Beltane Ancient Celtic FestivalAstrology Festivals 

Beltane – An Ancient Celtic Festival

By Catie Cadge

Beltane, or “Bel’s Fire,” is an ancient Celtic festival to honor the returning sun, life, and love. Sunday night is the TRUE night to celebrate Beltane…the contribution below from Evolutionary Astrologer Steven Forrest is a good explanation of the feast – Cross-Quarter Day is the evening of Monday, May 4th PDT, so we celebrate the night before!!

I enjoy following these Celtic festivals, in part, because I am a Celt, but also because I like to see the phases of the Moon in terms of these celebratory times of the year…We are all born under a particular lunar phase and it helps to know which phase to give us some personal guidance…I was born under the ‘Beltane Moon,’ myself, so always a favorite of mine – the Waxing Gibbous phase! What phase were you born under?

Celebrating the Real Beltane

Celebrate the REAL Beltane! The old calendar was based on Equinoxes and Solstices. Halfway between an Equinox and Solstice was a CROSS-QUARTER day – always a festival! Those four cross-quarter days are reached when the Sun hits the mid-point of the Fixed signs.

The Sun gets to the mid-point of Taurus – the real Beltane, even though the custom is to celebrate on May 1. That happens on Monday afternoon, May 4, at 5:51 pm PDT. The Celts celebrated their holidays starting at sunset on the day before. So, have some fun on Sunday night, the TRUE BELTANE!

Here are some words about it from The Book of the Moon . . .

HOLIDAY: Beltane; May Day; Walpurgis Night
Seasonal Place: Midway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice
Corresponding Lunar Phase: The Waxing Gibbous Moon, approximate Date (Northern): Early May

Days are now markedly longer than the nights. The Sun rises higher and higher in the sky, shining down on the green and fecund Earth. And there is no green like the green of May, before summer’s scorching heat leaches the color’s vibrancy. Flowers bloom, flagrantly sexual in their form and function. Fertility is everywhere. Even the humans have cast off their winter clothes, leaving their bodies healthy and tempting. Reading Marian Zimmer Bradley’s evocative accounts of Beltane in her masterpiece, The Mists of Avalon, will make the holiday come alive for you—and the reality of it as it was originally celebrated is not for the prim. I downloaded a helpful paper by Merlyn, a modern Wiccan, from She writes:

All other Beltane customs are minor compared with those that explicitly celebrate human sex and fertility. Up to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century, marriage vows were conveniently forgotten at Beltane in many rural European villages. Newly formed ‘couples’ went into the plowed fields at night to lie down together and copulate in order to ensure the fertility of the coming year’s crops. The Catholic Church could not stamp out this ancient pagan tradition. It took the dour Protestants who suppressed May Eve celebrations in England by passing and enforcing laws against public gatherings around Maypoles with their accompanying dances and fertility rites.

The idea of a reinforcing resonance between human fertility and the fertility of the Earth is an ancient one that has existed in many cultures. We still, however dimly, grasp that our food supply originates in the fertility of plants and animals. In modern times, we tend to take that food for granted—which is, of course, folly. And in terms of our sexuality, as we saw earlier in this book we tend to oscillate between pornography and Puritanism, and only rarely relate sex to reproduction. Compared to times gone by, we also tend to have a very different attitude toward pregnancy. Often we are more concerned with avoiding it than with engendering it. But for most of human history, our collective survival was on far shakier ground, and making babies in some plenitude was encouraged. In those days, both the magical and procreative aspects of sexuality were cut from one cloth. There is, in Beltane, at once an honoring of that Erotic power that courses through us and through all life, and a celebration of its wild, edgy and ecstatic dimensions as well. Prudish people are blind to it—but so is anyone who thinks of sex without relating it positively to fertility. Beltane is a festival of co-creation.

Read more about the celebration of Beltane:

Visit Steven Forrest Astrology:

(c) May 2020, Catie Cadge for the San Lorenzo Valley Post.

Catie Cadge is an Evolutionary Astrologer based in Santa Cruz, CA. Visit Cara Evolutionary Astrology.

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