If you’ve been reading our content for a while, you probably know a few things about the solstices and equinoxes. These are the four “quarter days,” when the amount of light is either at its most extreme (the solstices) or equal to the darkness (the equinoxes). But historically, there have also been festivals that mark the midpoints between quarter days. The technical term for these? Cross-quarter days. And one of them is Beltane.

Beltane is a Pagan holiday that takes place around April 30th or May 1st. In the Northern Hemisphere, where this festival originated, it falls halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. This is peak green season — the moment when nature is at its most fertile and the earth is lush with life.

For reference, the other cross-quarter days are:

  • Lughnasadh, or Lammas, marking the start of the harvest in the Northern Hemisphere (around August 1st or 2nd)
  • Samhain, or Halloween, marking the end of the harvest in the Northern Hemisphere (around October 31st or November 1st)
  • Imbolc, or Candlemas, marking the start of the sowing season in the Northern Hemisphere (around February 1st or 2nd)

Purification by fire

Beltane is a Celtic word that translates as “the fires of Bel” — a reference to Belenus, the Celtic god of the Sun. Historically, igniting ritualistic bonfires was the primary way to communicate to Bel and petition him for protection from catastrophe, disease, and supernatural affliction in the coming year. Jumping over flames was also considered a method of spiritual purification. Over the centuries, revelers across the globe — from Europe to the Caribbean — began stripping trees of their bark, adorning them with flowers and garlands, and dancing around these “maypoles” to welcome spring.

In modern times, these celebrations tend to orbit around expressing joy for the return of warmth, comfort, and abundant natural beauty. For some, that still means tying colorful ribbons to dried trees and prancing. But it could also mean leaving baskets of fragrant flowers on friends’ doorsteps, just because. And in Hawaii, it could mean offering leis to your loves for “Lei Day.” There are many ways to honor the resurgence of Earth’s organic vibrancy.

The “other” day of the dead 

Beltane is not just a festive appreciation of Mother Nature’s powers of replenishment. The last day of April, May Eve, is thought to be a time when the veils thin between the human and spirit worlds — similar to Samhain, or Halloween, the cross-quarter day at the opposite cusp of the year. This is a potent moment for flexing your divination skills, communing with your ancestors through ritual, or scattering primroses across your doorstep to ward off mischievous fairies.

Ultimately, Beltane is a festival to honor the balance between intentional activity and graceful receptivity. Seedlings have to exert energy to crack open and drop their roots into the soil, but they also must be able to absorb the nutrients that will support their blossoming. Likewise, Beltane reminds us to welcome the inevitable return of spring, when new life arrives and breaks through the hardened crust of our inner and outer worlds.

Rituals to celebrate Beltane 

  1. Weave a floral crown or wreath, or pack a basket with blooms to offer a friend. If you want to be gentler with the botanicals, whispering a celebratory “cheers” to your plant babies or marveling at nature’s bounty with sincere appreciation will do the trick.
  2. Create your own miniature maypole by foraging a twig or a stick and festively adorning it. Sing to it, dance around it, or merely offer it silent praise.
  3. Build a Beltane altar and stack it with luscious reminders of nature’s fecundity. Plants that you love, bowls of blessed water, and even handfuls of dirt can be ceremonially activated when scooped with the right focus. Cast spells to honor and protect nature — your own and Earth’s.
  4. Focus on what you want to grow, whether it’s a relationship, a project, or a self-development goal. Write encouraging affirmations or prayers, imagine your dreams coming to fruition, or surround your manifestation mood board with flowers.
  5. Make an offering to a loved one — or anyone you want to honor — who has passed to the other side. You could light candles for them, or you could leave a bowl of water or food outside. Whatever you do, make sure it’s pet-safe and not something that will attract unwanted pests.
  6. Do a ritual to commune with your ancestors. Setting an intention to connect with them is the key. If you like, ask helpful spirits for advice on how to channel your vitality more effectively toward your goals and aspirations.
  7. Listen to one of the guided meditations in the CHANI app to tune in to the Beltane lushness. (The Abundance, Grounding, and/or Gratitude meditations would be especially fitting for this day.)


Want to learn more about the signs in the zodiac? Click the links below.

Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra 

Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces

Then download the CHANI app on iOS or Android for additional readings.

-Travo News

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