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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Beltane/May Day/Spring Equitherm Altar 2021

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

While the history and folklore behind the Spring Equinox and Ostara are limited and sketchy at best, this is not true of May Day, also known as Beltane or the Spring Equitherm. May Day is one of the most commonly celebrated pagan festivals across Europe and maybe the world, being a time of liminality when the faeries and spirits roam the Earth, lovers make vows, and people and animals are ritually cleansed with fire. Much like Samhain, the veil between our world and that of the Otherworld thins, allowing spirits to roam freely. However, unlike Samhain, most of the spirits associated with May Day tend to be more pleasant. This is the perfect time of year for spirit work, hedge riding, fertility magic, making vows, and otherwise enjoying the beautiful weather. I spent my morning in a field of strawberries, picking several pounds worth of strawberries for snacks, pies, and jams.

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

1. White Baby's Breath- Unfortunately we had a really late frost here in Georgia this year and it killed off many of my spring blooms and forced my beautiful Eden rose back into hibernation. This means I do not have fresh flowers for my altar this year as nothing but the irises are blooming. While yes, I could have put some beautiful irises on this altar, I have never been able to bring myself to cut the blooms from any of my iris plants. They are too beautiful to be brought indoors to whither quickly. So instead I opted for some dried baby's breath this year which I have had from various bouquets over the years. Baby's breath, which is common in wedding bouquets, symbolized purity and innocence. Since Beltane is a popular time for weddings, vow renewals, and handfastings, I thought the flower fitting to grace this year's altar. (Where did I get it: Gifted; Cost: Free)

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

2. Lanterns- The lanterns flanking the altar represent the Sun and his masculine energies that fertilize the Earth. On May Day the Sun and Earth are officially wed, bringing forth fruitful blooms and new life.  (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree 2017; Cost: $2)

3. Carnelian, Amethyst, and Bloodstone- The three crystals I picked correspond with the energy of the sabbat. Carnelian represents the Sun, strength, and vitality while the bloodstone represents health and vitality. In between the carnelian and bloodstone is amethyst. Again, Beltane is a time of liminality, allowing for easy spirit communication, especially with faeries. Amethyst is a natural amplifier of psychic abilities, therefore enhancing your abilities to communicate with the Otherworld. Its purple color also naturally attracts faeries, thus making it easier to communicate with them as well. (Where did I get it: Metaphysical Stores; Cost: ~$5)

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

4. Nine of Fire Tarot Card- I knew I wanted to use a Dreams of Gaia card on this altar, but I wasn't sure which. When I came upon the Nine of Fire I immediately knew this was the perfect card to represent Beltane. The young Lord of Fire represents the young Sun who is just beginning to enter his prime at Beltane. In his hand is a beautiful flower, representing the Sun's connection to Earth and how he provides the life-giving energy needed for the Earth to bloom radiantly. When I looked up the meaning of the card, I was not disappointed. The Nine of Fire is associated with vitality, fruition, inspiration, and creation, all of which are also associated with Beltane. Remember witches, listen to your intuition! (Where did I get it: Amazon Dreams of Gaia Tarot Deck; Cost: $0.25; full deck $29)

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

5. Bumble Bees- The bees, which are technically carpenter bees, represent the feminine, fertility, teamwork, growth, and sweetness of life. Bees are hard at work pollinating flowers, building hives, and making sweet honey. Bees are also representative of the Sun, making them a masculine aspect as well. This duality represents the union between both the masculine and feminine to bring about life at Beltane. I picked up both of these beautiful carpenter bees last week while out for a walk with my partner. I could hear them calling to me to be brought home instead of being left for the ants. (Where did I get it: FoundCost: Free)

6. Deer Antler- The antler represents the masculine and fertility, as well as the connection between our realm and the Otherworld. Deer are said to be able to freely cross between realms to bring messages to and from the Otherworld. They are spirit walkers, and with May Day being a time of liminality, the veil is thin and spirit crossing is made easier. Furthermore, antlers are associated with vitality, strength, and fertility as male deer use their horns to win a mate, all of which are aspects associated with May Day. (Where did I get it: Found; Cost: Free)

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

7. Ivy- The silk ivy represents wealth, abundance, and fertility, as well as the Sun or Horned God who is growing in strength during Beltane. I also felt it tied the altar together nicely. Originally I did not have ivy on this altar, but my gut was telling me I was missing a key element. I dug through several boxes of altar decorations, feeling each item and speaking with it before coming upon the ivy at the bottom. I almost begged to be placed on the altar, so here it is! (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree; Cost: $1)

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy


TOTAL COST: ~$8.50


Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found, made, or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of breakdown helpful, especially those of you looking to create Instagram perfect altars on a budget!

Beltane, altar, witch, witchcraft, May Day, witchy

Did you do anything special for Beltane this year? As I mentioned above, I went strawberry picking. Some of these beautiful strawberries will be used later this month in a love spell, so keep an eye out for that in the next 2 weeks! Let me know your plans in the comments below. Have a wonderful Beltane, witches!



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2 comments :

  1. Tremendously beautiful, poignant altar. I love to included wildcrafted (or otherwise ethically obtained) deceased insects on some of my altars, too - often feeling particularly pulled to do so at Litha/Midsummer.

    Picking pounds of strawberries sounds like such a joyful thing to do. It's a bit to early for wild or garden grown berries here, but by June and July, they should be out in full force. I can hardly wait to engage in my annual tradition of foraging for (the) local raspberries and blackberries that grow abundantly in the wild around parts of our wee town (then as summer winds down, I do the same for everything from wild apples to rosehips).

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

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  2. I love seeing your progression over the years of Sabbath altars. I enjoy viewing the removal of clutter, the reuse of certain aspects and changes of others that connect to your current practice and every day life. It really inspires me. Thank you!

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