Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration
by Raven Grimassi
Review by Heather Froeschl
May brings thoughts of celebration and embracing the power of nature. Many cultures today continue to hold May Day festivals that include a Maypole. We see it as a symbol of spring, but what does this tradition mean? Where did it originate and what is the purpose? Raven Grimassi explains it all, and so much more in Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore & Celebration.
Today's society is one that often shies away from coexisting with nature. Many are not even aware of the glory mid spring, blooming in its entire splendor, because they work in offices all day, or dwell in cities where little is seen of the signs. As a whole, we have gotten off track from our synchronicity with nature, and we can all benefit from trying to remedy this.
May Day celebrations, today, are a way of putting that honor for Mother Nature back into our lives. But it all began in ancient fertility festivals. May Day has a wonderfully rich history and this book explains it all, from the Maypole to the Beltane fire. So who were these festivals for, originally? In honor of many! The Green Man, a symbol of life, fertility and growth, is just one of the many spirits of May that are brought into the light here.
A spring evening bonfire wouldn't be complete without stories of little people, and Raven shares many for you to pass on. Hikes through ever greening forests just wouldn't be the same if we didn't imagine the faeries peeking from behind woodland blooms. The warmer weather turns our thoughts to Mother Nature's helpers, since ancient times. Here you will find many stories and legends that are delightful to read and reflect on. For those with green thumbs, the book includes lists of flowers and their meanings, trees and their associations to faeries and plants associated with goddesses. You will be well learned in the meanings behind your greenery and will be able to plant special gardens that are rich with lore.
What festival or even a quiet celebration would be complete without spells and recipes to try? Attracting love in spring is a tradition we cannot deny. "In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love," Tennyson tells us. Why not try it? A serenity spell might be just what is needed to face final exams. Recipes for custard and May wine are just the things to begin your own personal celebration. If you are new to the old rituals, complete instructions are provided to help you honor Mother Nature, either on your own or in a group, even including directions for decorations.
Beltane, or May Day, is celebrated around the world. There are many traditions to choose from. However you celebrate, Raven Grimassi's book can help you understand and enjoy the holiday, and embrace the warmer weather that everyone welcomes.