Joyous Beltaine, lovelies!
Firstly, Beltane has about 20 (ok like 4 or 5) different spellings (Gaelic is a very cool language) and I will try to use every single one of them here because that’s more fun than a list. And honestly, what is Beltaine about but fun! Indulgent, luxurious, sensual FUN! There’s something inherently Venusian about using the one of the longer spellings: BEALTAINE. So many letters, so many vowels, slipping from one to the next but somehow lingering on them all. This is the energy we want to bring to this sensual reverence.
Many many cultures around the world have similar celebrations that to mark the transition from late spring to early Summer. After all, Midsummer is called that because, at least below/above the 40th-ish parallels, we’ve been soaking up the summer sun and taking our vacations for often more than a month before June 21st!* This is an aspect I’ve only just learned but have most definitely felt and acted on since I began practicing. Isn’t it fun when you learn new things, only to discover you already knew them on some less-conscious level?
In Rome it was Floralia, a multi-day festival celebrating their fertility and flower goddess Flora (and their sex workers!). In Germany, it was Hexennacht, the Witch’s Night, which so threatened the encroaching Christians that they superseded it All Saints’ Day style with Walpurgisnacht, a feast for St Walpurga, who warded off witches (and plague so she can still be helpful in some ways!). Walpurgisnacht remains a huge celebration there and in Northern Europe, now functioning more as a Huge Party than any religious celebration (like so many, eh?). Truly nearly every culture has a festival or celebration for welcoming the sun back to its rising zenith and greeting the flowers and calves and pups and all the other babies sprouting everywhere! It’s hard to ignore when spring knocks. Get a whiff of that phantom honeysuckle bloom and you’ll know what I mean.
Now if you’ve followed my writing for some time, you’ll know how deeply devoted I am to my personal favorite Sabbat, Samhain. The end of the Witch’s year, the closing of the harvest, a digging in and shoring up. And of course, a thinning of the veil, an access point for ancestral communication and otherworldly communion. The ultimate Witch’s Sabbath. Except, as with everything in this universe, it has a balancing companion in the form of Beltaine. Sitting directly across the wheel of the year, they both act as the Liminal times, neither spring nor summer, neither fall nor winter. Before birth and after death is arguably the same state. This is the energy of these In-Betweens. After all, the Spring festival is the one that gets such monikers as Hexennacht.
It also lands in the Venusian sign of Taurus, a time for getting real good at self-care, and not just the necessary keep-yourself-alive-and-healthy parts. This is a time for prioritizing pleasure in every sense. What makes you truly happy? What turns you on? Yes, physically and sensually: what colors dilate your pupils, what scents flare your nostrils, what touch gives you goosebumps, what taste makes your mouth water, what sounds perk your ears? But also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! What feelings do you want to foster? What makes you laugh? Cry? What inspires you? What are you cultivating?
What better way to both honor the blooms of spring (not to mention Flora) as well as worshipping at the alters of our divine selves than with a floral face mask?
Additionally, s we welcome back the sun into its highest placement, it sits in the sign of Taurus, which means ~Pampering~! I adore herbal face masks, they are my favorite product to make and one of my favorite lower key ways to incorporate herbs and ritual into my life.
My Wildflower Bouquet mask is absolutely ideal for this Sabbat, heck this whole season. And the best part of dry powder masks is that the possibilities are endless. You can stay simple and mix with warm water, get cleansing and add apple cider vinegar, decadent with honey, soothing with aloe, luxurious with hydrosols, etc! I whipped up a whole batch for the season so if you order now, I can ship it out to you just in time to celebrate the Full Moon in Scorpio next week, but if you don’t want to wait, here’s the recipe!
You can adapt it to include whatever you have on hand, even if that’s just some good ol’ clay :) You can find all the herbal powders and clays mentioned here or you can manually grind any herb you have into a powder.
Wildflower Bouquet Beautifying Mask
3 pt bentonite clay
2 pt kaolin clay
1 pt rose powder
1 pt calendula powder
1 pt lavender powder
1 pt meadowsweet powder
1 pt chamomile powder
1 pt oat flour or colloidal oats
1/2 pt jasmine powder
1/2 pt hibiscus powder
Add each part to a non-metal container and mix. Do so slowly and mindfully. Keep in an airtight container. To use, take 1/2-1 tbsp of the powder and, in a nonmetallic bowl (metal reacts with the charge of bentonite and can decrease its cleansing properties), mix with just enough liquid of your choice to make a nice paste, thin enough to spread but not enough to drip. Apply an even layer to your clean face and leave for 15-20 minutes. If you let it dry, it may create some irritation, but the thicker the layer, the less likely that will be. Rinse clean.
This is an excerpt from my full-length Bealtaine 2020 Ritual Guide. If you'd like the whole thing, sign up for my Patreon! For $20/month you get a ritual guide for each moon and each Sabbat, so up to 4 per month, but this one is availble to all patrons $5 and above <3
*Or December 21st if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. From here on out, I’ll be referring to dates as they relate to the Northern Hemisphere as that is where I live. If you are looking to celebrate Samhain this week, you can find my posts on it elsewhere on this blog and save this guide for your use in October as your own summer breaks!