Beltane — the start of the Light half of the year in the Celtic is less than a week away for those of us north of the equator. My friends south of the equator will be welcoming Samhain at the same time — the start of the Dark half of the year.
I’m not sure which I love more, Beltane or Samhain, as both so important in the Celtic (and Wiccan and pagan) calendar. Both are wonderful for celebrating in Sacred Circle, with friends and family, for crafting, for feasting and for observing your rituals.
Over the next week, I will be posting ideas for Beltane rituals, blessings, recipes and crafts to a Beltane and May Day Pinterest board, and also to this blog.
I have just started working on a new project: birthing some special candles for my Beltane altar. In my spiritual practice, the day starts at sundown so I will be lighting my altar candles on the evening of April 30th.
I typically use organic candles in my rituals – and often make them myself – from beeswax or soy wax. But for this Beltane I decided to convert some dollar store prayer candles and will decorate the glass cylinders with hawthorn and other flowers to represent the fertility aspect of Beltane, and with fire elements to honour its roots as a fire festival (welcoming the light half of the year).
I’m not sure where else this might lead me, but I’m loving the idea of a Green Man candle, a Goddess candle and a Maypole / floral candle. After all, at Beltane we do celebrate their marriage!
Above is the before picture… and I will post some after pictures later this week.
I will strip off the existing labels, clean off any residual glue, and then start designing and planning. As I will be using a lot of organic materials such as flowers, leaves, and grasses on at least one of the candles, I will likely gather materials and craft those on Beltane Eve.
The other candles will be using more durable materials — ribbons, metal charms, etc — and can be assembled ahead of time.
If you need some inspiration for birthing your own Beltane candles, the internet is definitely your friend! There is no shortage of beautiful designs you can use for inspiration. I found these beautiful creations on the White Magick Alchemy website:
You can repurpose your dollar store finds for creating Intention Candles any time, for manifesting dreams… wishes… spells. I’m working on a series now representing the Four Directions and Four Elements for my altar that I can use throughout the year.
And, of course, you can also create your own beeswax or soy candles which would make your altar or Intention Candles even more unique… and be sure to set your intention as you start crafting.
If using the dollar store prayer candles above, simply strip off the existing labels — or incorporate them into your design — and add elements associated with what you are manifesting.
Brigid’s Grove has an excellent tutorial on birthing an Intention Candle.re
Image of the Maypole Dance: I found this image on Pinterest but I have not been able to verify the artist’s name. I tried a reverse image search through TinEye but it found only one source — the same Pinterest post! If anyone knows the artist, please let me know.