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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Let's celebrate May Day!

Today is the first day of May, and it is celebrated by more people than you would know. It is a rather fascinating tradition, and our copy editor, Heather, kindly offered to write a couple of pieces about Beltane (including a very spicy short story) to include in our blog. Enjoy!

BELTANE

Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane. It is one of eight solar Sabbats. This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Beltane, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing). Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May Day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th.

Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate. As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times. Beltane is a joyous, open hearted celebration of life by balance counter placement in the wheel.

Beltane focuses on the principal of life as a generated though the energies of physical sexual union. It is a time to embrace your sexuality. Sexual energy represents the merging of individual consciousness into a collective consciousness. Sexuality should be uninhibited and spontaneous, a direct manifestation of ones sexual expression.

In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods "A-Maying," and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.

The May pole was a focal point of the old English village rituals. Many people would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion. Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. To celebrate, a wedding feast, for the God and Goddess must be prepared. Let them guide you! Breads and cereals are popular. Try oatmeal cakes or cookies sweetened with a dab of honey. Dairy foods are again appropriate...just make a lovely wedding feast and you are sure to enjoy yourself! An early morning walk through a local park or forest could be fun for everyone. Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home. Mom and daughter could braid their hair, and weave in a few tender blossoms.


DUMP CAKE RECIPE

1 large can of fruit (peaches are great for this)
1 package of cake mix
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Get coals glowing (white) and rub the outside of a dutch oven with soft soap for easier clean-up.

Pie filling and cake mix can be white cake with peaches, white with cherries (chocolate and cherry are great!!!!!)

Mix together pie filling, butter and cake mix.

Place in coals add a few coals to top of dutch oven.

It takes about 1/2 hour but cook until filling is bubbling threw cake mix.

- or-

1 can of pie filling
1 box of cake mix White or yellow (made to directions)
1 stick of butter

Get coals glowing (white) and rub outside of a dutch oven with soft soap for easier clean-up.

Prepare a white or yellow box cake mix according to directions.

Pour in the pie filling.

Cut butter into small piece and dot on top.

Check for doneness after 30 min - usually will take longer - until filling is bubbling threw cake mix.

This one I do with cherries and apples.

-or-

Bake the cakes in a oven at 350* for 30-45 minutes.

by: Heather Nestorick for Just Erotic Romance Reviews


Image: Beltane Dance by Jenny M. Heidewald (http://www.elfwood.com/)




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