Beltane or Halloween? Which is it?
Oh how it can be challenging to decipher the correct Sabbat to observe or how it all fits within the seasons we are moving through when commercial aspects are involved. I know the mental struggle of it, I’ve been there early on in my journey of claiming my witch roots. I know, that once you begin to follow the wheel of the year and the seasons, suddenly some of the commercial holidays and celebrations, and where they are in the year, don’t make sense.
Take Easter for example. Easter is a celebration of birth, rebirth, new life. And yet, for us here in the Southern Hemisphere of the world, Easter as a commercial tradition falls in the Autumn months. These are not months of the year that fit with the celebration of life and birth, but rather, within a season where we are taking stock, preparing for the winter months and yes, a symbolic death if you will.
It’s the same for Halloween. The commercial entities that have brought Halloween to Australia, are simply not connecting with the flow of the seasons and how relate to certain celebrations, holidays and observances.
Let’s break it down a little further with a little world information. The planet is divided by the equator into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Theses hemispheres are essentially opposites when it comes to the seasons. When we in the Southern Hemisphere are in the flows of Spring, the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing Autumn. And of course, vice versa. Our Summer is the their Winter. Our Autumn is their Spring. Our Winter is their Summer. And so on, and so on it goes.
So when the Northern Hemisphere of the world is within the season of Autumn, then yes, Halloween (Samhain) on the 31st of October is the perfect fit.
Beltane, however, is the perfect fit within our Southern Hemisphere cycle. This doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with Halloween. We can join in the parties, the celebrations, the spooky fun and ghoulish games. No one ever said we couldn’t. We are just going to observe, honour and revere the seasons and nature as it flows for our hemisphere as well. And, if we are willing, we can choose to speak of the seasons and the Sabbats and the Wheel of The Year as it relates to where we reside in our parts of the world.
Now, for the Beauty of Beltane and how we can honour ourselves, nature and the God and Goddess.
Beauty of Beltane
Beltane is a time that sees us welcoming in the abundance and flow of a fertile earth. We see this all around us as flowers begin to bloom and wildlife welcomes new life as the turning of the wheel takes us into the season of Spring.
With Celtic origins, Beltane is associated with the God, Bel (the bright one) and means ‘fires of Bel or bright fire’, and is a celebration and honouring of life with Flora (Goddess of Spring) and the Greenman uniting in marriage, consummation and the creation of life.
As Spring bursts forward, the world becomes enlivened with new life, new growth, and is awash with bright and brilliant colours in celebration of the union and balance of the divine feminine and divine masculine.
Spring represents this union, the union of the God and Goddess, in both a coming of age rite and celebration, and, in celebration of reuniting with each other after a Wintery separation.
Beltane is celebrated with fabulous foods and drink, bright colours, multicoloured Maypoles, fire and flowers in honour of new life, new idea’s, unbridled passion, sensuality and sexuality. It’s about vitality, joy and drawing in our hopes and dreams in whichever life area we have them.
The Maypole: A beautiful symbol of the masculine and feminine, coming together as women dance around the Maypole, wrapping coloured ribbons as they go, around the centre pole, representing the divine feminine embracing the divine masculine.
The Bonfire: Fire traditions include driving herds of animals through two pillars of fire for blessings and purification. Bonfires are created for leaping, with young men leaping bonfires and wishing for a wife/partner, and young women leaping the flames to invoke and ensure fertility.
The Morning Dew: The morning dew of sabbats is often used in magickal ways, and by rolling in or washing your face in, the Beltane dew, is said to bring you good health, luck and beauty.
The Flowers & Greenwood: The gathering and giving of flowers and greenery on the Eve of Beltane supports offerings of good tidings and blessings. Flowers and greenwoods are used to decorate homes, in the creation and wearing of garlands and wreaths. Baskets of flowers and greenery were also given in secret, to those loved, admired, and or simply to your frineds.
Beltane, is about joy! It’s the enjoyment of life and bodies and nature. Embrace your divine feminine, masculine or both. Embrace your sexual and sensual nature, and enjoy a time a unbridled passion and joy in however feels good to you. And remember, the veil to other worlds and realms is at is thinnest, just like Samhain/Halloween, which makes communication with spirit, nature, nature spirits, fairies, elementals and such, a little more fluid and accessible to all.
*This year, as a part of my Beltane celebrations, the Goddess Market Stalls creative goddesses and I are hosting a virtual Beltane Market. You can access our market through the Goddess Market Stalls Marketplace and join us on the 31st of October.
Author: Gemma Rose is the Raw & Real Goddess! She has been working intentionally with energy and spirit for over 10 years now.
Gemma Rose is an Intuitive Energy Healer, Psychic, Medium, Witchy Woman, Homeschooling Mumma, Author & Creator.
In working with Gemma, you benefit from an inspired healing revolution through the adaptation and embodiment of individualised holistic health and well-being approaches.
Together, we can unleash the goddess within!