Associations: Business and Job-Related Issues, Communication, Loss And Debt, Traveling and Journeys

Magical Aspects: the conscious 
mind, study, travel, divination, and wisdom. This is the best day to engage in anything dealing with communication.
With Wednesday brings the beauty of luck, the satisfaction of psychic work, increased communication and the retail 
success that it brings. If you feel that lady luck has been rather mean with her glances recently, it might be worth 
asking for a little extra something on a Wednesday and await the returns.

This is the proper day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving communication, divination, writing, 
knowledge, business transactions, teaching, reason, skill, self-improvement, debt, fear, loss, intellectual pursuits, 
and flexibility.

SATURDAY: Day of Reckoning

Ruler: Saturn (Capricorn)
Saturn’s Day

Saturday takes its name from the Roman God Saturn. Saturn, however has a clear counterpart in Teutonic Mythology, Ymir. Saturn is an old Titan, who is represented as Chronos in the Greek myths or Father time in more popular mythology. Chronos/Saturn/Ymir was slain by the younger Gods and his body used to make various important things. In the case of Ymir, his flesh made the world, his skull the sky and his bones the mountains, his blood the sea. The Aeflar and Dokaelfar, elves and dwarves, were the maggots that lived in his armpits and the clouds are the remnants of his brains. The stars at night are the cracks put in his skull by the three brothers, Odin, Villi and Ve, who slew him.

Rules: Karma, Property, Inheritance, Agriculture

Color: Black, Dark Purple

Planet: Saturn

Metal: Lead

Element: Earth

Deities: Saturn, Hecate

Gemstones: Apache Tear, Obsidian, Hematite

Herbs & Plants: Thyme, Mullein, Cypress

Associations: Agriculture and Creativity, Fortune and Hope, Protection and Banishment of Negativity

Spell Casting: Restrictive Energy

Good for banishing spells and removing old energies. A powerful day for binding spells. A great day for developing focus, discipline and patience.

Candle Magick: Burn a black candle to absorb negativity. Burn a purple candle to increase your magical wisdom and boost your spirituality

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