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2019-02-15 at 8:11 pm #4611
2020-04-26 at 6:34 pm #9436AnonymousRank: Beltaine 2020, 2nd Annual (May 1st, 2020)
2020-02-05 at 2:13 am #8747LoegaireForum Moderator@loegaire_buadachRank: Involved Member
Belenus is associated with various symbols of the bull, the horse and the oak, as one of the Celtic high-gods, Belenus fame as the sun-god on the 1st May was known in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula and the Celtic southern lands that became Anglo-Saxon England.
Inscriptions dedicated to Belenus are found in many European countries, surprisingly, in France and Italy primarily, the most unusual archaeological find dedicated to Belenus was discovered in North America at Mystery Hill in New Hampshire, when a stone tablet was unearthed with inscriptions in Ogham that translated as. ‘Dedicated To Bel’.
While there is very little historical records and even less archaeological evidence that illuminates this time in the Iron Age the points towards the Celtic Beltaine rituals, we can join the dots and surmise that these ancient rituals were primarily focused on protecting their livestock with druidic blessings, and life-giving blessing to the green shots of their crops, the thriving industry of their dairy products since the Imbolc and the gathering of the tribes to celebrate the ideas of fertility and summer growth.
While the Samhain was a nervous time of slaughtering some livestock, whatever you think of farmers they had nurture their livestock and find a bound between humankind and the God-given fauna, I remember the blue-tongue epidemic and a farmer in tears hardly able to get his words into a logical sentence because he had to put down his prized bull, so the Samhain was a time of entering the dark energies of the winter months.
The Beltaine was a time of celebration and enjoyment, a time or renewal and a time of great optimism, a time of hand-fasting in the phallic aspects of Belenus.
Reference : Melanie Marquis.
If you wish to read more about the many facets attributed to Belenus and the sun-god’s connection with Ancient Pathways, please go to the Albion section and read about the importance of Belenus to the ancient druids. Ancient Pathways : The Belenus Line, that’s regarded as The Backbone Of Britain or the backbone of the sleeping dragon.
2020-02-04 at 3:50 am #8726LoegaireForum Moderator@loegaire_buadachRank: Involved Member
The Neo-Pagan Ideas Of The Gaelic Beltaine :
The Beltane a the modern day Neo-Pagans and Wicca celebrate the 1st May is said to be a combination of several ideas and influences ranging from the ancient Roman festival of the Floralia and other European May Day celebrations.
Their modern Beltane borrows it’s name and some of it’s more prominent customs from the early pagan festivals of making fire by rubbing to sticks together, the ancient Beltaine, which celebrates the midpoint of the Celtic year and the beginning of the summer season in the agricultural aspect, however, for the ancient warriors it meant the beginning of the campaign period of violence.
The Beltaine was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and The Isle Of Man, also in Cymru under a different name, many of the Gaelic customs were adopted in other areas of the British Isles and transported overseas the mainland Europe, mainly with the Gauls & the Bretons.
There are various connections and associations with the Gaelic Beltaine and the ancient pre-historic healing god Belenus, who’s worship goes back to neo-lithic times when our ancestors used flint and rubbing sticks together to make fire.
Belenus means both ‘bright and brilliant’ as the deity’s fame was worshipped originally in Gaul, pre-Roman Northern Italy and around the waterways of ancient Austria, Belenus as his name suggests will be forever linked with fire that is beneficial to humankind and the curative aspects of the Sun’s heat.
The Sun Cult of Belenus possessed a particular status in Classical literary sources, where he was described as the archetypal druid wearing a blue cloak with star designs. In art also Belenus was always depicted as a white-haired man with a flowing white beard and decorated with star-like symbols, that bear witness to the astrological connections with the Beltaine.
The archaeological connections found in shrines dedicated to Belenus many clay figurines of horses have been unearthed, this elevates Belenus to a recognised sun-god and the Beltaine custom of lighting sympathetic fires to encourage the sun’s early spring heat.
Finally, there is Mars-Belatucadrus, an entirely different aspect of Belenus, celebrated and worshipped in the Northern parts of the British Isles, the war-god of various tribes who lived in the Cumberland & Westmorland areas, when the Beltaine signified the chieftains and warriors summer campaigns to settle old arguments and to increase tribal territories.
Reference : Carl Reid & Miranda Green.
2020-02-03 at 2:11 pm #8720LoegaireForum Moderator@loegaire_buadachRank: Involved Member
The Blooming Of The Hawthorn :
The Beltane celebrations are most commonly held at the beginning on sundown on the 30th April and ending 24 hours later at the sundown on the 1st May, in the Celtic lands, the hawthorn trees and bushes were generally full in blossom, a significant fertility omen of the summer to come.
The Beltane festival was being celebrated with fiery beacons lit upon the hills and mountains, a bringing together of isolated agricultural communities in a common purpose, the following day the farmers would take their livestock into the summer pastures to graze in peace.
The ancient druids of Erin and there modern counter-parts of the neo-pagan druids determine the proper date by following the movement of the stars, celebrating to coincide with the point where the sun is positioned at 15 degrees relative to Taurus.
Forget your star signs in the daily papers, this is astrology for agricultural purposes, and Taurus signified the agricultural bull, this agricultural bull is one of the fixed points and cardinal signs of the very ancient zodiac and a very important ‘power point’ in the turning of the agricultural year.
We know by historical records the importance the druids placed upon the movement of the stars and their positioning in relation to the Earth and the Sun was believed to have great influence over our ancestors daily lives connecting ancient people to Mother Nature’s complex and ever-changing energetic currents.
The Bull and the Beltane both bring the idea of energies capable of renewing life and enhancing growth, also ideas of increasing strength and vitality. It’s a time to connect with the living, breathing world of many species that enjoy the strength of the sun, a time when the ancient druids gave out their blessings for a good harvest in the months to come and also the therapy of supernatural protection of the communities who would be working on the fields.
Reference : Carl Read, Melanie Marquis & Miranda Green.
2019-09-30 at 12:05 am #6824LoegaireForum Moderator@loegaire_buadachRank: Involved Member
The Importance Of The Beltaine :
Traditionally Gaelic society organised themselves into family clans, each with their own territory with a king, or high-chieftain, elected through ‘tanistry’, the Gaels were previously pagans who venerated the Tuatha de Danann, their ancestors and the belief of feasting in the Otherworld.
The four yearly festivals, the Samhain (Sawin), the Spring Imbolc, the sympathetic fires of the Beltaine and the harvest-time Lughnasa, which continued to be celebrated in modern times. The Gaels have a strong oral tradition, traditionally maintained by the ‘Shanachies’.
Inscription in the ogham alphabet began in the 4th century, the Gaels conversion to Christianity accompanied the introduction of writing in the Roman alphabet, and the Irish Gaelic has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe.
The Scots :
From the 5th to the 10th centuries, early Scotland was the home to the following people and cultures, the Picts, Dal Riata also known as the Gaels, the Britons, the Angles and lastly the Vikings, the Romans began to use the term ‘Scoti’ to describe the Gaels in Latin from the 4th century onwards.
In the context of the times, the Gaels were raiding the West Coast of Britain taken hostages and Britannia’s wealth, in this context the term ‘raider pirate’ or Dal Riata was given to the Gaels, the Dal Riata settled and made roots in Argyll in the 6th century, and by this time the term Scot applied to the Gaels in general.
Examples can be taken from Johannes Scotus Eriugena and other Hiberian-Latin sources that the Irish Gaels were to be found in Germanic lands, it is also worth noting that in Medieval times that the alliance between the Egyptian princess Scota and her Gaelic husband Goidel Glas, was recorded on several manuscripts, to help the pope at the time to treat Scotland as a separate country that had been engulfed by the politics of neighbouring England.
2019-09-18 at 9:26 pm #6742BericParticipant@beric_debenkahRank: Honorary Scribe
The Beltaine & The Samhain. (Halloween).
Seasonal customs, a very important to communities, the making of special days or times of the year, maybe we don’t enjoy the commercial side of the Yule, but we all enjoy the break from work, in the ancient past these special days enliven close-knit societies.
It gave meaning to the passage of time, a feast or a celebration when the elderly folk had poignant memories of past celebrations, and watch the next generation enjoying the special day in their calendar.
Unfortunately some feast days have faded into obscurity, but others have been given a new vitality such as the fire festivals of the Ancient Irish Celts, bringing communities together to release the daily tensions and to celebrate the seasonal cycle of the year.
The Beltane has been honoured by the ancient Irish in many different ways each unique to its own time and place, yet they are common themes of growth, protection, the wish for abundance, fertility, the return of light and heat and hand-fasting commitments.
The Beltane is the cross-quarter day falling roughly halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, a time when the days are getting longer and the sun’s strength is increasing.
It’s six Gaelic months after the Samhain, another of the cross-quarter days of celebration, the Beltane is a time when the flowers and hedges are in magnificent bloom and the green plants enjoy a growth spurt.
It’s a time of fertility and growth, a time of great celebration, the light of the longer days, the heat of the sun that increases sexuality and the mating habits in many species.
Reference used : Melanie Marquis.
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